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Islamic republic of Iran and Its Opposition

Author

Listed:
  • Mehrdad Vahabi

    () (ERASME - Recherche et analyse des sociétés Maghreb-Europe - Université Paris VIII - Vincennes Saint-Denis)

  • Mohajer Nasser

    (ERASME - Recherche et analyse des sociétés Maghreb-Europe - Université Paris VIII - Vincennes Saint-Denis)

Abstract

This paper takes a stylized paradoxical fact of Iranian politics under the Islamic Republic of Iran as its starting point: the stark confusion between the position and a good portion of the opposition. Such a blurred frontier between 'position' and 'opposition' did not exist during the Shah's regime. Without the decisive support of non-Islamic organizations, secular intellectuals, and political forces on the ground, the creation of a theocratic regime in Iran and its consolidation could not be realized. Now in the thirtieth anniversary of the Islamic Republic, the open opposition of many influential clergies towards the way in which government is run under the present Supreme Leader and President Ahmadinejad, provides a new episode of 'opposition' within the theocrats' circles. To put this paradoxical fact differently, it should be emphasized that no regime in Iran's modern history has produced so much 'opposition' within its own ranks and enjoyed the loyalty of its 'oppositions' at the same time. How could this paradox be explained? Our paper tackles this issue by describing the peculiar type of social order under the Republic Islamic of Iran as ordered anarchy or "destructive coordination". Analysing the sources of this type of coordination, we proceed in two steps. The first is to question whether there has ever been a laic or secular movement in the recent Iranian history. The second consists in defining the institutional setup and recent dynamics of the Islamic Republic of Iran as a strange, if not unique, mutant of Huntington's Praetorian state, led by 'priests' and armed religious militants.

Suggested Citation

  • Mehrdad Vahabi & Mohajer Nasser, 2011. "Islamic republic of Iran and Its Opposition," Post-Print hal-00629139, HAL.
  • Handle: RePEc:hal:journl:hal-00629139
    Note: View the original document on HAL open archive server: https://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-00629139
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    Cited by:

    1. Vahabi, Mehrdad, 2011. "Soft budget constraint and the parastatal sector," MPRA Paper 37926, University Library of Munich, Germany.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    secularism; destructive coordination; contradictory orders; parallel institutions; Islamic Republic of Iran;

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