Movement Structure in an Authoritarian Regime: A Network Analysis of the Women’s and Student Movements in Iran
Non-State Violent Actors and Social Movement Organizations
ISBN: 978-1-78714-191-9, eISBN: 978-1-78714-190-2
Publication date: 18 April 2017
Contributing to the literature on movement structure in authoritarian regimes, this analysis focuses on the structure of two Iranian movements. We use a multi-method approach to analyze the organization of the student and women’s movements in Iran between 1997 and 2008. From 1997 to 2004, a reform government opened political opportunities. The period between 2005 and 2008 was characterized by increased repression. The student movement was organized during the first period as a hybrid composed of several networks linked in a federal structure. As the political context changed, the movement became less centralized. Its strategy shifted from one based in alliance with governing reformers to coalition building outside of the regime. In contrast, the women’s movement was organized as a densely linked web of noncentralized campaigns. The women’s movement overcame divisions as political opportunities closed in the mid-2000s and built a grassroots strategy during the latter part of the decade.
We are grateful to Luther Gerlach, Mario Diani, and the late Mehrdad Mashayekhi for their comments on earlier drafts of the chapter. The RSMCC editor and anonymous reviewers also helped us to improve the manuscript. Finally, we thank the Iranian student and women activists we interviewed for their insight and courage.
Assoudeh, E. and Salazar, D.J. (2017), "Movement Structure in an Authoritarian Regime: A Network Analysis of the Women’s and Student Movements in Iran", Non-State Violent Actors and Social Movement Organizations (Research in Social Movements, Conflicts and Change, Vol. 41), Emerald Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 137-171. https://doi.org/10.1108/S0163-786X20170000041021
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