The Role of Political Structure in Iran's Energy Decision Making Policy

By Zahirinejad, Mahnaz | Journal of Third World Studies, Spring 2012 | Go to article overview

The Role of Political Structure in Iran's Energy Decision Making Policy


Zahirinejad, Mahnaz, Journal of Third World Studies


INTRODUCTION

Oil revenue constitutes over 80 per cent of Iran's total export earnings and 42.5 per cent of gross domestic product. (1) The importance of oil has placed energy policy on the top of the government agenda. At the same time this huge oil revenue made the control on oil industry at the center of power struggle and competition among various political groups. These groups have tried to develop and increase their influence in oil sector with legally or illegally methods and ways.

While economic factors could justify Iran's energy policy decision-making process, they failed to explain many political factors affecting Iran's energy policy. The role of political factors in shaping Iran's energy policy can be explained by the power structure in Iran, the role of all-powerful supreme leader, the position of the president as well as the interests of ruling groups. The present study is an attempt to analyze these political factors which lead Iran's energy policy.

THEORETICAL FRAMEWORK

Energy and its decision making process in Iran have been reviewed by different scholars who have written about states behaviors in the world politics. According to their researches, energy policy decision-making can be influenced by domestic factors. According to this approach each state behaves differently as a result of its domestic political structure. For instance, while domestic political oppositions are strong in one state, leader's orientations are strong factor in the other, and interest groups are powerful in third state, and so forth.

James N. Rosenau in his work "Pre-Theories and Theories and Foreign Policy" (1966)as one of the followers of domestic explanations, argues that there are different levels of causation that shape states behaviors such as individual's role or government structure. Although, he recognizes that there are numerous domestic factors that can and do influence states behavior, these influences are necessarily channeled through the political apparatus of a government that identifies, decides, and implements policy. (2)

Policy is made by people configured in various ways depending on the nature of the problem and the structure of the government. For instance about foreign policy decision making process, Margaret G. Hermann in her book "How Decision Units Shape Foreign Policy: A Theoretical Framework" (2001) argues that two questions must be addressed if we are going to get inside the"black box" of government to understand the relevance of leadership to the policymaking: (1) What types of actors make policy decisions? (2) What is the effect of these decision units on the resulting foreign policy? Hermann has replied these questions according to the decision unit dynamics framework.

Based on the unit dynamics framework, there are three different models suggestions related to the process of government making decision foreign policy. They contain: predominant leaders, single group, and coalition. The predominant leader's model type is that "...the regime has one individual in its leadership who is vested with authority." (3) Single group assumes that" ... if the government is not structured around a single individual, there may be a designated group that is responsible for dealing with the occasion under consideration." (4) And, the coalition model means that "... the unit is composed of multiple autonomous actors. That is, two or more entities [individual leaders, groups of policymakers, bureaucratic agencies, and interest groups] have the power to commit or withhold the resources of government." (5)

According to this definition, coalition model exists in Iran where there are autonomous actors who can direct Iran's domestic and internal policies and energy policy as well. These actors include: Ministry of Oil, Supreme Leader, President, Interest Groups and Institutions, the Expediency Council, Parliament, and the Guardian Council.

SUPERVISION OF OIL MINISTRY

National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) is the fourth largest state oil firm in the world. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

The Role of Political Structure in Iran's Energy Decision Making Policy
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.