skip to primary navigationskip to content

Faith and Markets

Burgeoning entrepreneurship lies at the heart of the rising powers but what is driving it and how can it best contribute to human development? CRP’s Faith and Markets (FAM) programme focuses on the development potential of socially and environmentally responsible business and the worldviews, aspirations and ethics that drive it. In doing so, we apply research methods drawn from the social sciences and humanities to analyse the interdependences between markets, networks, and religious institutions and ideas.


The Faith and Markets (FAM) programme's inter-disciplinary research and outreach activity focuses on the convergence of the rise of entrepreneurship and the rise of religion in developing and emerging economies in order to understand better its potential to promote human and environmental well-being. The role of economic factors in the making of rising powers is well known;  less well understood are the moral and spiritual visions, the cognitive frameworks and the institutional logics that underpin emerging markets, entrepreneurial business and politics. Religion and business are both in need of greater exploration in international studies, and to focus on their role in rising powers turns a new lens on this increasingly important field.

FAM’s research stream, in collaboration with other CRP projects, stands to make a significant contribution to CRP’s leading role in fostering global and international understanding of two crucial issues: what constitutes a rising power, and what are the key levers in stimulating and sustaining the rise? FAM will contribute to these questions by interrogating their historical, institutional and policy dimensions, focusing on such issues as:

  • the transnational circulation of ideas, institutions, laws, beliefs, and expertise;
  • the practice of entrepreneurship, capitalism, state sovereignty, pluralism and governance;
  • the functioning of bureaucracy, inter-agency and market relations;
  • the spread of networks of knowledge, learning, faith and authority;
  • the building of institutional, relational, moral and spiritual capital;
  • the securing of human and environmental flourishing

To such issues FAM brings a particular interest in historical and contemporary relationships between systems of belief and the operations of capitalism, trade and exchange. It will stimulate an exploration of faith in markets, faith and markets, and markets in faith, across multiple contexts and scales, and in historical and contemporary perspective.



Director of Research

hussin200Dr Iza Hussin’s research occupies the intersection of comparative politics, politics and religion, law and society and world history. Her recent book, The Politics of Islamic Law: Local Elites, Colonial Authority and the Making of the Muslim State (Chicago 2016), explored the making of the category of Islamic law during the colonial period in Malaya, India and Egypt. Her research has been supported by the Social Science Research Council, the National Science Foundation, the Woodrow Wilson Foundation, the American Council of Learned Societies, and the Mellon Foundation. Current research projects include work on the dynamics of legal mobility and translation, law’s travels in the Indian Ocean world, and networks of shari’a adjudication, learning and politics in Asia. Dr Hussin is the Mohamed Noah Fellow at Pembroke College and Lecturer in Politics and  International Studies at the University of Cambridge. She has been on the faculty at the University of Chicago, the University of Massachusetts Amherst, the National University of Singapore, and has held visiting fellowships at Harvard Law School and L’École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales. She is a past Chair of the Religion and Politics Section of the American Political Science Association, a member of the Advisory Council of the Cambridge Institute on Religion and International Studies, a member of the Committee of Management of the Centre of South Asian Studies, a Research Associate of the Centre for History and Economics, and a member of the Advisory Board of Islamopedia (Harvard). 



Senior Research Fellow


Dr Peter Heslam (MA BA DPhil FRSA) focuses on the interface of business, faith and development. Although largely overlooked, he believes greater understanding of this interface will help deliver practical change that increases human and environmental well-being. He has held various positions within the Universities of Cambridge and Oxford for the past twelve years and is the director of Transforming Business, a network involving business academics, business leaders and policy makers. An international expert on the socio-economic role of business, his academic background includes degrees from Oxford and Cambridge and covers social science, history, ethics and theology. Peter lectures at university and business campuses around the world and has been the recipient of a number of awards. He is a Senior Research Associate of the Centre for Rising Powers and of the Institute on Religion and International Studies (CIRIS) at Clare College, University of Cambridge. He is also a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, a member of the International Leadership Association and an adviser to Beyond Profit, Entrepreneurial Leaders, and to the journals Faith in Business Quarterly and the Journal of Markets and Morality. He has been a Visiting Professor at a number of universities and has served as a judge in various international business competitions.




Hussin, Iza, 'The Politics of Islamic Law: Local Elites, Colonial Authority and the Making of the Muslim State', University of Chicago Press, 2016.

Hussin, Iza, 'Making Legibility Between Colony and Empire: Translation, Conflation, and the Making of the Muslim State', in The Many Hands of the State, Ann Orloff and Kimberly Morgan, eds., Cambridge University Press 2016.

Hussin, Iza, 'Law, Networks, Mobility: Nineteenth Century Provocations', Routledge Handbook of Asian Law, ed. Christoph Antons. London: Routledge 2016.



Heslam, Peter S., ‘The Rise of Religion and the Future of Capitalism’, in De Ethica: Journal of Philosophical, Theological and Applied Ethics, 2.3 (2015), pp. 53-72.

Heslam, Peter S., ‘The Spirit of Enterprise: Common Grace in Business’, in Journal of Markets and Morality, 18.1 (Spring 2015), pp. 7-20.

Heslam, P.S. and Wood, E.A.S., ‘Greed is Good? An International Study of Christian Entrepreneurs, in Business Ethics Today: The Sacred and the Market, edited by Philip J Clements (Basking Ridge, NJ: Center for Christian Business Ethics Today), pp. 25-61.



Heslam, Peter S., ‘Christianity and the Prospects for Development in the Global South’, in Paul Oslington (ed), The Oxford Handbook of Christianity and Economics (Oxford: Oxford University Press), pp. 359-83.

Heslam, Peter S. and Spieker, M. (eds), Integral Human Development (Grand Rapids, MI: Acton Institute, 2013). A special themed issue of the Journal of Markets and Morality, 16.1 (400 pages).

Heslam, Peter S. and Wood, E.A.S., ‘Faith and Business Practice amongst Christian Entrepreneurs in Developing and Emerging markets’, in Koers: Bulletin for Christian Scholarship 79.2.

Hussin, Iza, 'Circulations of Law: Cosmopolitan Elites, Global Repertoires, Local Vernaculars', Law and History Review, Forum: Indian Ocean Circuits of Law, eds. Iza Hussin and Renisa Mawani, 32:4 (2014), 773-795.

Hussin, Iza, 'Misreading and Mobility in Constitutional Texts: A Nineteenth Century Case', Indiana Journal of Global Legal Studies, Symposium: Regulatory Translations: Expertise, Uncertainty and Affect in Transnational Legal Fields, 21:1 (2014), 145-158.



FAM contributes to the CRP’s established programme of reading groups, research seminars, lectures, and working papers. FAM seminars engages academics, policy makers, lawyers and business leaders from around the world, and will seek to provide an intellectual and institutional basis for ongoing collaborations. FAM lectures involve distinguished scholars, practitioners and policymakers, aimed at a wide audience. The project also convenes consultations among key stakeholders in issues of pressing concern within the ambit of rising powers: the topics for 2016-2017 are ‘Sharia in motion’ and  ‘business, faith and development’. 

'Governance, Domestic Change, and Social Policy in China. 100 Years after the Xinhai Revolution' edited by Jean-Marc F. Blanchard and Kun-Chin Lin

Read more

'Bargaining with a Rising India. Lessons from the Mahabharata' by Amrita Narlikar and Aruna Narlikar is now available at Oxford University Press.

Read more

International Affairs Special Issue, May 2013, Negotiating the Rise of New Powers

Read more