Reinhard Koselleck (2002:5) has termed the European late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries as the “saddle period” when major cultural shifts prompted the rise of social sciences, which in turn provided the contextual framework for modernity and the rule of public law. It is incongruous that in the twenty-first century, after having gone through two revolutions seeking representation, accountability and the rule of law, Iran still finds itself in its saddle period. Clearly, this is not a natural evolutionary situation but rather a forced one. Both social sciences and the humanities are regularly attacked as sources of Western influence by those in positions of power and major decision making. These scholarly fields are fertile grounds, after all, where anti-theocratic seeds can grow and flourish. For instance, classical sociology was born and closely linked to the significant concept of civil society, which as Tocqueville enlightened us a century ago, is the backbone of a stable democratic structure. No wonder, therefore, that “sociology remained absent from colonized countries as well as from those where traditional leaders continued to hold power.”1 Moreover, democracy itself has been termed “a sociological reality… represented in any society by social institutions which protect and guarantee our freedom by contesting the power of the state or other forces that subjugate us.”2 These “other forces,” however have monopolized all power in Iran as well as monopolizing all state resources. This is a clear obstacle to democratization.
KeywordsReligious Leader Charismatic Leadership Islamic Republic Dual Structure Classical Sociology
Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.