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Synopsis

Placing Iran's 'tribal problem' in its historical context, Tribal Politics in Iran provides an overall assessment on the impact of this crucial period on the character of tribe-state relations in Iran to the end of Pahlavi rule and in the Islamic Republic. It analyzes the political and socio-economic factors undermining tribal politics under the regime of Reza Shah, and examines the division which took place regarding the 'tribal problem'. The author argues that on the one hand, it lead to modern ethnic nationalism and on the other, detribalization and absorption into wider class or ideology-based organizations happened.

Looking particularly at the land reform of the early 1960s, and the revolution of 1979, Cronin also discusses the final disappearance of the khans as a political force and the rise of a new tribal leadership loyal to and dependent upon the regime. This innovative and important work challenges conventional political and scholarly approaches to tribal politics.

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