Islam and Urbanisation Economics
Ibn Khaldūn’s in-depth analysis of civilizational development and dynamics encapsulates the socio-economic impact caused by the shift from a migratory society to a sedentary society in human history. This shift is a precursor to and reflects the process of urbanization and city living in modern life. Indeed, today’s economists, sociologists and policy makers are familiar with the problems of urbanization vis-à-vis social and economic imbalances as a result of decaying cities and neglected rural areas. The problems of urbanization are aggravated by globalization but there is little development in the understanding of the nature and impact of urbanization in the context of globalization. All indications are that the problems associated with urbanization has not only been unresolved but has worsened due to globalization. Furthermore, the emergence of cities and mega-cities around the globe together with the attendant socio-economic and political upheavals suggests a need to revisit urbanization economics. This paper attempts to contribute to fulfilling this need by drawing from Islamic scholarship with specific reference to Ibn Khaldūn’s ideas regarding civilizational dynamics. Specifically, we will leverage on a conceptual and historical approach to revisit Khaldūnian key-concepts relevant to the socio-economic impacts resulting from urbanization. This would further inform us about the dynamics of urbanization as a globalized phenomenon impacting upon the global economy and our understanding of urbanization economics.