World Sociopolitical Studies

World Sociopolitical Studies

World Sociopolitical Studies, Winter 2019, Volume 3, Issue 1



Reassessing Britain’s Withdrawal from the Persian Gulf in 1971 and its Military Return in 2014

تعداد بازدید : ۶۸ تعداد دانلود : ۴۲
The primary concern of this research is to reassess the British foreign policy, focusing on its military withdrawal in 1971 from the Persian Gulf and its return in 2014. The Persian Gulf, as a region of geo-strategic importance, has always been at the center of attention for the UK and other great world powers. This study will therefore attempt to answer the following question: what are the realities behind the British retreat from the Persian Gulf in 1971, and its return to the region after 43 years? Britain, which has a significant history of military presence in the Persian Gulf, decided to keep a low profile in the Arab hosting countries since 1971. The UK has been working to manage interstate conflicts among Arab-speaking countries, deter Iran, and maintain its ‘special relationship’ with the U.S. In terms of the theoretical framework of the study, realist theory will be used by focusing on the defensive and offensive realism as the instrument of analysis. Britain’s military withdrawal from the Persian Gulf can be analyzed through defensive realism, whereas its military return to the region could be explained by offensive realism. The case study method has been helpful in arriving at the conclusion that the main motivation for the British military presence in the Persian Gulf has been to strengthen an alliance with the Gulf’s periphery Arab States.

Iran and Security Complex in the Persian Gulf

تعداد بازدید : ۷۷ تعداد دانلود : ۳۷
This article enters into the debate on the link between security and identity by looking at the security context in the states surrounding the Persian Gulf, particularly Iran. Earlier scholarly works have approached security and identity separately, but lack a framework that connects them in a single account. The process tracing method offers a scientific approach to connect various notions in a single study, allowing the synthesis of diverse disciplines to establish links connecting them. Applying the method to the current security and identity issues of the regional states with Jundallah _a terrorist group in the eastern border of Iran_ has established a link between them and has thus enriched the current studies of the region. The main findings are that the Persian Gulf region is a heterogeneous security complex with diverse actors wielding power, and that societal threats have increased since the 2003 Iraq War. Since that year, a conflictual security complex has predominated in the region, which has destabilized the region more than before.

The Rise and Fall of the Israeli-Palestinian Peace Process

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This article examines the rise and fall of the Peace Process and questions the reason for which the United States of America was successful in bringing the two sides to the negotiating table during the 1990s. It investigates the reason for which the process ultimately failed, as well as the reason for which Washington was unsuccessful in restarting the peace process in the past decade. It is argued that the collapse of the Soviet Union, as the Arab states’ most important ally, the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO)’s decision to back Saddam Hussein during the First Persian Gulf War, and the rise of Islamic movements in the occupied territories were the main reasons for which the PLO decided to negotiate with Israel. The subsequent Peace Process was a major political, economic and public image success for Washington and Tel-Aviv, while it was damaging to the Palestinian cause. Not only did the PLO recognize Israel and the Zionist movement, but it also ceded most of the West Bank in the process. Finally, it is argued that after the collapse of the process during the early 2000s, Donald Trump has attempted to restart the negotiations, but has failed thus far due to the inexistence of strong leaders in both Palestinian and Israeli sides, the rise of Hamas as a resistance movement, and the disenchantment of the Palestinian people with the Peace Process.

VoA Special English for Persian Learners from the Perspective of Persian Speakers: A Critical Analysis

تعداد بازدید : ۶۶ تعداد دانلود : ۳۶
Using modern, electronic technology to promote the culture and worldview of technology producers and to subjugate its consumers is the gist of what McPhail (2006) calls electronic colonialism theory (ECT). As an example of electronic technology, Internet-mediated English educational materials are rapidly growing but they do not appear to have been critically analyzed in terms of their potential hidden agenda. With this concern, the researchers conducted a survey study on “VOA Special English for Persian Learners” which is one of the most popular websites among Iranian English learners (Karimi Alavijeh, 2014). For this purpose, all VoA lessons were closely investigated in a process of qualitative content analysis through which the main themes of this program were extracted. Real samples of the content were included in a 5-point, likert-type Indigenous Iranian Culture Opinionnaire developed by the researchers. After making sure of the reliability and validity of this opinionnaire, it was responded by 151 Iranians who had been selected through stratified random sampling from a variety of educational, linguistics, ethnic, religious and social backgrounds, residing in different Iranian provinces. To take care of the accuracy of the findings in the quantitative part of the study and to meet the triangulation criterion in the qualitative phase, in depth semi-structures interviews were also conducted. The analysis of the obtained data revealed the incongruity of the supposedly “special for Persian learners” materials with Iranians’ values, supporting ECT in the sense that this program plainly serves the promotion of American culture among the Iranian learners.

Discussion on Russia-Iran Bilateral Trade in the Modern Era with emphasis on Russia’s Economy

تعداد بازدید : ۶۳ تعداد دانلود : ۳۶
This paper is an empirical attempt to investigate bilateral trade flow between Iran and Russia. To this end, we used statistical analyses on macroeconomic series over the period of 1991-2017. Results revealed that there is a significant statistical difference in terms of exports between Iran and Russia, and that there has always been a buyer-seller dialogue between the two countries. According to the Export-Import Similarities (EIS), Iran and Russia represented low potential complementarity between the years 2001 and 2017, which indicated that there is more trade competitiveness rather than trade complementarities between the two countries. Results from the statistical tests of Friedman and Kruskal-W revealed that the service sector has played an important role in creating value in Russia’s economy. In addition, there is a statistical significant difference with respect to Iran’s exports to Russia in terms of Iran and Russia’s sanctions and Russia’s membership to WTO. During the sanctions imposed by the West, when Russia and Iran’s GDP always decreases, they find each other as regional allies and try to strengthen their bilateral economic relationship. However, there is an obvious lack of diversity in Russian and Iranian export supplies and the volume of bilateral trade between them is not expected to increase in the future. Russia and Iran have failed to establish adequate economic, technical and educational ties and there is no active economic diplomacy between them. As a result, developing a clear program for the promotion of bilateral trade is a strategic priority, which must be operationalized by politicians.

Saudi Arabia’s Aggressive Oil Policy against Iran (2011-2016)

تعداد بازدید : ۶۳ تعداد دانلود : ۴۰
Iran and Saudi Arabia have long been engaged in heated rivalry and conflict in the Middle East. These two regional powers are both major oil-exporting countries; in major foreign policy issues, therefore, oil is used as an important tool to pursue goals. Iran and Saudi Arabia have a long history of differences on oil policies, but one of the most severe differences emerged in 2011-2016, along with escalating tensions between the two countries in the region, which heavily shaped oil market trends in this period. In an attempt to analyze these oil market trends, the main question addressed in this article concerns Saudi Arabia’s decisions to use oil as a weapon against Iran in 2011-2016. The article reveals that the perception of expanding Iranian influence in the Middle East drove Saudis to resort to oil as weapon against Iran in 2011-2016. However, restrictions on the use of this tool led Saudi Arabia to withdraw from most part of this policy, especially in the oil market. The article uses neoclassical realism approach and illustrates Saudis’ direct and indirect use of oil weapon against Iran, and analyzes the outcomes of this offensive oil policy for the two countries in particular, and for the international oil market in general.