1st Edition

Iran's Green Movement Everyday Resistance, Political Contestation and Social Mobilization

By Navid Pourmokhtari Copyright 2021
    238 Pages
    by Routledge

    238 Pages
    by Routledge

    This book examines the emergence and development of the 2009 Green Movement in Iran. The approach emphasizes the context and the local and historical specificities in which mass oppositional movements arise, develop and conduct their operations. Meanwhile, it foregrounds an account of multiple modernities that work to transcend modernist assumptions.

    The volume describes and analyzes the power modalities—disciplinary, biopolitical, and sovereign—employed by the Islamic Republic to governmentalize the masses. Bearing a triangular methodology, the book consists of six semi-structured interviews with authorities and activists who participated in the pivotal events of that period; discourse analysis focusing on the Iranian constitution and the relevant government policy documents and speeches; and archival analysis. These provide the historical background, perspectives and insights required to analyze and explicate the conditions responsible for the emergence of the Green Movement and to grasp how collective action was enabled and organized.

    Marking a particular historical phase in the development of a home-grown democracy in post-revolutionary Iran, the Green Movement is transforming the country’s political landscape. This book is a key resource to students and scholars interested in comparative politics, Iranian studies and the Middle East.


    1. Critical Literature Review

    2. Theorizing the Green Movement: A Foucauldian Model

    3. The Coming of a Disciplinary Society to Post-Revolutionary Iran: Ordinary Iranians and Everyday Resistance

    4. Social Mobilization and Political Contestation in Iran at the Turn of the Millennium: The 1999 Student Movement and the 2006 Women’s One Million Signature Campaign

    5. The Green Movement as a Movement of Movements and the Rise of a Home-Grown, Rights-Based Society in Post-Revolutionary Iran

    Conclusion: What were the Iranians Dreaming about in 2009? The Green Movement of Counterconduct: A History of the Past, the Present and the Future




    Navid Pourmokhtari (PhD) teaches Politics at the University of Alberta and Grant MacEwan University. His research interests lie in the areas of international relations and comparative politics, with a special focus on mass oppositional movements, peace studies and international security studies. His most recent publications have appeared in Third World Quarterly, Sociology of Islam, Jadaliyya, the Journal of Human Trafficking and Foucault Studies, amongst others.

    "In a book that will grip scholars of global social movements and the Middle East and policymakers, Navid Pourmokhtari deploys a nuanced reading of Foucault on power and resistance to great narrative effect in tracing the history of the 2009 Iranian Green Movement."

    John Foran, University of California, USA

    "In this timely and informative book, Navid Pourmokhtari addresses some of the most pressing questions about the Iranian Green Movement that emerged in 2009. This is an essential read for anyone wishing to understand the great struggle within Iranian society for democracy and social justice."

    Ramin Jahanbegloo, Jindal Global University, India

    "Navid Pourmokhtari enlists Michel Foucault to provide a careful and original account of Iran's 2009 Green Movement as a broad-based civil rights movement. This book gives an excellent account of the Green Movement's history and some possible futures for Iranian social and political life."

    Corey McCall, Penn State University, USA 

    "Pourmokhtari’s fascinating book presents a Foucauldian analysis of Iran’s 2009 Green Movement, a "movement of movements" which sought civic rights and democratic accountability. To do so, he also adroitly analyzes the disciplinary project of the Islamic Republic and everyday forms of resistance to it."

    Jeff Goodwin, New York University, USA

    "The Green Movement of 2009 in Iran introduced a new generation of popular uprisings of the 21st Century. Navid Pourmokhtari's book is a welcome addition to a growing literature on one of the most remarkable political movements in the Middle East and beyond."

    Asef Bayat, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, USA

    "More than a decade after the rise of a major civil rights movement in Iran, this book is the most mature and balanced assessment of what happened when millions of Iranians poured into their streets demanding liberation from tyranny and freedom to be integral to the democratic aspiration of their homeland. About half a dozen volumes and countless learned essays later, Pourmokhtari’s seminal study is a living testimony that social uprisings and the manner of reading them for the posterity are the engine of history. A superb book and an indispensable work of scholarship."

    Hamid Dabashi, Author of The Fox and the Paradox: Iran, the Green Movement and the USA