Timur Kuran is Gorter Family Professor in Islamic Studies, and professor of economics and political science at Duke University. A Visiting Professor of Law at Yale Law School, he teaches students the economic history of the Middle East. He is a director for the Association for Analytic Learning about Islam and Muslim Societies. He earned his A.B. at Princeton University and his M.A. and doctorate in economics from Stanford University.
Kuran is editor of Socio-Economic Life in Seventeenth-century Istanbul: Glimpses from Court Records, a 10-volume work in three languages. He has published numerous tooks about Islam and the Middle East, including Private Truths, Public Lies: The Social Consequences of Preference Falsification and Islam and Mammon: The Economic Predicaments of Islamism. In The Long Divergence: How Islamic Law Held Back the Middle East, he acknowledges that the models for governance and education described in Islamic teachings were ill suited for today’s technology and culture and that adherence to those old models was hampering growth in the Middle East.
He founded the University of Southern California Institute for Economic Research on Civilizations and served as their director from 2005-2007. He is currently researching for a book on the role of legal institutions in the Middle East and how those traditional institutions have contributed to societal problems.
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