Power and Change in Iran

Power and Change in Iran

Politics of Contention and Conciliation
Edited by Daniel Brumberg and Farideh Farhi
Distribution: Global
Publication date: 04/04/2016
ISBN: 978-0-253-02079-6
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This volume provides an unparalleled and timely look at political, social, economic, and ideological dynamics in contemporary Iran. Through chapters on social welfare and privatization, university education, the role and authority of the Supreme Leader, the rule of law, the evolving electoral system, and the intense debate over human rights within and outside the regime, the contributors offer a comprehensive overview of Iranian politics. Their case studies reveal a society whose multiple vectors of contestation, negotiation, and competition are creating possibilities for transformation that are yet to be realized but whose outcome will affect the Islamic Republic, the region, and relations with the United States.

Author Bio

Daniel Brumberg is Associate Professor of Government and Co-Director of Democracy and Governance Studies at Georgetown University and a Special Advisor to the United States Institute of Peace. His books include Reinventing Khomeini: The Struggle for Reform in Iran, Moyen Orient: L’Enjeu Democratique, and Islam and Democracy in the Middle East (coedited with Larry Diamond and Marc Plattner).

Farideh Farhi is an Independent Scholar and Affiliate Graduate Faculty at the University of Hawai’i at Manoa. Her publications include States and Urban-Based Revolutions: Iran and Nicaragua.


“By a wide margin, this book is the most sophisticated treatment of the internal dynamics and paradoxes of Iranian politics that I know of. The nuance, precision, insight, and details of the ebb and flow of the Iranian public sphere are what make this book truly unique. . . . The introduction is magisterial in terms of its depth, scope and objectivity. . . . The chapters flow well together and they are organized in an effective manner.”
 — Nader Hashemi, co-author of The Syria Dilemma

“Offers a realistic, nuanced, and perceptive analysis of Iran’s complex and evolving political system. . . . This book would be appropriate as required or recommended reading for any courses dealing with the Islamic Republic of Iran or with the politics of the Middle East, both at the undergraduate and graduate levels.”
 — Mohsen Milani, author of The Making of Iran's Islamic Revolution

“This volume provides an overview of political, social, economic and ideological trends in Iran, touching on topics including education, the role of the Supreme Leader, the rule of law and human rights. Vol. 59, 2 2017”
 — Survival

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Table of Contents

Note on Transliteration

Introduction: Politics of Contention and Conciliation in Iran’s Semi-Autocracy
Daniel Brumberg and Farideh Farhi

PART I. The Contested Terrain
1. Economic Privatization, Factional Politics, and Regime Transformation
Payam Mohseni
2. Social Welfare Policies and the Dynamics of Elite and Popular Contention
Kevan Harris
3. Education as Public Good or Private Resource: Accommodation and Demobilization in Iran’s University System.
Shervin Malekzadeh

PART II. Institutional Evolution
4. The Office of the Supreme Leader: Epicenter of a Theocracy
Mehrzad Boroujerdi and Kourosh Rahimkhani
5. Electoral Politics, Power, and Prospects for Reform
Yasmin Alem

PART III. Political and Ideological Challenges
6. The Rule of Law and Conflict in the Reform Era
Mehrangiz Kar and Azadeh Pourzand
7. The Green Movement and Political Change in Iran
Fatemeh Haghighatjoo
8. "This Government Is Neither Islamic nor a Republic": Responses to the 2009 Post-Election Crackdown
Shadi Mokhtari

Daniel Brumberg and Farideh Farhi

Selected Bibliography