Journal of history of Iran)

Document Type : Research Paper


1 Assistant Professor, Department of History, Faculty of Law and Social Sciences, University of Tabriz

2 Associate Professor of History, Faculty and Research Institute of International Studies, Imam Hossein University



Explaining the nature and formation process of the concept of constitutionalism in Iran based on the theory of Thomas Spriggans


After more than a century of the Iranian constitutionalism movement, there are still controversial issues. from the most important of them; The nature and manner of emergence of the "theory" of constitutionalism in Iran. Based on this, it becomes necessary to review the mentioned categories as an independent research issue. Using A.Spragens's crisis theory, which oversees the understanding of political theories, the present article explains the question of what was the development process and nature of "constitutional theory" in Iran during the Qajar era. The purpose of this research is to apply Spriggans's theory in order to understand the nature and explain the development process of constitutional theory in Iran. The results obtained from this research, based on the descriptive-explanatory method, show that the theory of constitutionalism did not emerge once and in the last days of the movement; Rather, it has had a historical-evolutionary process. Regarding its nature, it can also be said that the theory of constitutionalism was a "theory of the rule of law" and a movement for the "establishment of freedom" and freedom from tyranny. The development process of this theory by using the theoretical approach of A.Spragens in the four steps of the problem and observation of disorder; causes of disorder; order and reconstruction of society; And the prescription step will be explained.


The theory of constitutionalism is one of the most important modern theories of the state. After the confrontation of Iranians with the new western civilization, the aforementioned theory was proposed by Iranian elites and enlightened thinkers as a way to save the country from chaos and destruction. In fact, constitutionalism is a turning point in the history of Iranians. With


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