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Modernization In Afghanistan And Iran Essay

2174 words - 9 pages

The process of Modernization in Afghanistan under King Amanullah Khan and Iran under Shah Reza Pahlavi

The modernization process has been experienced in different ways by different countries that some of them succeeded and some of them failed. Theoretically it has been defined as “a concept in the sphere of social science that refers to the process in which society goes through industrialization, urbanization and other social changes” (Zapf, 2004).Even there is no single approach toward this process, evolutionism, diffusionism, structural functionalism, systems theory and interactionism as well as other disciplines such as political science, economics, anthropology, psychology and others are combined to be known as modernization theory. This paper discuses the process of modernization and its challenges in Afghanistan and Iran. It talks about the actions which have been taken by these two countries in relation to the situations in there. The analyses and critiques of the success and the failure of the modernization process in these two countries have been done based on different modernization theories.
Historical Background
Afghanistan is a landlocked country located in the south Asia. This country experienced a failed modernization process from 1919 to 1930 under Amanullah Khan. He tried to strengthen and expand the state institutions and change the traditional society of Afghanistan to a more westernized one. During his era he mainly focused on modernizing Afghanistan by bringing the following reforms such as economic reform, social reform. Political reform, legal and military reform, however, these reforms were not only radical but also remained limited to some urban areas and the rural areas remained untouched. As a result, many rebellions rose against his regime that caused him to fail in modernizing the country (Saikal, 2004).
As well as, Reza Khan in Iran from 1926-1941 took steps for modernization of his country. He with the assistance of a group of officers and young bureaucrats who have been trained in Europe initiated a broad program of change designed for brining modernization in Iran. Reza Shah merged power by developing support in the following three sectors, the army, the Government bureaucracy, and the court encircle. Once his power was consolidated, he practiced economic, social, and Cultural reforms (Cronin, 2003).
Relationship between economy, social reformation in Iran and Afghanistan based on Rostow and Smelser’s theory:
Rostow talks about five stages of economic growth and he claims that all societies can be categorized in one of them. His study include traditional society (limited output), precondition for takeoff (arise of economic favoring), take off (overcome to traditional barrier of economic growth), and the drive for maturity (place of economy in international order) (Harrison, 1990).
In comparison to Rostows stages, Afghanistan remained in the first stage, the traditional society that is output limited...

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