Discursive continuity of political nationalism as a form of opposition politics in modern Iran

Arıkan Sinkaya, Pınar
The dissertation examines political nationalism as a transformative power of modern Iranian politics at the societal level through historical-sociological study of four mass opposition movements, which are the Constitutional Movement (1906-11), National Front Movement (1949-53), Iranian Revolution Movement (1978-79), and Green Movement (2009). The appeal to nationalism by these opposition movements leads to ask why and how nationalism becomes an overarching ideology of political opposition? What are the structural conditions that gave rise to nationalist opposition movements? To answer these questions, the framework of non-Western political nationalism was employed, which helped to identify independence from Western impact of colonialism/imperialism and establishment of modern nation state through constitutionalism and popular sovereignty as the two aims of nationalist movements. However, this framework does not explain the rise of nationalist opposition against a nation state. Thus, the dissertation develops the framework of ‘opposition nationalism,’ which is defined as a modern political movement whose driving force is nationalism and manifests itself in opposition to foreign interventionism and state authoritarianism. Nationalist opposition movements are mass movements with a political motivation of obtaining and using state power. They emerge when different political groups are coordinated and mobilized by nationalist ideology. On the basis of this framework, the dissertation argues that despite the state authority shifts to three different polities since the beginning of Iranian modernization, the four nationalist opposition movements display discursive continuity of anti-imperialism and anti-authoritarianism due to the continuity in the structural conditions of the foreign influence and the strong state vis-à-vis the society.
Citation Formats
P. Arıkan Sinkaya, “Discursive continuity of political nationalism as a form of opposition politics in modern Iran,” Ph.D. - Doctoral Program, Middle East Technical University, 2015.