An alternative perspective on the Tobacco protest 1890/1891
Horst, C.E. van der
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This study will focus on the response of the British foreign office on tobacco protest and is, in part, an analysis of their interests. Promoting stability in Persia as well as consolidating the British position there. This thesis adopts a micro historical lens to simplify this vital moment in Persian (and British) history, from a British perspective and analyzes the British securitization efforts and motives that accompanied the eruption of the 1891 tobacco protest in Persia. Lord Salisbury was the dominant figure in foreign affairs together with the consul in Persia Sir Wolff. The utilization of the historical narrative, providing evidence of historical agency of local actors, is used in order to analyze the British foreign policy with the help of the modern securitization model of Buzan and Paul Roe. All to establish to what extent the attitude of the British foreign ministry, towards the Persians during the tobacco protests in Persia, can be explained in terms of modern securitization theory? British officials approached the Persian question with an underlying idea to construct Persia into a strong and independent buffer zone, to constitute a substantial outwork in Indian defense against the Russians. In order to achieve this a securitizing foreign policy was necessary to sustain stability, priority was to uphold Persia’s integrity. Concluding, securitization theory is a useful lens to analyze the British motives in the tobacco protest and shows that the British maintained a stable foreign policy to secure their own position in the region.