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2 - Globalizing the Iranian Revolution:

A Multiscalar History

from Orientations

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  01 July 2021

Arang Keshavarzian
Affiliation:
New York University
Ali Mirsepassi
Affiliation:
New York University
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Summary

This chapter discusses how the volume charts the 1979 Iranian Revolution by examining the complex interplay of space and time that made the revolution possible and conceptions of the global contested. What unites the multidisciplinary collection of authors is that they all treat the global, national, regional, or local as neither natural, preexisting, nor opposed to one another; instead, they assume that these scales are coproduced in specific historical contexts. Globalizing the Iranian Revolution in this manner is an enterprise in recovering the histories of the revolution non-teleologically and to think of global history as multidirectional and not emanating from a single epicenter or from “the global” to “the local.” Specifically, Global 1979 presents five discrete propositions: (1) geographic and archival margins are powerful means to decenter political struggles; (2) global guerrilla tactics politicized space before and after the revolution; (3) tracing genealogies allows us to think simultaneously, rather than linearly about causation; (4) the circulation of expertise left divisive imprints on society; (5) part of what gave the revolution meaning was imagining the world. Collectively and individually, the chapters disrupt familiar stories and interrupt hackneyed historical sequences by making us attuned to configurations of space and time obfuscated by a penchant to explain outcomes, assign responsibility, and second-guess decisions.

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Chapter
Information
Global 1979
Geographies and Histories of the Iranian Revolution
, pp. 36 - 56
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2021

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