Conference on prospects for democratic change in Iran

Friday, May 11, 2012
Hoover fellows Larry Diamond (left) and Abbas Milani.

On Friday, May 11, 2012, the Hoover Institution, along with the Iranian Studies Department at Stanford University and the Center on Democracy, Development, and the Rule of Law, hosted a conference titled “Prospects for Democratic Change in Iran after the Green Movement.”

Abbas Milani, a research fellow and codirector of the Iran Democracy Project at the Hoover Institution and the Hamid and Christina Moghadam Director of Iranian Studies at Stanford University, and Larry Diamond, a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution and the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies and director of the Center on Democracy, Development, and the Rule of Law, organized and led the conference. The morning began with a discussion centering on the regime and the constitution. Arash Naraghi gave a talk titled “The Doctrine of Velayat-e Faqih and Iran’s Post- Revolutionary Government.” Fatemeh Haghighatjoo continued with his speech “The Legal Structure of the Islamic Republic.” Another topic was the Basij: transformation, structure, and sociology.

Contemporary politics was the group’s second topic. Milani led a discussion on Hossein Bashiriyeh’s Cleavages within the Islamic Republic. Mehrangiz Kar speech was titled “Assessing the Regime and the Opposition.”

The third topic included issues of the economy, culture, and the media, as well as a discussion of sanctions and the state of the economy, following which Mohsen Namjoo gave a speech titled “Iranian Underground Culture.” John Kelly and Bruce Etling then discussed mapping Iran’s online public, and Mehdi Yahyanejad gave a speech titled “Social Media and Opposition to the Regime.”

Milani concluded the conference with his remarks on “The Role of the Iranian Diaspora”; the group then discussed recent developments and future prospects.