National Health and Modernization Programs in Iran (1870-1970)

Document Type : Original Article


1 Ph.D., Associate Professor, Political Sciences Department, School of Law & Political Sciences, Shiraz University, Shiraz, Iran, Iran

2 M.A. Degree in History, Shahid Beheshti University, Researcher, Tehran, Iran


In research on the history of modernization in Iran, less attention has been paid to National Health and modernization programs. The main question is why National Health has had a key role in Iran’s modernization programs. The central perspective of the Iranian elites from the Qajar era was that the path toward a healthy, modern, and peaceful society and pass of pandemics would begin with improvements in hygienic conditions. From their point of view, raising a healthy generation would lead to a change in people’s opinions. Findings indicate that health programs were at the top of reformations and modernization in Iran, which considered health and peace the prerequisite of a strong society. Research in all of the manifestos of modernization from the “Counte’s Law to the White Revolution” shows that national hygiene played a key role. Based on this necessity, considering public health and social insurance as essential principles was adopted in the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Iran. This article is qualitative in terms of explanatory methods and based on library resources and documents.


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