Taqizadeh and European civilisation

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The leading Iranian intellectual and nationalist Hasan Taqizadeh has been roundly condemned by posterity for his call to Iranians to embrace European civilisation in its entirety without qualification or compromise. Taqizadeh himself later conceded that the form of words he had used were injudicious, but he added that his intention had been to galvanise Iranians out of their self-destructive political stupor and it remains a reality that many of Taqizadeh's contemporaries were supportive of his call to arms. This paper reassesses Taqizadeh's position in the context of his historical and intellectual environment, which it is argued drew heavily from a “Whig” reading of the Enlightenment progress. It shows that Taqizadeh was not alone in drawing on this narrative while maintaining an important distinction between the positive aspects of British political thought and the shortcomings of British policy.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)47-58
JournalIran: Journal of British Institute of Persian Studies
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 13 Jul 2017


  • Taqizadeh
  • Civilisation
  • Whig
  • Enlightenment
  • Britain
  • al-Afghani
  • Malkom Khan


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