Religion and Legitimacy in Development

Publication date

2nd September 2015


Faizan Polani



Religion and Legitimacy in Development

A Case Study on Islamic Relief and its Comparative Advantage in Sudan

In this paper, Faizan Polani begins by skilfully exploring the definitions and typologies of FBOs, discovering a nuanced spectrum of understanding and classification among academics and scholars and carefully differentiating their applied value and method of categorisation, going further to apply these meanings to Islamic Relief. He then goes on to contribute to the broader discourse of sacred authority in humanitarian environments through his research examining religion and legitimacy in development within a singular setting, namely Sudan. Using Islamic Relief’s programmatic activities as a vehicle to access urban and rural development projects in the Sudan, Faizan has formulated this case study. Drawing on this field research, conducted with substantive support from Islamic Relief – Sudan, Faizan thus explored how the influence of religion within these communities carries authority in international development settings, both within rights-holder communities and among those in authority over those communities. His findings have the potential to build into broader geographical exploration across the developing world, in order to map the importance and value of religion and legitimacy in development.



Faizan Polani (2015), Religion and Legitimacy in Development, A Case Study on Islamic Relief and its Comparative Advantage in Sudan, Islamic Relief Academy, Birmingham


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