Iran and Its Place among Nations takes a bird's-eye view of where Iran has been in the international community, where it is today, and where it may ideally end up in the future. Is Iran an Eastern country, bound by traditions that hinder economic development? Or does it also have some attributes of Western countries, given its history, geographic location, culture, and politics? Among the key insights in this book is the observation that Iran is a bridge between East and West.
Is Iran a fomenter of Islamic radicalism in the Middle East and beyond, or can it be a promoter of moderation and reform within its own borders and in other Muslim countries? How effectively can the religious and national sources of Iran's identity by reconciled, or must the country choose one over the other and overcome the inherent tensions of this dual identity? This book addresses these and similar questions regarding one of the most important and newsworthy countries in the world.
Combining description and prescription, the authors shed light on the tumultuous history of Iran in the twentieth century and uncover the domestic and foreign factors that have aided and retarded the country's development in modern times. Providing a close look at the backgrounds and identities of key pre- and post-revolutionary leaders in Iran, the authors make insightful recommendations to Iranians and the international community on how to integrate Iran into harmonious and stable relationships that benefit Iranians, the region that surrounds them, and the world. Grounded in solid scholarship yet written accessibly, this is a must-read for all Iran watchers today.
About the Author:
Alidad Mafinezam is a Toronto-based lecturer and consultant. He has taught at the University of Toronto and the University of Winnipeg and has worked as a consultant to numerous foundations and nonprofit organizations. He is translator and editor of Hope and Challenge: The Iranian President Speaks by Mohammad Khatami (1997). He has also written about Iran for the Middle East Institute at Columbia University.
Aria Mehrabi earned his PhD in international affairs and economic development at the Johns Hopkins Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies, where he wrote and conducted field research on Iran's information revolution and its transformative effects on politics, religion, and the economy. He has worked as a Middle East risk consultant to the RAND Corporation and lectured on international affairs at Georgetown University. An advocate on the forefront of the global issue of trafficking in women and children, he has funded programs at the Protection Project of Johns Hopkins in connection with the State Department, educating global bureaucrats on the issues of trafficking. He is a member of the Urban Land Institute and serves on the Leadership Council of the New America Foundation.