Journal Article - Comparative Strategy

Geography, Great Power Rivalry and the Precarious Survival of Iran, 1860–1914

| 2020


This paper examines how buffer status or geographic location between two rival great powers, namely Imperial Britain and Russia, affected Iran's survival chances from 1860 to 1914. By unpacking survival status into juridical sovereignty and domestic state autonomy, and systematically tracing the dynamics of rivalry between Britain and Russia over Iran, this paper demonstrates that buffer status contributed to the preservation of Iran's juridical sovereignty while constraining its domestic state autonomy. In essence, it argues that due to the divergent preferences of rival great powers and the shifting balance of power between them, buffer status left Iran juridically sovereign but empirically non-sovereign.

For more information on this publication: Please contact International Security
For Academic Citation:

Bayyenat, Abolghasem. "Geography, Great Power Rivalry and the Precarious Survival of Iran, 1860–1914." Comparative Strategy, vol. 39. no. 5. (2020): 425–442 .

The Author

Abolghasem Bayyenat