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Beyond the Arab SpringThe Evolving Ruling Bargain in the Middle East$
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Mehran Kamrava

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780199384419

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: December 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199384419.001.0001

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Renegotiating Iran's Post-Revolutionary Social Contract

Renegotiating Iran's Post-Revolutionary Social Contract

The Green Movement And The Struggle For Democracy In The Islamic Republic

(p.191) 7 Renegotiating Iran's Post-Revolutionary Social Contract
Beyond the Arab Spring

Nader Hashemi

Oxford University Press

This chapter is an exploration of the crisis of legitimacy facing the Islamic Republic after the 2009 presidential elections. The emergence of the Green Movement in 2009 was a second attempt by the reformist movement to democratically renegotiate Iran’s post-revolutionary social contract. This social contract was formed in the immediate aftermath of the 1979 revolution and was embodied in the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Iran. The electoral crisis in June 2009 was a key turning point in Iranian politics and the Islamic Republic today faces what Jürgen Habermas has called a “legitimation crisis.” The chapter analyses how and why Iran’s post- revolutionary social contract began to unravel and how it led to both the rise and fall of the reformist movement in the late 1990s and its second iteration in the form of the Green Movement in 2009. The similarities and differences between these two movements are examined. Finally, the chapter turns to an examination of the Green Movement itself. What are its political origins, its key characteristics, its strategy for democratization, its strengths and weaknesses, and what obstacles does it face in terms of democratizing Iran?

Keywords:   Iran, Habermas, Green Movement, legitimation crisis, social contract

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