© 2017

Iran’s Struggles for Social Justice

Economics, Agency, Justice, Activism

  • Peyman Vahabzadeh

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xxiii
  2. Peyman Vahabzadeh
    Pages 1-7
  3. Ardalan Rezamand
    Pages 127-144
  4. Back Matter
    Pages 307-323

About this book


This interdisciplinary volume offers a range of studies spanning the various historical, political, legal, and cultural features of social justice in Iran, and proposes that the present-day realities of life in Iran could not be farther from the promises of the Iranian Revolution. The ideals of social justice and participatory democracy that galvanized a resilient nation in 1979 have been abandoned as an avaricious ruling elite has privatized the economy, abandoned social programs and subsidy payments for the poor, and suppressed the struggles of women, workers, students, and minorities for equality. At its core, Iran’s Struggle for Social Justice seeks to educate and to develop a new discourse on social justice in Iran. 


Social movements Post-revolutionary Iran Human rights Islamic studies Activism Iran Rentier state Privatization 1979 Revolution Iranian Revolution Neoliberalism in Iran Political Economy

Editors and affiliations

  • Peyman Vahabzadeh
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of SociologyUniversity of VictoriaVictoriaCanada

About the editors

Peyman Vahabzadeh is Associate Professor of Sociology at University of Victoria, Canada. His recent books include A Guerrilla Odyssey: Modernization, Secularism, Democracy and the Fadai Period of National Liberation in Iran, 1970-1979 (2010), Exilic Meditations: Essays on A Displaced Life (2013), and Parviz Sadri: A Political Biography (2015; in Persian).

Bibliographic information


“A key element informing the Iranian revolution of 1979 was the ideal of ‘social justice.’ No more. This unique collection of studies examines the underlying dynamics behind the decline of this rather noble principle, and suggests ways to resurrect its spirit. Written by young and established scholars discussing structures, ideas, agency, and activism, this book is a valuable plea to redeem ‘social justice’ in these bleak neoliberal conditions.” (Asef Bayat, author of “Making Islam Democratic: Social Movements and the Post-Islamist Turn” (2007), and “Life as Politics: How Ordinary People Change the Middle East” (2010))

“This is a rich and thoughtful collection, deftly edited and wonderfully argued. …The authors use their social and political positioning to theorize the interconnections between ‘the rentier nature of the country’ and topics such as workers collective action, the mobilizing capabilities of religion, co-operative economics, and economic liberalization. The collection is a coherent, thought-provoking, and committed work of scholarship and politics.” (Parin Dossa, author of “Afghanistan Remembers: Gendered Narrations of Violence and Culinary Practices” (2014))

“Is a richly diverse collection of essays that provides a broad and deep understanding of the economic, cultural, political, and social struggles that were transmuted and defeated in the making of the contemporary Iranian state … . The need and the potential for a new democratic Iranian left, grounded in popular movements, shine brightly in these well-researched, reflective essays.” (William K. Carroll, author of “Expose, Oppose, Propose: Alternative Policy Groups and the Struggle for Global Justice” (2016))