The Geopolitics of Illegibility: Iran Expertise and the Shaping of U.S.-Iran Policy

Mar 1, 2023, 12:15 pm1:15 pm
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  • Free, Open to the Public



Event Description
The Geopolitics of Illegibility

While the U.S. government has identified the Islamic Republic of Iran at its primary state adversary in the Middle East--dedicating millions of dollars and relying on an ever-increasing cadre of state and non-state analysts to try to "understand" Iran's geopolitical motivations, anxieties, and objectives—U.S. foreign policy elites continually profess surprise over Iran's geopolitical behavior in practice. Drawing on her extensive ethnographic fieldwork among Iran policy experts in Washington, Razavi attempts to make sense of this apparent paradox.

Negar Razavi is a postdoctoral research associate in the public humanities at Northwestern University as well as the Public Outreach Fellow for SAPIENS, a public anthropology magazine. As a political anthropologist, her work examines the intersections of expertise, security, gender, humanitarianism, and U.S. policies in the Middle East (with special focus on Iran.) Razavi received her PhD in anthropology from the University of Pennsylvania.

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