Contested State Ideology and the Theatre of Elections in Iran with Homa Hoodfar

May 13

12:00pm - 1:30pm

Sie Complex, Room 1020, Forum

Join CMES for the fifth event in our lecture series, The Iranian Revolution at 40.

One of the largest popular revolutions in the history of the world was achieved in Iran in 1979 through an informal coalition of various social and political forces with vastly different visions of the ideal society, ranging from national independence and plural democracy to a 'return' to an imaginary Islamic society. These divergent visions lead to the creation of a peculiar theocratic-republicanism with a duel state structure, and with the non-elected branch controlling major state institutions. Over the last four decades, the theocrats have gradually undermined the elected institutions of the state, rendering them ineffective. None-the-less, parliamentary and presidential elections are taken very seriously by both the public and the state, as it is evident by consistently high voter turnout.

Based on observation of the 2016 parliamentary and 2017 presidential elections, Professor Homa Hoodfar will explore the general perceptions of the public at large, as well as the maneuvers of state power holders, in the run-up to Iranian elections. In short, the main question to ponder and explore is; If Iran is a theocracy and not a democracy, why are the elections taken so seriously by both the public and the state?

Homa Hoodfar is Professor of Anthropology, Emerita, at Concordia University, Montreal. Her research focuses the intersection of political economy; gender and citizenship rights; women’s formal and informal politics, gender and public sphere in Muslim contexts.

Lunch will be provided. Please RSVP below.

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