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Islamic discourses of power and freedom in the Iranian Revolution, 1979-81.

Delkhasteh, Mahmood (2007) Islamic discourses of power and freedom in the Iranian Revolution, 1979-81. PhD thesis, London School of Economics and Political Science (United Kingdom).

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Abstract

This thesis has two aims: to expand scholarly understanding of the Iranian Revolution up to its transition to religious totalitarianism, and second, to present a non-deterministic theoretical framework for understanding revolutions more generally, which incorporates both structure and agency. Relying on a combination of extended interviews with leading participants and some hitherto unused primary sources, and with the help of secondary texts, it reconstructs the intense political struggles from 1979-81 and the ideological formations which shaped the revolutionary process, in four steps: (1) an analysis of the ideological foundations of competing discourses of Islam, in particular those of Khomeini, Shariati, Motahari, Bazargan and Banisadr; (2) a narrative of historical events and socio-economic and political changes which set the stage for the Iranian Revolution; (3) a narrative of the process of revolution itself; and (4) a narrative of the emergence of political struggle within the revolutionary movement, which drew on two competing discourses of Islam, those of power and of freedom. The analysis of this evidence seeks to demonstrate that dictatorship was not an inevitable consequence of the revolution, but due to four main causes: (1) lack of unity within the democratic camp, (2) poor use of available resources and opportunities, (3) specific, critical decisions, and finally (4) international factors. It also suggests a theoretical framework which makes it possible to critically analyse the process of revolution, which takes account of unique socio-historical contingencies.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Political Science, General, History, Middle Eastern, Middle Eastern Studies, Islamic Studies
Sets: Collections > ProQuest Etheses
Departments > Sociology
URI: http://etheses.lse.ac.uk/id/eprint/2143

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