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27-31 August 2019
Poznań, Poland
Europe/Warsaw timezone
programme last update: 23 August 2019
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Contribution Paper

Poznań, Poland - Morasko Kampus, room: 3.135

Moral dimensions of economic practices in Daghestan, North Caucasus



Primary authors


In the North Caucasus Salafi-oriented Muslims, portrayed as opponents of the secular state and a threat to the state's security are at the same time, the most avid opponents of corruption. Yet, they are not able to avoid it when running a business or working on a state-paid position. In my paper I explore moral dimensions of economic life in the multi-ethnic capital of Daghestan, Makhachkala. I take a closer look at the narratives and practices of Daghestani Muslims working for the state or running a business. I ask how different moralities interact or compete in the organization of social life with corruption as an inherent part of it? How Islam shapes economic behavior and its moral dimensions? I argue that by applying Islamic framing to their economic activities Salafi-oriented Muslims aim to find a moral alternative to the state-system they find “immoral” and “corrupt”. Unexpectedly, however, instead of (as could be expected) escaping the market-society-script scheme, the reinforce it. In my analysis I employ the concept of moral economy (Sayer 2015, Whythe & Wiegratz 2016).