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Task 1

Gabrielle Alphonse

Evaluate the factors that contributed to the cause of the


Iranian Revolution
The main reason I have chosen to do the Iranian revolution as the
focus of my HIP, is because I was fascinated by how significant this
revolution was. This revolution led to Iran becoming the first Islamic
State of the world. After doing some extensive research into the
Iranian Revolution, an aspect, which really intrigued me, was how
the Iranian society was so willing to overthrow its millennia-old
monarchy and replace it with theocracy. Wasnt there a sense of fear
in replacing the only form of government known to them, for a new
one? This idea further led me to think about what the main causes
of the revolution were. There would have been pre-existing tensions
between groups and people in society and their leader Shah Pahlavi
which would have contributed to the outbreak of this revolution. I
really wanted to focus my research on further analysis of these
factors which ultimately led to this revolution- which I why I have
developed this particular question.
There are several components of my investigation to unpack my
question. I am currently looking into the pre-revolutionary period
(period before 1978/9). This involves looking into the social, political
and economical strains that were developing during this time in
Iran. Also, I have and will continue to look into Shah Pahlavis
qualities as a ruler in order to assess whether he was an
incompetent leader, which may have been a factor which led to the
revolution. Further, I will need to look in Imam Khomeinis
contribution to the cause of the revolution as he was a very
significant figure who used religion as a catalyst for gaining support
and momentum in the revolution.
Bibliography so far
TIME.com,. 'IRAN: Waiting For The Ayatullah'. N.p., 1979. Web. 26
Mar. 2015.
Teacher.scholastic.com,. 'The New York Times Upfront | The News
Magazine For High School'. N.p., 2015. Web. 26 Mar. 2015.
Evans, Charles. 'Iranian Revolution'. Novaonline.nvcc.edu. N.p.,
2015. Web. 30 Mar. 2015.
News.bbc.co.uk,. 'BBC News | In Pictures'. N.p., 2015. Web. 9 Apr.
2015.
Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini. [Internet]. 2015. The Biography.com
website. Available from: http://www.biography.com/people/ayatollahruhollah-khomeini-13680544 [Accessed 20 Apr 2015].

Task 1

Gabrielle Alphonse

Saunders, Harold. 'Iran: A View From The State Department .:


Ebscohost'. Web.b.ebscohost.com. N.p., 2015. Web. 21 Apr. 2015.
Ukessays.co.uk,. 'The Iranian Revolution'. N.p., 2015. Web. 24 Apr.
2015.
Arjomand, Said Amir. World Politics: Iran's Islamic Revolution In
Comparative Perspective. 1st ed. Cambridge University Press, 2015.
JSTOR.org Web. 27 Apr. 2015.
Parvaz, D. 'Iran 1979: A Revolution That Shook The World'.
Aljazeera.com. N.p., 2014. Web. 30 Apr. 2015.
A very useful source that I am using as part of my research is a book
from the flashpoints series that I borrowed from the library called
The Revolution in Iran written by Akbar Husain. This secondary
source has been fantastic so far in my research. It has painted this
big picture for me about the revolution holistically. This source has
been particularly useful as it takes a neutral perspective in
discussing the origins, events, conclusion, and aftermath of the
conflict in Iran after Ayatollah Khomeini returned from exile to lead
the 1979 revolution. The main strength of this source is that it
incorporates an extensive amount of primary photographs from the
time, hence bringing the words to life, which has been really good.
As mentioned before, it has not been persuaded by perspective- as
the author has purely given the facts. The limitation of this source
however is that it has only provided a brief overview of the events
that have occurred. Yet this seems to be the only limitation. This
textbook was published in 1986 by Wayland (Publishers) Ltd. It was
published in Hove, England. I was unable to find information about
the author however the flashpoint series textbooks are reputable.
This source is reliable to a significant extent.
Another source, which I am using as part of my research, is a text I
found on JSTOR.org called Irans Islamic Revolution In Comparative
Perspective written in the text World Politics which is a quarterly
peer-reviewed academic journal covering political science and
international relations1. This academic journal has been very
insightful and beneficial to my research. It provides a very thorough
account of the causes and preconditions of the Islamic revolution.
The strength of this secondary source is that the information is of
higher-order and very, very thorough. I am still reading through it!
The limitation of this source is that it was written by an academic
who was living in Iran at the time of the revolution. Thus, his context
may sway the position from which he is writing in. A limitation of
this source in accordance with my research is that I have had to sift
through a lot of irrelevant information to come across some gems.
The language isnt very accessible which has developed a small
1 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_Politics#cite_ref-WoS_1-0

Task 1

Gabrielle Alphonse

barrier- yet I am coping! I believe that this source is reliable to a


significant extent. The author Said Amir Arjomand has several
qualifications including Historical sociology, comparative sociology,
Persianate Studies. He also studied at the State University of New
York at Stony Brook. Thus, this source is reliable as it is written by a
reputable author who is well versed in this field and has a great
breadth of knowledge.