The privatisation process in Iran: the issue of ownership in a limited market within an Islamic tradition and global boundaries

Shahriari-Rad, P., 2003. The privatisation process in Iran: the issue of ownership in a limited market within an Islamic tradition and global boundaries. PhD, Nottingham Trent University.

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This thesis explores the issue of privatisation in Iran, seeking an understanding, which combines academic argument and rigorously deployed evidence with practical applicability. That understanding is grounded in four forms of explanation, which are brought together and synthesised in the thesis as a whole. Firstly, the thesis considers the historical and social background to economic development in Iran, and the context of this to initiation of the privatisation process. It argues that this context is absolutely central to any understanding of Iranian economy and society today. Secondly, the thesis argues that ideas drawn from an understanding of Islam are necessary to an appropriate image of development in Iran (taking account of their distinctive forms of Iranian Islam). Thirdly, this challenges us to re-think ideas of development. It implies that we might need a more pragmatic, less self-assured sense that the world is diverse and our knowledge of it is limited and diverse. This sense of the uniqueness and variety of development dilemmas is increasingly common in the relevant literatures, but its implications for Iran -or for the region around Iran- have been little explored. Finally, the attempt to locate an understanding of the prospects and limitations of Iranian development in a pattern leads one to identify a trajectory of state-society-economy relationships, a historical sociology, which helps both to provide comparisons which aid understanding and a loose theoretical context against which the findings of this research can be tested. The thesis draws on these arguments to make a detailed empirical study of privatisation in the past and analysis of the prospects for privatisation in the future in Iran. This original work is the most important contribution the thesis claims to make to our knowledge.

The claim to originality in the thesis therefore lies in its argument about the history and practice of economic development with particular focus on privatisation, emphasising the vulnerability and instability of ownership in the Iranian system. It also stresses the significance of the role of intervention by the state, by the clergy and by international forces in the national economy, itself weak through institutional and management deficiencies. The consequences of this have been a long-term relatively inefficient utilisation of resources, and a weak exploitation of the potential of ownership. This has undermined the efforts of recent governments both to achieve prosperity and to seek legitimacy through effective economic management. It is evidenced in poor or fragmented management, inappropriate choices of economic models, and arrogance of the state in believing it is a better 'owner' than private owners. Foreign policy and external pressures have been important constraints on economic and social development in Iran. But it would be a mistake to use this as a reason not to hold domestic policy makers to account: many of the problems which the thesis records have been the result of domestic divisions and domestic policy failures which cannot be passed off as the responsibility of external influences. Here, the thesis defends the importance of enlarging the private scope for action in the economy, in the context of providing certainty and stability in the legal and social protection of property rights. The thesis concludes with a set of recommendations for improving the process of privatisation in Iran. This conclusion seeks to strike an appropriate balance between critical analysis, and optimism about the prospects for future development grounded in this careful detailed research, which includes 106 managers, officials and academics who responded to questionnaires, research in about 20 firms, and approximately 30 confidential interviews recorded in a document available to examiners, but not to other readers.

Item Type: Thesis
Creators: Shahriari-Rad, P.
Date: 2003
ISBN: 9781369316360
Divisions: Professional Services > Libraries and Learning Resources
Record created by: Linda Sullivan
Date Added: 28 Sep 2020 14:30
Last Modified: 07 Sep 2023 09:56

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