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Extinct Species…?

Extinct species? Is the age of Middle-Eastern autocrats over? The vast majority of academic specialists on the region were as surprised as everyone else by the upheavals that toppled, until now, two Arab leaders and that are threatening several others. It has also revived the fires of the Iranian opposition. I think it’s just too early, however, to make substantive ...

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The Green Movement; Unbowed

Tehran Bureau has published an interesting report from Tehran, by Ali Chenar, on latest demonstrations in the streets of Tehran, and a call for Greens to pursue the path of national dialogue: The Iranian right encompass a broad range of factions, and many of the groups and individuals involved are bitter enemies. Their ranks include young clerics and grand ayatollahs, ...

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Seyla Benhabib on Arab Spring

Seyla Benhabib on Arab Spring

Seyla Benhabib, Professor of Philosophy and political sciences at Yale University joins the debate on the ongoing democratic uprising in the Arab world and the possible democratic co-existence between religion and state in the muslim societies with a long piece at Public Sphere Forum. She argues against pessimism:   We know that the spring of revolutions is followed by the ...

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Why Do Protests Bring Down Regimes?

In a thoughtfull piece, Graeme Robertson gives an answer to this question: The key to answer this question, I think, is to understand the basic nature of authoritarian rule. While the news media focus on “the dictator”, almost all authoritarian regimes are really coalitions involving a range of players with different resources, including incumbent politicians but also other elites like ...

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Nader Hashemi on “The People Reloaded”

Nader Hashemi on “The People Reloaded”

Co-Editor of The People Reloaded: the Green Movement and  the Struggle for Iran’s Future, Nader Hashemi, discusses recent events in Egypt in comparison with the Green Movement’s challenges in Iran.

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Mirsepassi on Secularism

Ali Mirsepassi joins the debate following Aramesh Dustdar’s open letter to Jürgen Habermas in a nice, highly recommended, piece at Jadaliyya. Here is an excerpt: European secularism concerned the creation of institutions for moderating and controlling social conflict in non-violent modes, given an understanding of religious difference at the core of uncontrolled political violence. Within each national context, for example France, ...

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Support for Democracy in Iran

An important paper has been posted at SSRN, that presents “the first systematic analysis of popular support for democracy in the Islamic Republic of Iran From abstract: It reaches three main findings. First, religiosity is strongly and negatively related with support for democracy. Second, education and age indirectly affect support for democracy; their effects are mediated through satisfaction with regime ...

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Danny Postel on “Critical Solidarity” with Iran’s Green Movement

Danny Postel, the author of Reading “Legitimation Crisis” in Tehran  writes a nice piece on Iranian green movement and calls for solidarity with Iranian democrats at New Politics. He points out to the revolutionary potential of green movement and says: I doubt very much that what Dabashi calls “the current republic” — or what we might call, invoking Rudolf Bahro, ...

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Conference: “Future of Secularism and Public Role of Religion in Iran”

Saturday, March 27, 2010 Panel One: The Concept of Secularism and its Western Permutations 1. Mehrzad Boroujerdi (Syracuse University) Secularism and International Relations: The State of Play 2. Nader Hashemi (University of Denver) Rethinking Secularism Across the Islam-West Divide: The Case of Iran in Comparative Perspective 3. Ali Mirsepassi (New York University) Ways of Being in the World: Religion and ...

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