Thursday, September 10, 2020

Geography, Great Power Rivalry and the Precarious Survival of Iran, 1860–1914

This paper, published in COMPARATIVE STRATEGY (Volume 39, No. 5, 2020), examines how buffer status or geographic location between two rival great powers, namely Imperial Britain and Russia, affected Iran’s survival chances from 1860 to 1914. By unpacking survival status into juridical sovereignty and domestic state autonomy, and systematically tracing the dynamics of rivalry between Britain and Russia over Iran, I demonstrate that buffer status contributed to the preservation of Iran’s juridical sovereignty while constraining its domestic state autonomy. In essence, I argue that due to the divergent preferences of rival great powers and the shifting balance of power between them, buffer status left Iran juridically sovereign but empirically non-sovereign. To read the full text of this article, click here


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