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Massoud Pedram Jailed in Tehran

Massoud Pedram Jailed in Tehran

Two weeks ago, democratic theorist and activist Massoud Pedram was arrested in his office by Iranian authorities and has been detained since then in Tehran’s notorious Evin prison. He has been now reportedly handed three-year prison term, a sentence from his trial in 2002, never officially announced. The real reason of his detention at this time seems to be his ...

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Letters from Iran

Letters from Iran

  Letters from Iran is a new documentary film, produced by AlJazeera-English. The film examines the aftermath of Iran’s Green Revolution and “reveals that opposition is still alive and kicking and just as eager for change as before.“

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The Dictator’s Handbook

The Dictator’s Handbook

The Dictator’s Handbook Why Bad Behavior is Almost Always Good Politics By Bruce Bueno de Mesquita (NYU) and Alastair Smith (NYU) Public Affairs Books – Sep 27, 2011 352 pages. Book Description: For eighteen years, Bruce Bueno de Mesquita and Alastair Smith have been part of a team revolutionizing the study of politics by turning conventional wisdom on its head. ...

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Ulrichsen and Held Reassess the Arab Spring

Seven months after their first article on the Arab Spring, comparing it with Eastern Europe in 1989, Kristian Coates Ulrichsen (LSE) and David Held (LSE) have published today a new, very informative article, The Arab 1989 revisited, reviewing recent developments. They seem more cautious this time. Excerpts: In this new article, we will review the course of the Arab Spring in ...

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Released American Hikers Speak out

Released American Hikers Speak out

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1ToVZJG4eJ8&w=530&h=330] Shane Bauer and Josh Fattal, two American hikers who were released from Iranian prison, held a press conference in New York on 25 September 2011 upon their arrival in the United States. They were joined by their colleague, Sarah Shroud, who was released from Iranian custody last year. Watch video excerpts of their statements above. Some of the highlights ...

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Olivier Roy on Syrian Crisis

Olivier Roy warns that the crisis in Syria could lead to an all-out conflict between Iran and Turkey: The novelty – and the great danger – is that the Syrian crisis brings into conflict two states that, until now, have coexisted peacefully despite belonging to opposing camps, namely Iran and Turkey. Both are directly implicated in what is happening in ...

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Mohammed Ayoob on “What Iran must learn from Turkey”

Mohammed Ayoob writes in Open Democracy on what Iranian leaders must learn from Turkey: “What the Iranian ruling elite needs to understand is that factionalism is not the same thing as organized political parties with transparent platforms. Unelected clerical institutions fall prey to factionalism and partisanship themselves: checks and balances come from the innate democratic spirit of constitutions not from ...

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The End of Ahmadinejad

Abbas Millani writes on the rift between Ahmadinejad and Khamenei in the new issue of National Interest: “Ahmadinejad and his oligarch cronies have been having a rough couple of months. The ayatollah is out for blood, and those in “elected” office are under attack. In fact, the dominant narrative taking over the Islamic Republic has lately sounded a great deal ...

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The Limits of the Arab Spring

John Kelsay writes from a pessimistic perspective on the limits of Arab spring: “The autocrats succeeded. Throughout the region, there is little in the way of organizations ready and able to step in and move the various countries toward democracy. What we are seeing is a generational change—not, however, as suggested by the coverage in European and North American news ...

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Special Issue of ‘Perspectives’, May 2011: “People’s Power – The Arab World in Revolt”

Perspectives, a print and online publication from Heinrich Böll Foundation, affiliated with the German Green Party, has just published a special issue on the democratic uprisings in the Arab world. Here is the description: The self-immolation of young and jobless Tunisian Mohamed Bouazizi in the provincial town of Sidi Bouzid, being deprived of his vegetable stand and humiliated by the ...

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