Nested game of elections in Iran
Ghobadzadeh, Naser. (2019). Nested game of elections in Iran. Middle East Policy. 26(3), pp. 92-106. https://doi.org/10.1111/mepo.12440
[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.
|Journal||Middle East Policy|
|Journal citation||26 (3), pp. 92-106|
|Publisher||Blackwell Publishing Inc.|
|Digital Object Identifier (DOI)||https://doi.org/10.1111/mepo.12440|
|Research or scholarly||Research|
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|Online||15 Oct 2019|
|Publication process dates|
|Deposited||20 Dec 2021|
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