Relations between the U.S. and Iran have markedly shifted in the last half century with fall of the Shah and rise of a theocratic state. But what do we know of Iran's evolving domestic politics, and its position in the Middle East region? The fortieth anniversary of Iran's Islamic Revolution invites us to reflect on the contested legacy and meanings of this pivotal event in world politics. PSU Professor Asaadi’s lecture will provide context for understanding Iran's post-revolutionary political system, and highlight how later regional developments such as the overthrow of Saddam Hussein in Iraq, the Arab uprisings, and the Syrian civil war have impacted the Iranian regime.
Robert Asaadi is an Adjunct Professor in the Departments of Political Science and International Studies at Portland State University. He holds a Ph.D. from the Department of Political Science, University of Minnesota, and works in the subfields of International Relations and Comparative Politics. His current research focuses on a comparative historical analysis of modern Iranian politics, tracing Iran's relations with the dominant powers in global politics from the late 19th century to the contemporary period. This project examines how and why certain boundaries of exclusion are constructed in global politics, how these boundaries establish the normative criteria for 'good' and 'bad' state actors, and how the processes of exclusion both reproduce power and shape the consequent politics of incorporation into an existing international system. His general research interests pertain to themes of anarchy and hierarchy in international politics, and include further work on the concept and discourse of rogue statehood, Relational theory, Postcolonialism, theories of systemic continuity and change, and work toward a Critical Iranian Studies.