The Idea of Iran: Iran in Transition to a New World Order
SOAS Centre for Iranian Studies
The 18th century saw the collapse of the Safavid Empire that had given Iran a long period of relative peace and stability and growing, closer encounters with Europeans and European interests. The following decades present a chaotic spectrum of disintegration and recovery, contraction, expansion and competing dynastic entities. What does the Idea of Iran mean at this period? Can we discern the ways that contemporaries viewed their traditions and their environment (natural or built); what was the view of outsiders, and how does modern scholarship define the distinctive aspects of the period?