Intra-State Relations in the Islamic Republic of Iran: The Presidency and the Struggle for Political Authority, 1989- 2009.

Siavush Randjbar-Daemi

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis

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This thesis is a study of the creation and evolution of the presidential institution in post- Khomeini Iran. It argues that the two decades under consideration have witnessed a continuous struggle, by successive presidents, for the recognition of their constitutional authority and its augmentation, which were considered by all presidents as a necessary step towards the fulfilment of their initial aspirations. The lack of success of all the presidents in achieving the latter objective, and the constant undermining of successive incumbents by other political actors, are explained in order to highlight the unique nature of the presidency in contemporary Iran. This falls short of being fully described by concepts and frameworks derived from elements of political theory relevant to classical Western definitions and notions regarding state institutions.
This study specifically focuses upon the accession and tenure of three successive presidents, Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, Mohammad Khatami and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. It initially provides a broad historical overview of the relevant state institutions in the pre-revolutionary period, with a view to understanding their development structurally and thematically. The emergence of the unique post- revolutionary executive branch and political elite of the state during the first decade of existence of the Islamic Republic, with all their implications, are then discussed. Subsequently, the aforementioned presidents’ relationship with their surrounding political environment is explored with the purpose of explaining their modus operandi, their understanding of the presidency as an institution, and their decision-making at critical junctures within the contemporary context. The discussion also details their ties with the rest of the Islamic Republic’s political elite.
The thesis is the second book-length analysis of a state institution of the Islamic Republic to emerge within the English-language academic context. It therefore seeks to augment the existing literature on both the structure of the contemporary Iranian state and the state-building processes undergone in Iran in the modern era.
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Royal Holloway, University of London
  • Martin, Vanessa, Supervisor
Award date1 Feb 2012
Publication statusUnpublished - 2012

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