Political transition in Iran : the ideological struggle for power within the Islamic Republic
Karega, Sekou S.
Porter, Clifford F.
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Over 20 years after the 1979 Iranian Revolution, the actors have changed, but the political institution and structure remains nearly identical. There is no genuine hegemonic consensus in the Islamic Republic of Iran (IRI); basically, the same political tensions that contributed to the revolution are prevalent today. The only drastic difference is the shift in anger from the majority of the population demanding democratic reforms from the West to the ruling clerics. Similarly, state structure, political, and socioeconomic policies from 1979 to the present have been consequential in producing an ideological conflict between the ruling clerics who seek power and authority and the reformists who seek to implement policy reforms. The outcome of this political dilemma will dictate domestic politics as well as foreign policy in Iran. This thesis argues that pressure on Iranian foreign policy and domestic politics comes from the need to reconcile international concerns of Iranian interests with domestic concerns of Shi'i Islam and revolutionary ideology, which limits the policy options available to the Iranian government. This thesis examines the ideological struggle for control within the ruling elite and the decisive constraints it places on the range of economic and political options available to the ruling ulama.
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