Iran’s Resilient Civil Society: The Student Movement’s Struggle

Issue Date October 2007
Volume 18
Issue 4
Page Numbers 80-94
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In analyzing Iran, there is always the danger of underestimating the Islamic Republic’s survival skills. Its demise has been predicted many times—during the tumultuous early years after the shah fell, during the Iran-Iraq War, after Khomeini’s death, and during Khatami’s presidency—yet in each case the regime managed to endure. It would be ill-conceived to point to Iran’s modernizing youth and a growing student movement as evidence of the regime’s inevitable collapse. They are good signs for the future of democracy in Iran, but it will take time and energy to organize these promising pieces into a greater democracy movement.

About the Authors

Ali Afshari

Ali Afshari is an Iranian political activist, former NED Reagan-Fascell Democracy Fellow, and winner of a 2006 Helman-Hammett grant from Human Rights Watch.

View all work by Ali Afshari

H. Graham Underwood

H. Graham Underwood is a freelance researcher and journalist who specializes in Iranian affairs.

View all work by H. Graham Underwood