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POLI 211 Comp Poli Textbook - Iran Summary Notes

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McGill University
Political Science
POLI 211
Fillippo Sabetti

IntroThree periods in Irans modern development1Early Pahlavi Reza Shah Pahlavi19251941 rise of the modern Iranian state and beginning of the process of development2Later Pahlavi Muhammad Reza Shah Pahlavi19411979 continuation of earlier period but at an accelerated pursuit of modernization conditioned by different global influences and domestic sociopolitical identities and interests 3Islamic Republic1979present distinct in ideology as well as many economic and poliitcal characteristicsYet all three periods share a similarity in stateguided economic development Global Context and the Rise of the Modern Iranian StateIran escaped direct colonialism but not the impact of imperialismQajar dynasty 17961921 could not resist Western imperialist penetration nor the gradual loss of territory and control over national assets to foreign powers monarchy important to imperial powers who wished to maintain a captive and weak centre in Iran therefore imperial powers supported monarchy and prevented its overthrowwhile clergy resisted domination by monarchy and defend the rights of the nation against imperial interests they too fundamentally defended the sociopolitical position of the monarchy and vice versa concentration of power in monarchy occurred during a general weakening of the ruling political establishment therefore neither state nor social forces enjoyed countrywide dominationthis was a crisis for monarchical absolutismstrong constitutionalist movement involving the intelligentsia the religious establishment the urban poor and aspiring members of the bureaucracy and the middle class emerged resulting in the 1906 constitution which vested much authority in parliament while limiting powers of monarchyhowever rise of democracy did not produce stable governing coalitions or effective political partiesinstead it intensified political competition in central government while weakening the hold of government over countrythis was followed by collapse of law and order rampant corruption and deteriorating economic conditionsfurthermore elected governments proved just as pliable in the face of imperialist pressure as had monarchs before evidently democracy would not provide rapid modernization
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