Volume 23, Issue 2 (2016)                   IQBQ 2016, 23(2): 1-15 | Back to browse issues page

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Saei A. Political Elites and democratization: A Case Study of Iran. IQBQ. 23 (2) :1-15
URL: http://eijh.modares.ac.ir/article-27-1083-en.html
Department of Sociology
Abstract:   (4012 Views)

This article attempts to explain democratization in Iran through an elite-oriented approach. According to this approach, the success and failure of democratization depends on the political elite strategy. My argument is that the fate of democratization is determined by elite strategies. If their strategy is considered suppressive, an authoritarian cycle will take place in the transition stage, but if the political elite strategy is considered non-suppressive, the index of democratic transition increases. In this study, the political elites are divided into two groups: conservatives and reformists. The analysis method is historical-narrative technique. The empirical findings indicate that whenever the hardliners inside the government are stronger than the opposition groups, they constrain the democratization by suppressing the opposition (moderates and reformists), which leads to a decrease in the index of democratic transition, as exemplified in the 13th parliamentary in 1941. Whenever the reformers are stronger than the conservatives and they are allowed to participate in elections, the index of democratic transition tends to increase, as shown in the 17th parliament under the rule of Mușaddiq and the 7th presidential elections after the 1979 Revolution. The data demonstrates that democratization is still fragile in Iran and it’s the fate would be determined by the relative power of reformists and conservatives.
  As a result, I argue that Iran’s democratic transition is fragile and it’s the fate is determined by the relative power of reformists and conservatives.

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Received: 2017/06/17 | Accepted: 2017/06/17 | Published: 2022/06/22

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