The Evolution of Intellectualism Identity and Its Impact on Reza Khan's Rise to Power

Document Type : Research Paper


1 PhD Student in Political Science, Iran Issues Central Tehran Branch, Islamic Azad University, Tehran, Iran

2 Assistant Professor, Department of Political Science, Central Tehran Branch, Islamic Azad University, Tehran, Iran

3 Professor, Department of Political Science, University of Mazandaran, Mazandaran, Iran



Reza Khan's rise to power in the Iranian political climate had many aspects. He was the son of a tumultuous time after the constitution. One of the most influential groups that had a key role to bring him to power was intellectuals of the late years of Qajar. The failure of the constitutional movement to establish a modern, centralized, and legitimate government and the involvement of Russian and British powers in Iran's internal affairs, along with international developments and the outbreak of World War I and the occupation of Iran, prompted intellectuals to seek a "superman" that could bring about the unity of the country by employing "force" and establishing a stable government to put Iran in the gates of the modern world. Here the intellectuals of this period had a significant difference, despite many similarities. The first generation of Iranian intellectuals saw their modern-day identity in the "law-making" that the result was the constitution revolution. However, the second-generation intellectuals saw their identity in the "Enlightened despotism," the result of which was the rise of Reza Khan and, ultimately, his kingdom. This paper applied the theoretical foundations of cognitive sociology (the interrelationship between thought and the structure of society). In a descriptive-analytical way, it examines the evolution of intellectualism, considering the law-abiding nature of first-generation and opinions of some of the most important second-generation intellectuals.


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