The scholarship on the consequences of social revolutions contends that social revolutions boost state capacity and strengthen the state’s developmental projects. Social justice and addressing the needs of ordinary citizens were central themes in the discourse of the Iranian Revolution and the Islamic Republic that emerged as the post-revolutionary regime with the fall of the monarchy in Iran. In this essay, I assess the performance of the post-revolutionary state in Iran according to various development indicators, comparing the post-revolutionary regime with the pre-revolutionary regime. My examination of indicators relating to health, education, poverty, income inequality, and housing presents more of a mixed result than the overall improvement that scholarship has anticipated and that the post-revolutionary regime promised. Furthermore, there is evidence of declines in some important areas of development and welfare provision. Based on this analysis, I propose directions for future research on the developmental outcome of revolutions.

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