Friday, April 10, 2009

Iran: Reform vs. Revolution


Iran: Reform vs. Revolution

Ali Asghar Kazemi


“Men do not start revolutions in a sudden passion… Revolutions do not spring overnight. Revolutions come from the long suppression of human spirit. Revolutions come because men know that they have rights and they are disregarded.”

Woodrow Wilson*[1]

Revolution is an old concept in social theory. It has several distinctive indicators that make it different from other kinds of social events and political phenomena, such as coup d’état, rebellion and insurgency. The first and most obvious is that revolution has a large popular support. Secondly, it has a leadership who directs the movement and social forces. Finally, it aims at a redistribution of political power[2], although social, economic and cultural changes may not accompany this change. How can we explain revolutionary movements in our present international order? How much religious fervor in the Middle East is leading to revolution? Why people prefer revolution to reform? More

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