Publisher description for The elementary structures of political life : rural development in Pahlavi Iran / Grace E. Goodell.


Bibliographic record and links to related information available from the Library of Congress catalog


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What happens when Western money and technology are poured into a traditional rural village in hopes of making it a model modern agricultural-based "new" town? Who wins in that process? Who loses?
In the early 1970s, in what would become for many years the World Bank's showcase agricultural project of the Middle East, the World Bank, with the strong support of the former Shah, decided to proceed with just such a project--the Dez Irrigation Project. It was to be the jewel of the Shah's
rural development program. The Elemetary Structures of Political Life is ethnography at its best. It is at once a moving and eye-opening look at life in a traditional Iranian village and life in one of the new model towns that rudely replaced them. But, as important, it is a powerful indictment
of western-planned and conceived projects when such projects result in centralized dierection at the expense of the relationships traditionally performed by numerous groups at the middle levels of society. It also illustrates how the unchecked power of the centralized state takes on a life of its
own. A book to be read by anyone concerned about world development, this study concludes that the way in which a society pulls itself up when it undertakes a great development thrust largely determines the nature and sustainability of that development.


Library of Congress subject headings for this publication:
Social structure -- Iran -- Case studies.
Iran -- Economic conditions -- 1945-1979 -- Case studies.
Decentralization in government -- Iran -- Case studies.
Economic development -- Case studies.
Iran -- Politics and government -- 1941-1979 -- Case studies.