Capitalism in contemporary Iran

Capital accumulation, state formation and geopolitics

By Kayhan Valadbaygi

Capitalism in contemporary Iran
Hardcover +
  • Price: £80.00
  • ISBN: 9781526161789
  • Publish Date: Feb 2024
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
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    eBook -
  • Price: £80.00
  • ISBN: 9781526161772
  • Publish Date: Mar 2024
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
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    Book Information


    This book traces the patterns of capital accumulation and the changes in class and state formation emanating from it in Iran during the global neoliberal era. It demonstrates how there are inner connections between the nature of contemporary development in Iran, the form of the state, the ongoing sociopolitical transformations in society and the geopolitical tensions with the West. Simultaneously, it highlights that these issues should be explored in terms of their internal relations to the motions and tendencies of neoliberal global capitalism and resulting geopolitics. Accordingly, the book demonstrates that Iranian neoliberalisation has brought about new contested class dynamics that have fundamentally reconstructed the Iranian ruling class, aggressively shaped and reshaped the working class and the poor, and drastically impacted the state form and its foreign policy.


    'This is a powerful and highly original account of Iran's political economy. Unlike so much analysis and commentary on Iran, Valadbaygi carefully situates processes of domestic class formation and the country's deep social antagonisms within the development of the wider capitalist world market. This deeply insightful re-telling of Iran's history - stretching from the 1979 revolution through to the recent 'Women, Life, Freedom' revolts - is a must-read for understanding Iran's place in the current global order, as well as the country's ongoing and fractious political struggles.' Adam Hanieh, University of Exeter

    'Capitalism in contemporary Iran provides an original account of the modern Iran that rethinks its complex development and revolutionary ruptures through the wider dynamics of global capitalism and its geopolitical sinews. The first book-length application of the philosophy of internal relations to capitalist development in Iran, Capitalism in contemporary Iran synthesises the global and the local to rethink Iran beyond exceptionalism and culturalism through the intersection of social classes, the state, and global capitalism. Capitalism in contemporary Iran is a must read for academics, students and political practitioners alike.' Kamran Matin, University of Sussex

    'With Capitalism in Contemporary Iran Kayhan Valadbaygi delivers the most influential single book on the making of contemporary Iran and therefore the most valuable in helping us to understand the geopolitics of our times.' Adam David Morton (University of Sydney), co-author with Andreas Bieler of Global Capitalism, Global War, Global Crisis.

    'This book successfully situates Iran in the global history and historical sociology of capitalism. A must-read for anyone interested in Iran.' Ayse Zarakol, University of Cambridge


    1 Framing Iran: A historical materialist approach
    2 Modern Iran from Pax Britannica to Pax Americana: The emergence and consolidation of capitalism
    3 1979 revolution and war with Iraq: The expansion of state capitalism
    4 Neoliberalisation and the ruling class reconfiguration (1989-2013)
    5 Neoliberalisation and the institutional and ideological reconstitution of the state
    6 Class struggles in neoliberal Iran: From workers' resistance in the 1990s to the post-2017 uprisings
    7 Neoliberalism and geopolitics: The Iranian nuclear programme, international sanctions and regional policy
    8 Conclusion: Future paths under the crisis of neoliberalism, the changing global order and revolts from below



    Kayhan Valadbaygi is a Lecturer in International Relations of the Middle East at Leiden University

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