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Between Darius and Khomeini: Exploring Iran’s Identity Problematique

Research output: Contribution to Journal/MagazineJournal articlepeer-review

<mark>Journal publication date</mark>2015
<mark>Journal</mark>National Identities
Issue number1
Number of pages25
Pages (from-to)73-97
Publication StatusPublished
Early online date7/08/14
<mark>Original language</mark>English


Iran, since the advent of its nation-state building process, has struggled to define its national identity in a relevant and resonant way. This article, while acknowledging the multi-dimensional nature of Iran's national identity, focuses on its two most profound components: Nationalism and Islamism. It explores how the tensions between these two are at the heart of not only the problem of Iranian identity but also of Persian identity. Examining how these two bases of identity also rely on similarity as well as difference the article argues, through the use of the tool of a problematique, that a coherent Iranian national identity, inclusive of all including ethnic minorities, is not possible until the tensions between Nationalism and Islamism at the heart of Persian identity are resolved.