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A Good Deed is Not a Crime: Moral Cosmologies of Favours in Muslim Bosnia

Henig, David (2017) A Good Deed is Not a Crime: Moral Cosmologies of Favours in Muslim Bosnia. In: Henig, David and Makovicky, Nicolette, eds. Economies of Favour After Socialism. Oxford University Press, Oxford, UK, pp. 181-202. ISBN 978-0-19-968741-1. (doi:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199687411.003.0009) (KAR id:52560)


Scholars often conflate the act of doing a favour with notions of corruption, nepotism, or bribery. This chapter seeks to demonstrate the need for differentiation between these concepts, their immoralities/moralities, values, and the ethical conduct they entail. It explores the relationship between corruption, bribery, favours, and the Muslim moral imagination in post-war Bosnia. Specifically, it juxtaposes and analytically distinguishes some of the normative discourses on illicit economic practices with situations of doing favours in three ethnographic contexts. It argues that the negotiation of the line between morally (halal) acceptable conduct or immoral (haram) conduct in the day-to-day struggle for life is not a morally clear-cut matter for villagers, but a matter of constant evaluations and judgements. Hence, the chapter suggests that the use of personal connections, pilfering, and petty bribery should be understood as being part and parcel of the ‘ordinary ethics’ of life.

Item Type: Book section
DOI/Identification number: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199687411.003.0009
Uncontrolled keywords: corruption, favours, moralities, ethics, Bosnia
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BJ Ethics
B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BP Islam. Bahai Faith. Theosophy, etc
G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GN Anthropology
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Human and Social Sciences > School of Anthropology and Conservation
Depositing User: David Henig
Date Deposited: 01 Dec 2015 00:14 UTC
Last Modified: 23 Mar 2022 23:10 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

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