The Alchemist of Revolution: Ali Shariati’s Political Thought in International Context

Kamran Matin


This article challenges essentialist conceptions of “political Islam” as the ideology of an internally generated rejection of modernity through reconceptualising Ali Shariati’s idea of “revolutionary Islam” as an internationally constituted mediation of modernity. It argues that “the international” was central to Shariati’s artful combination of western and Shi’i-Islamic ideas and concepts. This hybrid character, the article argues, underlay the remarkable political appeal of Shariati’s discourse of revolutionary Islam to broad sections of the population whose subjectivity had, in turn, been re-shaped by the ideological ramifications of the formation of the novel phenomenon of “the citizen-subject”, a hybrid sociological form produced by Iran’s experience of modern uneven and combined development.

Keywords: The Citizen-Subject, International Relations, Iran, Islam,
Shariati, Substitution, Uneven and Combined Development

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