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Document Type:Latin Dissertation
Language of Document:English
Record Number:52725
Doc. No:TL22679
Call number:‭3234160‬
Main Entry:Yasuyuki Matsunaga
Title & Author:Struggles for democratic consolidation in the Islamic Republic of Iran, 1979–2004Yasuyuki Matsunaga
College:New York University
Date:2006
Degree:Ph.D.
student score:2006
Page No:350
Abstract:Five years after the sovereign-making 1979 Revolution, the Islamic Republic of Iran (IRI) formally constructed the procedural rules and consensus about who are admitted to and excluded from its electoral regime. The 1984 intra-elite procedural compact, while excluding regime opponents and secular leftists, nevertheless upheld the norm of multi-party electoral contestation among competing politico-ideological interests, ushering in a series of contested and well-participated elections over the following two decades. This dissertation examines the introduction and developments of IRI's electoral democracy, conceived of as a partial regime, whose consolidation arguably had the potential of enabling the electorate to crucially restructure power relations. Based on extensive field research and examinations of a wide range of printed materials obtained in Iran, I address the fundamental question as to why, despite the prima facie indications of the potential and various efforts made to that effect, the electoral democracy in IRI failed to develop into the kind of institutionalized competition that would have qualified as its consolidation as a democratic electoral regime. The unexpected landslide election of Mohammad Khatami in 1997, together with the ensuing electoral victories of his supporters, begs the question about the origin of this sudden invigoration of electoral politics eighteen years after the Revolution. Neither the institutionalist nor the elite-focused factionalist approach is adequate for explaining the expansion and transformation of the IRI's electoral democracy in the 1996-2001 period. The alternative approach I adopt in this dissertation instead focuses on the central role of the electorate in revitalizing the electoral democracy, and also on the interplay between the reform-seeking majority voters and the elected reformists for explaining the latter's failure at democratic consolidation as well as their own political downfall. The findings reinforce the theoretical viability of conceptualizing democracy in terms of degrees and assessing the state of struggles in terms of progress in consolidating a series of relevant partial regimes. Despite the failed efforts in the IRI case, the findings also reinforce the significance of contested elections as a likely institutional locus of change in protracted cases of democratic consolidation.
Subject:Social sciences; Democratic consolidation; Election law; Iran; Islamic; Political science; Law; Middle Eastern history; 0615:Political science; 0398:Law; 0333:Middle Eastern history
Added Entry:F. Kazemi
Added Entry:New York University