Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Iran today - LSE events podcast review

Last summer I wrote about an episode from the UChannel Podcast in which Professor Richard W. Bulliet spoke about the outlook for the Islamic Republic of Iran. The bottom-line of his speech was that Iran was hardly as stable as we'd think and the key moment for its direction were to be the elections expected in March 2009.

Since then, I have been on the lookout for more on Iran and for indicators what to expect at these elections. Consequently, a recent issue of the LSE Events Podcast titled The Islamic Republic of Iran After 30 Years drew my attention. The speaker at the London School of Economics was Professor Fred Halliday. There was little talk of what to expect the coming elections, but more so about the stability of the Iranian revolution after 30 years.

Other than Bulliet, Halliday is arguing that the Iranian revolution is much more resilient than we thought. Halliday touches upon the same problems as Bulliet: Iran's diversity, the economic distress, the international isolation and the suppressed modernity. In Halliday's narrative however, the tensions are dealt with very well and he emphasizes the political tradition in which Iran stands, a tradition of nationhood, as opposed to for example Afghanistan where the traditional structure is tribal rather than national. Halliday's bottom line seems to be that the Iranian revolution will survive whatever outcome of the elections.

More LSE Events:
Science and Religion,
The crisis,
Desiring walls,
The Post-American World,
Reparing Failed States.

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