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Title: From 'exporting the revolution' to 'postmodern Pan-Islamism' : a discourse analysis of the Islamic Republic of Iran's ideology, 1979-2009
Author: Berry, Adam Jan
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2012
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Since the early days of 1979, the Islamic Revolution of Iran has been seen as a phenomenon unique in history, one which must be viewed as somehow separate from other political Islamic movements in the 20th century. In chapter 1, this thesis problematizes this interpretation of the Revolution by analyzing it through the lens of an earlier ideological movement, pan-Islamism, and applying methods from the study of conceptual history to draw linkages between this movement and the Islamic Revolution, rooting it more deeply in the region’s political and intellectual history, and casting light on the poorly-understood pan-Islamic aspects of Iran’s Revolutionary ideology. In chapter 2, it applies methodological innovations from the digital humanities, more specifically corpus linguistics, in carrying out a series of five case studies to examine the transformation of Iranian ideology over time, by analyzing a set of five text corpora comprised of individual leaders’ writings and speeches. It further illustrates how theoretical advances in discourse analysis and history seem to be moving towards the same point, and how the application of corpus linguistic methods advances these bodies of theory. Chapters 3 through 7 comprise the case studies, which are, in order: Ruhollah Khomeini and Ali Khamenei, the two Supreme Leaders; Ali Akbar Hashemi Rasfanjani, Mohammad Khatami, and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the three Presidents since 1989. These chapters illustrate through analysis of the textual data how each political leader has adapted the received political discourse to the exigencies of their times, and how pan-Islamism itself has remained a consistent, albeit dynamic, linking thread running through the period 1979-2009. By studying pan-Islamism in the Iranian context, we can explain several features of Iranian political discourse which otherwise seem incomprehensible, and better situate the Islamic Republic within the political and discursive transformations taking place at the regional level of the Middle East, and the global level of the Muslim umma.
Supervisor: Herzig, Edmund M. Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Intellectual History ; Computational Linguistics ; Linguistics ; Persian ; Islam ; Political ideologies ; Pan-Islamism ; corpus linguistics ; discourse analysis ; Iranian politics 1979- ; Ruhollah Khomeini ; Ali Khamenei ; Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani ; Mohammad Khatami ; Mahmoud Ahmadinejad