The Green Movement in Iran contains Hamid Dabashi
's most important writings on the Iran's June 2009 election, its tumultuous aftermath, and the characteristics and aspirations of the emerging Green Movement. These analyses range from close analysis of the nature of the events to the Green Movement's historical background and future political consequences. The writings have been modified and updated for book publication. The volume presents Dabashi's account of the events since June 12, 2009—the Election Day itself—and his recap of highlights of the build-up period to the mass protests. He provides insightful background for events on the ground, dealing with debates about the credibility of the election. He then discusses political continuity in Iran, as well as the characteristics of the Green Movement. Dabashi argues that the reaction of the custodians of the Islamic Republic to the charge of the election being a fraud only affirms its lost legitimacy, and casts the system as being neither “Islamic” nor a “republic.” Dabashi also comments on U.S. politics and its relations to Iran and the Green Movement, pointing out shortcomings in American media culture. The role of the Iranian opposition in the Green Movement and American political policies, the political and economic consequence of the U.S. sanctions against Iran, and the way these may be interpreted by Iranian society are all viewed from an enlightening perspective. Dabashi argues that the Iranian regime, suffering deeply from legitimacy issues, makes use of its bureaucratic, economic, and political leverage to stage a show of support and project division among the people.
“These passionate, often strident essays, largely written as events were unfolding, represent Dabashi's effort to explain, understand, and interpret the Green Movement. Mostly they are reactions to the explanations, from Iranian progressive cleric Mohsen Kadivar to American Iranian specialists Flynt Leverett and Hillary Leverett, or actions, from the Islamic Republic to the US Congress, of others. Dabashi rejects most of them, although he does find inspiration in the works of artists such as the Iranian Shirin Neshat and the late Palestinian Naji al-ali. In the end, Dabashi's view is that the Green Movement was a civil rights movement and not a revolution against an Iranian government that had lost legitimacy... Recommended.”
—C. H. Allen, CHOICE
is the Hagop Kevorkian Professor of Iranian Studies and Comparative Literature at Columbia University. He is the author of, among other works, the acclaimedAuthority in Islam: From the Rise of Muhammad to the Establishment of the Umayyads. He is also the editor of Transaction's Middle East Studies series.