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State Identity And Iran's Foreign Policy:a Failed Path To Normalize Relations With The United States (1997-2005)

Posted on:2019-04-24Degree:DoctorType:Dissertation
Country:ChinaCandidate:Marriyam SiddiqueFull Text:PDF
GTID:1366330542964789Subject:International relations
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The leitmotif of this dissertation is “State Identity and Iran's Foreign Policy: A failed path to normalize relations with United States”.This study briefly summarizes-how Iran's State Identity evolved,changed and induced into the foreign policy,furthermore,elucidates the role of religion and ideology in the genesis of state identity,and particularly the role of state identity in foreign policy decision-making of Iran.The case,which is used,the foreign policy of Iran's President Khatami towards United States(1997-2005),to illustrating the role and repercussions of state identity on the Iran-US relations and further,describes the limitations of state identity of Iran in foreign policy owing the presence of culture of animosity.Moreover,the research illustrates as state identities are not carved on stone,transformation is possible through inter-subjectivity but alteration of role needs ratifications.The Iran-US intimacy triggered by the 1979's Islamic Revolution and the ecstasy turned to agony,consciously owing to its state identity,Iran's foreign policy has been against to invest in relations with US.Since the Islamic revolution,President Khatami was the first Iranian leader who attempted to rejuvenate the state identity of Iran by transforming the ideological dogmas into the modest form.The inter-subjective discourse among Iranian intellectuals in early 1990's,significantly contributed in altering state identity,which attenuated Khatami to pursue modest foreign policy.Accordingly,Khatami reflected the zeitgeist in foreign policy as ‘Dialogue Among Civilizations',purposely to normalize relations with US.Initially,Clinton administration was willing for rapprochement,later owing to domestic pressures moved back.The Bush government collaborated with Khatami's administration to topple the Taliban regime,meanwhile,captioned Iran an ‘Axis of Evil',which demonstrated US unwillingness to normalize the relations.Furthermore,Iran under Khatami incorporated modest state identity with respect to its foreign policy behavior,but the rejuvenated state identity demands the acceptance or allowing the altered role to perform,which US did not entitle Iran to conduct.Chapter 1 is the Introduction,where the dissertation's main research questions,argument,case selection,literature review,significance of the study,methodology and structure of the thesis are constituted.This study focuses on how ‘State Identity' plays the role in the fabrication of state's perception towards other state and its repercussions on states' relations.The interrelation between state identity and foreign policy is momentous,as state identity is the mouthpiece of a state in the international realm.Since 1979,owing to a Revolutionary state,Iran has embraced a state identity based on its Revolutionary Ideology ‘khomeinism'.During the Presidency of President Khatami,Iran attempted to change state identity,particularly,in terms of relations with other states,especially United States.In order to answer the main question,two central questions in this dissertation were generated:(1)what's the role of State Identity in Iran's foreign policy decision-making process?(2)What was the inter-subjective discourse that disposed Iran to change its State Identity? And lastly,why the foreign policy of President Khatami could not normalize relations with US?To answer these questions I explored and applied State Identity as a variable by showing the relational aspect of corporate identity and role identity(independent and dependent variables),through a constructivist and role theory analysis.Scholars failed to conduct an in-depth analysis of the foreign policy of President Khatami,which was quirky in the history of foreign policy of Iran.Since the Islamic Revolution in 1979,Khatami was the first Iranian president,who attempted to change the state identity of Iran,approached United States directly;invite the US administration for dialogue.After the episode of Hostage crisis,Iran and US never indulge in any kind of formal relations,a status of enmity/rivalry persisted in both states.The foreign policy of Khatami was consequential in the sense that it could normalize or transformed the Iran-US relations on structural basis,which failed to materialize.This research is significant because it sheds light on the ideational and materialist factors to understanding the concept of State Identity evolution,transformation and positioned that state identity plays a constitutive and casual role in foreign policy decision-making of Iran.Following research provides a theoretical contribution in the existing literature of Iran-US relations,or in Iran's foreign policy by applying a unique combination of state identity as a variable within the framework of constructivism and role theory.The peculiar perspective of this study is the representation of the relational aspect of Corporate Identity and Role Identity as an independent or dependent variables by sorting out the main puzzle.In the Iran-US relations,Iran and US Foreign Policy Literature Review,the major scholars relevant to the following research were reviewed.This provides a better understanding of how the domestic politics,Ideology,elite leaders shaped Iran's foreign policy,which in turn,shaped the state identity of Iran.Empirically,I argue that State Identity posses a surpassing attributes to explore and explain the foreign policy outcomes.Even though,state identity posses some limitations,which we can explore only after conducting an in-depth analysis of state identity with all its parameters.The research design of the thesis is primarily based on qualitative methods to sort the puzzle in a holistic way,with an emphasis on observational modes through a process-tracing method,including the use of textual and discourse analysis on the historical information to evaluate the outcomes of the foreign policy.Chapter 2 provides a fundamental analysis of the core assumptions of state identity formation,evolution,transformation and limitations by using the framework of constructivism and Role theory.To analyzing the foreign policy decision-making,it is essential to emphasize that international relations theories and domestic discourse(policies)merge together,in order to generating a bond between the domestic politics and International politics.In order to get the better understanding of IR,for instance the discipline of IR is generally referred the discourse of the state,I discussed the discourse of FPA by explaining the core principles of the state.In addition,discussed the core assumptions of foreign policy by discussing manifold concepts of foreign policy formation in a debate form,the subject of analysis in IR is foreign policy,which is an intricate process.I hold to the view that,traditional hardcore realist and power-based assumptions need to shift towards other substantial(ideational,materialist)by possessing better interpretations to understand the Iran-US rivalry.Moreover,conceptualizing the concept of state identity,by enabling how a state construct,or transform its state identity in foreign policy through a process of normative change,and insinuated the researchers to treat identity as a variable.To pursue identity as a variable needs better understanding the conceptualization of Role,which,I discussed in detail by showing the interrelation of Corporate – Role identities.The core assumptions of state identity highlighted in this research which testify the core argument of the thesis,that state identity has causal and constitutive effects on foreign policy,owing to its limitations.Chapter 3 is historical in context.This section of the dissertation discussed the foreign policy of Iran towards US since 1856,with major policy episodes.The IranUS was in cordial relations until the inception of Islamic Revolution in 1979,which changed the state identity of Iran,so in turn,perspectives of foreign policy changed,particularly towards US.It focuses on every presidency in Iran until the tenure of President Khatami-briefly,by exploring the major policy conducts of Iranian elite leadership in response of the major foreign policy moves of US.The historical context helps to get better understanding that how the traditional friends or allies became the rivals,and after the Islamic Revolution,Iran changed its ideology so in response its state identity.The following section also glorifies the major modes of hatred,which are the prime concerns for Iran,and it will elaborate that how and why the animosity in Iran against US changed and sustained since 1979.Chapter 4 this module investigates – how state identity evolved in Iran and transformed into attending form.This section explores the genesis of state identity of Iran by mentioning the political discourse of Iran,in addition,demonstrating the roots which been a matter of concern and reservations inside US.Particularly,this portion of the dissertation is retorted the first question of the thesis,that is the role of the state identity in the foreign policy decision-making of Iran.Moreover,following section attempts to answer the major ideological changes in the foreign policy discourse of Iran,simultaneously,addressed the gradual transformation in Iran's state identity from revolutionary state to pragmatic state.Since 1979,Iran experienced momentous changes in its state system;consequently,the state identity of Iran is the artifact of several identities and ideologies,including,the ancient attributes called the ‘Iranianness',which replaced in modern Iran into ‘territorial integrity'.The Grand Ideology of Khomeini,stressed on the export of revolutionary ideology,and against the despondent policies of US that altered after the Iran-Iraq war and replaced with the pragmatic approach.And the element of Shia Islam,particularly emphasized on showing the resistance against the unsound policies.The understanding of Iran's ideology and state identity since its genesis significantly pitched in to grasp the core assumption of attending state identity of Iran.Chapter 5 in this section I carefully try to elucidate that how state identity of Iran during the Presidency of Khatami constructed and changed from its postrevolutionary manifestation,eventually facilitated the elite leadership to pursue a changed foreign policy.Basically,this portion of the dissertation is countered the second question of the thesis that is the inter-subjective discourse-disposed Iranian leadership to change its state identity.The children of Islamic Republic had somewhat changed perceptions with respect to the ideology of Khomeini,that's how they favored to promote or implement the modernized or democratic version of Islam.Most importantly,articulated on the notion of ‘Ijtihad',and considered the urgency to transform the dogmatic convictions which are present in the state identity of Iran.The Iranian intellectuals conducted rhetoric through their writings,and insulated eloquent ideals of Islam.The Iranian intellectuals maintained the tone that the isolationist policy of Iran not favoring the state,their people and the democratic values would not damage the basic principles of Islam.Secondly,this portion discussed the devastated economic situation of Iran that happened after the Iran-Iraq war,which became one of the factors to change the state identity of Iran.And lastly,this section explained the paramount notion of President Khatami,‘Dialogue Among Civilizations';basically,such notion is adjoined with the idyllic democratic principles of Iranian intellectuals.Presented in response of ‘Clash of Civilization',and have same rhetoric convictions as Iranian intellectuals presented through their writings.Primarily,Khatami addressed the world and especially the US leaders,that a dialogue is the best course to mitigate the past-resented emotions.Chapter 6 discusses the state identity of President Khatami with President Clinton and President Bush's state identities and particularly,explained their interrelationship with major policy conducts.Basically,this portion of the dissertation elucidates the foreign policy decision-making of President Khatami and their outcomes from US side during the Presidencies of Clinton and Bush,respectively.Initially,the Clinton administration interested to normalize the relations with Iran-apparently,and the rise of Khatami with changed political language of Iran made interested the US administration to change its policies towards Iran,which materialized by US policy makers for a short period of time.Thereby,some optimistic policy statements and endeavors happened between Iran and US,during the era of President Clinton.Further,this section explains that how the domestic elements of US,especially the Congress constrained the Clinton administration to change its tone towards Iranian reformists,and Clinton nor possessed sufficient potential to transcend their critics.Moreover,this section explains the foreign policies of Khatami and Bush by discussing their state identities.Inside Iran,another pragmatic Bush was expecting,but in fact,after the invasion of Afghanistan and toppling the regime of Taliban with the collaboration of Iran,the US administration changed its political language with the inception of entitling Iran,‘Axis of Evil'.Eventually,Iran offered a Grand Bargain to US,put everything on the table from Nuclear matters to Terrorism and Middle East peace process to economic sanctions etc.,which rejected by the US policy makers,and in several ways the administration pointed out the narrowing choices of US.Finally,the diplomatic endeavors of President Khatami languished in a way,and eventually the relations between the Iran and the US could not normalize.Chapter 7,by using the surface from the above sections,this paper,empirically or theoretically attempts to answer the main puzzle that why the foreign policy of President Khatami could not normalize relations with US,despite its unique endeavor from Iranian side.In order to demonstrate the causal and constitutive effects of state identity,I empirically consider Iran-US encounter in a discourse rhetoric form.The significant portion is showing of different phases of state identity,including corporate identity and role identity to demonstrate the causal effects of the failure of Khatami's foreign policy with respect to its state identity.In addition,I elucidate such notion that due to long continuity of rivalry between Iran and US,a medium was generated to conduct such animosity,which been represented with Culture – a shared knowledge for each other.Both states expect and portray specific roles due to such culture with respect to each other;therefore,US could not develop a sense of confidence regarding Iran that it can portray a newfangled role,admired to its state identity.
Keywords/Search Tags:Iran, United States, State Identity, Constructivism, Role Theory, Foreign Policy Decision-Making, Corporate Identity, Role Identity, Culture
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