Elections in the Islamic Republic of Iran : A source of democratic learning and moderation

Journal article


Ghobadzadeh, Naser. (2018). Elections in the Islamic Republic of Iran : A source of democratic learning and moderation. Journal of Arab and Muslim Media Research. 11(2), pp. 157-177. https://doi.org/10.1386/jammr.11.2.157_1
AuthorsGhobadzadeh, Naser
Abstract

Elections held under Iran’s ruling clergy have always been manipulated and have hardly been free and fair. A simple reference to Iran’s current political situation attests to the fact that these elections have not proven to be a force for democratization of the political system. However, this article suggests that the very existence of electoral procedures in the Islamic Republic effectively split the Islamists, giving their left-wing faction a new chance of survival in Iran’s political milieu. This by extension resulted in behavioural and ideological moderation, and in the formation of a new version of political Islam that accommodates democratic norms within an Islamic framework. Exploring the politico-religious transformation of Iran’s reformist Islamists, this article argues that the inclusion-moderation hypothesis could be effectively utilized to trace and explicate their politico-religious trajectory. Furthermore, the semi-competitive nature of elections in Iran has on more than one occasion generated uncertainty. Not only has this outcome taken the regime to the brink, but it has also opened up spaces in which citizens occasionally, if not permanently, entertain democratic learning. Based on interviews with 80 political activists in Iran, this article argues that the electoral politics has seeded democratic norms in the minds of the believers.3. opens in new tab.)

Year2018
JournalJournal of Arab and Muslim Media Research
Journal citation11 (2), pp. 157-177
PublisherIntellect Ltd
ISSN1751-942X
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1386/jammr.11.2.157_1
Scopus EID2-s2.0-85068415166
Research or scholarlyResearch
Page range157-177
Publisher's version
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All rights reserved
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Controlled
Output statusPublished
Publication dates
Online21 Nov 2018
Publication process dates
Deposited14 Jan 2022
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