Session 1

Welfare Systems in Muslim Societies

In this session 2 papers were presented which are, respectively, (1) “Rethinking the Turkish Welfare Regime in the 21st Century” by Mehmet Aysan and (2) “Social policy in Islamic Iran (emphasizing the social justice)” by Reza Safary Shali.

In the first presentation, Mehmet Aysan, tried to develop a new interdisciplinary approach in welfare state studies in Turkey, analyzing four main welfare institutions that are the state, the family, the market and local actors. He declared that Turkey has been aging and this necessitates analysis of the welfare distribution in Turkey. Social inequality has been rising in recent years, as well. To analysis the situation, he conducted a nationwide survey in 2016, focusing on welfare distribution and the perception of citizens on social policies in Turkey. His study showed that there are four main pillars determining the distribution of the welfare in a state: the state, the family, the market, and local actors: Family (93 percent) and the state (90 percent) are the most important welfare actors in Turkey, while market (60 percent) and local actors (54 percent) are less significant players in welfare distribution.

In the second presentation Reza Safary Shali said that social policy in Iran after the Islamic Revolution is largely influenced by teachings of Islam, as some of the supportive or securing policies are directly derived – or referable – to the Holy Qur'an, and some of them are derived from the prophet and the letters and sayings of Imam Ali, as in Nahj al-Balaghah, specially for the Shi'ite nomination, which has become manifest in the constitution of the Islamic Republic of Iran. The result of his study shows that the signifier of justice in social policy among the officials of the Islamic Republic has been more or less overlooked. Therefore, the necessity of redefining social justice with regards to the definition of the three layers of justice 1. Equal access to resources and opportunities in terms of providing backgrounds, range and scope; 2. Consideration of the principle of entitlement and necessity; and 3. Attention to redistributive justice and expansion of the government's supportive umbrella by focusing on target groups, vulnerable and disadvantaged groups (social, physical and mental).