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Empirically rich and theoretically informed, this book is an innovative analysis of political decentralization under the Islamic Republic of Iran. Drawing upon Kian Tajbakhsh's twenty years of experience working with and researching local government in Iran, it uses original data and insights to explain how local government operates in towns and cities as a form of electoral authoritarianism. With a combination of historical, political, and financial field research, it explores the multifaceted dimensions of local power and how various ideologically opposed actors shaped local government as an integral component of authoritarian state building. Ultimately, this book demonstrates how local government serves to undermine democratization and consolidate the Islamist regime. As Iran's cities and towns grow and develop, their significance will only increase, and this study is vital to understanding their politics, administration and influence.
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