Pedram, Ali (2010) 'Parliament and the process of democratization in the Islamic Republic of Iran.', Reading, UK: Ithaca. Durham Middle East monographs. (14).
The quest for democracy has become a compelling issue in many developing countries in recent years, and Iran is no exception to this. However, many argue that democracy is unlikely to emerge in Iran in the near future, and base this assumption on the strong presence of Islam in Iranian society, and a supposed intrinsic incompatibility between Islam and democracy. This book attempts to challenge this assumption by examining both the current state of democracy in the Islamic Republic of Iran and the democratization process currently underway within the country. The author studies the role of Shi’a Islam in shaping and determining socio-political realities in Iran, analyses the Constitution and the institutional equilibrium of the Islamic Republic, and discusses how factional politics have evolved and become a conduit for internal reform. He argues that although the reality of the modern nation-state has incorporated functions and expectations that make democracy not merely one option any more, but actually the most feasible way of governing a nation-state efficiently, the Western-liberal model of democracy is not the sole criterion for perceiving good governance. Non-Western attempts to reform, such as those in Iran, must not be seen as pre-determined to fail simply because reform or democracy is not indigenous.
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