In the 1920s Turkey and Iran faced political upheaval as both states attempted to find their routes to modernity. This is the first study to observe the practice of modernization in Turkey and Iran not only from above, by examining the measures adopted by the political regimes of the late Ottomans, Ataturk and Reza Shah, but also from below, exploring how different social levels contributed to the drive for modernity. It is a full and thorough analysis of how these societies reacted to reform and change. The efforts of nineteenth-century and early-twentieth-century reformers did not protect either country from the challenges of the separatism of minorities or from occupation by European powers. The setback that the Iranian Constitutional Movement suffered in the years before the outbreak of the First World War; the political disintegration and partial occupation of Persia during the war; the traumatic loss of the European provinces of the Ottoman Empire in the Balkan War and its subsequent defeat in World War I; the threat of imminent disintegration after the war - all of these represented enormous problems for the order of these two countries. The middle classes and the intelligentsia of each state felt they had no other option than to look for a man of order who would modernize their nations and societies and install centralized, powerful government capable of solving each country's growing problems of underdevelopment, while at the same time safeguarding each nation's unity and sovereignty. The practice of authoritarian modernization in post-World War I Turkey and Iran resulted from the perceived failure of earlier attempts to introduce modernization both from below as well as from above in these two neighbouring countries. The State and the Subaltern offers a fresh perspective on the accommodation and resistance to modernization and the relation between the common people and the state in two Islamic societies during the 19th and early 20th centuries. It is a fascinating exploration of the history of subalterns - the rank and file of society - with specific reference to gender, ethnicity, industrial and non-industrial urban labour, rural labour, unemployment and the impact of immigrant labour.
State and the Subaltern, The
Authoritarian Modernisation in Turkey and Iran