Revolutionary States, Leaders, and Foreign Relations: A Comparative Study of China, Cuba, and Iran

By R. K. Ramazani; Houman A. Sadri | Go to book overview

PREFACE

The original idea behind this work dates to my days as a young foreign student in the United States in the late 1970s. In fact, this book can be viewed as a product of that naive student's endeavors to satisfy his curiosity. This curiosity stemmed from puzzlement over the dynamic nature and process of the 1979 Iranian Revolution with its global impacts. As an individual whose life was touched deeply by this revolution, I was astonished by how rapidly a revolution can change the nature of relations among states, especially between small and great powers. Interested in international relations, I wondered why a revolution would make a foe out of a friendly state and vice versa. It was interesting for me to observe how the positive image of my native land altered almost overnight in America. This change in attitude toward Iran was clear not only in statements made by American government officials, but also in pictures portrayed by the media and by general public sentiment. In short, one day Tehran and Washington were allies and the next they were mortal enemies in search of an opportunity to destroy one another. Was such a conclusion accurate? Even if it were, why? Another question ringing in my mind was: who was at fault?

This personal fascination with the impact of revolutions eventually led to an academic interest in revolutionary states, especially their foreign relations. At the university level, I had a variety of choices among courses about revolutions offered by professors in various disciplines. I took history, political science, and sociology classes, but they all shared a focus on mainly domestic rather than foreign dimensions of revolutions. These courses were excellent in providing theoretical and historical knowledge about how major revolutions come about, the main characteristics of each, and how they institutionalize over time, yet neglected the foreign relations of revolutionary states. This made me even more eager to learn about the subject in any way that I could. I must admit that the more I searched and

-xi-

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Revolutionary States, Leaders, and Foreign Relations: A Comparative Study of China, Cuba, and Iran
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Foreword ix
  • Preface xi
  • Introduction 1
  • 1 - Typology and Terminology of Revolutions 9
  • 2 - Non-Alignment as a Foreign Policy Strategy 17
  • 3 - Chinese Foreign Relations, 1949-1959 35
  • Notes 58
  • 4 - Cuban Foreign Relations, 1959-1969 65
  • 5 - Iranian Foreign Relations, 1979-1989 87
  • 6 - Conclusion 115
  • Selected Bibliography 133
  • Index 141
  • About the Author 149
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