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The Military and the State in Iran: The Economic Rise of the Revolutionary Guards

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Abstract:

The Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) is a multilayered political, ideological, and security institution that has steadily acquired an increasing role in Iran's economy in recent years. This article analyzes the growing economic and business involvement of the IRGC in the broader context of Iranian statesociety relations in general, and its civil-military dynamics in particular. More specifically, we look at the political and socioeconomic processes within which the IRGC operates at the interrelated levels of the state and society. This analysis sets out the framework based on which we examine the IRGC's increasing power in the course of its engagements and various conflicts in both political and societal arenas, in particular its economic expansion under Mahmud Ahmadinejad's presidency. This article concludes by discussing the implications of the IRGC's rise on the economic policy of the government under President Hassan Rouhani.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: https://doi.org/10.3751/71.1.14

Publication date: 2017-12-01

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