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Book: Iran in World Politics: The Question of the Islamic Republic


Author: Arshin Adib-Moghaddam, School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London

Hardcover: 228 pages
Columbia University Press (March 18, 2008)
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Table of Contents



Introduction: The Question of the Islamic Republic

I:  Islamic Utopian Romanticism and the Foreign Policy Culture of Iran

II:  Inventions of the Iran-Iraq War and the Myth of Endemic Persian-Arab Enmity

III: Iranian-American Encounters: The Islamic Republic in the Neoconservative Mind 

IV: Iran's Pluralistic Momentum and the Future of Iranian Democracy In Place of a Conclusion: Towards Critical Iranian Studies



Why is Iran continuously in the news? How can we explain the ideology of the Islamic Republic? How does Iran position itself within the international system? These are some of the questions at the heart of Arshin Adib-Moghaddam's new book, which offers novel methodological and theoretical insights in explaining the foreign relations and domestic politics of post-revolutionary Iran.


"Arshin Adib-Moghaddam has made great contributions both to the study of Iran and to the study of world politics as a field of inquiry. I know of no one with Adib-Moghaddam's natural advantages to be able to make a contribution of this magnitude. His study is a dynamic and analytical one, where both ideational and material dialectics shape the contemporary politics. Not only is this an original contribution, but it also serves as an in-depth critical analysis as well as a full description of the existing literature."

-Prof. A. Reza Sheikholeslami, Wadham College, University of Oxford and American 

   University of Sharjah

How has the Islamic Republic developed ideologically since the revolution of 1979? What are the best ways of comprehending the country at this critical juncture in its history? In his book, Arshin Adib-Moghaddam combines theory and lived experience to explain the foreign relations and domestic politics of post-revolutionary Iran. He guides the reader through the country's complex identity and actions, from the nuclear issue to Iran's perpetual political standoff with the United States, from the future of Iranian democracy to Iranian-Arab relations, from American neoconservatism to Islamic utopian-romanticism, and from Avicenna to Ayatollah Khomeini.

An Iranian born in Turkey but educated in Germany and England, Adib-Moghaddam shows a unique empathy towards the understanding of both Eastern and Western cultures. His thoughtful analysis engages the existing literature on Iran and Islam and exposes the limitations of mainstream representations of the country and the wider Muslim world. He addresses not only what caused the war between Iran and Iraq but also its dangerous consequences; the impact of neoconservative policy on Iranian political rhetoric; and the pluralism of Iran's civil society, in which factionalism among the ruling class and peripheral representation in government have encouraged free discourse among its people.

About the Author: 

Arshin Adib-Moghaddam is the author of The International politics of the Persian Gulf (Routledge, 2006), Iran in World Politics (Hurst/Columbia UP, 2007/2008), and A Metahistory of the Clash of Civilisations (Hurst/Columbia UP, 2009). Educated at an evangelical private school in Germany and the University of Hamburg, American (DC) and Cambridge, he was elected the first Jarvis Doctorow Fellow at St Edmund Hall, Oxford University. An Honorary Fellow of the Cambridge European Trust Society, Cambridge University, he teaches comparative politics and international relations at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London.

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