Ali Ansari

Conference Chair, Scholar

Dr. Ali Ansari (BA (Lon) PhD (Lon), FRSE, FRAS, FRHistS) is a Professor of Iranian History & Founding Director of the Institute for Iranian Studies at the University of St Andrews; Senior Associate Fellow, Royal United Services Institute. In 2016 he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh. His publications include Modern Iran since 1797, 3rd updated Edition, Taylor and Francis, London, 2019, Iran, Islam & Democracy – The Politics of Managing Change 3rd updated Edition, Gingko, London, 2019; These Islands: A Letter to Britain, Haus Curiosities, 2018, Iran: A Very Short Introduction OUP, 2014, The Politics of Nationalism in Modern Iran CUP, 2012; Iran Under Ahmadinejad, Adelphi Paper, IISS, January 2008, Confronting Iran: the failure of US policy and the roots of mistrust Hurst, London, 2006.


“Reading Marx & Weber in the Islamic Republic of Iran”

This presentation will analyse the nature of the state system in the Islamic Republic of Iran. While the ideas of Max Weber have been explicitly used by political thinkers in Iran to define the nature of the state, and Marx has been drawn on to explain political action, this talk will draw on both thinkers to present a structure of the post-revolutionary which looks at both the nature of authority from above and its social basis founded on mercantile capital. This model will then be used to show both the strengths and fundamental fragility of the post-revolutionary state system.

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