Year 2018, Volume 7, Issue 1, Pages 103 - 120 2017-07-03

Iranian Scholars and Theorizing International Relations: Achievements and Challenges

Homeira Moshirzadeh [1]

240 429

Since the emergence of the Islamic Republic in Iran, social scientists, including
international relations (IR) scholars, have been called to develop endogenous/
indigenous theories to reflect Iranian/Islamic points of view. This theorizing
has led some Iranian scholars to develop ideas about international life on
the basis of Islamic texts and teachings. Furthermore, due to an increasing
awareness of the Eurocentric nature of IR theories over the last few years,
the international community of IR scholars has become open to non-Western
IR theories. This opening has made homegrown theorizing more attractive
to Iranian IR scholars, and debates about it have become more vivid. This
article seeks to examine the attempts by the Iranian IR community to
conceptualize and theorize IR from Iranian/Islamic points of view and to show
how contextual factors have limited such attempts. The first part of the article
reviews the IR scholarship in Iran to give a portrait of Iranians’ achievements
in this regard. The second part examines contextual factors that may have
affected homegrown theorizing in Iran, including international agency, sources
of inspiration, the dynamism of the IR community, the relationship between
academia and government, and intellectual autonomy. An evaluation of this
structural context suggests that even if theorizing IR from an Iranian point
of view is both possible and preferable, this cannot be done unless certain
structural constraints are overcome.
International Relations, Iran, homegrown theorizing, Iranian theory of IR
  • Acharya, Amitav. “Ethnocentrism and Emanipatory IR Theory.” In (Dis)Placing Security: Critical Re-evaluations of the Boundaries of Security Studies, edited by S. Arnold and J.M. Beier, 1-18. Toronto, ON: Centre for International and Security Studies, 2000.
  • Alston, Jon P. “Wa, Guanxi, and Inhwa: Managerial Principles in Japan, China, and Korea.” Business Horizons 32, no. 2 (1989): 26-31.
  • Avelino, Flor, and Jan Rotmans. “Power in Transition: An Interdisciplinary Frameowrk to Study Power in Relation to Structural Change.” European Journal of Social Theory 12, no. 4 (2009): 543-69.
  • Barbalet, Jack. “Guanxi, Tie Strength, and Network Attributes.” American Behavioural Scientist 59, no. 8 (2015): 1038-50.
  • ———. “Market Relations as wuwei: Traditional Concepts in the Analysis of China’s Post-1978 Economy.” Asian Studies Review 35, no. 3 (2011): 335-54.
  • Barkin, J. Samuel. Realist Constructivism: Rethinking International Relations Theory (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2010).
  • Bell, Duran. “Guanxi: A Nesting of Groups.” Current Anthropology 41, no. 1 (2000): 132-8.
  • Bilgin, Pinar. “Thinking Past Western IR.” Third World Quarterly 29, no. 1 (2008): 5-23.
  • Bin, Yu. “China and Russia: Normalizing Their Relationship.” In Power Shift: China and Asia’s New Dynamics, edited by David Shambaugh, 228-47. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 2005.
  • Carlson, Allen. “Moving Beyond Sovereignty? A Brief Consideration of Recent Changes in China’s Approach to International Order and the Emergence of the Tianxia Concept.” Journal of Contemporary China 20, no. 68 (2010): 89-102.
  • Chang, Hui-Ching, and G. Richard Holt. “The Concept of Yuan and Chinese Interpersonal Relationships.” In Cross-Cultural Interpersonal Communication, edited by Stella Ting-Toomey and Felipe Corzenny, 28-57. London: Sage, 1991.
  • Chen, Ching-Chang. “The Absence of Non-Western IR Theory in Asia Reconsidered.” International Relations of the Asia-Pacific 11, no. 1 (2011): 1-23.
  • Chong, Melody P.M., Ping Ping Fu, and Yu Fan Shang. “Relational Power and Influence Strategies: A Step Further in Understanding Power Dynamics.” Chinese Management Studies 7, no. 1 (2013): 53-73.
  • Chow, Rey. “Violence in the Other Country: China as Crisis, Spectacle, and Woman.” In Third World Women and the Politics of Feminism, edited by Ann Russo, Lourdes Torres, and Chandra Talpade Monaty, 80-100. Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press, 1991.
  • Chowdhry, C. and S.M. Rai. “The Geographies of Exclusion and the Politics of Exclusion: Race-based Exclusions in the Teaching of International Relations.” International Studies Perspectives 10, no. 1 (2009): 84-91.
  • Coles, Romand. Visionary Pragmatism. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2016.
  • Contessi, Nicola P. “Foreign and Security Policy Diversification in Eurasia: Issue Splitting, Co-alignment, and Relational Power.” Problems of Post-Communism 62, no. 5 (2015): 299-315.
  • DeGlopper, Donald R. Lukang: Commerce and Community in a Chinese City. Albany, NY: SUNY Press, 1995.
  • Farh, Jiing-Lih, Anne S. Tsui, Katherine Xin, and Bor-Shiuan Cheng. “The Influence of Relational Demography and Guanxi: The Chinese Case.” Organization Science 9, no. 4 (1998): 471-88.
  • Foucault, Michel. The Order of Things: An Archaeology of the Human Sciences. London: Routledge, 2002.
  • Gao, Yanli. “China’s World View and World Historical Studies.” Dimensioni e problemi della ricerca storica 20, no. 1(2008): 255-68.
  • Gilpin, Robert. War and Change in World Politics. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1981.
  • Gold, Thomas, Dong Ghine, and David L. Wank. Social Connections in China: Institutions, Culture, and the Nature of Guanxi. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2002.
  • Hammond, Scott C., and Lowell M. Glenn. “The Ancient Practice of Chinese Social Networking: Guanxi and Social Network Theory.” E:CO 6, no. 1/2 (2004): 24-31.
  • Heffner, Lanette. Inside the Dragon’s Briefcase: China’s Emergent Economy. San Antonio, TX: University of Texas, 2008.
  • Heng, Yee-Kuang. “Ghosts in the Machine: Is IR Eternally Haunted by the Spectre of Old Concepts.” International Relations 47, no. 5 (2010): 535-56.
  • Ho, David Y.F. “On the Concept of Face.” American Journal of Sociology 81, no. 4 (1976): 867-84.
  • ———. “Selfhood and Identity in Confucianism, Taoism, Buddhism, and Hinduism: Contrasts with the West.”Journal of the Theory of Social Behaviour 25, no. 2 (1995): 115-39.
  • Hückel, Bettina. “Theory of International Relations with Chinese Characteristics: The Tianxia System from a Metatheoretical Perspective.” Diskurs 8, no. 2 (2012): 34-64.
  • Hwang, Kwang-kuo. “Face and Favour: The Chinese Power Game.” American Journal of Sociology 92, no. 4 (1987): 944-74.
  • Jia, Wenshan. “An Intercultural Communication Model of International Relations: The Case of China.” In Challenges to Chinese Foreign Policy: Diplomacy, Globalization, and the Next World Power, edited by Yufan Hao, C.X. George Wei, and Lowell Dittmer, 319-34. Lexington, KY: University Press of Kentucky, 2009.
  • ———. “The Wei (Positioning)–Ming (Naming)–Lianmian (Face)–Guanxi (Relationship)–Renqing (Humanized Feelings)–Complex in Contemporary Chinese Culture.” In Confucian Cultures of Authority, edited by Peter H. Hershock and Roger T. Ames, 49-64. Albany, NY: SUNY Press, 2006.
  • Kavalski, Emilian. Central Asia and the Rise of Normative Powers: Contextualzing the Security Governance of the European Union, China, and India. New York: Bloomsbury, 2012.
  • ———. The Guanxi of Relational International Theory. London: Routledge, 2017.
  • ———. “More of the Same: An Unpredictable Trump Foreign Policy in an Unpredictable Central Asia.” Monde Chinois 4, no. 48 (2016): 112-17.
  • ———. “Teaching IR in Iran: Challenges and Perspectives.” Research Letter of Political Science 5, no. 2 (1389[2010]): 67-110.
  • Haji-yousefi, Amir M. “Is there an Iranian Perspective on International Relations?” Presented at the Annual Conference of the Canadian Political Science Association, Carleton University, Ottawa, Canada, May 27-29, 2009. Accessed December 2, 2013. http://www.cpsa-acsp.ca/papers-2009/Haji-Yousefi.pdf.
  • Hatami, M. R. “Terrorism from an Islamic Perspective.” Political and International Research 6 (1390 [2011]): 25-47.
  • Heshmatzadeh, M. B. “The Status of Political Science in Iran.” Journal of Political Science 18 (1381 [2002]): 305-28.
  • Hoffman, Stanley. “An American Social Science: International Relations.” Daedalus 106, no. 3 (1977): 41-60.
  • Hosseini, S. E. “International Terrorism in Islamic Perspective.” Knowledge 125 (1387 [2008]): 15-32.
  • Javadi Amoli, A. “Principles of International Relations of Islamic State.” Islamic Government 13, no. 2 (1387[2008]): 5-36.
  • Jentleson, Bruce, and Ely Ratner. “Bridging the Beltway–Ivory Tower Gap.” International Studies Review 13 (2015): 6-11.
  • Jorgensen, Knud E. “Would 100 Global Workshops on Theory Building Make a Difference?” Paper Presented at 2nd All Azimuth Workshop, Widening the World of IR Theorizing, Ankara, Turkey, September 23-24, 2016.
  • Kaplan, R. B. “Cultural Thought Patterns in Intercultural Education.” Language Learning 16 (1966): 11-25. Kristensen, Peter. “Dividing Discipline: Structures of Communication.” International Studies Review 14, no. 1 (2012): 32-50.
  • Lepgold, Joseph, and Miroslav Nincic. Beyond the Ivory Tower: International Relations Theory and the Issue of Policy Relevance. New York: Columbia University Press, 2001.
  • Mahallati, M. J. “Ethics of War in Persian Literary and Epic Texts.” Research on Culture and Literature, (n.d.).
  • Masoodnia, H. and D. Najafi. “Pillars of Iran’s Regional Policy on the Basis of Tehran Friday Prayers.” Political and International Research 6 (1390 [2011]): 77-102.
  • Mirahamadi, Mansour, and Hadi Ajili. “An Introduction to the Concept of Power in International Relations.” Political and International Approaches 19 (1388 [2009]): 119-45.
  • Mirkooshesh, A. H., and S. Noorisafa. “Ontology of International Peace in the Iranian Context of Tolerance and Peace.” Strategy [Rahbord] 68 (1392 [2013]): 7-32.
  • Molaee, Ebadollah. “Relationship between Theory and Practice in IR.” Foreign Policy 16, no. 4 (1381 [2002]): 951-78.
  • Morgenthau, Hans. Truth and Power: Essays of Decade, 1960-1970. New York: Praeger, 1970.
  • Mosaffa, Nasrin. Changes in Teaching and Research in Political Science and International Relations. Tehran: Center for Cultural and Social Studies, 1386 [2007].
  • Moshirzadeh, Homeira. “Critical International Theory and Dialogue of Civilizations.” In Civilizational Dialogue and Political Thought, edited by Fred Dalmayr and Abbas Manoochehri, 101-18. Lanham, MD: Lexington Books, 2007.
  • ———. “Dialogue of Civilizations from a Constructivist Point of View.” Journal of the Faculty of Law Political Science 63 (1383 [2004]): 169-201.
  • ———. “Dialogue of Civilizations and International Theory.” The Iranian Journal of International Affairs 16, no. 1 (2004): 1-44.
  • ———. “A Hegemonic ‘Discipline’ in an ‘Anti-Hegemonic’ Country.” International Political Sociology 3, no. 3 (2009): 342-46.
  • ———. “Recent Theoretical Developments in IR: Implications for Endogenous Theorizing.” Research Letter of Political Science 6, no. 2 (1390 [2011]): 165-204.
  • Moshirzadeh, Homeira, and Majid Kafi. “Theorizing IR in Iran: A Structural Explanation.” Politics 45, no. 2 (1394 [2015]): 337-55.
  • Moshirzadeh, Homeira, and Heidarali Masoudi. “IR Theory and Research in Iran: A Study of IR Dissertations.” Research Letter of Political Science 5, no. 2 (1389 [2010]): 163-88.
  • ———. “Theoretical Knowledge of Iranian Students of IR: A Pathological Study.” Politics 41, no. 3 (1390 [2011]): 265-84.
  • Naghibzadeh, Ahmad. “International Relations as an Interdisciplinary Subject: Sociology and IR.” International Studies 5, no. 3 (1387 [2008]): 111-26.
  • Nazem, H. Politics and International Organizations. Tehran: Etella’at Newspaper Publication, 2536 [1977].
  • Poshtdar A. M., and F. Shekardast. “Psychological Operations (Soft Power) in Ferdowsi’s Shahnameh.” Fiction Studies 1, no. 4 (1392 [2013]): 23-34.
  • Pourfard, M. “Political Science in Iran: From Re-Knowing to Re-Constructing.” Political Science 28 (1383 [2004]): 135-52.
  • Ranjbar, M. “The Crisis of Political Science in Iran.” Journal of Political Science 24, no. 4 (1382 [2003]): 95-112.
  • Said, Edward. The World, the Text, and the Critic. US: Edward Said, 1983.
  • Salimi, Hossein. “Islamic Realism and Understanding Modern International Relations.” Research in Theoretical Politics 12 (1391 [2012]): 49-76.
  • ———. “Non-Conflict: The Foundation of Islamic View of International Relations.” Foreign Relations 3, no. 3 (1390 [2011]): 75-112.
  • ———. “Theoretical Foundations of Inter-Civilizational Dialogue.” Discourse Quarterly 3 (1377 [1999]): 131-48.
  • Sariolghalam, Mahmood. “Iran: Accomplishments and Limitations in IR.” In International Relations Scholarship around the World, edited by A. Tickner and Ole Wæver, 158-71. London: Routledge, 2009.
  • Seifoori, B., and A. Tofighianfar. “A Sociological View of Causes and Conduct of War in Shahnameh.” Iranian Studies 12, no. 24 (1392 [2013]): 217-38.
  • Seifzadeh, S. H. “Conceptual Systematic Schema for Foreign Policy.” The Journal of the Faculty of Law and Political Science of the University of Tehran 26 (1370 [1991]): 153-96.
  • Seyedian, S. M. “Components of Islamic Globalization.” Knowledge 20, no. 10 (1390 [2011]): 13-28.
  • Seyyedemami, Kavoos. “What Is Missed in Political Science in Iran: Empirical Research.” Research Letter of Political Science 5, no. 2 (1389 [2010]): 143-62.
  • Smith, Steve. “The Discipline of International Relations: Still an American Social Science?” British Journal of Politics and International Relations 2, no. 3 (2000): 374-402.
  • ———. “The Discipline of International Relations: “Hegemonic Country, Hegemonic Discipline.” International Studies Review 4, no. 2 (2003): 67-85.
  • Soltani, E. “Foreign Relations of Islamic State in Quran: War or Peace?” Knowledge 143 (1388 [2009]): 69-94. Sotoodeh, Mohammad. “IR in Iran: An Evaluation.” Political Science Quarterly 8, no. 2 (1384 [2005]): 93-116.
  • Taghavi, M. A., and M. Adibi. “The Weakness of Critique in Political Science in Iran.” Research Letter of Political Science 5, no. 2 (1389 [2010]): 7-28.
  • Tickner, Arlene, and Ole Wæver. International Relations Scholarship around the World. London: Routledge, 2008.
  • Turton, Helen Louise. International Relations and American Dominance: A Diverse Discipline. Abingdon and New York: Routledge, 2015.
  • Vasilaki, Rosa. “Provincialising IR? Deadlocks and Prospects in Post-Western IR Theory.” Millennium: Journal of International Studies 41, no. 1 (2012): 3-22.
  • Wæver, Ole. “The Sociology of a Not So International Discipline: American and European Developments in IR.” International Organization 52, no. 4 (1998): 687-727.
  • Walt, Stephen. “The Relationship between Theory and Policy in International Relations.” Annual Review of Political Science 8 (2005): 23-48.
  • Wang, Yiwei. “Between Science and Art: Questionable International Relations Theories.” Japanese Journal of Political Science 8, 2 (2007): 191-208.
  • Yaqing, Qin. “Development of International Relations Theory in China.” International Studies 46, no. 1&2 (2009): 185-201.
Subjects Social
Journal Section Articles
Authors

Author: Homeira Moshirzadeh

Dates

Publication Date: July 3, 2017

Bibtex @research article { allazimuth325790, journal = {All Azimuth: A Journal of Foreign Policy and Peace}, issn = {2146-7757}, address = {Center for Foreign Policy and Peace Research, İhsan Doğramacı Peace Foundation}, year = {2017}, volume = {7}, pages = {103 - 120}, doi = {10.20991/allazimuth.325790}, title = {Iranian Scholars and Theorizing International Relations: Achievements and Challenges}, key = {cite}, author = {Moshirzadeh, Homeira} }
APA Moshirzadeh, H . (2017). Iranian Scholars and Theorizing International Relations: Achievements and Challenges. All Azimuth: A Journal of Foreign Policy and Peace, 7 (1), 103-120. DOI: 10.20991/allazimuth.325790
MLA Moshirzadeh, H . "Iranian Scholars and Theorizing International Relations: Achievements and Challenges". All Azimuth: A Journal of Foreign Policy and Peace 7 (2017): 103-120 <http://dergipark.org.tr/allazimuth/issue/33586/325790>
Chicago Moshirzadeh, H . "Iranian Scholars and Theorizing International Relations: Achievements and Challenges". All Azimuth: A Journal of Foreign Policy and Peace 7 (2017): 103-120
RIS TY - JOUR T1 - Iranian Scholars and Theorizing International Relations: Achievements and Challenges AU - Homeira Moshirzadeh Y1 - 2017 PY - 2017 N1 - doi: 10.20991/allazimuth.325790 DO - 10.20991/allazimuth.325790 T2 - All Azimuth: A Journal of Foreign Policy and Peace JF - Journal JO - JOR SP - 103 EP - 120 VL - 7 IS - 1 SN - 2146-7757- M3 - doi: 10.20991/allazimuth.325790 UR - https://doi.org/10.20991/allazimuth.325790 Y2 - 2019 ER -
EndNote %0 All Azimuth: A Journal of Foreign Policy and Peace Iranian Scholars and Theorizing International Relations: Achievements and Challenges %A Homeira Moshirzadeh %T Iranian Scholars and Theorizing International Relations: Achievements and Challenges %D 2017 %J All Azimuth: A Journal of Foreign Policy and Peace %P 2146-7757- %V 7 %N 1 %R doi: 10.20991/allazimuth.325790 %U 10.20991/allazimuth.325790
ISNAD Moshirzadeh, Homeira . "Iranian Scholars and Theorizing International Relations: Achievements and Challenges". All Azimuth: A Journal of Foreign Policy and Peace 7 / 1 (July 2017): 103-120. https://doi.org/10.20991/allazimuth.325790
AMA Moshirzadeh H . Iranian Scholars and Theorizing International Relations: Achievements and Challenges. All Azimuth: A Journal of Foreign Policy and Peace. 2017; 7(1): 103-120.
Vancouver Moshirzadeh H . Iranian Scholars and Theorizing International Relations: Achievements and Challenges. All Azimuth: A Journal of Foreign Policy and Peace. 2017; 7(1): 120-103.