Iran’s ‘resistance economy’ is sometimes presented as defensive strategy. Despite Washington’s ‘New Middle East’ wars and the rapid evaporation of expected benefits from the long JCPOA (nuclear deal) process, a certain illusion remains that a general ‘normalisation’ with the outside powers might still bring economic benefits to the country. Nevertheless, it remains true that, while Iran is a large country, pure self-sufficiency would impose physical limits. Therefore, the question that one may ask is what are the better economic opportunities for the nation’s economic growth? By engaging with the globalist and new regionalism debates, making parallels between Latin American and West Asianintegration, and presenting examples from Iran’s previous experiences, this paper argues that the answer to the above-mentioned question lies in a resistance economy, which builds an economically integrated regional bloc. The article begins by demonstrating the false promises of global economic liberalism, and then locates Iran’s resistance economy principles in the context of the ‘new regionalism’ debates. This forms the basis for discussing the economic potential of West Asian integration. This research is an interpretive study, testing the economic liberal project with evidence, and then comparing it with contemporary regional initiatives.
Congressional Foreign Policy Actors on the Two Iran Banking Sanction Laws during the Obama Administration
The United States and Iran as former allies turned into adversaries after the Islamic Revolution of 1979. Since then the United States has tried to contain Iran as a state considered to be a threat to the U.S. national security. The U.S. Congress has also acted in line with the administrations’ policies and in some cases directed the administration to take a tougher stance toward Iran. A review of the literature on congressional studies indicates that the power of individual actors in legislative policymaking has increased since the 1970s. Using the Bounded Rational Model in foreign policy decision making, the present paper attempts to explain the decision making behavior of congressional sanction bill sponsors for the two financial/banking sanction laws against Iran during the Obama administration. These two laws are the Comprehensive Iran Sanctions, Accountability and Divestment Act of 2010 and Section 1245 of the National Defense Authorization Act of 2012. The method of qualitative content analysis is employed to explain the context of the bills and the sanction triggers and goals are identified through the remarks of bill sponsors. The analysis of these sanction laws using the four elements of actor, preference, structure, and decision criteria indicates that the Bounded Rational Model as it takes into account the decision makers’ cognitive limitations and the limitations imposed on them by the environment of decision making is a good model to explain the decision making behavior of banking sanction bill sponsors.
With the advent of the 21st century, the way characters and identities interact under the influence of dominant powers has brought a new world into existence, a world dubbed by Manuel Castells as the ‘Fourth World’. Within the Castellsian theoretical matrix of the Fourth World and politics of identity, the present study seeks to investigate the true nature of the futuristic world Margaret Atwood hascreated in the MaddAddam trilogy. The trilogy literarily reflects a global crisis that ultimately leads to dystopia and the destruction of the human race: what remains of humanity is a small group of survivors who must struggle to conserve what remains of humanity. Identity as the main determining factor in the Fourth World represents personal and public privileges, characteristics, and means of differentiating oneself from others. The Fourth World and its political peculiarities reflect contemporary powers, i.e. the power of the network society, network communication and media. Humankind, in this wheel, is just a toy in the hands of an intelligence broker. What exactly happens to human and semi-human characters in Atwood’s trilogy is the result of Fourth World structures andvalues, and how they shape and reconstruct identities to lead the world toward fabricated truths and values, and terminate in dystopia.
This paper takes a broad and novel approach to analysing the Iranian Jewish community of Iran, both as a distinct group and as a constituent part of Iran’s wider population sharing its national culture. The goal was to find a new way of addressing the topic, avoiding many ambiguities, and bringing all discourse back to its starting point: Iranian identity. If we identify Persian roots as the focus and the heart of our investigation, and we establish that a cultural study of the Iranian Jewscannot be separated from Iranian identity itself, we not only shift attention to a common denominator that links a variety of topics, but raise new questions, new issues, and new considerations. The aim was to identify an analytical tool through which we could interpret and relate various outlooks on Iranian identity: the analysis led us to consider religion as the source of a common sense of belonging, in contrast to most scholars whose work is predicated on the dichotomy of “secularism vs religion.” Instead, the Iranian identity discourse that emerges from this paper finds connections and affinities across the common dividing lines represented by religion, ethnicity, and geography. Reinforcing an Iranian discourse through the Jewish experience can constitute a valid response to the deep crisis of the Iranian national question and the enhancement of national, economic, and religious alliances. This paper employs a qualitative approach to the framework ofnational identity, based on the idea of its progressive character and related to the concept of identity as socially constructed. The theoretical assumptions expressed throughout this paper have found their empirical explanation in fieldwork that the author conducted in Iran in 2019.
The medical tourism industry comprises a combination of tourism and medical services and has attracted the attention of most developed and developing countries during the last decades. This industry has capacities which guarantee progress not only in the economic field, but also in the cultural and political spheres; capacities that can deliver great advantages and opportunities in promoting the power of countries. The main purpose of this study was to investigate the effectiveness of the elements of medical tourism on the creation of new economic and political opportunities. Consistent with this purpose, the focus of this article was to investigate the reasons for the presence of Azerbaijani medical tourists in Iran and the common interests between the two countries. Following an analysis of prominent articles in this field, several factors such as culture, quality, infrastructure, cost, and destination image were identified and discussed in detail. The identified factors were used as the basis of a questionnaire seeking the views of experts active in the field of medical tourism, and the results evaluated using the AHP (Analytic Hierarchy Process) method. The factors driving medical tourism were then classified according to their relative priority. The analysis of the experts’ points of view confirmed Iran's current position and future opportunities in the medical tourism industry.
Kurdish Movements and Distributive Power Structures: A Theoretical Model to Understand the Rise and Fall of Kurdish Movements
Many studies have been conducted on the Kurds and their movements. Most authors have considered historical dimensions or applied limited theoretical variables, but have not been able to identify the variables to identify the key reasons behind the rise and fall of Kurdish movements in an explanatory theoretical model. Consequently, there is neither available data about their rise, continuity, and fall, nor an explicit model to explain how they rose and fell. This paper seeks to create such a theoretical model by relying on the concepts of international relations. This paper responds to the key questions of why Kurdish movements rise, fall, and continue, and what factor or factors influence their distinguishing features? It is hypothesized that the ways that Kurdish movements rise, fall, and continue are influenced by the distributive and reproductive power structures at the four analysis levels of the international system, regional, national, and intra-Kurdish levels. The unique features of each level are expressed in one of the four possible states of hegemony, power-centered, balance-centered, and transition as applies to each of the four levels separately. This study applies distributive models for the period 1815–1990. Future studiescould consider reproductive model analysis.