Iran: A Rising Power?

Event Date: 
Wednesday, April 27, 2016
Event Time: 
4:30 p.m.
Location: 
001 Robertson Hall

The Liechtenstein Institute on Self-Determination will sponsor a public lecture, "Iran: A Rising Power?" with Professor Amin Saikal of the Australian National University, on Wednesday, April 27, 2016, at 4:30 p.m. in 001 Robertson Hall. Saikal will be discussing his new book, Iran at the Crossroads, published by Polity Press. The lecture is free and open to the public.

The Iranian Islamic Government has had a very difficult journey since its advent under the leadership of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini thirty-seven years ago. Its theocratic nature and anti-hegemon domestic and foreign policy stance have posed serious regional and international challenges, making Iran an oddity in world politics. The revolutionary turmoil of its early years, the costly Iran-Iraq War (1980-88), regional Arab apprehension, and Iranian-US and Iranian-Israeli hostilities, did not initially inspire much confidence, amongst many seasoned analysts, in its future longevity. Yet, the Islamic regime managed to survive and succeed in consolidating its position as an influential player in its region and beyond. However, this is not to claim that it has retained its orignial popularity at home or allayed regional apprehension and Western concerns. What has made the Iranian Islamic regime tick? What are the challenges confronting it? Where is it likely to head in the coming years?

Amin Saikal AM, FASSA, is Professor of Political Science, Public Policy Fellow, and Director of the Centre for Arab and Islamic Studies (Middle East and Central Asia) at the Australian National University. He was a Visiting Research Scholar at Lichtenstein Institute on Self-Determination during the 2014-2015 academic year. He has been a Rockefeller Foundation Fellow in International Relations, and Visiting Fellow to Princeton University, Cambridge University and the Institute of Development Studies, University of Sussex. He is an awardee of the Order of Australia (AM) "for service to the international community and education through the development of the Centre for Arab and Islamic Studies, and as an author and adviser," and is an elected Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences in Australia.

His latest books include: Iran at the Crossroads (Polity Press, Fall 2015); Zone of Crisis: Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iran and Iraq (I.B. Tauris, 2014); Modern Afghanistan: A History of Struggle and Survival (I.B. Tauris, 2012); The Rise and Fall of the Shah: Iran from Autocracy to Religious Rule (Princeton University Press, 2009); Islam and the West: Conflict or Cooperation? (Palgrave/Macmillan, 2003); American Democracy Promotion in the Changing Middle East: From Bush to Obama (Routledge, 2013, co-editor); Democracy and Reform in the Middle East and Asia: Social Protest and Authoritarian Rule after the Arab Spring (I.B. Tauris, 2014, co-editor). He has also published in major journal and dailies, including The New York Times, International Herald TribuneThe Wall Street Journal, and The Guardian; and is a frequent commentator on TV and radio networks on issues pertinent to his field of specialty.