Social Movements in Iran: Environmentalism and Civil Society

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Routledge, 2012 - Political Science - 163 pages
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Despite the growing significance of social movements worldwide, scholarship on the subject remains largely Western in nature, with studies written primarily by Western scholars and based on the experiences of Western cultures and societies. This book makes an important contribution to the study of social movements in non-Western societies by examining their development in Iran. With a particular focus on the recent environmental movement, the author sheds new light on the implications and significance of these movements.

Drawing on in-depth original research, the case study of the environmental movement is integrated into a historical and comparative analysis. Implementing the new social movement theory of Touraine and Melucci in the Iranian context, the author shows that although the reform movement of Iran is unique, in some aspects it is a continuation of the past social movements. She places emphasis on the role of women in recent Iranian social movements, exploring the significance of social movements in civil society and in instigating social change.

Using the case of Iran to offer a critical framework for studying social change and transformation of non-European countries, this book fills an important gap in the existing literature on the topic. As such, it will be of great interest to scholars and students of sociology, political science and Middle Eastern studies.


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1 Theoretical framework
2 Grand social movements of Iran in the twentieth century
3 Civil society discourse as the battleground of societal change
4 From a movement for civil society towards a movement for the environment
5 The relevance of the TouraineMelucci model in the Iranian context
6 Conclusions

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About the author (2012)

Simin Fadaee is Assistant Professor for the sociology of Asia and Africa at Humboldt University of Berlin. Her research interests lie in the areas of social movements, social inequality, globalization and social structure.

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