Malkom Khan’s Approach Toward Political Modernization from above in Iran

Kamyab Shahriari


Malkom Khan (1833-1908) was a very significant scholar in the Qajar and constitutional era and the first to propose political modernization in order to change the traditional structure of government and replace it with a new and modern one. He was aware of the fact that Iran’s backwardness and chaotic situation was the result of the traditional and despotic political structure of government. This paper examines the political thought of Malkom Khan and his approach toward modernization of the political structure of government in the first period of his political life as activist and theorist. Research shows that his approach toward the political modernization program was political modernization from above or in other words, a form of state-building. His strategy to accomplish this goal can be described as getting Iranians to accept western civilization and the principles of order without changing them.

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