Impact of Oil Revenues on Creation of a Rentier State and Democracy in Post-revolution Iran (2005-2013)

Document Type : Original Article


A faculty member of East Tehran Branch, Islamic Azad University, Tehran, Iran


Oil is undoubtedly the most important, and at the same time, the most politico-economic commodity in today’s world. As the most important source of economic and political power, oil has constantly played a significant role for Iranian governments both before and after the revolution [1979], and has served as a major fuel for their economic power. However, historical experience in our country shows that having exuberant oil resources and revenue has had no significant link to welfare facilities or to becoming a welfare state; and the governments have always deprived the country from having a democratic state by creating certain rent-seeking networks. This article studies the effects of oil revenue in the formation of a democratic state accountable to its subjects while tries to show how huge amount of oil revenue during 2005 to 2013 halted the process of democratization in the country.