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Arang Keshavarzian


February 18 – 19, 2014


Arang Keshavarzian is Associate Professor of Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies at New York University. He also serves as Director of Undergraduate Studies for the Department of Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies. His general fields of research and teaching are comparative politics of the Middle East with a focus on issues related to political economy, authoritarianism, and social movements. Much of his writing focuses on modern Iran, although Keshavarzian has studied, conducted research, and taught in several other countries in the Middle East and North Africa.


Keshavarzian’s research has revolved around questions of change and continuity as reflected and produced by socio-economic economic hierarchies, political imperatives, and collective solidarities. The book, Bazaar and State in Iran (2007), was based on his dissertation research and engages with the literature on networks and political institutions in order to trace the structure of the Tehran Bazaar under the Pahlavi monarchy and Islamic Republic, and shed light on the organization and governance of markets as well as state-society dynamics, more generally. The analysis stresses unintended consequences and historical contingencies, while identifying mechanisms and contradictions that traverse the immediate issue of bazaars and the Iranian case. Keshavarzian has also published articles on clergy-state relations and authoritarian survival in Iran.


His current research examines the Persian Gulf in order to analyze the processes of late imperialism and globalization from the perspective of local circuits of trade and transnational alliances. By examining geopolitical and local political economies since the late nineteenth century, he seeks to locate the Gulf in various modes of political control and economic exchange at multiple scales. Keshavarzian’s essays have appeared in Politics and Society, International Journal of Middle East Studies, and Geopolitics, in addition to a number of edited volumes.


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