The Impact of Religion on Iranian State Structure: The Case Study of Baluchies in Iran
Thesis or dissertation
University of Exeter
Reason for embargo
Security of the region and to protect individuals associated with the research
The issue of the Baluchi people, their rights and their plight in the state of Iran has been increasingly noticed by observers and academics over the last few decades. Many studies have merely looked at these issues from specific nationalistic and ethnic perspectives. What is missing in the literature on this particular subject is an examination of the ultra-ideological structure of the Iranian state constituted by a certain definition of Shi’a that has had a deepening effect on the existing chasm between the Sunni Baluchies and the mainstream Shi’a population of Iran. The more the state focused Iranian nationality on Shi’i identity, the more ethno- religious identity mattered to minorities. In addition, lack of economic development, an expansion of drug trafficking, tribal attitudes with cultural traditionalism and the growing influence of Sunni extremism have contributed to the continuous tension between the Baluchies and the Iranian state. These factors have played a determining role in creating the present conflict and addressing them can illuminate one to better assertion of applicable theories and facts. The Iranian state has experienced two completely different political structure in regards to the role of religion, but during both the secular Pahlavi regime and the Shi’a-led Islamic Republic one can see that the plight of Baluchi people has remained to be an issue. In this research, I will endeavour to study the impact of religion on state structures and its effects on the Baluchies in Sistan and Baluchistan, with special focus on the institutionalised inequality embedded in Iranian political and legal structure. Such inequality has resulted in continuous conflict and violence in the region.
PhD in Arab and Islamic studies