Dual Powers: Repression and Participation in Iran

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The Iranian revolution of 1979 that overthrew the last ruler of the Pahlavi dynasty was one of the largest mass movements of the 20th century. This massive “participation explosion,” however, did not culminate in the creation of a democracy. The Islamic Republic that replaced the absolute monarchy was an authoritarian populist theocracy that began to consolidate its power very rapidly in the aftermath of the revolution, liquidating all the major opposition to its monopolization of political power. With the revolution having run its course, the political behavior of the Islamic Republic vacillates between pragmatism and revolutionary idealism, maintaining ideological adherence […]

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