Abbas Milani
Expertise: 

Abbas Milani

Research Fellow
Biography: 

Abbas Milani is a research fellow and codirector of the Iran Democracy Project at the Hoover Institution. In addition, Milani is the Hamid and Christina Moghadam Director of Iranian Studies at Stanford University. His expertise is US/Iran relations and Iranian cultural, political, and security issues.

Before coming to Hoover, Milani was a professor of history and political science and chair of the department at Notre Dame de Namur University and a research fellow at the Institute of International Studies at the University of California at Berkeley, in addition to being an assistant professor in the faculty of law and political science at Tehran University and a member of the board of directors of Tehran University's Center for International Studies from 1979 to 1987. Milani was also a research fellow at the Iranian Center for Social Research from 1977 to 1978 and an assistant professor at the National University of Iran from 1975 to 1977.

His most recent publication is The Shah (2012). He is the author of The Myth of the Great Satan: A New Look at America's Relations with Iran (Hoover Institution Press, 2010); Eminent Persians: Men and Women Who Made Modern Iran, 1941–1979, 2 vols.( Syracuse University Press, November 2008); King of Shadows: Essays on Iran’s Encounter with Modernity, Persian text published in the United States (Ketab Corp., spring 2005); Lost Wisdom: Rethinking Persian Modernity in Iran (Mage, 2004); The Persian Sphinx: Amir Abbas Hoveyda and the Riddle of the Iranian Revolution (Mage, 2000); Modernity and Its Foes in Iran (Gardon Press, 1998); Modernity and Its Foes in Iran (Gardon Press, 1998); Tales of Two Cities: A Persian Memoir (Mage 1996); On Democracy and Socialism, a collection of articles coauthored with Faramarz Tabrizi Pars Press, 1987); and Malraux and the Tragic Vision (Agah Press, 1982). Milani has also translated numerous books and articles into Persian and English.

Milani's articles have been published in journals, magazines, and newspapers. He has been interviewed for national and international radio and television programs.

He is a member of the American Association of Political Science, the American Academy of Political and Social Science, and the Association of Iranian Studies.

Milani received his BA in political science and economics from the University of California at Berkeley and his PhD in political science from the University of Hawaii.

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Interviews

The Guy Benson Show Goes To Stanford University: Broadcasting LIVE From The Hoover Institution

interview with Michael McFaul, Victor Davis Hanson, Charles Blahous, Bill Whalen, Scott W. Atlas, Abbas Milani, John B. Taylorvia The Guy Benson Show
Saturday, December 7, 2019

Hoover Institution fellows Michael McFaul, Victor Davis Hanson, Charles Blahous, Bill Whalen, Scott Atlas, Abbas Milani, and John Taylor are interviewed on the Guy Benson Show.

Interviews

Abbas Milani On The Guy Benson Show

interview with Abbas Milanivia Guy Benson Show
Friday, November 22, 2019

(58:15) Hoover Institution fellow Abbas Milani discusses Iran.

Books

A Window into Modern Iran: The Ardeshir Zahedi Papers at the Hoover Institution Library and Archives—A Selection

by Abbas Milanivia Hoover Institution Press
Tuesday, October 1, 2019

Never-before-published records of Ardeshir Zahedi, Iran’s ambassador to the United States and minister of foreign affairs throughout the 1960s and 1970s, reveal the inner workings of the shah’s government before the Iranian Revolution.

In the News

Hoover Event Calls For National Unity To Combat Threat Faced By Rising Eurasian Powers

quoting Admiral Gary Roughead, Abbas Milani, Michael McFaulvia The Stanford Daily
Tuesday, September 24, 2019

Reflecting on the rise of three Eurasian superpowers — China, Russia and Iran — three Hoover Institution faculty spoke at the Institution’s Traitel Auditorium on the need for national unity in ensuring the promotion of American values and interests over the next decades. The event featured speakers Gary Roughhead, Abbas Milani and Michael McFaul and was part of a broader Hoover lecture series intended to promote values of American democracy, private enterprise and political freedom as it celebrates the centennial of its founding.

In the News

Iran's Resistance Needs A Light Touch, Not 'Maximum Pressure'

quoting Abbas Milanivia Bloomberg
Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Trump could help the democracy movement while hurting the regime. Opposing the Iranian regime doesn't have to mean sanctioning its banks and oil.
Just ask Abbas Milani. The director of Stanford University’s Iran studies program cannot be called a squish when it comes to Iran; he has devoted much of his scholarship to the regime’s struggle against modernity and to understanding the country’s democracy movement.

Interviews

Abbas Milani On U.S.-Iran Tensions

interview with Abbas Milanivia C-SPAN
Monday, July 29, 2019

Hoover Institution fellow Abbas Milani talks about the renewed tensions between the US and Iran.

Analysis and Commentary

To Win On Iran, Trump Should Take A Page From Reagan's Diplomatic Playbook

by Abbas Milanivia The Hill
Friday, July 19, 2019

A perilous impasse exists between the Trump administration’s strident policy of “maximum pressure” and Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei’s no less strident policy of “no negotiation” with the United States. One way out of this fraught situation is a policy that appears to be a lose-lose for both sides but, in reality, is a win-win for all sides.

In the News

Panel Addresses Demographics, Technology And Challenges In The Middle East

featuring Abbas Milani, George P. Shultz, Arye Carmon, Hoover Institutionvia The Stanford Daily
Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Former U.S. Secretary of State George P. Shultz convened the ninth installment of his panel series “Governance in an Emerging World” on Monday by underscoring the importance of the Middle East in what he called “a globe on a hinge of history.” The afternoon’s discussion centered around changing demographics throughout the region, the roles of technology within government and society and challenges for the Middle East to overcome in the future.

Essays

Islamic Republic of Iran in an Age of Global Transitions: Challenges for a Theocratic Iran

by Abbas Milani, Roya Pakzadvia Governance In An Emerging New World
Monday, April 22, 2019

For the last 150 years, Iran, like most countries in the industrializing world, has experienced the tumults of two epochal global revolutions—the industrial revolution that changed the nature of labor and now the advent of the “second Machine Age,”2 which is changing the nature of not just labor, but life and leisure, knowledge and information. In the same period, Iran has gone through the travails of two domestic revolutions—the first in 1905-07 when the country’s elite tried to introduce democracy and modernity  to the country, and the second in 1979 when a democratic mass movement overthrew the monarchy but eventually begot the rise of a theocratic despotism keen on dismantling as much of modernity as possible.

Interviews

Abbas Milani: Why Trump Declared Iran's Revolutionary Guard Terrorists

interview with Abbas Milanivia KCBS Radio
Monday, April 8, 2019

Hoover Institution fellow Abbas Milani explains the implications of the United States declaring Iran's Revolutionary Guard a "foreign terrorist organization." The designation is the first time that America has categorized a part of another country's government as terrorists.

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