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5 - Elected Institutions

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  10 August 2023

Mehran Kamrava
Affiliation:
Georgetown University, Qatar
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Summary

Elections for the presidency, the Majles, and the city councils perpetuate the politics of hybridity, which in turn has left each of these institutions with conflicting legacies. Hybridity has left them neither democratic nor authoritarian, neither paragons of the people’s political will nor symbols and symptoms of an unresponsive and repressive state. Hybridity perpetuates the politics of ambivalence. It renders presidents and parliamentarians and city councilors ineffective if they cross amorphous, undefined redlines. But it also makes them exciting symbols of the popular will if they speak the people’s language, voice their complaints about prices, and promise to better their lives. Hybridity makes normal a neither-here-nor-there routine of the politics of voting and going along with the system, and, on occasion, breaking into protest out of frustration that rituals like voting matter little. Hybridity and ambivalence go hand in hand, reduce the costs of conformity, increase the price of rebellion, and make possible occasional bouts of protest and violence. Like elections, institutions such as the presidency and the parliament entail risks for the authoritarian core of the state, affording potential wildcards institutional platforms and resources to further their own agendas.

Type
Chapter
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Righteous Politics
Power and Resilience in Iran
, pp. 106 - 130
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2023

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  • Elected Institutions
  • Mehran Kamrava, Georgetown University, Qatar
  • Book: Righteous Politics
  • Online publication: 10 August 2023
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781009362023.006
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  • Elected Institutions
  • Mehran Kamrava, Georgetown University, Qatar
  • Book: Righteous Politics
  • Online publication: 10 August 2023
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781009362023.006
Available formats
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Save book to Google Drive

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.

  • Elected Institutions
  • Mehran Kamrava, Georgetown University, Qatar
  • Book: Righteous Politics
  • Online publication: 10 August 2023
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781009362023.006
Available formats
×