After Khomeini: New Directions in Iran's Foreign Policy

By K. L. Afrasiabi | Go to book overview

an economic determinist and functionalist approach. Although this made an excellent case for a scholarly criticism, such a device had the advantage of disarming the political critics of the new policies.

On the whole, the economic and financial difficulties and needs bore heavily on the government as the mantle of power was passed from Khomeini to his successor. The ill health of the economy and the necessity of radical measures to cure it dictated a new foreign economic policy that dismantled the restrictions of the previous policy and had a ripple effect on other facets of foreign policy. This ripple effect occurred because massive adjustments in foreign policy were needed to meet the requirements of the new economic approach; in other words, a good deal of stimulus for rethinking and redesigning Iran's foreign policy was economic in origin. But, notwithstanding a degree of disjunction between the economic policies and their implementation, not to mention the welfarist and "illiberal" counterefforts to balance the liberal economic initiatives, one wonders about the true extent of the real changes in the non-economic facet of Iranian foreign policy induced by the economic variables. Also, how methodologically sound is the interpretation that assigns to the economic variables such "unilateral" significance? What makes these into difficult questions is that the answers to them must take into consideration not only the primacy of the economic variable but also important other variables that weighed heavily on the foreign policymakers, for example, the national security concerns. As we shall read in the next chapters, the primacy of the external threats created a powerful dynamic for making serious adjustments in the foreign policy of Iran. The confluence of economic and security impetuses for these adjustments leads us to suspect the usual distinctions in the study of foreign policy between the primacy of domestic politics and the primacy of external politics. Instead, the coextensiveness of both inputs in the making of new shifts in Iran confirms the necessity of a bivariate analysis of foreign policy change in Iran.


Notes
1.
Examples of works that have dealt with the issue of Islam and foreign policy in Iran include G. E. Fuller, The Center of the Universe: The Geopolitics of Iran ( Boulder, CO: Westview, 1991); S. T. Hunter, Iran and the World: Continuity in a Revolutionary Decade ( Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press, 1990); R. K. Ramazani, Revolutionary Iran ( Baltimore, MD: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1986); M. Zonis and D. Brumberg , Khomeini, the Islamic Republic of Iran and the Arab World ( Cambridge, MA: Harvard, 1987); N. B. Schahgaldian, The ClericalEstablishment in Iran

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After Khomeini: New Directions in Iran's Foreign Policy
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Tables and Figures ix
  • Preface xi
  • Introduction 1
  • Notes 5
  • 1 - The Dynamics of Iran's Foreign Policy 9
  • Introduction: International Relations Theory and the Islamic Republic 9
  • Notes 41
  • 2 - Iran and the Kuwait Crisis 57
  • Introduction 57
  • Notes 77
  • 3 - The Making of a New Persian Gulf Policy 85
  • Introduction: A New Persian Gulf Configuration 85
  • Notes 108
  • 4 - The Making of Iran's Central Asia-Caucasus Policy 117
  • Introduction 117
  • Notes 145
  • 5 - Iran and the Passages to the Post-Cold War Era 153
  • Introduction 153
  • Notes 187
  • 6 - Future of Iran's Foreign Policy: Agendas for Adjustment 201
  • Introduction: Iran as an International Power 201
  • Notes 211
  • Selected Bibliography 219
  • About the Book and Author 233
  • Index 235
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