Quantitative World System Studies Contradict Current Islamophobia: World Political Cycles, Global Terrorism, and World Development
Innsbruck University - Faculty of Political Science and Sociology - Department of Political Science; Corvinus University Budapest - Department of Economics
Turkish Journal of International Relations, Vol. 6, No. 1 & 2, Spring-Summer 2007
In this article, we draw some optimistic, socio-liberal conclusions about Islam in the world system. Countering some alarmist voices in the West, neither migration nor Muslim culture are to be blamed for the contemporary crisis, but the very nature of unequal capitalist accumulation and dependency that is at the core of the world capitalist system. For one, our analysis is based on current thinking on Kondratiev waves of world political development inherent in recent work by IIASA and the NATO Institute for Advanced Studies.
First we present a rigorous re-analysis of United States Department of State data on acts of global terrorism in the framework of Kondratiev cycle waves. The data presented show that before the present war in Iraq the global war on terrorism already showed very positive effects, and that the strong linear downward trend in global terrorism, to be observed during the last two decades, coincided with rising globalization in both the centers and the peripheries of the world system, and that the percentage of people with less than 2 $ a day even declined in the Middle East and North Africa. We also found no systematic interaction between the differentials of growth in the center and the periphery or inequality differentials in the center and the periphery and patterns of global terrorism. I. e. a western socio-liberal, multi-lateral and non-interventionist policy could have won the fight against international terrorism. We then refute empirically the Huntington hypothesis about the incompatibility of Islam and successful socio-economic development.
Winning the war against global terrorism would imply arriving at more inclusive and less unilateralist structures of global governance. While our analysis on world development 1990-2003 shows the detrimental effects of dependency and globalization on the social and ecological balances of the world, data on membership in the Organization of the Islamic Conference or Muslims per cent of total population were compared in their effects on a number of dependent variables of socio-economic development in 140 countries of the world with complete data:
* economic growth, 1990-2003
* eco-social market economy (GDP output per kg energy use)
* female economic activity rate as % of male economic activity rate
* freedom from % people not expected to survive age 60
* freedom from a high quintile ratio (share of income/consumption richest 20% to poorest 20%)
* freedom from civil liberty violations, 1998
* freedom from high CO2 emissions per capita
* freedom from political rights violations, 1998
* human development Index
* life expectancy, 1995-2000
Ceteris paribus, Muslim culture (measured by the percentage of Muslims in the respective population of a given country) significantly and positively affects the human rights record, human development, and the ecological balances.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 67
Keywords: Political economy, integration, religion
JEL Classification: F5, F15, Z12
Date posted: March 29, 2007