• Farhad Gohardani
  • Zahra Tizro
Part of the Political Economy of Islam book series (PEoI)


The subject matter of this study has been the bitter historical experience of socio-economic development in the modern history of Iran with all its diverse ramifications. The burning questions gnawing Iranian subjectivity and its unhappy consciousness revolve around the enigma of why Iran has not developed into an advanced society despite starting its experience of attempting to achieve socio-economic development with Japan more than a century ago. The Iranian experience of socio-economic development has been associated with excessive and intense levels of socio-political instability, coalitional repositioning, and waves of verbal and physical violence, institutional restructuring, and emotional upheaval. As a result, the contrast between the level of stability and development between the two countries (Japan and Iran) could hardly be more pronounced.

The enigma of the Iranian case is captured in the Shah’s bitter expression of astonishment and despair about his people, as reported by Milani (2011a: 3, added emphasis):

More than once during the days of revolution, and later in exile, he asked, with unmistakable hints of contempt in the tone, “What kind of people are these Persians? After all We have done for them, they still chose to opt for this disastrous revolution”.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Farhad Gohardani
    • 1
  • Zahra Tizro
    • 2
  1. 1.Independent EconomistYorkUK
  2. 2.University of East London (UEL)LondonUK

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