Not Signed-In
Which clippings match 'Occidentalism' keyword pg.1 of 1
26 NOVEMBER 2009

Intellectual Discourse and the Politics of Modernization: Negotiating Modernity in Iran

"Jurgen Habermas's theory of modernity also attempts a rejuvenation of modernity. For Habermas, the 'crisis of modernity' is not indicative of the final collapse of the Enlightenment project, but instead reveals the deficiencies of what has heretofore been a one–sided and inadequate modernity. Thus, modernity is an 'incomplete' project, and the question of modernization becomes central to completing modernity.(18) Habermas argues that our contemporary experience of modernity has been unduly dominated by a single type of rationality, specifically by purposive or instrumental rationality.(19) The discontents of modernity, then, are not rooted in rationalization or modernization as such, but 'in the failure to develop and institutionalize all the different dimensions of reason in a balanced way.'(20) This (re)opening of modernity to different means of rationalizing the life world has led John Tomilson to suggest that Habermas's vision denies an inevitable path of modernization, that '. . . the sort of modernity that the West has developed and passed on to the 'developing world' is not the only possible historical route out of the chains of tradition.' (21) However, Habermas makes this opening while retaining a commitment to the Enlightenment project of universal modernity. His modernization of modernity would re–route towards a model of communicative action, and a more open rationality of ideal speech acts. Thus, modernization becomes an intellectual/rational project working towards an ideal speech situation."

(Ali Mirsepassi, 2000. Cambridge University Press)


2000Anthony Giddenscrisis of modernityEnlightenment projectEuropean Enlightenment • Habermas • institutionalisationinstrumental rationalityIran • John Tomilson • Jurgen Habermas • Marshall Berman • modernisationmodernity • modernization • Occidentalism • Occidentalist discontent • orientalism • Persia • rationalisationrationalityreflexive modernisationtraditionuniversal modernityWestern


Simon Perkins
27 OCTOBER 2005

Diagnosing Iranian History in Terms of European Past

"Europe has been constituted as the horizon of expectation for the Iranian passage to modernity. Thus European history, as the future past of the desired present, has functioned as a normative scenario for the prognosis or forecasting of future Iran. This anticipatory modernity introduced a form of historical thinking that diagnosed Iranian history in terms of the European past. By universalising that past, historical deviations from the European norm have been mis–recognised as abnormalities. Thence, the development of feudalism, capitalism, the bourgeoisie, the proletariat, democracy, freedom, scientific rationality, and industry in the 'well–ordered' Europe have informed the diagnoses of their lack, absence, retardation, and underdevelopment in Iran.[33] In other words, alternative non–European historical processes have been characterised as the absence of change and as historical history."

(Mohamad Tavakoli-Targhi pp.263 - 291)


acculturation • affinity of languages • bordered history • coevalness • decolonising • detemporalising • European • forgotten texts • heterotopia • historical imagination • homeless texts • Iranmodernity • Mohamad Tavakoli-Targhi • nationalismnon-contemporaneityOccidentalismorientalism • Persianate modernity • reactivation • schizochronic • self-refashioning • universalising

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