Realism, rationalism and revolutionism in Iran’s foreign policy : the West, the state and Islam
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Iran’s foreign policy is consistent and is fundamentally realist with a revolutionist vision while the means are rationalist is the central argument of this dissertation. I make use of the English Schools three traditions of realism, rationalism and revolutionism in analyzing the speeches of Iranian statesmen to identify the ways in which the dynamics of the three traditions have evolved since 1997 and what it means for interpreting the developments of Iran’s foreign policy ventures. I utilize both quantitative and qualitative methods of analysis in examining the speeches of the supreme leader, Ayatollah Khamenei, the presidents since 1997. The quantitative method employs a customized software generating figures that represent the recurrence of realist, rationalist and revolutionist terminologies in all the documents downloaded from the official websites of the Iranian statesmen as well as the United Nations and select news agencies and affiliates. The quantitative phase of the analysis, meanwhile, carefully examined selected statements of the supreme leader and the presidents uncovering the foreign policy argumentations and justifications, which were studied alongside foreign policy actions and classified under the three traditions. The findings suggest that Iran’s foreign policy is the same as in the other states of international society – it is consistent and dynamic. It is simultaneously realist, rationalist and revolutionist with each tradition serving a specific purpose, which cannot be disentangled from the other two.
Thesis, PhD Doctor of Philosophy
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