Political Time in the Iranian Bio-power: Re-approaching the Tanzimat in the Qajar

Document Type : Original Article


Assistant Professor, Department of Political Science and International Relations Faculty of Economics and Political Science Shahid Beheshti University, Tehran, Iran


Policy developments over time and the dialectic of time and power in modern Iran have a long fluctuating history. There has not been much research on the foundations of political time in Iran. The birth of a new government in Iran within the Tanzimat system coincides with the birth of a new subjectivity that has been determined in the game with the institutions. Contemporary Iranian timescapes is actually the result of tension between the Antiqui and the Moderni, the Old and the New, on the eve of the transition from medieval Iran to Iranian modernity. This temporal-spatial transition is the sphere of dialectical link between Iranian designers of Tajaddod (modernity) and the conservative body of the royal court. This article tries to apply the theoretical tools of comparative historical analysis to state that “time matters” and “time could not be neglected” in Iranian government studies. Genealogical philosophy of time would be the main approach of research. It is well recognized how useful the Foucauldian genealogy and discourse analysis could be for historical sociology and institutionalism. The creative hermeneutic toolbox will also be used in this hybrid approach. Then combined theoretical concepts from the theoreticians of `timescape`, `political time`, `short-term society`, and socio-historical concepts such as `rhizome`, `territorialization` and `bio-politics` would be used in a hermeneutical way. The main contribution is the application of timescape theory and its integration with genealogy and creative hermeneutics on Iran.


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