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Timur Kuran

Gorter Family Distinguished Professor of Islamic Studies
Box 90097, Department of Economics, Durham, NC 27708
Department of Economics, Box 90097, 213 Chapel Drive, Duke University, Durham, NC 27708


Timur Kuran is Professor of Economics and Political Science, and Gorter Family Professor of Islamic Studies at Duke University. His research focuses on (1) social change, including the evolution of preferences and institutions, and (2) the economic and political history and modernization of the Middle East. His current projects include a study of the role that the Middle East’s traditional institutions played in its poor political performance, as measured by democratization and human liberties. Among his publications are Private Truths, Public Lies: The Social Consequences of Preference Falsification (Harvard University Press); Islam and Mammon: The Economic Predicaments of Islamism (Princeton University Press); The Long Divergence: How Islamic Law Held Back the Middle East (Princeton University Press); and a tri-lingual edited work that consists of ten volumes, Socio-Economic Life in Seventeenth-century Istanbul: Glimpses from Court Records (İş Bank Publications). After graduating from Robert Academy in Istanbul in 1973, Kuran went on to study economics at Princeton University (AB 1977) and Stanford University (PhD 1982). Between 1982 and 2007 he taught at the University of Southern California. He was also a member of the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, the John Olin Visiting Professor at the Graduate School of Business, University of Chicago, and a visiting professor of economics at Stanford University. He currently directs the Association for Analytic Learning about Islam and Muslim Societies (AALIMS); is a member of the Executive Committee of the International Economic Association; edits a book series for Cambridge University Press, serves on numerous editorial boards; and is a member of the Turkish Academy of Sciences. He has served on the World Economic Forum’s Arab World Council.

Current Appointments & Affiliations

Gorter Family Distinguished Professor of Islamic Studies · 2007 - Present Economics, Trinity College of Arts & Sciences
Professor of Economics · 2007 - Present Economics, Trinity College of Arts & Sciences
Co-Director of Graduate Studies for MAPE in the Department of Economics · 2019 - Present Economics, Trinity College of Arts & Sciences
Professor of Political Science · 2007 - Present Political Science, Trinity College of Arts & Sciences
Affiliate of the Duke Center for International Development · 2023 - Present Duke Center for International Development, Sanford School of Public Policy

Education, Training & Certifications

Stanford University · 1982 Ph.D.
Stanford University · 1979 M.A.