A medieval discourse and a modern city: the politics of capital relocation in Iran

Ashkan Rezvani-Naraghi, Farshad Amiraslani

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Iran is one of the countries with the highest number of the cases of capital relocation throughout its history. During the past four centuries, at least, six different cities have played the role of the capital for the country. This paper examines the most recent push for the capital relocation in Iran. By examining the public debate over the topic in the major periodicals of the country, the paper analyzes the underlying discourse that gives political impetus for the capital relocation. It shows that while the majority of the academics opposes such a move, politicians eagerly pursue such a massive project. More importantly the analysis suggests that in the twenty-first century, an old-established discourse on the role of the capital still plays a significant role in forming the public debate and political decisions on the capital relocation in Iran. Based on this discourse, the political system observes the capital relocation as a vital way for encouraging decentralization and decreasing the population of Tehran. The paper suggests that the underlying discourse for the capital relocation in Iran is in bold contrast to the common themes of capital relocation in other countries, particularly newly formed nations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1663-1675
Number of pages13
Issue number6
Early online date23 Jul 2019
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 1 Dec 2020

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019, Springer Nature B.V.

Copyright 2020 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


  • Capital
  • Debate
  • Discourse
  • Public
  • Relocation
  • Tehran


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