Modjtaba Sadria

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Modjtaba Sadria
Born March 1949
Tehran, Iran
Era Contemporary philosophy
Main interests
Social philosophy, Cultural Studies, International Relations
Notable ideas
"Knowledge construction", "cities in Muslim societies", "plurality of Modernity", "production and reproduction of poverty"

Modjtaba Sadria (born 1949) is an Iranian-born philosopher, socio-cultural theorist and international social policy development specialist. Professor Sadria has particular expertise in cross-cultural relations and East Asian studies. He has published over 50 books and articles, including: "Global Civil Society and Ethics: Finding Common Ground"(Tokyo, 2003), "People Who Live on the Edge of the World"(Tokyo, 2002), "Realism: Trap of International Relations"(1994, in Japanese), and "Prayer for Lost Objects: A Non-Weberian Approach to the Birth of Modern Society"(2003, in Persian). He has been the head of Think Tank for Knowledge Excellence since 2009, in Tehran, Iran. He has been scientific consultant in Denmark Nomad Academy, since summer 2011.

Academic career[edit]

Sadria was educated in Germany for International Law, France for Philosophy, History, and Sociology, and Canada for International relations, and Cultural Studies. He has worked for several universities in various countries as a scholar such as the Institute for the Study of Muslism Civilisations, Aga Khan University, Institute of Policy and Cultural Studies, Chuo University, Institute of Oriental Culture, University of Tokyo, and Université de Montréal. Sadria has been Professor of Monash University Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences in Melbourne, Australia since September 2009.[citation needed]

Social activities[edit]

Sadria organises several intellectual networks around the globe. Notably, he has been the Master Jury in 2004 and Steering Committee in 2007 and 2010 for Aga Khan Award for Architecture, and Senior Associate of Global Reconciliation Network and Director of the Australian Centre for West and Central Asian Studies. He was also an important intellectual for UN Dialogue Among Civilizations, and a member of Kyoto International Culture Forum.[citation needed] As some other primal projects, Sadria is a founder of Study Group on Human Security, CITIES: Big Small Stories of Changes (In Turkish), and Small and large Stories of Change (In German). Furthermore, his vigorous activities can be seen in various other socio-intellectual movements such as Changing Teheran, and Global Cities Research Institute.[citation needed]

Main scholarly interests[edit]

His main field of interest is related to the notion of modernities, particularly the possibility of non-Western models for modernities, seen from the perspective of continuous social and cultural transformation. His other fields of interest, include Knowledge Construction in Contemporary Muslim Societies and Comparative Cultural Studies, and some other fields that are briefly mentioned below.

  • Knowledge construction

Research which addresses the possibility of and need for a questioning of present trends in knowledge construction that answers primarily to political and economic spheres while negotiating social needs.

  • Cities in Muslim societies

From the perspective of the built, material and lived environment, research which explores the concept of "value system transfer" and the interaction between the built environment and the "lived" environment.

  • Plurality of modernities

The plurality of modernities as a topic of research looks critically at the theories of modernity, and considers that there is validity for the existence of a plurality of modernities. This framework helps to grasp the emergence of practices relevant to modernity in Muslim contexts.

  • Production and Reproduction of Poverty

Decades of development work have not succeeded in alleviating poverty. On the contrary, it is possible to draw a cause and effect relationship between contemporary models of development and the rise of poverty.

  • The theory and practice of international social policy development

Social change requires both the deepening of knowledge about the obstacles to extending shared personal and cultural experiences and the development of effective strategies to overcome them.

Plagiarism Charge[edit]

In December 2014, an article published in shargh newspaper which charged Modjtaba Sadria with extensive plagiarism.[1] In the article, the author explains that the book "A Modern critic to Modernity" which was published in 2012 in Persian by Modjtaba Sadria, in fact, is a Master's Thesis for Louisiana State University, originally written by Joshua Luke Yoder.[2]


Books and edited collections[edit]

Year Title
2014 Sustainability, Life and Culture (in Persian)
2012 A Modern critic to Modernity (in Persian)
2011 Japan: Cooperation and Competition, Knowledge Flow Among Small Enterprises (in Persian) (Tehran: Rozane Kar-Industrial Managers Association)
2011 Homogenization of Representations (London: IB Tauris)
2009 Multiple Modernities in Muslim Societies, Aga Khan Award for Architecture (London: IB Tauris)
2006 Dialogical Views on Today’s World, (in Persian) (Tehran: Digar Publishing)
2004 A Prayer for Lost Objects: A Non-Weberian Approach to the Birth of Modern Society (in Persian) (Tehran: Farhangi Publications)
2001 Conflict in Japanese Society and International Relations (in Persian) (Tehran: IPIS Publication)
1996 Realism: Trap of International Relations [Kenshou Genjitsushugi Kokusaikankei no Otoshiana (in Japanese)] (Tokyo: Chuo University Press)
1989 Ainsi l’Arabie est Devenue Saoudite (Paris: l’Harmatten, 1989)
1985 Les Autres Marxismes Reels (Paris: Christan Bourgeois, 1985)

Chapters in books[edit]

Year Title of chapter Title of Book
2009 Changes in Central Asia – Migration, Modernization and Social Transformation Social, Political and Economic Search in Central Asian Societies, Proceedings of the 2nd Congress of International Social Scientists (Turkey)(
2008 Hegemony, Ethics and Reconciliation Rothfield, Fleming, Komesaroff (eds.), Pathways to Reconciliation (England: Ashgate)(
2007 Many Modernities Intervention Architecture (London: IB Tauris and AAA)
2007 Declining Interest in Constructing Knowledge about Japan in the International Arena: Some hypotheses Tanaka, Tsutomu (ed.), Theory of Japaneseness: Japan that Globalises (Tokyo: Chuo University Press)
2006 Enculturation in the Era of Globalization: The Case of Central Asia Social, Political and Economic Transition in the Turkic Republics of Central Asia Following the Disintegration of the Soviet Union, Proceedings of the First International Social Scientists Congress (Turkey) (
2006 Epistemic Context of East Asian Community [Hihgashi Asia Kyodotai no Shisouteki Bunnmyaku] Takita, Kenji (ed.), The Road to East Asian Community [Higashi Asia kyodotai heno Michi] (Tokyo: Chuo University Press)
2005 Japanese Aspiration to Homogeneity and the Promotion of Diversity in Asia Peace and Sustainable Development in Asia (Seoul: Korean National Commission for UNESCO)
2005 Intellectuals’ Argument in Japan toward the East Asian Community Report ofInternational Workshop in Seoul: East Asian Community Building (Tokyo: Chuo University Press)
2004 Experience of East Asia: Regionalization and Its Process, Vision and Outcome [Higashi Asia no Keiken: Chiikika, Sono Katei, Kousou, Seika] Kawasaki, Takita and Sonoda (ed.), Globalization and East Asia [Gurobarizashion to Higashi Asia] (Tokyo: Chuo University Press)
2001 Hatred We Create: Un-deterministic Approach to International Ethnic Conflict [Warera ga Umidashitaru Zouo: Kokka Kan Minzoku Funso heno Hiketteiteki Apurochi] Chuo Daigaku Jinbunn Kagaku Kenkyusho (ed.), Minzoku Mondai to Aidentitii (Ethnic Problems and Identity) (Tokyo: Chuo University Press)
2001 Globalism, Nation-State, and Daily Life: Visions for Ethnic Policy Usui, Akira (ed.), State Formation and Ethnic Relations in Middle East: Nation-State and Pluralism: JCAS Symposium Series Vol.5 (Japan Center for Area Studies, National Museum of Ethnology, Osaka)
2000 The Form and Content of Thoughts in Post-World War II Japan [Sengo Chishikijin no Kangaeru Nihon no Katachi] Nihonron Iinkai (ed.), Japanology: The Passage to Policy Studies [Nichonronn: Sogo Seisskugaku heno Michinori], (Tokyo: Chuo University Press)
1999 Globalization and Security [Gurobarizashion to Anzenhoshou] Kataoka, Sachihiko (ed.), The Direction of Global Village―The Passage From Globalization to Human Development [Chikyumura no Yukue: Gurobarizashion kara Ningentekihatten eno Michi], (Tokyo: Shinhyoron)
1999 Le Japon et le monde tout est a reinventer L’envers Du Consensus (Paris: SCPO)
1992 No Peace and Christopher Columbus: Perspectives from the Middle East [Kurisutobaru Koron to Otozurenakatta Heiwa: Chuto kara no Shikaku] Chubei-no-Hitobito-to-Te-wo-Tunagukai (ed.), Those Fighting Against ‘Columbus’: The Resistance of the Indian, the Black and the People for 500 Years [“Koronbusu” to Tatakaituzukeru Hitobito: Indio, Kokujin, Minshu no Gohyakunen]
1992 Ethnicity and the Nation-State in Middle East [Esunishiti to Kokuminkokka] Muramatsu, Takeshi (ed.), Nation and Ethnos in Modern European World [Kindai “Yoroppasekai” niokeru Neishon to Etonosu] (Tokyo: Tokyo Gaikokugo Daigaku)
1992 Iran L’Etat et le mouvement des etudiants iraniens a l’etranger La Jeunesse Et Ses Mouvements
1990 The Gulf Crisis and the US Strategy [Wangankiki to Amerika no Senryaku] Yuzo Itagaki (ed.), The Perspectives of the Middle East ― Twelve Chapters to see the Forthcoming Changes in the Middle East [Chutopasupekutibu: Chuto no Henka o Yosokusurutamenosenryaku] (Tokyo: Daisan-syokan)
1990 Cultural Identity and State Tuomo Melasuo (ed.), National Movements and World Peace (London: Avebury)
1985 Anti-occidentalite, apports et limites d’une ideologie M. Sadria and M. B. Tahon (ed.), Les autres marxismes reels (Paris: Christian Bourgois Editeur)


Year Title
2008 Multiple Modernities: New Interpretations, Journal of Architecture & Urbanism vol.88/89, Winter 2008, p. 76
2007 La Chine: Appropriation, Expropriation de l'Espace Urbain: Entre soumission et subversion, (Tohoku University Graduate School of International Cultural Studies Journal, vol.14, Sendai)(
2007 Sadria, Modjtaba/Ewick, David (eds.), Of Windows and Mirrors: Reflections on Japan in the International Community, a special issue of Journal of Policy and Culture Volume 14/ Sôgô seisaku kenkyû, Chuo University Faculty of Policy Studies, Tokyo (Proceedings of the International Policy Studies Forum 2005: Japan in the International Community )
2006 De l'Est vers l'Ouest: Cet Or que l'on a public, The Bulletin of The Institute of Oriental Culture in The University of Tokyo, No.149, pp. 156–203 (
2006 East Asia's Continued Challenge to the West ('Higashi Asia' Orientarizumu eno Chosen: Henyosurusekai to 'Seiyo' no Jigazo) Journal of Policy and Culture. Vol. 13, pp. 87–98(
2006 Intellectuals Argument in Japan toward the East Asian Community, Report ofInternational Workshop in Seoul: The Road to East Asian Community Building, Chuo University Press, Tokyo
2006 Japan: Challenges in the 21st Century, Northeast Asian Studies (Center for Northeast Asian Studies, Tohoku University), vol. 10, pp. 115–141 (
2006 On Moral Structure (Moraru no Kozo?), Jyoko, January/February, pp. 164–183
2006 Spinoza et le Japon: La naissance a venire du Politique, Journal of Policy and Culture, vol. 13, pp. 69–86
2005 Japanese Aspiration to Homogeneity and the Promotion of Diversity in Asia, United Nations University - Korean National Commission for UNESCO, Seoul, pp. 131–136.
2003 Global Civil Society and Ethics: Finding Common Ground( Inoue Shiori and Takeuchi Masatoshi) (tr.), The Phases of Ethics in the Contemporary Society, Committee of Symposium and Research Library (ed.), Chuo University Press
2002 Honshitsushugi o Koete (Beyond Essentialism), Uchida, Kimiko (tr.), Gaiko Forum, no. 163, pp. 78–79
2002 People Who Live in the Edge of the World (Sekai no Hashi ni Sumu Hitobito), Syokun!: Special Issue on Japanese History, vol. 34, no.6, pp. 223–225
2002 Transforming Dialogue among Civilizations (Henyosuru Bunmeikan no 'Taiwa') Takeuchi, Masatoshi (tr.), Bessatsu Kan, vol. 4, pp. 205–214
2001 The Possibilities of Dialogue After 9.11 (9.11 Teroigo no 'Taiwa' no Kanousei) Iizasa, Sayoko trans. NIRA News. No. 12, p. 6.
2001 Need you but not Want You - The Exclusion of Foreign Residents in Advanced Society (Hitsuyoutosareruga Kangeisarenai Sonzaitoshiteno Imin), Hiraoka, Astushi (tr.), Manabe, Sadaki (ed.), The Annual Bulletin of the Institute of Policy and Cultural Studies Chuo University, n o.4, pp. 77–106 (
2001 Droits, liberte, culture, et societe Presuppositions modernistes pour citoyennete multiculturelle postmoderne, The Annual Bulletin of the Institute of Policy and Cultural Studies Chuo University, no. 4, pp. 107–137
2001 Keynote Lecture: Dialogue amongst Civilizations (Kichokoen Bumei no Taiwa), Civilization and Human being in Globalization Global Seminar 2000 of United Nations University Session in Kobe [Gurobarukanonakano Bumei to Ningen: Kokurendaigaku Gurobarusemina 2000 Kobesesson], pp. 10–11
2000 International Relations and International Law - International Law as a Tool for Civil Society (Kokusaikankeiron to Kokusaihou no Setten: Shiminshakai no Bukitoshiteno Kokusaihou), Takeuchi, Masatoshi (tr.) Journal of Policy and Culture - Essays in Commemoration of the Seventieth Birthday of Professor Kim Hak-Hyon, vol. 6, pp. 61–80(
1999 Non-Japanese by Birth in Japanese Society, Research Project Report of 1998-1999 Activities, The Annual Bulletin of the Institute of Policy and Cultural Studies Chuo University, no.2, p. 106
1999 State-Built Peace: possibilities and limitations ('Kokka' no Heiwa o Koete: Kokka no Sonbou to Funsoseisaku), Nakata, Mamiko (tr.) Journal of Policy and Culture, vol.4, pp. 1–20(
1998 Khatami Regime and the State, Nation and Civil Society in Iran (Hatamiseiken to Iran no Kokka Minzoku oyobi Shiminshakai), Onisi, Sirou (tr.), Kokusai Mondai, no.462, pp. 29–40
1998 Analysis of Social Inequalities - Beyond Classical Perspectives (Shakaitekifubyodo no Bunseki: Kotenshiso o Koete), Tamaki, Noristugu (tr.), Mukai, Mina (ed.), The Annual of the Institute of Economic Research Chuo University, vol. 29, pp. 455–482
1998 Uniqueness in Japanese Nationalism, Journal of Policy and Culture, vol.3, pp. 25–38 (
1997 On Value, The Annual of the Institute of Economic Research Chuo University, vol.28, pp. 189–217
1997 Relacoes Brasil-Japan, Sociedade Brasileira de Presquisa Historica, Numero 12, pp. 59–63
1997 Comparative Studies for Foreign Residents in Japan (Tainichigaikokujin no Hikakukenkyu), The Annual Bulletin of the Institute of Policy and Cultural Studies Chuo University, n o.1, pp. 72–73
1997 From One East to the Other, Middle East Report, vol. 205, pp. 25–26
1997 Repenser l'alterite japonise, Futuribles analyse et prospective, no. 216, pp. 39–40
1997 Okinawa's Might in International Society (Kokusaishakainiokeru Okinawa no Chikara), Nakata, Mamiko (tr.), Journal of the Institute of Cultural Science Chuo University, no.30, pp. 205–233(
1997 Le Japon puissance internationale 'utile, futuribles analyse et prospective, no. 216, pp. 79–82
1997 L'irrationnel au Japon, The Study of International Relations (Tsuda University), no. 23, pp. 61–72
1997 Sadria, Modjtaba/ Bouissou, Jean-Marie/ Laidi, Zaki/ Joyaux, Francois/ Faure, Guy/ Yatabe, Kazuhiko, Consideration sur le role du Japon, Futuribles analyse et prospective, no. 216, pp. 95–104
1996 The Japanese Way and American Followers, The Study of International Relations (Tsuda University), no. 22, pp. 53–76 (
1995 Le Japon Et Le Bon Usage Du Monde - Instrumental interactions between Japan and the rest of the world, The Study of International Relations (Tsuda University), no. 21, pp. 55–67 (
1995 De la modernization de la société à la modernization des religieux (Le cas de l'Iran), Tokyo University Institute of Oriental Culture Bulletin, p. 127, Tokyo (
1994 The Collapse of Chinese Boundaries: survey of the Displaced Person in China ― causes and mechanisms (Chugoku no Kabe no Hokai Chugokuniokeru Rumingensho no Kosatsu: Sonoyoin to Mekanizumu), Kuroda, Emiko (tr.) Kusa-no-Midori, no. 79, pp. 8–12
1994 Le Japon et le Bon Usage du monde, The Study of International Relations (Tsuda University), no. 21, pp. 55–69
1994 Le Japon Et Les Charmes De L'Asie, Le Nouveau Japon, vol. 71, pp. 117–128
1994 Tashkent Quelques defis de l'ouzbekistan independent, Cemoti, no. 17, pp. 307–315
1993 Japanese Peace Culture and the "New World Order, AMPO Japan-Asia Quarterly Review, vol. 24, no. 1, pp. 34–39
1992 Complexities of Muslim Women's Conditions: Urban Egyptian Women at Work, Bulletin of the Institute of Middle Eastern Studies International University of Japan, vol. 6, pp. 439–460
1992 The United States, Japan, and the Gulf War, Monthly Review, vol. 43, pp. 1–16
1992 Japan Steps off the U.S. Path, AMPO Japan-Asia Quarterly Review, Vol. 23, no.1, pp. 21–29
1991 Israel and Soviet Union Relations: The Change of Paradoxes, Ajames:Annals of Japan Association for Middle East Studies, no. 6, pp. 1–34
1991 Nouvelle approche de la societe civile au Proche Orient: le concept de l'Urf, Levant, vol. 4, pp. 49–53
1991 Petit essai surla genese du totalitarism, The Study of International Relations (Tsuda University), no. 17, pp. 95–105
1999 The Iranian Journal of International Affairs, vol. XI, no. 2
1999 A Development without Modernity (راه توسعه ما از مدرنیته نمی گذرد/ فکر نو/سال اول-شماره چهارم./15/4/1378)
1999 Knowing, Understanding better Japan(ژاپن را بهتر بشناسیم،راز سرزمین آفتاب،دیروز سامورایی،امروز دانشمند/ (ایران جوان).4/6/1378)
2000 Creating A Lost Generation ()نسل جوان،نسل تنهایی،نسل گریز/ آزما/شماره6/فروردین1379
2001 (تحول جایگاه سیاست در ایران/ آدینه سربند/سال اول-شماره دوم.بهار1380.) Mutation of Politics in Iran
2001 Interview with professor Sadria()مصاحبه با دکتر صدریا/ پرچین/پیش شماره/مرداد 1380
2003 (محلی کردن بین المللی کردن(جهانی شدن)در ژاپن/ فصلنامه اقتصاد سیاسی/سال اول-شماره سوم-پائیز1382) The Myth of Globalization of Japan
2003 Convergence of World view and Practice()رگه های امتزاج کنش و منش/ فرهنگ و صنعت/شماره هجدهم-نیمه اول بهمن1382
2004 (گفتگو با مجتبی صدریا درباره شناخت جامعه ایرانی (قسمت اول)/اندیشه ایرانشهر/شماره یکم/پائیز1383) Better Understanding of Iran: An Interview with Modjtaba Sadria
2004 Better Understanding of Iran: An Interview with Modjtaba Sadria()گفتگو برای شناخت جامعه ایرانی با دکتر مجتبی صدریا (قسمت دوم)/ اندیشه ایرانشهر/سال اول –شماره دوم/زمستان 1383
2005 (جنبشهای اجتماعی-فرهنگی و تحولات فرهنگی/ اندیشه ایرانشهر/سال اول-شماره سوم/بهار 1384)Cultural Social Movements and Cultural Changes
... نقش آمریکا در بروز جنگ سرد در آسیا و علل آن() US Role in Outbreak of Cold War in Asia and its reasons
... The Birth of American Dream and the Arera of Privileged Interlocutory()روابط عمومی ،از تولد رویای آمریکایی تا عصر اصالت مخاطب (قسمت اول)/ (ارتباطات)
... (متن کامل سخنرانی پروفسور صدریا در جمع دانشجویان دانشگاه شهر کرد-به ضمیمه نقد) Professor Sadria's Speech for Students in Shahrekord University, Including Review
... Japan: Dialogue of Civilizations(1) ()گفتگوی تمدنها(1)ژاپن/ آوا/شماره 70

Conference/workshop participation[edit]

Year Title
2009 Speaker in Discussion D, "Beyond Neo-liberalism? South-South Realignments and New Agendas for Political Research: Brazil, Iran, Russia, India, Dubai, China, Vietnam", Critical Geographies of Security series, University of Bristol, Department of Politics, June 3.
2009 Sadria, Modjtaba and Panjwani, Farid, "Fragmented youth, Polyphonic Social Discourses”, Muslim Youth: Challenges, Opportunities and Expectations that Organised jointly by the Association of Muslim Social Scientists (UK) and the University of Chester, 20–22 March.
2007 “Two Major Deficits of Knowledge Construction in Contemporary Muslim Societies”, Bibliotheca Alexandrina, October 23.
2007 “Dynamics of Interaction between the Lived Environment and Built Environment”, 10th cycle of the Aga Khan Award for Architecture – Award Seminar, Kuala Lumpur, September 5.
2007 “Plurality of Architecture and Art in Contemporary Muslim Societies” IIS Summer Program, McGill University, Montreal, August 8–11.
2007 “Japan: Towards the Reconstruction of State Religion? (A Regional Context)”, 29th ISSR Conference (International Society for the Sociology of Religion), Leipzig, July 23–27.
2007 “Critic as tangible element of Modernity” in International Workshop organised jointly by the Aga Khan Award for Architecture, and AKU-ISMC, on Tangible Elements of Modernity in Multiple Modernities. May 18–19, London.
2007 “Religion and Character in a Democratic Society” Remarks at the International Conference on Commitment, Character and Citizenship. St. Edmonds College, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, February 9–11.
2002 “International Conflict and Cooperation.” Session 4, 1st International Conference of Japanese Economic Policy Association, November - December 2002.
2002 "Open Mindness in a Changing World: What Analytical Possibilities?" Session 1: Education, Culture, Value and Mass-media.” UNU Global Seminar, 8th Kobe-Awaji Session, 7–10 October 2002, Kobe, Japan
2001 “The Possibility of Dialogue After 9.11”. National Institute for Research Advancement (NIRA). December 2001. (
2000 “Dialogue of Civilizations and the expansion of inner cultural space” Kichokoen Bumei no Taiwa).” UNU Global Seminar 2000, 6th Kobe Session, Humanity and Civilizations in the Globalizing World, 26–29 September 2000, Kobe, Japan
Gurobarukanonakano Bumei to Ningen: Kokurendaigaku Gurobarusemina 2000 Kobe session . pp. 10-11
2000 “A Perspective of Iranian Foreign Policy: Triangle Relations of Hatami, Nation and Society”. Ministry of Foreign Affairs Islam Research Council. October 2000. (
2000 Middle East Studies (MESA) Annual Meeting, Panel Discussion: Panel One – “Building Bridges Between the United States and Iran”.
1999 Speaker, Session 3: Preserving Cultural Integrity and Promoting Dialogue among Civilizations. UNU International Conference on “Iran in a Globalizing World: New Horizons, New Perspectives”. 15–16 November,

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