Marvin Zonis

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Marvin Zonis is an American political economist who focuses on Middle East ern politics and history and an emeritus professor at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, where he continues to teach courses on international political economy, leadership, and e-commerce. He was the first professor at the Business School to teach a course on digital technologies. [1] [2] [3] [4]

Middle East region that encompasses Western Asia and Egypt

The Middle East is a transcontinental region centered on Western Asia, Turkey, and Egypt. Saudi Arabia is geographically the largest Middle Eastern nation while Bahrain is the smallest. The corresponding adjective is Middle Eastern and the derived noun is Middle Easterner. The term has come into wider usage as a replacement of the term Near East beginning in the early 20th century.

History of the Middle East Aspect of history

Home to the Cradle of Civilization, the Middle East has seen many of the world's oldest cultures and civilizations. This history started from the earliest human settlements, continuing through several major pre- and post-Islamic Empires through to the nation-states of the Middle East today.

University of Chicago Private research university in Chicago, Illinois, United States

The University of Chicago is a private research university in Chicago, Illinois. Founded in 1890 by John D. Rockefeller, the school is located on a 217-acre campus in Chicago's Hyde Park neighborhood, near Lake Michigan. The University of Chicago holds top-ten positions in various national and international rankings.


Education and career

He was educated at Yale University, the Harvard Business School, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he received a Ph.D. in political science, and the Chicago Institute for Psychoanalysis, where he received training in psychoanalysis. [3]

Yale University private research university in New Haven, Connecticut, United States

Yale University is a private Ivy League research university in New Haven, Connecticut. Founded in 1701, it is the third-oldest institution of higher education in the United States and one of the nine Colonial Colleges chartered before the American Revolution.

Harvard Business School business school in Boston, Massachusetts

Harvard Business School (HBS) is the graduate business school of Harvard University in Boston, Massachusetts. The school offers a large full-time MBA program, doctoral programs, HBS Online and many executive education programs. It owns Harvard Business Publishing, which publishes business books, leadership articles, online management tools for corporate learning, case studies and the monthly Harvard Business Review. It is home to the Baker Library/Bloomberg Center.

Massachusetts Institute of Technology University in Massachusetts

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) is a private research university in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Founded in 1861 in response to the increasing industrialization of the United States, MIT adopted a European polytechnic university model and stressed laboratory instruction in applied science and engineering. The Institute is a land-grant, sea-grant, and space-grant university, with a campus that extends more than a mile alongside the Charles River. Its influence in the physical sciences, engineering, and architecture, and more recently in biology, economics, linguistics, management, and social science and art, has made it one of the most prestigious universities in the world.

Zonis also consults to corporations and professional asset management firms throughout the world, helping them to identify, assess, and manage their political risk s. [3] [5] Zonis is a member of the Board of Directors of CNA Financial, the global insurance and financial services firm, [6] and is also on the Board of Advisors of Syntek Capital, a European Private Equity Venture Capital Firm focusing on TMT (telecom, media and technology). He is a member of the Board of Advisers for the Comptroller General of the United States at the GAO and also a Fellow of PwC-Diamond Advisory Services, and a member of the Board of Directors of the Fondation des États-Unis, Paris, and the Board of Advisers of the Centre for Business Management, Queen Mary University of London.

Political risk is a type of risk faced by investors, corporations, and governments that political decisions, events, or conditions will significantly affect the profitability of a business actor or the expected value of a given economic action. Political risk can be understood and managed with reasoned foresight and investment.

CNA Financial Corporation is a financial corporation based in Chicago, Illinois, United States. Its principal subsidiary, Continental Casualty Company (CCC), was founded in 1897. CNA, the current parent company, was incorporated in 1967.

Comptroller General of the United States

The Comptroller General of the United States is the director of the Government Accountability Office, a legislative branch agency established by Congress in 1921 to ensure the fiscal and managerial accountability of the federal government. The Budget and Accounting Act of 1921 "created an establishment of the Government to be known as the General Accounting Office, which shall be independent of the executive departments and under the control and direction of the Comptroller General of the United States". The act also provided that the "Comptroller General shall investigate, at the seat of government or elsewhere, all matters relating to the receipt, disbursement, and application of public funds, and shall make to the President when requested by him, and to Congress... recommendations looking to greater economy or efficiency in public expenditures." The Comptroller General is appointed for fifteen years by the President of the United States with the advice and consent of the Senate per 31 U.S.C. § 703. Also per 31 U.S.C. § 703 when the office of Comptroller General is to become vacant the current Comptroller General must appoint an executive or employee of the GAO to serve as the Acting Comptroller General until such time as a new Comptroller General is appointed by the President and confirmed by the Senate.

Zonis has written extensively on globalization, digital technologies, emerging markets, Middle East politics, the oil industry, Russia, and U.S. foreign policy. He is a leading authority on the Middle East, and has spent the last 50 years studying the volatile mix of Islam, terrorism, and the Middle East. He has lived in Iran, hitchhiked through Afghanistan in the 1960s, studied Islam in Iraq beginning in 1964, and has travelled extensively throughout other parts of the region as well. [7]

Globalization or globalisation is the process of interaction and integration among people, companies, and governments worldwide. As a complex and multifaceted phenomenon, globalization is considered by some as a form of capitalist expansion which entails the integration of local and national economies into a global, unregulated market economy. Globalization has grown due to advances in transportation and communication technology. With the increased global interactions comes the growth of international trade, ideas, and culture. Globalization is primarily an economic process of interaction and integration that's associated with social and cultural aspects. However, conflicts and diplomacy are also large parts of the history of globalization, and modern globalization.

Terrorism use of violence and intimidation against civilians in order to further a political goal

Terrorism is, in the broadest sense, the use of intentionally indiscriminate violence as a means to create terror among masses of people; or fear to achieve a religious or political aim. It is used in this regard primarily to refer to violence during peacetime or in war against non-combatants. The terms "terrorist" and "terrorism" originated during the French Revolution of the late 18th century but gained mainstream popularity in the 1970s in news reports and books covering the conflicts in Northern Ireland, the Basque Country and Palestine. The increased use of suicide attacks from the 1980s onwards was typified by the September 11 attacks in New York City and Washington, D.C. in 2001.

Afghanistan A landlocked south-central Asian country

Afghanistan, officially the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, is a landlocked country located in South-Central Asia. Afghanistan is bordered by Pakistan in the south and east; Iran in the west; Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, and Tajikistan in the north; and in the far northeast, China. Its territory covers 652,000 square kilometers (252,000 sq mi) and much of it is covered by the Hindu Kush mountain range, which experiences very cold winters. The north consists of fertile plains, while the south-west consists of deserts where temperatures can get very hot in summers. Kabul serves as the capital and its largest city.

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Eastern Europe eastern part of the European continent

Eastern Europe is the eastern part of the European continent. There is no consensus on the precise area it covers, partly because the term has a wide range of geopolitical, geographical, cultural, and socioeconomic connotations. There are "almost as many definitions of Eastern Europe as there are scholars of the region". A related United Nations paper adds that "every assessment of spatial identities is essentially a social and cultural construct". One definition describes Eastern Europe as a cultural entity: the region lying in Europe with the main characteristics consisting of Greek, Byzantine, Eastern Orthodox, Russian, and some Ottoman culture influences. Another definition was created during the Cold War and used more or less synonymously with the term Eastern Bloc. A similar definition names the formerly communist European states outside the Soviet Union as Eastern Europe. The majority of historians and social scientists view such definitions as outdated or relegated, but they are still sometimes used for statistical purposes.

Post-Soviet states states established following the disestablishment of the Soviet Union

The post-Soviet states, also collectively known as the former Soviet Union (FSU) or former Soviet Republics, and in Russian as the "near abroad" are the sovereign states that emerged and re-emerged from the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics in its breakup in 1991, with Russia internationally recognised as the successor state to the Soviet Union after the Cold War. The three Baltic states were the first to declare their independence, between March and May 1990, claiming continuity from the original states that existed prior to their annexation by the Soviet Union in 1940. The remaining 12 republics all subsequently seceded. 12 of the 15 states, excluding the Baltic states, initially formed the CIS and most joined CSTO, while the Baltic states focused on European Union and NATO membership.

This is a psychoanalytic and historical portrait of the late Shah of Iran Mohammad Reza Pahlavi (1919–1980) whom Zonis knew personally. Zonis contends that as the Shah's core psychological relationships failed in the 1970s he regressed into his essential passivity and dependence, making him incapable of facing the challenge from the Iranian Revolution. The main sources of the Shah's psychic support that maintained his psychic equilibrium were the admiration of his subjects, several friendships dating from childhood, a belief in special divine protection, and his alliance with the U.S. government. [13] The range of psychoanalytic interpretation in the book is wide-ranging and fine-grained; while one chapter examines his relationships with his father and mother, another looks at the Shah's obsessions with flying and heights, [14] While he was much closer to his mother, the Shah only mentions her 12 times in the first volume of his autobiography while he references his father 784 times. [15]

Mohammad Reza Pahlavi 20th-century Shah of Iran

Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, also known as Mohammad Reza Shah, was the last Shah of Iran from 16 September 1941 until his overthrow by the Islamic Revolution on 11 February 1979. A close ally of the United States, he tried to use vast oil revenues to generate a rapid industrial, cultural and military modernisation, as well as economic and social reforms. In reaction religious forces revolted and overthrew him.

Iranian Revolution Revolution in Iran to overthrow the Shah replace him with Ayatollah Khomeini.

The Iranian Revolution, also known as the Islamic Revolution or the 1979 Revolution, was a series of events that involved the overthrow of the last monarch of Iran, Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi, and the replacement of his government with an Islamic republic under the Grand Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, a leader of one of the factions in the revolt. The movement against the United States-backed monarchy was supported by various leftist and Islamist organizations and student movements.

Zonis' first published book is an examination of the political class of Iran up until the late 1960s. Zonis studied not only those who held formal office, but identified approximately 3,000 people who exercised significant influence over the allocation of resources and values. He classified the ten percent of this group who exercised the most influence as his data universe. The interactions between the Shah and this group were then investigated. Zonis managed to interview a large cross section of this elite group. He concluded that the longer members of this elite group of 300 participated in the Shah's political system, the more likely they were to exhibit attributes of insecurity, cynicism, and mistrust. [17] [18]

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  1. Marvin Zonis, The New York Times(1988-11-06), "Someone Else's Problem" Retrieved 2008-11-15.
  3. 1 2 3
  4. Marvin Zonis: Executive Profile & Biography - BusinessWeek
  5. Marvin Zonis - Political Economist
  6. Marvin Zonis Profile -
  7. Chicago Booth Global Leadership Series
  8. The Kimchi Matters: Global Business and Local Politics in a Crisis-Driven World (AgatePro Books) (9781932841046): Marvin Zonis, Dan Lefkovitz, Sam Wilkin: Books
  9. The East European Opportunity: The Complete Business Guide and Sourcebook (9780471547341): Marvin Zonis, Dwight Semler: Books
  10. The East European Opportunity by Dwight Semler, Marvin Zonis (John Wiley & Sons Inc: 1992), pp.1-18
  11. "Electronics, Cars, Fashion, Collectibles, Coupons and More".
  12. Majestic Failure: The Fall of the Shah (9780226989280): Marvin Zonis: Books
  13. Marvin Zonis, Majestic Failure:The Fall of the Shah (University of Chicago Press:1991), pp.20-21.
  14. Marvin Zonis, Majestic Failure:The Fall of the Shah (University of Chicago Press:1991), pp.7-23.
  15. "Majestic Failure: The Fall of the Shah".
  17. The Political Elite of Iran (Princeton University Press, 1971), pp.3-17.
  18. THE POLITICAL ELITE OF IRAN: Marvin Zonis: Books