Dr. Manoutchehr Eskandari-Qajar
Annual Faculty Lecturer 1998-1999
Manoutchehr Maximilian Eskandari-Qajar (Kadjar), "Manou," was born in 1956 in Vienna, Austria, of a Persian father and Austrian mother. The first 20 years of his life were spent in Austria and Iran, with regular vacation visits to Beirut, Lebanon, of which he has some of his fondest childhood memories. He was educated in turn at the French Lycée of Vienna and the French Lycée of Tehran (Lycée Razi). He received his baccalauréat in philosophy and French literature in Vienna in 1975, and went on to study political science and international law at the University of Vienna with the ultimate goal of a career in international law and diplomacy.
In 1980, while working on his dissertation on the politics of oil in Persia, he was accepted to Cambridge University, Downing College, to continue his studies in international law, but instead took a Fulbright Scholarship to study at the University of California, Santa Barbara. While at UCSB, he changed his emphasis from international relations to political theory, extended his stay to earn a doctorate in that field, and changed his career goal from the practice of politics and diplomacy to that of teaching these subjects.
In 1984, he received his Ph.D. from UCSB, with a dissertation on the Young Hegelians and began to teach there almost immediately, as adjunct lecturer in political science. In 1991, he was honored at that institution by being elected by its student body as Professor of the Year.
Manou Eskandari came to SBCC in 1992, as full-time faculty member of the Political Science Department. At SBCC, he has taught courses in political science and history, directed the Honors Program, and, most recently, pioneered two new initiatives for SBCC: In 1996 he brought to campus Phi Theta Kappa, the international honor society for two-year colleges, and in 1997 he launched SBCC's Washington, D.C. Program, which completed its first stay in Washington in Fall 1998. For his work with Phi Theta Kappa, he was honored with that society's Paragon Award for new advisors in 1998.
On his father's side, Manou Eskandari is a member of the Qajar (Kadjar) royal family, which ruled Persia from 1795 to 1925. The Eskandari branch of the Qajars were intimately linked with the Iranian intellectual and political scene, on both sides of the divide: as staunch monarchists and even stauncher democrats. In the 20th century, the Eskandaris were pioneers of the Iranian constitutional movement, founders of the Social Democratic Party of Iran, and, later, founders of the Communist Party of Iran, cabinet members, governors and members of Iran's parliament. Many of them paid for their cherished principles with their lives and fortunes. In his own life, Manou Eskandari has tried to reflect the sense of honor and leadership his family has exemplified throughout.
Manou Eskandari lives in Santa Barbara, and is married to Fariba Eskandari (Nasri). They have two children, Amir-Hamsa and Yasmin Eskandari.