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By S. Cronin

Opposed to traditional perspectives of the unchallenged hegemony of a modernizing monarchy, this e-book argues that strength used to be always contested in Riza Shah's Iran. Cronin excavates the successive demanding situations to Riza Shah's regime posed by way of various subaltern social teams and seeks to revive to those teams a feeling in their historic corporation.

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Soldiers, Shahs and Subalterns in Iran: Opposition, Protest and Revolt, 1921-1941

Opposed to traditional perspectives of the unchallenged hegemony of a modernizing monarchy, this booklet argues that strength used to be always contested in Riza Shah's Iran. Cronin excavates the successive demanding situations to Riza Shah's regime posed through more than a few subaltern social teams and seeks to revive to those teams a feeling in their historic supplier.

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The regime’s offers of pragmatic accommodations were usually accepted and indeed fully reciprocated. Many tribal khans and aghas enthusiastically embraced Riza Shah’s patronage, partly to ensure their own survival, partly in order to benefit from the largesse which was the reward for political support, and partly because they in fact approved of many of the regime’s policies, for example, its consolidation of landlordism. Only those tribal leaders who failed to make the necessary shift with sufficient speed and decisiveness, most notably Shaykh Khazal, risked being eliminated altogether as figures of national or even of local significance.

The constitutional and political contest over the nature of the emerging order was essentially now over and the state was able to embark on the implementation of its broad agenda: a comprehensive reordering of social, cultural, ideological and economic institutions, relationships and mores. The second part of the book looks at the imposition of this new Pahlavi order and at the different types of opposition which it provoked: from the urban populations in the provincial cities, from the tribal nomads and peasants, from the new workers in the southern oil industry, and from junior army officers.

In the late nineteenth/early twentieth centuries, formal ideas of representative government had been confined 24 Soldiers, Shahs and Subalterns in Iran to a tiny intellectual elite. Yet these notions spread rapidly during the revolutionary months of 1905–1906. Over the following years the actual establishment of a representative institution, and the impact of repeated elections on popular consciousness and modes of political activity, had left the relationship between authority and people fundamentally transformed.

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