Jean-Philippe Platteau is Emeritus Professor of Economics at Université de Namur, Belgium. He is also a member and past director of the Centre for Research in the Economics of Development (CRED) at the same university. He is a co-academic director of the Economic Development and Institutions (EDI) international research programme that is funded by the Department of International Relations (DFID) of the UK government. He has devoted his research career to studying the role of institutions in economic development and the processes of institutional change. He has recently written a book entitled “Islam Instrumentalized: Religion and Politics in Historical Perspective”, published at Cambridge University Press (2017).