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Independence without Freedom

Iran's Foreign Policy
R. K. Ramazani

BUY Cloth · 400 pp. · 6.125 × 9.25 · ISBN 9780813934983 · $39.50 · Nov 2013
BUY Ebook · 400 pp. · ISBN 9780813934990 · $39.50 · Nov 2013

Ruhi Ramazani is widely considered the dean of Iranian foreign policy study, having spent the past sixty years studying and writing about the country's international relations. In Independence without Freedom, Ramazani draws together twenty of his most insightful and important articles and book chapters, with a new introduction and afterword, which taken together offer compelling evidence that the United States and Iran will not go to war.

The volume’s introduction outlines the origins of Ramazani’s early interest in Iran’s international role, which can be traced to the crushing effects of World War II on the country and Iran’s historic decision to free its oil industry from the British Empire. In the afterword, he discusses the reasons behind America’s poor understanding of Iranian foreign policy, articulates the fundamentals of his own approach to the study of Iran—including the nuclear dispute—and describes the major instruments behind Iran’s foreign efforts. Independence without Freedom will serve as a crucial resource for anyone interested in the factors and forces that drive Iranian behavior in world politics.


Ruhi Ramazani is the expert’s expert on Iran. No one writes with greater authority or insight on Iran’s foreign policy under both the monarchy and the theocracy. Ramazani is also that rare scholar who knows Iran from both inside and out. This is a wonderfully rich, comprehensive, and invaluable work!

Robin Wright, author of Rock the Casbah: Rage and Rebellion across the Islamic World

[Ramazani] has written with sparkling clarity on a difficult subject and with both passion and objectivity on an issue which... is still laden with emotional baggage.

New York Review of Books

Ruhi Ramazani has been the teacher to several generations of Iran scholars and analysts, and the essays contained here take on all the biggest issues relating to Iran: ideology, religion, idealism, pragmatism, law. Ramazani was one of the first to look carefully at such phenomena as the role of Shiism in Persian Gulf politics and the growth of terrorism as an ideology. This is a Scholar's Progress, an odyssey of a life of scholarship and policy engagement.

Gary Sick, Columbia University

Independence without Freedom comprises Rouhollah K. Ramazani’s most insightful book chapters and journal articles on Iranian foreign policy.... Ramazani is, without a doubt, the most eloquent and knowledgeable researcher of Iranian foreign policy, and he provides scholars and policymakers alike with thoroughly informative and highly analytical work, which is both personal and authoritative. Independence without Freedom should be assigned reading in any course on Iranian foreign policy, and is a must-read for policy makers and journalists struggling to make sense of Iranian foreign policy behavior.

H-Net Reviews

A scholarly capstone, Independence without Freedom contains 20 essays spanning [Ramazani's] entire career. Refreshingly light on theoretical jargon, Ramazani's essays probe the determinants and consequences of 20th century Iranian statecraft.

Middle East Journal

About the Author(s): 

Ruhi Ramazani is Professor Emeritus of Government and Foreign Affairs at the University of Virginia, the author of numerous books, and the winner of several awards, including a Fulbright grant, the University of Virginia’s Thomas Jefferson Award, and awards from the Social Science Research Council and the Middle East Institute.

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