Faculty Advisor

Wilkes, John M.


The path to Modernization Theory in the Middle East can be influenced along two different parameters; states with natural resources (primarily oil) and states without significant natural resources. This theory is examined by contrasting case studies involving Turkey (non-oil producer) and oil rich Iran in an effort to explicate their development. This comparative analysis will attempt to document and contrast the differences between these two nations along the road to modernization. We would like to document baseline data to assist this comparison. This is accomplished by the use of comparative data elements examining social, political, and economic phenomena of these two nations within the context of historical development and modernization. Our goal will be to inform these two modernization tracks in an effort to enhance our knowledge on how these variables changed with the influence of the presence or absence of natural resources, mainly oil. We also will attempt to review the consequences of these variables in elevating the status of these two nations on the world stage of globalization. In addition, our research will seek to explain how these variables are helpful in explaining Modernization Theory particularly as it applies to the Middle East. Finally, we have a major interest in the role of technology and democratic variables as markers for progress in modernization.


Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Date Accepted

January 2007

Project Type

Interactive Qualifying Project


Restricted-WPI community only

Advisor Department

Social Science and Policy Studies