OUR SCHOLARS | Arang Keshavarzian

Keshavarzian Arang

Arang Keshavarzian is an associate professor of Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies at New York University. He is currently conducting research on a project that examines imperialism and globalization from the vantage point of the Persian Gulf political economic system. Keshavarzian’s field of research and teaching focuses on comparative politics of the Middle East with an emphasis on issues related to political economy, transnationalism, and contentious politics in authoritarian contexts. Keshavarzian earned his PhD from the Department of Politics at Princeton University.

Keshavarzian is the author of Bazaar and State in Iran: the Politics of the Tehran Marketplace (2007) and several articles in edited volumes and journals, including Politics and Society, International Journal of Middle East Studies, Geopolitics, and Middle East Report.

“It was under a cloud of secrecy. Even the trading partner was maybe unknown to the bazaaris. Maybe it was just someone they received a phone call from. It wasn’t clear if that person was the member of the Iranian military or a merchant in Dubai, or who that trade partner was.”


“All of this instability dramatically affected the ability of the bazaaris to maintain that social web that made them so powerful, and if you will, coherent before the revolution. So, smuggling was, in a sense, a short term boon for some bazaaris, but in the long term, it added to this gradual whittling away of the networks that made up or that constitute the bazaar.”


“There were newspaper articles proposing that that’s what we should do with the bazaar. Let’s turn it into a nice, touristic zone, make it all pedestrian walkways.”