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Civil society in Iran

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2008
Özdemir Samur, Zelal
This thesis aims to understand how civil society developed and evolved in the modern history of Iran and how it operates in the current day through the eyes of the actors of this realm. The fieldwork of the study was conducted in Tehran in 2006. This study, while questioning the liberal understanding of civil society, endeavours to contemplate a consistent framework in which the Iranian civil society activities could be located. The Iranian case proved the existence of a vivid civil society despite a repressive political climate. However, instead of comprehending the Iranian civil society as constant or developing, this thesis showed that civil society is in fact evolving according to the power relations between the state and civil society. In this sense, Iranian civil society is neither weak or nor strong but rather its strength is changing vis-à-vis the relations with the Iranian state.