Macrohistory of the legal transformations in Iran from the reception of Turk-Mongolian law to the inception of legal modernization


  • Saïd Amir Arjomand Stony Brook University



Legal transplantation, Turko-Mongolian and Islamic law, modernization, shari`a and qanun (state law), legal dualism


Two major transformations in the constitutional history of the Islamic Middle East are examined with reference to Iran. Two snapshots sketch the consequences of the reception, respectively, of the Turko-Mongolian since the first half of the fifteenth century, marked the reconciliation of Turko-Mongolian and Islamic law, and of the legal framework of the international system of modern nation-states in the nineteenth century. The turning point from the Turko-Mongolian to the modern legal transplantation is the collapse of the last Turko-Mongolian empire in world history – that of Nāder Shah (1736-1747). It was followed by half a century of internecine tribal warfare from which Iran emerged as a state forced to adopt Western law in the century-long course of its defensive modernization against imperialist pressure that resulted in the inception of legal modernization.


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How to Cite

Arjomand, S. A. (2018) “Macrohistory of the legal transformations in Iran from the reception of Turk-Mongolian law to the inception of legal modernization”, Oñati Socio-Legal Series, 10(5), pp. 1001–1015. doi: 10.35295/osls.iisl/0000-0000-0000-1069.