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Institute of Advanced Study

Dr Shahram Chubin

COFUND Senior Research Fellow at Van Mildert College (October - December 2013)

Dr Shahram Chubin is a Non-resident Senior Associate at the Carnegie Endowment. He is one of the world's preeminent experts on Iranian national security policy, specifically the complex and subtle relationship between Iran's domestic and foreign policies.

Dr Chubin was director of studies at the Geneva Centre for Security Policy, Switzerland, from 1996 to 2009. A specialist in the security problems of the Middle East, he has also been a consultant to the U.S. Department of Defence, the RAND Corporation, and the United Nations. He has been director of regional security studies at the International Institute for Strategic Studies, a resident fellow at the Woodrow Wilson Center for International Scholars, and a fellow at the Hudson Institute. Dr Chubin has taught at various universities including the Graduate School of International Studies in Geneva and the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University. He has lectured at Oxford, Harvard, and Columbia universities as well as at military staff colleges. He has published widely in Foreign Affairs, Foreign Policy, International Security, Washington Quarterly, Survival, Daedalus, the Middle East Journal, the World Today, and the Adelphi Paper series, Determinants and Evolution of Iran’s ‘Strategic Doctrine’.

This project is based on Dr Chubin’s deep, intimate and profound knowledge of the relationship between doctrine in a state’s strategic thinking and the complexities associated with the application of such. Nowhere is this important relationship, which is now at the forefront of security-related discussions, more evident than in Iran: a regional power of great importance which fought the twentieth century’s longest war, and whose ‘role conception’ challenges the prevailing West-oriented regional and international security arrangements. He is uniquely placed to bring new light to the paradoxes which have led to the shaping of Iran’s strategic doctrine and the country’s struggles to implement it. The underlying premises of the formation of Iran’s strategic doctrine – the roots, process of its evolution and application (its determinants) – remain unclear and this is the first high-level attempt at understanding them. These are methodically explored in detail through the analysis of three principal questions:

1) To what extent has Iran’s strategic doctrine been affected by such factors such as geography and ideology?

2) How far is this doctrine the result of Iran’s regional ambitions?

3) What has been the impact of this doctrine on regional politics and security?