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Political Science
POLI 211
Fillippo Sabetti

Poli 211 Lecture Notes November 19 2012h Not on the exam: Nigeria, Europe, reading Africa Works political instrument Iran: What does the Iran case add to our knowledge of revolution?  Iran has received so much bad press that political scientists are challenged: whether or not it is possible to separate facts from fiction o 1.) The issue of Islamism or Islamic fundamentalism: why is this so? How typical is the Iranian case? o 2.) What kind of country was Iran before 1979? o 3.) What inspired the revolution of 1979? o 4.) The place of Iran in geopolitical terms o 5.) Does the studies of Iran give us a glimpse of how people there understand democracy? And use natural resources? THE BOOM CURSE o How do we begin to make sense of this?  Geographic and demographic features of Iran that are often neglected  The starting development of the state by the 1979 Revolution 1.) Features:  Farsi, Persian nation rather than an Arab country  Iran is under periphery of the middle east  Size of Alaska or smaller than Mexico  The people mostly young, born after 1979  Ethnicity: Persian, (>1/2) Azeri, (1/4) , and others  Fourth largest of oil in the world, after Saudi Arabia, U.S., and Russia  Fourth largest exporter of oil 2.) Historical development of the state  Until 1935, Iran was known as Persia th  Most dramatic transformation of Persia in the 17 century A.D. with the arrival of Islam (Islam was an important introduction in that the new Islamic empire brought Persia into the Islamic world and at the same time, it also adopted some Persian practices)  Arabic became the language of the state, while Farsi remained the language of the people  People forced to convert to Islam  16 and 17 century  Historians traced two long standing Persian Dynasties  Persian faced challenges: o Sheism deviated from the dominating Islam  Martyrdom o The challenge of the dynasty during the period, in particular in the 19 century, with the growth of European Colonialism, was how to maintain autonomy and power in the face of regional rivalry o Neighboring countries want to take over th o Challenges of 19 century  how Persia was to confront the Western powers, given their superiority in military and economic minds o How could Persia or Iran, modernize and still retain its sovereignty and culture?  Also applies to China, and Japan  How to maintain autonomy when others want to dominate  The Ruling dynasty after the second half of the 19 century, enacted various reforms, learning from the West, to modernize the state  By 1906, came up with a legislative assembly, sought to introduce civil reforms  Between 1919, and 1921, there was considerable unrest in 1921, with the Reza Shah  1921 Move toward the consolidation of power (Reza Shah) o At first he lacked legitimacy, he was seen as an outsider o As he tried to create a sphere of autonomy, he faced rebellion from inside the country as well as the displeasure on the part of the British o Introduced innovative mechanisms –-> bureaucratic reforms, primary and secondary education (university), rail systems, roads, establishment of a number of state businesses, in importance domestic markets o By the 1930, there was a sense that he was well in looking back to the ancient Persian civilization as a way of imitating the glory of the past o Extended the rights for woman (education) o Fought the tradition of emancipation of women o 1934, away with the Chador, Inspired by the Turkish case, caused conflict with religious leaders o Introduced in the 1930’s, a number of measures aimed at modernizing the country o The problem was that: can you have modernization without democratization? o If he had allowed for democratic vote, the reforms would not have past o He pushed his way to modernize without the support of people and without the support of religious and social institutions o He attempted to develop the country along Western lines, at the same time he curtailed freedom of the press, political representation, religious organizations
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