Neorealism and Iran's Security Environment
Thesis DisciplineEuropean Studies
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree NameMaster of Arts
This paper will analyse Iran’s security situation through the theory of Neorealism as espoused by Kenneth Waltz. In the following study we will apply this theory to the modern international context of the nation state of Iran. We will see what Neorealism tells us about the case study, and what the case study tells us about Neorealism.
In this study we will operate on, and further investigate/test, the following structural realist presumptions relevance to the case at hand (Iran's international politial environment):
A state of anarchy in the international system. That the principle of rational action in this state system is 'self help'. That the most important way in which states must help themselves is the provision of security.
Methodology: How will we apply this Theory?
We will begin by attempting to explore an Iranian perspective on the international system, through the study of Iranian history in the international system. We will also explore the modern context in which Iran (presumably) implements this perspective, by breaking down Iran’s modern relations with actors of particular security significance. In doing so, we are attempting to measure the extent to which Iran's experience of the international system resembles the attributes of the system outlined in Waltzian Neorealism, and to investigate how and to what extent this generates insight into understanding the modern dimensions of the Iranian security situation in its international context.