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A Century of Revolution

A Century of Revolution: Social Movements in Iran

John Foran editor
Volume: 2
Copyright Date: 1994
Edition: NED - New edition
Pages: 288
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  • Book Info
    A Century of Revolution
    Book Description:

    This volume offers a much needed look into the historical, social, and political developments leading up to the Iranian revolution. Bringing together a group of scholars, historians, and social scientists, most of them Iranian in origin, the book documents an extraordinary revolutionary heritage that predates this century. Contributors include: Janet Afary, Amir Hassanpour, Mansoor Moaddel, Val Moghadam, Misgah Parsa, Sussan Siavoshi, and Michael Zirinsky.

    eISBN: 978-0-8166-8609-4
    Subjects: Political Science

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  3. Acknowledgments
    (pp. vii-viii)
    John Foran
  4. A Note on Names and Dates
    (pp. ix-ix)
  5. Maps
    (pp. x-x)
  6. Introduction: On the Study of Social Movements in Iran
    (pp. xi-xviii)

    The dramatic events of 1978 and 1979 in Iran and their stormy aftermath sent shock waves rippling through the United States and the international policy-making and scholarly communities that continue to this day, in addition to touching, directly or indirectly, the lives of millions of people worldwide. Before late 1978 Iran did not occupy a large place in the public mind, mass media, or academic division of labor. The country was, to be sure, an object of considerable interest to multinational oil companies, arms manufacturers, and those in high U.S. policy circles, but extensive economic and geostrategic relations were kept...

  7. Chapter 1 Shi‘i Political Discourse and Class Mobilization in the Tobacco Movement of 1890-92
    (pp. 1-20)
    Mansoor Moaddel

    The tobacco protest movement of 1890-92 is one of the most celebrated events of nineteenth-century Iran. In this movement, religion played a significant role in mobilizing the people against a concession granted by the Qajar shah to a British company. Because religion was so crucial to the success of the movement and the religious tactic used by the opposition so effective, the event provided a historical precedent and justification for subsequent intervention of the Shi‘i establishment in politics. It has generated considerable debate among historians and area specialists as to the causes of the significance of Shi‘i religion in Iran’s...

  8. Chapter 2 Social Democracy and the Iranian Constitutional Revolution of 1906-11
    (pp. 21-43)
    Janet Afary

    The Russian revolution of 1905 was followed by a series of revolutions in Iran (1906), Turkey (1908), Mexico (1910), and China (1911) that marked a new stage in the history of the developing world and brought several competing ideologies—nationalism, democracy, religion, and socialism—into open confrontation. The Iranian Constitutional Revolution is remembered most for its establishment of a parliament and a democratic constitution in the country for the first time. Less known are the roles of various social democratic tendencies that were active in Iran in this period. These groups, which became politically important organizations in their own right,...

  9. Chapter 3 The Rise of Reza Khan
    (pp. 44-77)
    Michael P. Zirinsky

    Modern Iranian history has been punctuated by a series of upheavals against strong royal power, including the tobacco boycott, the Constitutional Revolution, the Jangali movement, the Musaddiq era, and the Islamic Revolution. Despite the focus of these struggles on constitutionalism and their culmination in a republic, most of Iran’s twentieth century was dominated by the royal dictatorship established by Reza Khan in 1926, which continued until his son, Muhammad Reza Shah, was overthrown in 1978-79. This raises an important question, then, for students of Iranian social movements: How did Reza come to the throne?

    The history of Reza Khan has...

  10. Chapter 4 The Nationalist Movements in Azarbaijan and Kurdistan, 1941-46
    (pp. 78-105)
    Amir Hassanpour

    World War II and the struggle against fascism changed the balance of forces throughout the world and provided favorable opportunities for the peoples of the world to assert their social, economic, and national rights, especially in Asia, Africa, and Europe. When the war started in 1939, Iran remained officially neutral under the iron fist of a hated dictator, Reza Shah Pahlavi. Germany and pro-Nazi sympathizers were active. Soon after the German offensive against the USSR, Allied forces—Soviets from the north and the British from the south—invaded Iran on August 25, 1941, deposed Reza Shah, and replaced him with...

  11. Chapter 5 The Oil Nationalization Movement, 1949-53
    (pp. 106-134)
    Sussan Siavoshi

    Between 1949 and 1953, Iran experienced the emergence, ascendence, and ultimately failure of a movement that had a profound impact on the future course of its history. The oil nationalization struggle started as a protest against British control over the oil industry, but soon developed into an expression of a genuine popular desire for Iran’s dignity as an independent nation-state. It attracted support from large sections of different urban social classes with diverse ideological leanings and led to the formation of the National Front, which became its organizational instrument. The leader of the movement was the liberal and charismatic Muhammad...

  12. Chapter 6 Mosque of Last Resort: State Reform and Social Conflict in the Early 1960s
    (pp. 135-159)
    Misagh Parsa

    There are at least four theoretical perspectives that can be employed to explain social conflicts and collective action. They include the social breakdown model, Davies’s J-curve, Marx’s theory of revolution, and resource mobilization. With the exception of resource mobilization, these theories are insufficient to explain the conflicts and collective actions of the 1960s in Iran.

    The social breakdown model claims that large-scale social transformations such as commercialization, urbanization, or industrialization tend to erode traditional values and authority relations and generate conditions in which conflicts arise. The Iranian revolution in 1979 and the rise of fundamentalism have often been interpreted using...

  13. Chapter 7 The Iranian Revolution of 1977–79: A Challenge for Social Theory
    (pp. 160-188)

    The mass upheaval that swept Iran in the course of 1978 startled almost all observers, from journalists and diplomats to Iran scholars and theorists of Third World social change. By the time the shah left his country in January 1979 and Ayatullah Khumaini returned a month later, the first accounts of the events were being published. Now, more than a decade later, the literature on the causes and nature of the Iranian revolution has achieved sizable proportions, although a number of controversial issues remain unsettled and the theoretical implications of the case of Iran for social theorizing about revolution have...

  14. Chapter 8 Islamic Populism, Class, and Gender in Postrevolutionary Iran
    (pp. 189-222)
    Val Moghadam

    What kind of revolution took place in Iran? What was its immediate outcome? And how has the revolution evolved? The immediate outcome of the 1977-79 Iranian revolution was the formal establishment of the Islamic Republic of Iran, overwhelmingly approved in a referendum on April 1, 1979. Yet the multiclass alliance that was so effective in resisting the military and toppling the Pahlavi state soon broke down into its constituent elements, and in an extremely contentious manner. This chapter examines the outcome of the Iranian revolution in terms of its most salient features: the trajectory of the Islamic-populist state and ideology,...

  15. Chapter 9 A Century of Revolution: Comparative, Historical, and Theoretical Perspectives on Social Movements in Iran
    (pp. 223-238)

    It is time to draw up a provisional balance sheet of our reflections on social movements across Iranian history. The present volume represents a collective effort to reflect on the meanings of Iran's long century of revolutions since 1891. The fact that rebellions, revolutions, ethnic nationalist movements, and coups and countercoups have occurred so frequently andfor so longbids us to think this through with the use of comparison and the application of theory. The fact that this has been a century ofrevolutionmeans that we have to go beyond the social scientific literature on social movements (although...

  16. Select Bibliography
    (pp. 239-252)
  17. Contributors
    (pp. 253-254)
  18. Index
    (pp. 255-263)