Nested game of elections in Iran

Journal article


Ghobadzadeh, Naser. (2019). Nested game of elections in Iran. Middle East Policy. 26(3), pp. 92-106. https://doi.org/10.1111/mepo.12440
AuthorsGhobadzadeh, Naser
Abstract

[Excerpt] Iran's political landscape witnessed a month-long series of public protests from the final days of 2017 until the end of January 2018. According to the interior minister, an unprecedented number of cities — more than 100 in total — bore witness to these protests.1 Although the ruling clergy managed to stabilize the situation, the protests have continued, albeit in a sporadic way, up until the present. While the chorus of voices seeking regime change has become louder, reform discourse is earning scant popularity in the political lexicon of the country. This situation is attributable partly to the hostile approach adopted by the Trump administration in abandoning the joint nuclear deal with Iran and reintroducing sanctions. Additionally, the current U.S. administration has increased its ties with, and support for, the Iranian opposition groups that seek regime change. However, external factors offer only a partial explanation for the recent political upheaval.

The main source of the volatile political situation is the widespread dissatisfaction attributable to Iran's economic and political woes, although such discontent is not a new phenomenon. For years, many Iranians have been disillusioned with governance by the clerics.2 That notwithstanding, members of the ruling clergy have managed to create periods of hope for meaningful change. By holding elections and allowing limited levels of policy reform, they have successfully quelled public dissatisfaction, at least temporarily. The Reform Era (1997–2005), for example, was a time of great expectation for the transformation of the clergy-dominated polity. During the 2013 presidential elections, yet another wave of optimism urged many to vote for Rouhani, a moderate who promised to reorient the course of the country's economic, political and cultural affairs.

Year2019
JournalMiddle East Policy
Journal citation26 (3), pp. 92-106
PublisherBlackwell Publishing Inc.
ISSN1061-1924
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1111/mepo.12440
Scopus EID2-s2.0-85073420811
Research or scholarlyResearch
Page range92-106
Publisher's version
License
All rights reserved
File Access Level
Controlled
Output statusPublished
Publication dates
Online15 Oct 2019
Publication process dates
Deposited20 Dec 2021
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