U.S. Policy Towards Iran in the Era of Détente: the Relationship between Grand-Theories and Policies

Document Type : Research Article


Assistant Professor of Regional Studies, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran



Détente was the focal point of the Nixon-Kissinger foreign policy, a macro approach that continued into the final year of Carter's presidency. Using a descriptive-analytical research method, this article obtains information from books, archives and documents to examine the relationship between grand-theories and the U.S. government’s Iran policies during the detent era. Consequently, the main research question is: How could the relevance of grand theory to U.S. policies towards Iran, from Nixon to Carter, be explained? This article's hypothesis, which will answer the main research question, is based on this statement. This relevance can be categorised under Instrumental, conceptual and symbolic functions via the approach developed by John Eriksson (Eriksson, 2014). According to John Erikson's perspective, which this paper draws on, grand-theories do not usually provide case-specific recommendations; they provide general road maps, conceptualise the environmental perception of the world, and have a symbolic function.


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