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A theory of capitalist co-optation of radical alternatives: The case of Islamic banking industry

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Shoaib Ul Haq


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In this article, we use the critical theory literature to describe the processes of co-optation by which capitalism engages with its radical alternatives in order to subvert their emancipatory potential. We chose the global Islamic banking industry as our empirical context, which represents bold efforts to build a radical alternative embedded in Islamic moral precepts. However, we observed that the performative intent of capitalist discourse, reflected in a strong preoccupation with effectiveness and efficiency, has come to dominate all economic claims in the Islamic banking industry. The oppositional ideas that were intended to disturb the economic status quo now reproduce it along with its privileges, despite the vaulted rhetoric about establishing a genuine alternative. The article ends by mapping out some implications of re-introducing co-optation in the critical theory literature.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Ul-Haq S, Lone RA, Ashraf N

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Organization

Year: 2022

Volume: 29

Issue: 1

Pages: 129-154

Print publication date: 01/01/2022

Online publication date: 21/07/2020

Acceptance date: 15/07/2020

ISSN (print): 1350-5084

ISSN (electronic): 1461-7323

Publisher: Sage


DOI: 10.1177/1350508420939245


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