A Social Revolution: Politics and the Welfare State in Iran

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Univ of California Press, Aug 8, 2017 - History - 316 pages
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For decades, political observers and pundits have characterized the Islamic Republic of Iran as an ideologically rigid state on the verge of collapse, exclusively connected to a narrow social base. In A Social Revolution, Kevan Harris convincingly demonstrates how they are wrong. Previous studies ignore the forceful consequences of three decades of social change following the 1979 revolution. Today, more people in the country are connected to welfare and social policy institutions than to any other form of state organization. In fact, much of Iran’s current political turbulence is the result of the success of these social welfare programs, which have created newly educated and mobilized social classes advocating for change. Based on extensive fieldwork conducted in Iran, Harris shows how the revolutionary regime endured through the expansion of health, education, and aid programs that have both embedded the state in everyday life and empowered its challengers. This focus on the social policies of the Islamic Republic of Iran opens a new line of inquiry into the study of welfare states in countries where they are often overlooked or ignored.
 

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Contents

Can an Oil State Be a Welfare State?
23
Welfare Policy as StateBuilding
46
1979 War
80
Rural Transformations
116
WelfareState Expansion
144
Lineages of the Iranian Welfare State
175
Development Contradictions through
217
Bibliography
275
Index
303
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About the author (2017)

Kevan Harris is Assistant Professor of Sociology at the University of California, Los Angeles.

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