Book

Democracy in Iran

Ali Gheissari and Vali Nasr

Published in print July 2006 | ISBN: 9780195189674
Published online May 2006 | e-ISBN: 9780199784134 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/0195189671.001.0001

Series: Oxford Classical Monographs

Democracy in Iran

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Recently Iran has once again been in the headlines. Reputed to be developing nuclear weapons, the future of Iraq's next-door neighbor is a matter of grave concern both for the stability of the region and for the safety of the global community. President George W. Bush labeled it part of the “Axis of Evil,” and has railed against the country's authoritarian leadership. Yet as Bush trumpets the spread of democracy throughout the Middle East, few note that Iran has one of the longest-running experiences with democracy in the region. This book looks at the political history of Iran in the modern era, and offers an in-depth analysis of the prospects for democracy to flourish there. After having produced the only successful Islamist challenge to the state, a revolution, and an Islamic Republic, Iran is now poised to produce a genuine and indigenous democratic movement in the Muslim world. Democracy in Iran is neither a sudden development nor a western import. The concept of democracy in Iran today may appear to be a reaction to authoritarianism, but it is an old idea with a complex history, one that is tightly interwoven with the main forces that have shaped Iranian society and politics, institutions, identities, and interests. This book seeks to understand why democracy failed to grow roots and lost ground to an autocratic Iranian state. Why was democracy absent from the ideological debates of the 1960s and 1970s? Most important, why has it now become a powerful social, political, and intellectual force? How have modernization, social change, economic growth, and the experience of the revolution converged to make this possible?

Keywords: Iran; Iraq; George W. Bush; Axis of Evil; Islam; Islamic Republic

Book.  240 pages. 

Subjects: Politics

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Table of Contents

Introduction in Democracy in Iran

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Epilogue in Democracy in Iran

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