Mobile Muslim Professionals: Trans-regional Connectedness and (Non-State) Cooperation in Asia and the Middle East

14–15 April 2016

This two-days workshop merged the mobility turn in the social sciences with transregionalism studies and the ‘Muslim worlds' or ‘network’ approach in Islamic and area studies. The underlying presumption of the workshop proposes that concepts as well as practices of professionalism in Asia, the Middle East and beyond are being informed through multiple forms of cross-border movement and connectedness; likewise, Muslim professionals’ networks are shaped and facilitated through cross-border movement. Jointly organised with the Berlin Graduate School Muslim Cultures and Societies; Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin; re:work (IGK Work and Human Life Cycle in Global History); and Philipps-Universität Marburg, the workshop in Berlin gave way for an exchange among experts in the field.

Tracing the effect of Muslim cross-border movement and increasing connectedness has recently become a focus of a growing cross-disciplinary field of research. Various studies explore whether and how Islam as a religious tradition is compatible with the principles and ethics of a capitalist market economy. Recognising that intensified transregional connectivity will continue to shape international cooperation, some recent studies explore how Muslim moralities may be aligned with neoliberal economic ideas. The influence of a state-led modernization, entrepreneurship based on Islamic ethics, or the relevance of Muslim values and identities in social engagement are topics of inquiry. The pursuit of new forms of religiously rooted professionalism or professionalization is an important emerging field of scholarly interest that has great potential to be investigated as a research topic on its own.

Date: 14–15 April 2016
Venue: Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Pergamon-Palais, Georgenstr. 47, 10117 Berlin, Room 0.07