Why the Middle East Lagged Behind: The Case of Iran

Why the Middle East Lagged Behind: The Case of Iran

by Kazem Alamdari


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Capitalism was the engine of modern development in the West. The land tenure system in the Middle East, in contrast to the West, was an obstacle to the development of capitalism. In the West, feudalism resulted in a capitalist mode of production, and was driven by private ownership of land. In Iran, these fundamentals were absent. Understanding this, some Western developmentalists, in an attempt to remove this obstacle, rationalized a project of 'modernization' that involved imposing capitalism from the top down. Under this project, developing countries under the influence of the West were advised to launch land reform programs that would modify the traditional, and obsolete, land systems. The first part of this study explores the roots of this issue in Iran. The second part of the book examines the period from 1961, when the land reform program began, to 1981, when Iran saw the beginning of the Islamic system.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780761828686
Publisher: UPA
Publication date: 03/08/2005
Pages: 354
Product dimensions: 6.18(w) x 8.18(h) x 1.04(d)

About the Author

Kazem Alamdari is Adjunct Professor in the Department of Sociology at California State University, Los Angeles. Professor Alamdari holds a doctorate in Sociology from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign and has authored numerous books and articles.

Table of Contents

Chapter 1 Preface Chapter 2 Introduction Chapter 3 Part One: Theoretical Perspectives; Clarification of Definitions; What is Development?; The Sociological View of This Study; Prominent Theories about the Cause of Underdevelopment in Iran; the Approach and the Main Thesis of this Study; The Relation Chapter 4 Part Two: The Imposed Capitalism: Modernization Project; The Socioeconomic Effects of the Land Reform in Iran (1961-1981): Theories and Causes of Land Reform; Environmental Conditions; The Conditions Prior to the Land Reform: The Land Tenure System Chapter 5 Conclusion Chapter 6 Glossary Chapter 7 Bibliography Chapter 8 Index

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