Dissertation Abstracts

"The Other" in Iranian International Relations discourses: Mutual Articulation of Official and Academic Discourses

Author: Heidarali Masoudi, h_masoudi@gmail.com
Department: IR
University: University of Tehran, Iran
Supervisor: Dr. Homeira Moshirzadeh
Year of completion: In progress
Language of dissertation: Persain

Keywords: other , Iranian IR , Iranian foreign policy , Iranian discourses
Areas of Research: Political Sociology , Armed Forces and Conflict Resolution , Theory


Inspired upon post-structuralist discursive literature which argues that self/ other dichotomy can be thought of as cornerstone of a discourse, this study investigates the construction of the other as the main signifier in Iranian IR discourses from 1979 to 2005. The analysis illustrates that a number of signified show up in the representation practices of other, including the West, United States, Soviet Union, Israel, Iraq, etc. The official and academic IR discourses in Iran must be treated with caution as two completely disparate constructs. In contrast, the comparative analysis of primary texts shows that although official and academic discourses originate from Islamism and Realism respectively, and in result, they have employed their own predications and metaphors when representing the other, but the analysis can reveal a more complicated relationship between these two types of discourses which can be called articulation of official and academic discourses. This articulation can be shown in the emergence of a realist sub-discourse within major Islamic official discourse and also an Islamic sub-discourse within major realist academic discourse. Consequently, these two discourses, more or less combined, lead to the emergence of an ideational common ground, which can promote dialogue between practical and theoretical approaches in Iranian IR discourses.