Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Dynamic versus Static Political Inquiry

(First draft please do not quote)

Dynamic versus Static Political Inquiry

Ali Asghar Kazemi                                                                      
January 2011 

From a methodological perspective, political science borrows diverse methods and approaches applied in social science research. Amongst these positivism, behavioral, structuralism, realism, institutionalism, rational choice theory, pluralism, interpretivism and critical theory are most familiar for students of the field. Post-modern movement and thinking have influenced these approaches considerably and have changed both the form and substance of political inquiries. Constructivism, hermeneutics, discourse analysis etc are the outgrowth of this wave.
Demand for relevance and functionality has also introduced many new qualitative and quantitative aspects and tools in this field. Statistical analysis, model building, simulation and case studies are among the very interesting and useful methods that have come to the assistance of political analysts and researchers.
The main purpose of this paper is to focus on new approaches and to show that whatever method researchers in political science and international relations choose for their inquiries they should be oriented towards dynamic rather than static conditions. In other words, in order to enhance the reliability of researches and applicability of their findings and outcome, we have to examine situations, conditions and alternative decisions in their process of changing occurrence and formation.
What do we mean by a static versus dynamic research? What are the attributes and benefits of this approach in political inquiries and decision making process?

Dynamic Research Technique
According to August Comte[1], social dynamics studies the laws of succession, while social statics seeks those of coexistence. In other words, the former furnishes the theory of progress, the latter of order.  All considerations of structure and function are static. That is to say, quantitative change is static. In dynamic phenomena the change is qualitative. Thus, social static focuses on how to maintain order in society and social dynamic focuses on how society changes over time.
In an article in American Journal of Sociology  the distinction  between the notions ‎‎"static" and "dynamic" is considered  “logical, methodological and pedagogical.” [2]‎ ‎ In other words, they are primarily and chiefly subjective rather than objective. “They are categories imposed upon the object by the mind which attempts to represent the object. They are aspects of the object, not independently existing objects. They are machinery for handling in details the things to be understood in their totality.”[3]‎ ‎
For our purpose, a static research is alike a still picture showing the apparent characteristic of a situation or incident from a certain angle, in a determined time and a defined context. A dynamic study or inquiry tries to examine a case in the process of its development through time and space as a motion picture.
For example, when we refer to a geo-strategic region such as the Persian Gulf, one may list a number of factors, variables, parameters and determinants that portray and explain the attributes of an important area for global security and order. But, only when these factors and variables are put into motion we can realize the true meaning of security. In other words, since security means differently to each actor, we ought to know about its conduct in different conditions and circumstances and find out the threshold of its rationality, actions and reactions in crises or emergency situations.
This requires dynamic examination of various eventualities and conditions that my occur in a vital geostrategic region and the relevant decision alternatives for each scenario. These scenarios range from the “best optimistic” to the “worst case” each of which needs a separate analysis in a dynamic situation.
We may refer to general system theory[4] in order to explain how observable events or phenomenon can be studied in a constant dynamic interaction as parts of a larger system which by definition has a continuous tendency for stability. This can be applied to all branches of science, including natural, social and political studies.
As an aspect of systems theory, system dynamics[5] is a method for understanding the dynamic behavior of complex systems. The basis of the method is the recognition that the structure of any system is often just as important in determining its behavior as the individual components themselves. Examples are “chaos” theory and “social dynamics.” In some cases the behavior of the whole cannot be explained in terms of the behavior of the parts. This explains the integration of tools, like language, as a more sparing process in the human application of easiest path adaptability through interconnected systems.[6]

Dynamic Programming and Game Theory
In the management field and operational research we use dynamic programming by mathematical techniques when we face a series of interrelated problems that require “sequential decisions”[7] and solutions. “Dynamic programming is an approach involving the optimization of multistage decision processes.” [8] The optimality principle here means that a given problem or situation is divided into stages of “sub-problems” which have to be solved sequentially and then aggregated to a final optimal policy after a thorough examination and cost-benefit analysis.
In international relations, when there are a number of actors with different interests and strategies competing or conflicting with other, we use “game theory” in order to reach an acceptable solution to all. For this purpose, we try to optimize each actor’s gain and loss in putting into motion their various courses of action by solving a numerical problem set-up in a matrix.[9]
In game theory, while there is always a conflict of interests between participant actors, rationality in decision options is the foundation of the game. In other words, if there is to be a solution, the outcome of game should be derived from a rational choice of each player who tries to maximize his gains and minimize his losses. In this approach, depending on the types of the games (zero-sum or non-zero-sum) the optimum strategy is the one that satisfies all participants. Otherwise, the game would either go to stalemate or has to be continued until the time it has a satisfactory solution.[10]
This process can apply to strategic regions with multiple actors seeking contradictory objectives. It allows to each independent player to divide a major security problem into a number of manageable sub-problems and arrange them according to their strategic values and find suitable solutions for each.

Dynamic Crisis Decision
There are other studies in the field of crisis decisions that distinguish between dynamic and static approaches. One such study is published in American Political Science Review.[11] This article argues that heuristic-based cognitive models [or dynamic approach based on trial and error rather than set of rules] on the one hand, and holistic rational theories [based on static set of rules], on the other, have always created debates regarding decision making or choice which is at the crux of social science research.
According to the study, some scholars argue that decision makers use maximizing holistic strategies, based upon a particular predetermined static rule. Others claim that  for volatile crisis situation with high perceived risks and threats,  non-holistic (or dynamic) approach should be employed.Since, in the process of handling a crisis situation there is always a probability that the course of events changes direction and magnitude. Thus, a static predetermined set of rules may prove irrelevant to the new condition.
Relying on   past studies that typically examine "static" situations, may end up to erroneous outcomes; especially when “policy alternatives and decision criteria are simultaneously introduced into the decision matrix.”[12] However, foreign policy crises are very often characterized by a different decision structure: an evolving choice set in which policy options emerge during the process. In other words, a dynamic approach to the decision leads to the cross-examination of each alternative in the course of the development of a crisis situation.

Dynamic Political Ideology
Some analysts have tried to study the functional and practical aspects of ideology and culture in the field of political science. They distinguished between dynamic and static character of these two major components in political realm. In their static conditions, political ideologies and political cultures are simply two variables to be considered in political inquiries. But, when they are put into motion they can produce significant results for the society. Since, they shape the way a nation thinks and, accordingly, acts. It is generally believed that “Political Ideology is dynamic and political culture is static.”[13] 
Political ideology relates to a certain set of ideals or principles dealing with a nation, or even a group, that explains how society should work.[14] A political ideology largely concerns itself with how to allocate power and to what ends it should be used. It is often seen as the background of a political party and their policy. On the other hand, political culture, in simple terms, is what most citizens expect from their government.[15]
Political culture is usually determined by the government, which is why it is considered static; however, political ideology is dynamic because it is usually determined by the people.[16] In some instances however, the reverse of this proposition may prove true. This may be the case where the state ideology runs against the will of the people and their traditional culture. In this example political ideology promoted by the government becomes static or even retroactive and culture plays a dynamic role in shaping a nation identity and political configuration.
The functional benefit of this distinction lies in the overall influence of these two determinants on state behavior in political realm and people consciousness with respect to their national identity. Most social and political conflicts between people and the ruling system stem from this dichotomy.

Political science is essentially the study of man in isolation and in collectivity. Governments and institutions are just parts of human activities that facilitate orderly interactions in the social environment. To inquire into and understand man’s behavior in their political milieu we have multiple methods, tools and approaches. No unique technique or approach can logically claim to perform this whole task.[17]
A pioneer of modern political science, describing this difficulty, once said "We are limited by the impossibility of experiment. Politics is an observational, not an experimental science."[18] Thus, political scientists have historically focused on political elites, institutions, and individual or group and observed their behavior in order to identify patterns, draw generalizations in order to build theories and models for better explaining the political environment. However, after many centuries of political inquiries we are still far from being able to declare success in our endeavor. There are many reasons to support this argument. Permanent quarrels, conflicts, crises and wars among peoples and nations are good indications for this contention.
In spite of all the difficulties and complexities involved in this field, contemporary political science has developed to a great extent by adopting a variety of methods and theoretical approaches for better explaining and understanding politics. Our purpose in this short paper was to shed light on the dynamic aspect of political inquiry and methodology which in practice provides better ground for devising a policy decision rather than an abstract idea.[19]/


*  Ali Asghar Kazemi is professor of Law and International Relations at IAU, Science and Research Branch. Faculty of Law and Political Science. Tehran- Iran.

[1] French thinker and philosopher  1798- 1857 founder of sociology and  positivism.
[2] Albion W. Small. "Static and Dynamic Sociology." American Journal of Sociology, 1 ‎‎(1895): 195-209.This article is a critical review of Lester F. Ward American sociologist 1841-1913.
[3] Ibid
[4] Bertalanffy, Ludwig Von. Perspectives on General System Theory Edited by Edgar Taschdjian. George Braziller, New York. (1974).
[5] System Dynamics was founded in the late 1950s by Jay W. Forrester of the MIT Sloan School of Management.
[6] This passage is taken from : “Systems theory ,” Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
[7]  See e.g. C R  Kothari, An Introduction to Operational Research, New Delhi, Wikas Publishing House Pvt Ltd. 1983. pp. 116-120.  See also: Richard E. Bellman, Dynamic Programming, p.83
[8] Ibid
[9] See Ali Asghar Kazemi, Politimetrics: Quantitative Methods in Politics and International Relations, Tehran: IPIS. 1995. In Persian

[10] I have deliberately simplified the subject of “game theory” here in order to make my point with respect to the dynamic approach to research technique. For further reading see relevant materials  on the subject.

[11] Mintz, Alex; Geva, Nehemia; Redd, Steven B.; Carnes, “ The effect of dynamic and static choice sets on political decision making: an analysis using the decision board platform.American Political Science Review , September 1, 1997.
[12] Idem
[13] Political Ideology and Political Culture Uploaded by Nivizzle (54) on May 16, 2007.
This material is published under license from the publisher through the Gale Group, Farmington Hills, Michigan.    
[14] Ibid
[15] Idem
[16]  In some places where the political ideology is dominant and determined by the government, it could become static; and conversely, political culture becomes dynamic.
[17]   See e.g. Ali Asghar Kazemi, Method and Insight in Politics, (A Philosophical, Scientific and Methodological Approach) , Tehran: Institute for Political and International Studies(IPIS), 1995. In Persian   
 See also: Ali Asghar Kazemi, The Seven Pillars of Politics, Tehran: Islamcpo Publishing Co. 2000. In Persian
[18]  Lowell, A. Lawrence. 1910. "The Physiology of Politics." American Political Science Review 4: 1-15. Former American Political Science Association President.

[19] In the course of writing this paper I have consulted many useful political science handbooks and internet sources, including Wikipedia, for which I have not necessarily given reference. The clever reader can understand the reasons for this deliberate omission that could otherwise need many pages.

* Ali Asghar Kazemi is professor of Law and -International Relations in Tehran-Iran. Students, researchers, academic institutions, media or any party interested in using all or parts ‎of this article are welcomed to do so with the condition of giving full attribution to the author and ‎Strategic Discourse. ©All Copy Rights Reserved.‎

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Crisis Proliferation in the Middle East

Crisis Proliferation in the Middle East 
Ali Asghar Kazemi
January 20, 2011

Social and political crises are by nature very contagious and if not rationally managed or contained can rapidly proliferate through an extended region geared up for reform and revolution.
The crisis in Tunisia that escalated to its threshold, turned into a full-scaled revolution leaving behind a people in furor, a regime in disarray and a nation in chaos. Remnants of the old regime tried in vain to re-establish a new government (The National Unity Government) but people continue to stay in the streets raising their demands to the points unbearable by the interim government. They want the old party (Democratic Constitutional Rally) in power be dissolved and their corrupt members arrested and tried. Interestingly, this party was once itself a liberating movement around which the Tunisians gathered to oust another old and allegedly medically unfit dictator ( Habib Bourguiba). It was then called a “constitutional coup d’├ętat.”
The Arab League has convened an extraordinary session in Egypt in order to discuss the matter.  Heads of the league and some Arab states warned against the imminent crisis situation in other member states having trouble with unemployment, inflation and people discontent. This all means that the crisis is perceived critical and need for its immediate management is highly felt.
It was reported that during the past several days a number of frustrated people have set themselves on fire in Algeria and Egypt. Street riots have started in South Yemen and Jordan in support of Tunisian revolution. Most ordinary and educated people in the Arab world are in a state of alarm and continually watching development of the crisis trends. The expectation that something is to be done has made the political environment in these countries ready to ignite.  Radical changes seem to be on the corner and getting momentum by minutes.
In Tunisia a group of Muslim zealous took to the city square   prayed Allah for the success of their revolution; an ominous sign that many people and countries around the region do not appreciate. Some feared that the revolution be hijacked by the Islamist fundamentalists and some expressed hope for a democratic free society.  Apparently, the disarray is quite alarming and police force is not capable to establish order. Most people are asking the Army to intervene.
This prompted the Iranian official media, which had kept silent initially, to take position by applauding the “Islamic revolution” of Tunisia and warned foreign countries not to intervene in the internal affairs of this Muslim state. Indeed, such designate may not please many Arab states and people who fear the rise of fundamentalism in the region.
According to analyst in the Arab world, “Tunisia had mixed fortunes under Ben Ali. On the brighter side, Ben Ali did well in infrastructural development in his country.”  But the other  side of the story is what lies behind the ongoing protests that caused the downfall of Tunisian president and his regime. “Intolerance, oppression of political dissent, massive levels of corruption by the political elites, huge inequalities between the masses and those close to the centers of power, and an incredible level of arrogance of the latter in their treatment of the former,” can be cited as factors in the darker side.
Usually most dictators tend to overlook the darker side of their rule, on the account that they expect people to be grateful of the goods they made for the country.  The Shah of Iran had the same feeling when he left the country. He kept asking “why the people did that to me, I did so much good for them!” Unfortunately he missed the point that economic growth alone without social participation and political development is not the remedy for progress.
Students of political science are well aware of the academic debate concerning the relation between development and democracy. These two magic words are in fact corollary to each others. That is to say that in final account one without the other is doomed to failure. The lesson is crystal clear from experiences around the world. Lack of democracy and genuine respect for men’s fundamental rights are vital impediments for faire and just distribution of wealth and opportunity that pave the way for economic development.
Indeed, there are schools of thoughts that argue ” democracy or ‘political good governance,’ is not necessary for economic prosperity.” They give examples of a number of “today’s established democracies that began experiencing economic prosperity before becoming democratic.
Perhaps China is the example in this regard. Yet, we have ample evidences to the contrary.  May be the case of pre-revolution Iran is a good case. Of course, democracy alone is not sufficient factor for economic progress and prosperity. But, as long as true democracy necessarily leads to the rule of law and respect for people rights to question the ruling power, this will ensure the accountability of political system.
Authoritarian regimes do not like to be accountable to people fearing that this might diminish their authority to rule the nation the way the wish. This will indeed leads to the situations in which lack of mutual respect and confidence leaves no choice other than mass uprising and revolution, prescribed by all “social contract” political philosophers and practitioners.
The current crisis situation is susceptible to proliferate throughout the Middle East and North Africa. It is causing concern to Western powers that are caught in a difficult dilemma:  How to deal with the ever increasing threat of emerging Islamic fundamentalism to replace ousted corrupt regimes. Just alike the cold war period during which corrupt, undemocratic political systems were supported by them fearing their fall to the communist camp.
Almost all regimes that risk to be fallen to people’s unrest are Muslims with a more or less strong faction of dormant zealous fundamentalists, who might surface like  a torrent  with popular slogans and platforms that please frustrated peoples to take over the whole region.  Most North African countries, particularly Egypt, Libya and, to some extent, Algeria and Morocco, have many common characteristics similar to Tunisia.
Whether revolution is an appropriate answer to political oppression, injustice, corruption, inflation, unemployment and so forth, the answer depends on whose eyes you look to the problem. Those who have no other means than taking to the streets and shouting against the ruling system and facing arrest, jail, torture and finally death, might justify their action. But, they should know that revolution is no cure to their malaises. Since, revolution can only destroy the status quo in short-run; but, in the long-run, it has nothing to offer to the frustrated people.
Revolutions have always propensity to obliterate and even refuse to look back to evaluate their performances and failures. In the end they become prisoners of their own myths and slogans and do not hesitate to punish as traitors those who turn back to them. In their final lifespan they become awfully harsh and ruthless.  They even devour their own child.
There is no doubt that Tunisia will set a new model and precedent for analogous Arab countries in the region. However, with no leadership in the movement to follow a clear strategy, it is susceptible to go in the wrong direction. Meanwhile people should be much careful where they are going in the days and weeks to come. /

* Ali Asghar Kazemi is professor of Law and -International Relations in Tehran-Iran. Students, researchers, academic institutions, media or any party interested in using all or parts ‎of this article are welcomed to do so with the condition of giving full attribution to the author and ‎Strategic Discourse. ©All Copy Rights Reserved.‎

Monday, January 17, 2011

Tunisia Crisis Turned into a Revolution

Tunisia Crisis Turned into a Revolution

Ali Asghar Kazemi
January 17, 2011

As we promised in our first comment about the crisis in Tunisia on 15 January, 2011, here is a follow-up of the questions we addressed and left them to be clarified by the development of future events.
As expected, the crisis that was provoked by an isolated unfortunate event regarding an unemployed graduate who set himself on fire and died a few days later, turned into a full-scale revolution in Tunisia. This ignited people protests that finally caused the collapse of the government and resignation of the president.
Upon his downfall, the Tunisian President left for the destination of France, where he was refused entry. He then headed towards Saudi-Arabia, just like the Shah of Iran who was not accepted by his longtime allies and was finally received by Egypt.
The demise of Ben Ali did not end people protests and cities fell into widespread chaos and plunder. Prisoners were set free and for the first time in 23 years state television broadcasted “call for prayers,” which means a lot for the region. This could mean that power vacuum at the top of Tunisian political system could be handed over to an Islamic fundamentalist government. Indeed, this is not good news for the West and other Arab countries.
In fact, Tunisia that recognizes Islam as the state religion could very possibly turn to an Islamic government run by fundamentalists. This in turn could have a domino effect not only in the bordering Algeria but many other countries in North Africa and beyond  these two "buffer states”  farther to the Middle East and the Persian Gulf. Already, people in many countries in the region have expressed support for Tunisians and applauded their courage and vigor. High officials in the Arab states have reacted very cautiously but they seem to be shocked by the speed and the probable consequences of the events in Tunisia.
Curiously, Iranian state broadcastings inside the country had a rather poor coverage of Tunisian uprising and did not bother much to make political analyses for their audiences. Instead, many foreign radio and TV channels provided substantive and informative comments for enthusiastic  people interested in  news concerning  the  Tunisian political developments.

Many political activists in the Arab world believe that "the revolt in Tunisia is a surprise on all levels. It shows nations can topple oppressive regimes. There will be a ripple effect across the Arab region.”
Across the region the frustrated people by corruption, unemployment, rising gaps between riches and poor and family connections in the political strata, are watching closely Tunisia.  Some long-survived rulers like the Libyan dictator, who has been in power for the past 40 years, are warning against radicalism and extreme emotion towards incumbent leaders that may worsen the situation. He is indeed very much troubled about Tunisian experience and the fate of his rule. The Libyan leader like his peer in Egypt is equally worried about the impact of Tunisian revolution on their longtime dream of handing over the power of state to their heirs.
The economic reform plan which is now considered as a pre-requisite for economic development and efficient allocation of resources, requires suppression of subsidies in vital goods such as bread, sugar and diary etc. Most Arab nations rely on such state subsidies for their primary subsistence. Thus, subsidy cut will necessitate price rise and readjustment which in turn cause  people discontent.
Though the Persian Gulf oil producing states may not be categorized in the same vulnerable economic range, yet they lack many other political factors that could instigate people demand for changes in near future.  These latter with huge financial assets have been able to afford a rather workable welfare system that could buy off the opposition groups and postpone eventual revolt against the traditional ruling system.
But, countries such as Syria, Jordan and Egypt which lack such financial strength are very much vulnerable and their hard power instruments cannot deter public to rise up against the rulers. Besides that, military and security forces in these countries in most part come from the poor traditional layers of the society and may not remain devoted to their corrupt leaders in case they are ordered to suppress people protests and uprisings.
In the weeks and months ahead we shall be witnessing amazing changes in the Middle East political configuration. Such changes may not necessarily satisfy people’s rising expectations; they may even work against their hope and anticipations.
Iranians are watching very closely and with caution the development in Tunisia and other countries in the Middle East region. They are now quite busy with the ramifications of the new economic reform plan and waiting to see how their life will be affected in the process.
We shall continue on this topic in our future comments. /

* Ali Asghar Kazemi is professor of Law and -International Relations in Tehran-Iran. Students, researchers, academic institutions, media or any party interested in using all or parts ‎of this article are welcomed to do so with the condition of giving full attribution to the author and ‎Strategic Discourse. ©All Copy Rights Reserved.‎

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Tunisia Crisis: A Call for Change in the Middle East

Tunisia Crisis: A Call for Change in the Middle East
Ali Asghar Kazemi
January 15, 2011 
Students of comparative politics should be interested in finding out the reasons behind two different outcomes in two apparently similar socio-political crises in two more or less comparable countries: Iran and Tunisia. In fact, events that led to the downfall of the incumbent Tunisian President in January 14, 2011, was in a way less turbulent than that happened after the much disputed presidential elections in Iran in 2010.
While in both events people as a whole assumed a decisive role in taking their protests to the streets of the capital cities and targeted their slogans directly at the highest officials asking for their resignation, Iran was able to survive the uproar whereas Tunisia succumbed to the demands of protesters.
What are the fundamental differences between the two crises in form and in substance? What exactly happened in Tunisia? Was that a revolution such as that occurred in Iran in 1979 with deep structural changes? Or it was just a temporary social turmoil which will fade out after a reshuffling of the government? What are the long-run consequences of similar crises in the greater Middle East?
Some people suggest that Tunisia was one of the fist victims of Wiki leaks disclosure on the widespread corruption of the Tunisian president’s family and the awful condition of the people engulfed in unemployment, inflation and inequality. In fact, the initial spark of the crisis in Tunisia was set off by Wiki leaks.
Here are the chronologic events that ended into a real crisis situation which caused the  toppling of  the incumbent regime in Tunisia on January 14, 2011:  
·         17 Dec: An unemployed graduate Tunisian citizen ( Mohammed Bouazizi ) sets himself on fire in protest at lack of job opportunities in Sidi Bouzid, leading to protests;
·         24 Dec: Another protester (Mohamed Ammari) shot dead in central Tunisia;
·         28 Dec: Protests spread to the capital Tunis, demanding the president  Ben Ali to step down;
·         5 Jan:  Mohammed Bouazizi died and ignited mass street protests by furious citizens ;
·         8-10 Jan: ‎ ‎A state of emergency was declared after which police fire rounds and tear gas at anti-government protesters. Dozens citizens reported killed in the streets of the capital;
·         12 Jan: Interior minister sacked.
·         13 Jan: President Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali promises to step down in 2014 in TV address
·         14 Jan: President dissolves government and parliament, declares state of emergency, and then steps down .Tension grips Tunisia's capital after leader flees to Saudi-Arabia.

      As we can see from the above sequences, the crisis gradually escalated from an isolated protest in December and reached its climax by the dissolution of the government and parliament and finally the resignation and fleeing of the president on January 14.
   Ben Ali’s long tenure to the office (23 years) and his  systematic repression of political opposition over the  past two decades has  created a situation in which no potent alternative could assume state’s responsibility and power in the immediate future. Furthermore, his failure to quell the demonstrations despite a huge security presence on the streets could have a large impact on the region, where similar regimes have ruled for decades.
Elsewhere in the neighboring Algeria too, demonstrations over high food prices have taken place during the past weeks. Other states with similar economic and social conditions, which have to make structural changes to their inefficient economy, seem to be the next candidates for unwanted political changes.
Interestingly, an international TV broadcast (Press TV) related to the Islamic republic, said in an interview on January 15 that” Tunisia crisis, [was] a 'wake-up call' for Arabs.” The answer of the interviewer (Clovis Maksoud) was very clever and to the point:
“Yes, not only a wakeup call but I think it's going to be infectious in several other areas in a manner that might not necessarily lead to bloodshed but a weakening of the authority and when they are vulnerable many of those who authoritarian regimes have excluded the population and in the policy making process .
He furthermore added: “And therefore there will be now a response on the part of many governments to try to accommodate some of the legitimate demands to the extent that they might in the process weaken their own authority and in that respect there might be a more readiness on the part of many Arab governments at this moment seriously accommodating the requirements of human rights, civil societies and sustainable development on all levels in terms of attacking unemployment. Do not forget the Arab world is a rich nation of poor people.
Whereas, one may argue that crises do happen anywhere the criteria mentioned above and does not recognize creeds, ethnicity or national border. Countries lagging behind the forced measures of globalization and democratic standards, as defined by the international environment, are suitable targets for change.
Iran has been able so far to make a safe passage in the initial phase of its economic reform plan. But, given the bitter memories of the post-elections events, it seems that people are not prepared to follow suit the Tunisian experience. Besides that, despite a number of similarities in forms, there are a variety of differences in substance between the two cases that make an intelligent guess about it very difficult.
We shall discuss more on other aspects of the crisis in our future comments./

‎* Ali Asghar Kazemi is professor of Law and -International Relations in Tehran-Iran. Students, researchers, academic institutions, media or any party interested in using all or parts ‎of this article are welcomed to do so with the condition of giving full attribution to the author and ‎Strategic Discourse. ©All Copy Rights Reserved.‎