A Crisis of Legitimacy in the Islamic Republic of Iran Forty Years After the Revolution

February 26, 2019
03:00 pm - 04:30 pm



about the event

February 11, 2019, marked the 40th anniversary of Iran’s 1979 Islamic Revolution and the establishment of a repressive theocratic regime. Today, much of the discourse on Iran focuses on sanctions, nuclear issues, and regional sectarian conflicts, often ignoring complex domestic developments that indicate major shifts in the religious, cultural, political, and social fabric of Iranian society. In her presentation, Reagan-Fascell Democracy Fellow Dr. Ladan Boroumand reflected on crucial phases that have defined Iran’s state-society dialectic, and brought to light the unprecedented cultural and ideological consequences of this dynamic. Using state violence as an indicator, she examined the diverse ideological and religious challenges faced by the Islamic regime of Iran.


Ladan Boroumand, Reagan-Fascell Democracy Fellow

Co-Founder, Abdorrahman Boroumand Center for the Promotion of Human Rights and Democracy in Iran


Moderated by

Marc Plattner, Founding Co-Editor, Journal of Democracy

Co-Chair, International Forum for Democratic Studies’ Research Council


about the speakers

Dr. Ladan Boroumand is the co-founder of the Abdorrahman Boroumand Center for the Promotion of Human Rights and Democracy in Iran, a nongovernmental organization that promotes human rights awareness through education and information dissemination, including by way of Omid, a website that documents human rights abuses committed by the Islamic Republic and memorializes its victims. In addition, she serves on the Steering Committee of the World Movement for Democracy. A historian by training, she is the author of the book La Guerre des Principes (1999), which examines the tensions between human rights and national sovereignty during the French Revolution, and has also published articles on the French Revolution, the Islamic revolution in Iran, and the nature of Islamist terrorism.

Mr. Marc Plattner is founding co-editor of the Journal of Democracy and co-chair of the Research Council of the International Forum for Democratic Studies. Until 2016, when he reduced his schedule to part time, he also served as NED’s vice president for research and studies. From 1984 to 1989, he was NED’s director of program. He is the author of Democracy Without Borders? Global Challenges to Liberal Democracy(2008) and Rousseau’s State of Nature (1979), a study of the political thought of Jean Jacques Rousseau. Over the past two decades, he has co-edited with Larry Diamond more than two dozen books on contemporary issues relating to democracy in theJournal of Democracy book series. The most recent are Authoritarianism Goes Global: The Challenge to Democracy (2016, also with Christopher Walker) andDemocracy in Decline? (2015).


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