Matters of Authenticity: Nationalism, Islam and Ethnic Diversity in Iran

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The issue of minority rights in Iran is tied up with questions of both democracy and national identity – and in extension, Iranian nationalism. In the present chapter, these interrelated issues are analyzed with a focus on the representation of nationalism and ethnic diversity in the contemporary official literature of the regime. Through this analysis, a nuanced picture of the regime-sanctioned ideal for national identity and unity emerges, which complicates specific claims put forward by secular-nationalist opposition (that the Islamic Republic is unpatriotic and anti-nationalist in nature) and by ethno-political proponents (that the Islamic Republic is Persian-chauvinist or racist). This more nuanced reflection on the ideals of Iran’s current leaders is central to the understanding of where the Islamic Republic is heading, more than thirty years after the revolution.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationIran : From Theocracy to the Green Movement
EditorsNegin Nabavi
Number of pages20
Place of PublicationBasingstoke ; New York, NY
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
Publication date2012
ISBN (Print)9780230114692, 9780230114616
Publication statusPublished - 2012

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