Comparing Britain and France: The Institutional Mediation of the Moral re-valorisation of Islamic Banking After the Financial Crisis
department of sociology lancaster university lancaster, UK
Comparing Britain and France: The Instituional Mediation of the Re-moralisation of Islamic Banking after the Global Financial Crisis.
By many liberal economists, Islamic banking has been presented as a new alternative to the shortcomings of the Western financial architecture, a remoralisation of neo-liberal capitalism. Alongside financial centres such as Hong Kong and Singapore, due to its significant Muslim population, London had already been a major market for Islamic banking. Recently, the French Finance Minister made a call to Islamic banks to invest in Paris as well. Due to its secular legal structure, despite 5 millions of Muslim inhabitants, France does not have any Islamic banking institutions. In July 2009, new laws will be put in place to enable the legal structure in France to accomodate Islamic banking. However, rather than high liquidity assets, the French financial market will accomodate the issuance of bonds and structured real estate transactions. This paper focuses on the comparison of London and Paris financial markets as a test case for comparing the institutional mediation of the remoralisation of capitalism. Due to differences in the organisation of the state, civil society and the law in both countries, remoralisation of capitalism is institutionally mediated in different ways. This paper looks at the impact of these differences on how remoralisation of neo-liberal capitalism takes place in different historical contexts.