This book advances the argument that revivalist Islamic states, in spite of their possible circumstantial variations, share certain universal characteristics. They are bound to undergo a prolonged period of crisis in the process of their self-definition. This crisis is the outcome of the confrontation between the populist forces with their populist-utopian interpretation of Islam, and the conservative alliance of privileged classes upholding Islam's defence of private property rights as sacred. Such a confrontation is further accentuated by the antagonism of revivalist movements toward cultural patterns that do not conform to traditional Islamic values. In this book, leading authorities on Iran examine the characteristics of the 1979 revolution and the post-revolutionary crisis, to provide a unique analysis and appraisal of a nation's experimentation with Islam as a political catalyst and as a philosophy for building social order.
Part 1 Ideological and historical perspectives: from the white revolution to the Islamic revolution, Ahmad Ashraf; state, political stability and property rights, Fatemeh E. Moghadam; competing Shi'i subsystems in contemporary Iran, Ali Rahnema and Farhad Nomani. Part 2 State and economy: the post-revolutionary economic crisis, Sohrab Behdad; continuity and change in industrial policy, Saeed Rahnema; the oil sector after the revolution, Djavad Salehi-Isfahani; the political economy of foreign exchange reform, Hossein Farzin. Part 3 Social policy and state legitimacy: regime legitimacy and high-school textbooks, Sussan Siavoshi; health policy and medical education, Asghar Rastegar; the politics of nationality and ethnic diversity, Shahrzad Mojab and Amir Hassanpour; public life and women's resistance, Haideh Moghissi.