The Iranian Revolution and The Middle East

Semester: 
Instructor(s): 
Units: 
4
Section: 
0
Number: 
149I
CCN: 
71748
Times: 
Location: 
Course Description: 
All revolutions contain a fundamental contradiction.  On the one hand, a
revolution is the outcome of very specific socio-economic and political
conditions in a country. On the other hand, revolutionaries perceive
their experience as having universal significance. As a result, they seek
to address and influence foreign populations over the heads of their
respective governments. This means that a revolutionary state engages in
both government-to-government and government-to-people diplomacy. The
Iranian case is not different from this general pattern, except that here
the universalistic appeal of the revolution was limited by its sectarian
(Shi’ite) origins.

This course is divided into three parts. We will first focus on Iran's
political economy during the pre-revolutionary period. The nature of the
Shah’s regime, the revolution, and Khomeini’s ideology will be examined.
We will then analyze certain key areas of Iranian foreign policy, such as
the Iran-Iraq War, the Arab-Israeli conflict, Lebanon, security in the
Persian Gulf, and Central Asia. Our primary focus, however, will be on
countries with large Shi’ite populations. How were these nations affected
by the Iranian revolution? Can revolutions be “exported”? Was Iran's
foreign policy motivated by ideological considerations or the economic and
political interests of the regime? We will then return to Iran's internal
dynamics and political economy during the Rafsanjani, Khatami. and
Ahmadinejad presidencies. We will conclude by analyzing the causes behind
the failure of the reform movement, the rise of the Revolutionary Guards,
the Green Movement and the prospects for the modification or
transformation of the present system, as well as Iran's quest for nuclear
capability and its domestic and foreign policy ramifications.


Requirements: 
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