[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Abstract
This article is based on the assumption that the Iranian political system is a peculiar form of a hybrid regime and is based on two hypotheses. The first is that the originality of the Iranian political system depends on two main factors: a constitutional compromise between the secular and clerical components and the particular way in which presidential elections are held. The second hypothesis concerns the consequences of this institutional arrangement. On the one hand, in particular phases, presidential elections may play an inclusive function thanks to a certain degree of responsiveness of ordinary policies. On the other hand, they may instead raise the expectations and political demands for regime change that, if suppressed, could generate tensions and instability. The first part of this work will be devoted to a brief presentation of the concept of hybrid systems and to the collocation of the Iranian system in this category. The second part will examine some crucial political phases experienced by Iran which highlight the functioning of the regime, explaining its stability and vulnerability.
No preview · Article · May 2015 · British Journal of Middle Eastern Studies
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The second half of the nineteenth century is one of the most important periods for the evolution of political thought in Persia. Notable intellectuals started to develop a critical perception of the social, economic and political issues, giving life to a new current of thought which became known as the constitutionalist movement of Iran. Mirzā Aqā Khān Kermāni (1853-1896) is one of the most important thinkers of this time who, in numerous books and articles, puts forward constitutionalist and nationalist ideas for the first time in Iranian contemporary history. This article will examine his political thought, highlighting how Kermāni, after being in contact with the liberal and constitutional ideas of western thinkers and also after a new revision of his own Persian history and philosophy, was able to work out a new way of thinking which contributed to creating the ideological basis for a modern concept of Nationalism in Iran and for the first attempt at secularization of Iranian society. This article shows how the Iranian constitutional revolution of 1906 (mashrūṭeh) was in fact partially the fruit of ideas of this first generation of secular thinkers such as Kermāni, who were able to spread a new civil concept of the state which separated religion from politics, by introducing the rule of law and limiting the absolute power of the monarch.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Despite the vast research on Iranian studies, little has been done to study, in a systematic way, the concept of national identity in the history of political thought in contemporary Iran. This paper examines the political thought of three of the most notable Persian intellectuals, Kermani, Akhundzadeh and Taqizadeh, whose ideas, in different books and articles, put forward constitutionalist and nationalist ideas for the first time in Iranian contemporary history. After being in contact with the liberal and constitutional ideas of western thinkers and also after a new revision of their own Persian history and philosophy, they were able to work out a new way of thinking which created the ideological basis for the Iranian constitutional movement of 1906. These thinkers, by the use of the ancient Persian literature (Avesta and Shahnameh) together with the implication of the myths such as Kave-ye Ahangar and Zahhak, contributed to theorise the Iranian nationalism. This research aims to provide a clear picture of the process of the national identity construction in Iran, during the years 1880-1953. It analyses the political theories of these thinkers and examines the level of influence which the European political thought exercised on the evolution of their ideas. The paper contributes to systematise the process of the evolution of the idea of nationalism and national identity process in contemporary Iran, offering scientific frameworks to develop future researches on the similar topics.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Today’s Iran is deeply different from that of 1979, when Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, with his charismatic leadership, guided the Iranian Revolution against Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi’s monarchy. During these last thirty-four years under the Islamic Republic, the Iranian society has developed new ideas far distant from those of 1979, regarding the principles and on the political-cultural level. There has been a gradual, but progressive, disenchantment towards the Utopia of the Islamic Republic promised by the then Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Khomeini. This article is intended to examine how, and through which communicative strategies, the Utopian idea of an Iranian Islamic government emerged in the Seventies and in the Eighties. Its aims are also to identify which were the factors that lead to the failure of Ayatollah Khomeini’s political project, the foundation of a perfect Islamic State.