Paramilitarization of the economy: The case of Iran's Basij militia

Saeid Golkar*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


The Basij, a massive Iranian paramilitary organization, has played a crucial role in the country's politics, economy, and society at large for the past two decades. While the Basij's increased formal involvement in the Iranian economy was initially meant to guarantee the welfare of its personnel, the Basij has since extended its influence to every sector of the economy, from construction and real estate to the stock market. The expansion of its economic activity has enhanced the Basij's control over society and its influence on domestic politics. This article investigates the history, justifications, and consequences of Basij engagement in business and the economy in postrevolutionary Iran.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)625-648
Number of pages24
JournalArmed Forces and Society
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 2012


  • Basij economic foundation
  • Basij militia
  • Iran
  • Paramilitarization of economy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Safety Research


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