HISTORIC AND ECONOMIC ROOTS OF THE IRANIAN REVOLUTION
The Iranian Revolution of 1978-79 has been called "one of the major upheavals of world history."('1) The task of this dissertation is to unravel the mystery of the rapid fall of a seemingly omnipotent state and the emergence of a fundamentalist religious order in its place. The Revolution, I will argue, was the result of a particular conjuncture of two relatively autonomous dynamics: one is the long-term dynamic of the competition between the clerical institution and the non-clerical state over political power dating back to the Safavid period (1501-1722 A.D.). The other is the relatively recent dynamic of the transition to capitalism beginning with the rise of the Pahlavi state in the 1920s and continuing to the breakout of the Revolution. This dissertation will trace the origins of both the despotic state. and the clerical institution on the one hand, and the impact of a. state-led transition to capitalism on the above dynamic on the other. ('1)Fred Halliday, "Theses on the Iranian Revolution," in Race and Class, Vol. XXI, No. 1, Summer 1979, p. 90.