Since the revolution of 1979, scholars have portrayed the Islamic
State's industrial development capacity in a negative light. Global
isolation, incoherent economic planning, and predatory Islamic
institutions are often cited as the reasons for lackluster
development. In Iran Auto: Building a Global Industry in an Islamic
State, Darius Mehri shows how this characterization is misguided.
Today, Iran has one of the world's largest automobile industries
with national technical capacity. Previous studies ignore the
consequences of three decades of Iran's capacity for successful
industrialization and changes in global technology transfer that
allow countries, even ones isolated from formal global
institutions, to build an automobile industry. Mehri shows how
industrial nationalists in Iran constructed a network of
politically effective relationships to open up space for successful
local industrial development, and then tapped into a set of
important global linkages to create an industry with high local
manufacturing content. This book will open up a new line of inquiry
into how countries in the global south can develop a successful
national automobile industry without the need to conform to global
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