The revolutionary guards and the Iranian politics: causes and outcomes of the shifting relations between the revolutionary guards and the political leadership in post-revolutionary Iran

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2011
Sinkaya, Bayram
This dissertation is aimed at analyzing the Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps’ (IRGC) relationship to politics, which evolved into different forms through the three decades of the revolution. Eventually the IRGC has become one of the most influential organizations with respect to Iranian politics. This situation has raised the following question; why and how has the IRGC become such an influential political actor in post-revolutionary Iranian politics? Considering different forms of the IRGC-politics relationship, this study also questioned the reasons that lay behind the shifts in that relationship. In order to answer these questions, this dissertation examined the relationship between the Revolutionary Guards and the political leadership in post-revolutionary Iran. It maintained that there are four variables that determined the IRGC-politics relationship, which are ideological position of the political leadership, power of the political leadership, ideological outlook of the Revolutionary Guards and corporateness of the Revolutionary Guards. In order to analyze forms of the IRGC-politics relationship and to explain shifts between these forms, it traced these variables through the post-revolutionary history of Iran, which was divided into four periods (i.e. transition, radical, thermidorian, and neo-radical periods) because of the changing political and revolutionary dynamics. It concluded that because corporateness of the IRGC reached into a high level whereas power of the political leadership was seriously weakened in the last two periods, the IRGC’s clout significantly increased in Iranian politics. Congruence or incongruence between ideological values of the political leadership and of the IRGC, and their commitment to pursue those values determined the confrontationist or cooperative nature of the IRGC’s relations with the political leadership.
Citation Formats
B. Sinkaya, “The revolutionary guards and the Iranian politics: causes and outcomes of the shifting relations between the revolutionary guards and the political leadership in post-revolutionary Iran,” Ph.D. - Doctoral Program, Middle East Technical University, 2011.