Professor of Political Science
Timur Kuran is Professor of Economics and Political Science, and Gorter Family Professor of Islamic Studies at Duke University. His research focuses on (1) social change, including the evolution of preferences and institutions, and (2) the economic and political history and modernization of the Middle East. His current projects include a study of the role that the Middle East’s traditional institutions played in its poor political performance, as measured by democratization and human liberties. Among his publications are Private Truths, Public Lies: The Social Consequences of Preference Falsification (Harvard University Press); Islam and Mammon: The Economic Predicaments of Islamism (Princeton University Press); The Long Divergence: How Islamic Law Held Back the Middle East (Princeton University Press); and a tri-lingual edited work that consists of ten volumes, Socio-Economic Life in Seventeenth-century Istanbul: Glimpses from Court Records (İş Bank Publications). After graduating from Robert Academy in Istanbul in 1973, Kuran went on to study economics at Princeton University (AB 1977) and Stanford University (PhD 1982). Between 1982 and 2007 he taught at the University of Southern California. He was also a member of the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, the John Olin Visiting Professor at the Graduate School of Business, University of Chicago, and a visiting professor of economics at Stanford University. He currently directs the Association for Analytic Learning about Islam and Muslim Societies (AALIMS); is a member of the Executive Committee of the International Economic Association; edits a book series for Cambridge University Press, serves on numerous editorial boards; and is a member of the Turkish Academy of Sciences. He has served on the World Economic Forum’s Arab World Council.
- Ph.D., Stanford University 1982
- M.A., Stanford University 1979
Kuran, T. The long divergence: How Islamic law held back the Middle East. November 11, 2012.
Kuran, T. Islam and mammon: The economic predicaments of islamism. December 16, 2010.
Kuran, T. "In defense of affirmative action - Bergmann,BR." JOURNAL OF ECONOMIC LITERATURE 35.1 (March 1997): 153-155.
KURAN, T. "PIONEERS IN DEVELOPMENT - MEIER,GM." JOURNAL OF ECONOMIC LITERATURE 26.4 (December 1988): 1753-1755.
KURAN, T. "BETTING ON IDEAS - WARS, INVENTION, INFLATION - BRENNER,R." JOURNAL OF ECONOMIC LITERATURE 24.4 (December 1986): 1802-1804.
KURAN, T. "ECONOMIC-STRUCTURE AND PERFORMANCE - ESSAYS IN HONOR OF CHENERY,HOLLIS,B. - SYRQUIN,M, TAYLOR,L, WESTPHAL,LE." JOURNAL OF ECONOMIC LITERATURE 24.2 (June 1986): 687-688.
KURAN, T. "STUDIES IN ISLAMIC ECONOMICS - AHMAD,K." INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF MIDDLE EAST STUDIES 17.2 (1985): 261-263.
Kuran, T. "Sour grapes: Studies in the subversion of rationality." Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization 5.3-4 (September 1984): 401-403. Full Text
Kuran, T. "The rule of law in Islamic thought and practice: A historical perspective." Global Perspectives on the Rule of Law. January 1, 2013. 71-90. Full Text
Kuran, T. "The scale of entrepreneurship in middle eastern history: Inhibitive roles of Islamic institutions." The Invention of Enterprise: Entrepreneurship from Ancient Mesopotamia to Modern Times. February 26, 2012. 62-87.
Kuran, T. "Economic underdevelopment in the Middle East: The historical roles of culture, institutions and religion." Culture, Institutions, and Development: New Insights Into an Old Debate. September 2, 2010. 87-102. Full Text
KURAN, T. THE ROLE OF DECEPTION IN POLITICAL COMPETITION. 1991.
Kuran, T. "Islam and economic performance: Historical and contemporary links." Journal of Economic Literature 56 (December 1, 2018): 1292-1359. Full Text
Kuran, T. "Legal roots of authoritarian rule in the middle east: Civic legacies of the islamic waqf." American Journal of Comparative Law 64.2 (July 1, 2016): 419-454. (Review) Full Text
Kuran, T, and Rubin, J. "The Financial Power of the Powerless: Socio-Economic Status and Interest Rates under Partial Rule of Law." The Economic Journal (June 2016). (Working Paper) Full Text Open Access Copy
Kuran, T. "A comment on Ali Yaycioǧlu's review of Timur Kuran, Ed., Social and economic life in seventeenth-century Istanbul: Glimpses from court records, vols. 1-10 (IJMES 47 : 625-27)." International Journal of Middle East Studies 48.2 (May 1, 2016): 429-432. Full Text
Kuran, T. "Social and Economic Life in Seventeenth-Century Istanbul: Glimpses from Court Records (vol 5, pg 584, 2010)." INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF MIDDLE EAST STUDIES 48.2 (May 2016): 437-437.
Kuran, T. "Social and Economic Life in Seventeenth-Century Istanbul: Glimpses from Court Records (vol 9, pg 529, 2013)." INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF MIDDLE EAST STUDIES 48.2 (May 2016): 437-437.
Kuran, T. "Social and Economic Life in Seventeenth-Century Istanbul: Glimpses from Court Records (vol 7, pg 677, 2012)." INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF MIDDLE EAST STUDIES 48.2 (May 2016): 437-437.
Kuran, T. "Social and Economic Life in Seventeenth-Century Istanbul: Glimpses from Court Records (vol 6, pg 650, 2011)." INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF MIDDLE EAST STUDIES 48.2 (May 2016): 437-437.
Kuran, T. "Islamic redistribution through zakat historical record and modern realities." December 1, 2003.
Georgetown, University of Utrecht, Copenhagen Business School, Rice University, George Mason University, Yale University, University of Indiana, University of Odense, University of Michigan, Association of Private Enterprise Education. December 20, ...
Research Initiative Economic Study of Religion - Markers awarded by Chapman University (Principal Investigator). 2017 to 2019
Economic Freedom and Development in the Muslim World awarded by Georgetown University (Principal Investigator). 2015 to 2018
Religious Freedom in the Islamic World awarded by Georgetown University (Principal Investigator). 2014
The RES Research Initiative: Bringing New Minds and Methods to the Study of Religious Market and Spiritual Capital awarded by Chapman University (Principal Investigator). 2013 to 2014