Explanation and Critique of the Iranian Reform Movement: Alternative Discourses for a Conservative Regime
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This thesis analyzes the failures, achievements, and some of the possible political ramifications of the reform movement in Iran since the Islamic Revolution. It focuses on religious intellectual discourses in the context of the intellectual trajectory of Islamic thought from the revolutionary period to the post-revolutionary reformist phase. This thesis examines the role of the post-revolutionary intellectuals after the death of Ayatollah Khomeini. For reaching this goal, this research presents an analysis of the historical processes which resulted in the formation and growth of the religious intellectuals in Iran. The thesis begins by explaining the basis of Shia political thought and its growth trend which leads to the theory of velayate faqih as the main response to the question of the political legitimacy in Shia doctrine. I argue that the emergence of the reformist ideas related to the decline of the revolutionary model of the Islamic government, which dominated the decade after the revolution. I discuss how the reformists and the religious intellectuals challenge the socio-economic and the political hegemony of the Islamic government. Finally, I explore the politics of the reform movement after the election of President Khatami in 1997, and consider the failures and achievements of the reformist government in the socio-political sphere. The thesis explores the reformists victory was the first step for reforming the power structure which might lead to the transformation of the socio-political and economic liberalization, and which combines modern political thought with a religious framework in the power structure in Iran.
- Masters Theses