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Roots of Iranian Rage: Protest and Power in the Islamic Republic

  • History Conference Room 6275 Bunche Hall, UCLA (map)

At the end of 2017, long-simmering political frustrations in Iran erupted in a wave of militant mass protest of historic scope and depth. Protesters have taken aim not only at the current administration of Hassan Rouhani, but also its conservative predecessors, as well as its current reformist opponents. Factions in Iran’s political establishment have scrambled to respond, but the post-revolutionary social contract appears to have lost its legitimacy. Our speakers will consider the political conflicts riling the established regime and how those internal dissensions have helped prepare the ground for today’s challenge from below. They will ask if we are now seeing the fraying of the regime’s project for social and economic liberalization, what might be on the agenda to replace it, and how all this might affect prospects for rapprochement with the United States and peace in the region.  


Kevan Harris  Professor of Sociology at UCLA and author of A Social Revolution: Politics and the Welfare State in Iran (2017)

Afshin Matin-Asgari  Professor of History at California State University and author of Both Eastern and Western: An Intellectual History of Modern Iran (2018)

Co-sponsored by the Department of Sociology and the Center for Near Eastern Studies