Mark Twain once remarked, "History doesn't repeat itself, but it does rhyme." If such recurrences happen with some discernible periodicity it would support the view that society develops cyclically. Though still controversial, this perspective has found a home in the long wave cycle theories of economics and international relations. For decades, international relation theorists have argued over which factor has primarily driven the interstate system, but this paradigm transforms that debate into a query over which of them serves as the medium for carrying waves of social change, be it war, trade, class, or gender relations. William Strauss and Neil Howe, however, found that there is no medium. Instead, long wave cycles result from oscillations of the supply and demand for order due to generational turnover. Essentially, it is a method of error correction, of stabilizing society against the forces of disruptive change wrought by modernity. Though it broadly encompasses many long wave cycle theories, it has yet to be applied to study the modern history of a developing country. Iran offers such a case to test the limits of Strauss and Howe's theory, which this study will perform by comparing its history over the last two centuries, particularly since the turn of the twentieth century, to their theory's expectations. Moreover, in accounting for the deviations, this study attempts to extend their theory to include the modernization process itself, and how it relates to the generational cycle.
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Master of Arts (M.A.)
College of Sciences
Political Science; International Studies
Length of Campus-only Access
Masters Thesis (Campus-only Access)
McDowall, Gregory, "A Generational Perspective on the Development of the Political History of Modern Iran" (2015). Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 5025.