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Intellectuals, reform and the making of a modern Iranian civil society (1997-2005)

Mohebi, Melody (2012) Intellectuals, reform and the making of a modern Iranian civil society (1997-2005). PhD thesis, The London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE).

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Abstract

The aim of my thesis is to investigate the reason for why and how the language and concept of civil society was used to enhance positions of power by reformists in Iran. In particular, this thesis examines how reformist public intellectuals used civil society to craft their vision of Iran’s sociopolitical future. Special focus is placed upon reformist public intellectuals as agents of change, due to their particular role in introducing new ideas to a wider public audience. Their role as critical thinkers and figures affiliated with a political movement for reform provided them with a unique position on the boundaries between civil and political society. In contrast to reformists, this thesis also examines how conservative figures with different underlying values appropriated the language and concept of civil society for their own ends. Ultimately, it is argued that although civil society is a politically charged concept that can be employed to serve different objectives, it leaves behind a residue of pluralism and an opening up of the public sphere.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Additional Information: © 2012 Melody Mohebi
Library of Congress subject classification: H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
J Political Science > JQ Political institutions Asia
Sets: Departments > Social Policy
Supervisor: Howell, Jude and Lewis, David
URI: http://etheses.lse.ac.uk/id/eprint/537

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