Roger Savory. The Safavid state and polity (1974)

Title:The Safavid state and polity
Author:Roger Savory
Publisher:Cambridge University Press
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Roger Savory. The Safavid state and polity // Iranian Studies, Vol. 7, No. 1/2, Studies on Isfahan: Proceedings of the Isfahan Colloquium, Part I. Published by Cambridge University Press. — Winter – Spring, 1974, pp. 179-212.

I regard the arguments about nationalism or the lack of it, and about whether or not the Safavid state can be called a nation-state, as in many ways sterile. What I am much more interested in is the question whether or not the Safavids created a state at all, in any generally accepted sense of the word. I propose in a moment to look at some of the commonly accepted characteristics of the state, and see whether or not the Safavid system possessed these characteristics. It is because I do not want to place primary emphasis on the concept of the “nation-state” that I have entitled this paper “The Safavid state and polity” — the latter meaning, of course, an organized society of which they were a part, for to Plato and Aristotle the polis was more than just a natural organism such as a herd or a hive.