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Uneven and combined development in world history: the international relations of state-formation in premodern Iran
journal contributionposted on 2023-06-07, 17:33 authored by Kamran MatinKamran Matin
IR's turn towards historical sociology is yet to overcome its ahistoricism. This lack of world-historical perspective, particularly conspicuous in relation to the non-European world, and arguably IR's emergence as a discipline, can be traced back to the theoretically fateful negligence of `the international' by the classical (historical) sociology on which the contemporary critiques of the mainstream IR theory tend to draw. This article develops this argument within the context of a theoretical reappraisal of the traditional approaches to the problematique of the premodern state in Iran and proposes an alternative theoretical framework that is critically drawn on Trotsky's theory of uneven and combined development as an internationally augmented historical materialism. Thus it argues that central to the premodern state-formation in Iran were the nomadic geopolitical pressure upon, and rule over, the agrarian Iranian society which gave rise to a synergetic nomadic-sedentary relationship mediated by, and crystallized in, the military-administrative institution of uymaq. This underlay the continuous formation, disintegration and re-production of successive states characterized by centralized patrimonial arbitrary rule.
JournalEuropean Journal of International Relations
Department affiliated with
- International Relations Publications
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