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Politics and Culture in Contemporary Iran: Challenging the Status Quo

Abbas Milani and Larry Diamond, editors
Politics and Culture in Contemporary Iran: Challenging the Status Quo
ISBN: 978-1-62637-146-0
ISBN: 978-1-62637-147-7
ISBN: 978-1-62637-536-9
2015/301 pages/LC: 2015452325
"This valuable book ... provide[s] an objective and critical analysis of Iran's political development."—Choice

"This finely crafted book ... allows readers to go beyond the official representation of the country and gain a deeper appreciation of the complexity of a rich and vibrant society."—Library Journal


Despite the relative calm apparent in Iran today, there is unmistakable evidence of political, social, and cultural ferment stirring beneath the surface. The authors of Politics and Culture in Contemporary Iran—a group of scholars, activists, and artists—explore that unrest and its challenge to the legitimacy and stability of the present authoritarian regime. Ranging from political theory to music, from human rights law to social media, their contributions reveal the tenacious and continually evolving forces that are at work resisting the status quo.


Abbas Milani is Moghadam Director of Iranian Studies at Stanford University and codirector, with Larry Diamond, of the Iran Democracy Project at Stanford's Hoover Institution. Larry Diamond is senior fellow at both the Hoover Institution and the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies at Stanford.


  • Introduction—the Editors.
  • Ayatollah Khomeini's Theory of Government—A. Naraghi.
  • Cleavages in Iranian Politics Since 1979—H. Bashiriyeh.
  • Democracy After the Green Movement—M. Kar.
  • Exploring Iran’s Legal Structure—F. Haghighatjoo.
  • The Role of the Basij in Iranian Politics—S. Golkar.
  • A Portrait of the Persian Blogosphere—J. Kelly and B. Etling.
  • The Role of the Social Media: Myth and Reality—M. Yahyanejad.
  • The Revolution and Music: A Personal Odyssey—M. Namjoo.
  • Iran's Democratic Movements—A. Milani.
  • Epilogue: "A History of Postrevolutionary Iran": A Prose Poem—S. Behbahani.