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Tragedy of Confusion

  • Farhad Gohardani
  • Zahra Tizro
Chapter
Part of the Political Economy of Islam book series (PEoI)

Abstract

Our voyage of discovery for understanding the complexity, specificity, and singularity of Iranian experience of development starts with the fundamental question of “What constitutes Iranianness (in the same vein as Turkishness, Britishness, etc.)?”, as the question of “Why are we backward?” logically tends to lead to the question of “Who and what are this ‘we’ as Iranians?” (see Akerlof and Kranton 2010). With regard to the notion of Iranianness and its constitution, Frye (1977: 1–3) observes that:

Of all of the lands of the Middle East, Iran is perhaps both the most conservative and at the same time the most innovative. Whereas Egypt and Syria, for example, underwent great changes in the course of two millennia of history, Iran seems to have preserved much more of its ancient heritage. … Iran was converted to the religion of Islam, but … [t]he continuity of ancient Iranian traditions down to the present is impressive… Paradoxically … Herodotus … said that no people were more prone to accept foreign habits as the Persians. Anyone who has walked the streets of new Tehran can see all kinds of styles of architecture and the latest women’s dress styles.

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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Farhad Gohardani
    • 1
  • Zahra Tizro
    • 2
  1. 1.Independent EconomistYorkUK
  2. 2.University of East London (UEL)LondonUK

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