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Palgrave Macmillan

Destructive Coordination, Anfal and Islamic Political Capitalism

A New Reading of Contemporary Iran

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  • © 2023


  • Provides a multidisciplinary analysis of Iran’s economic system
  • Examines the political and economic institutions that define post-revolution Iran
  • Includes a comparative analysis of different economic systems

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Table of contents (9 chapters)


About this book

This book introduces a new theoretical framework that examines Iran in relation to the theological concept of Anfal, a confiscatory regime seen in Iran since 1979 where public assets belong to the leader of Iran. Through analysing the economic impacts of Anfal, the effects of political capitalism and destructive coordination and how they lead to the economics of hoarding and the flight of capital and labour are highlighted. The economics of predation, ecological disaster, and cooperative coordination are also discussed.

This book aims to highlight the economic consequences of Anfal and its role in sustaining destructive condition and shaping the Islamic political capitalism. It will be relevant to students and researchers interested in the political economy, Middle Eastern and Islamic studies.


“The book is exceptionally rich in its conceptual arguments and empirical detail. ... This is an exceptional contribution to economic analysis of Islam, with interdisciplinary appeal to economics, political science, Islamic studies, law, and history. It is an exceptional work of political economy and comparative institutional analysis. ... This book is an excellent example why public choice is a progressive research agenda.” (Ilia Murtazashvili, Public Choice, Vol. 196 (1-2), 2023)

Authors and Affiliations

  • CEPN, University Sorbonne Paris Nord, Paris, France

    Mehrdad Vahabi

About the author

Mehrdad Vahabi is Professor of Economics at University Sorbonne Paris Nord and director of the research center on Economics at North Paris (CEPN) affiliated to the French National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS). He has published many books in English, French and Persian among them The Political Economy of Destructive Power (Edward Elgar, 2004), The Political Economy of Predation (Cambridge University Press, 2015). He has published more than a hundred articles in peer journals and is an editor of Public Choice.

Bibliographic Information

  • Book Title: Destructive Coordination, Anfal and Islamic Political Capitalism

  • Book Subtitle: A New Reading of Contemporary Iran

  • Authors: Mehrdad Vahabi

  • DOI:

  • Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan Cham

  • eBook Packages: Economics and Finance, Economics and Finance (R0)

  • Copyright Information: The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2023

  • Hardcover ISBN: 978-3-031-17673-9Published: 13 December 2022

  • Softcover ISBN: 978-3-031-17676-0Published: 13 December 2023

  • eBook ISBN: 978-3-031-17674-6Published: 12 December 2022

  • Edition Number: 1

  • Number of Pages: XXIV, 454

  • Number of Illustrations: 13 b/w illustrations

  • Topics: Political Economy/Economic Systems, Economy-wide Country Studies, Development Economics

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