Dr Sadighi Annual Lecture: Political and economic development in contemporary Iran
In collaboration with the International Institute of Social History and the Sadighi Fund
What is the impact of violence on economic development? In the eighth Dr Sadighi Annual Lecture, Dr Vahabi explores this issue. Focusing on Iranian history, he discusses Iranian politics and society from the 1960's to the present.
According to Vahabi, the ambivalent impact of the predatory state’s violence and of forced dispossession on social and economic development depends on the way so-called 'captive assets' and 'fugitive assets' are appropriated. 'Captive assets' are immobile and easily appropriable (e.g., landed property), while 'fugitive assets' are mobile and hard to appropriate (e.g., human capital, physical capital investment). While exclusive predatory states are marked by confiscatory regimes and the economics of escape, inclusive predatory states secure property rights and open society to long term investments and attract human capital, despite growing socio-economic inequalities.
With the new global political and economic challenges, Vahabi’s lecture offers a better understanding of today’s Iran, by comparing the impact of oil revenues in the pre-revolutionary era (1960-1971) with the spectacular rise of oil income during the Islamic Republic of Iran (2005-2013) in the context of an emerging new world order.
About the speaker
Mehrdad Vahabi is Associate Professor at the University of Paris VIII. His interests include the political economy of development and conflict, institutional economics and comparative economics. He is the author of The Political Economy of Destructive Power (Edward Elgar, 2004) and The Political Economy of Predation: Manhunting and the Economics of Escape (Cambridge University Press, 2016).
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