Policy Press

Social welfare and religion in the Middle East

A Lebanese perspective

By Rana Jawad


Jul 29, 2009

Page count

328 pages




240 x 172 mm


Policy Press
Social welfare and religion in the Middle East

As religion continues to regain its centrality in both academic and policy circles around the world, this book presents a new framework which examines the complex social and political dynamics shaping social welfare in the Middle East.

Based on an in-depth study of the major Muslim and Christian religious welfare organisations in Lebanon (including Hezbollah), and drawing upon supplementary research conducted in Iran, Egypt and Turkey, the book argues that religion is providing sophisticated solutions to the major social and economic problems of the Middle East. It will be of use to students and academics of social policy, sociology, politics and Middle Eastern studies.

" ....a bold, coherent but also balanced and 'realist' dissection of the role and significance of religious belief and practice within social welfare provision." Chris Baker in Journal of Social Policy

"An indispensable resource for academics interested in the revival of religion in social policy as well as professionals in the international development field." Political Studies Review

"This book is an essential reference for anyone investigating religion in social

sciences in general, due to its extended bibliography, as well as for anyone

dealing specifically with social policy frameworks ... will probably become a key

addition to the field." Journal of Social Policy and Administration

"This is a ground-breaking analysis of the contribution that religions make to social welfare programmes in the Middle East and to their wider involvement in social and economic development." James A. Beckford, Professor Emeritus, Department of Sociology, University of Warwick

Rana Jawad is Professor of Global Social Policy at the University of Birmingham. Her main research interests are the roles of religion and culture in social policy, and the history of social policy, social movements and voluntary organisations. She has particular regional expertise on the Middle East and the UK.

Introduction: religion and social policy: an old-new partnership; Religion and the foundations of social policy; Lebanon: a profile of political and welfare institutions; A philosophy of social service: faith or social insurance?; Systems of provision and welfare outcomes: defining and treating the causes of poverty; Social solidarity: between power and morality; Social ethics and welfare particularism; What next for the Middle East? Rereading history, re-visioning future possibilities of positive action.