The Constitution of Iran: Politics and the State in the Islamic Republic

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I. B. Tauris, Sep 15, 1998 - Political Science - 336 pages
With the recent landslide election victory of the reformist President Khatami in Iran, the relationship between religion and politics in Islam is likely to change dramatically. This book is a milestone in our understanding of the ideology and practice of an Islamic state. Asghar Schirazi chronicles and analyzes political life in Iran since the revolution, showing the gradual transformation of the state from intended theocracy and republic to a hierocracy in which Islam and the shari'a play a subordinate role. He thus provides the context for the dramatic debate between reformists and traditionalists in Iran. Schirazi addresses the major contradictions inherent in the Iranian constitution--between its legalistic and democratic components on the one hand, and between the alleged potential of a legally and ideologically interpreted Islam to resolve social problems as against the growing evidence that this Islam is an inadequate legal and political basis for government. He charts the gradual replacement of Islamic legalism with a political practice based centrally on the interests of the state, and points to a growing crisis of the shari'a that will open the way for possible developments of Islam in the future.

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The Composition of the Constitution
The Genesis of the Constitution

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About the author (1998)

Asghar Schirazi is Research Associate in the Department of Political Science, Middle East Studies Section, at the Free University of Berlin.

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