The Rentier State, Interest Groups, and the Paradox of Autonomy: State and Business in Turkey and Iran

  • Shambayati H
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Both Iran and Turkey experienced political instability in the late 1970s. Whereas in Turkey the economy was the primary concern of pressure groups, cultural and moral considerations provided the legitimizing ideology of Iranian revolutionaries. In tax-based countries like Turkey, economic competition leads to the emergence of interest groups that make demands upon the state. In rentier states like Iran, in contrast, the state and its clientele do not engage in the economic exploitation of the domestic population. Therefore, no conflict arises over the ownership of the means of production. Rather, the state attempts to legitimize itself by appealing to "golden age myths." As a consequence, culture and moral values become sources of conflict between the state and segments of civil society.

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  • Hootan Shambayati

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