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Research Activities

Research Projects

FY 2007/2008 Research Topic: 4-31
A Study on the Formation of Rural Small Towns (Rusta-shahr’s) in Post-revolutionary Iran


The purpose of this research project is to compile and publish the results of the author’s fieldwork studies, which took place in Iran from 1999 until 2001, concerning the formation of rural small towns (rusta-shahr’s in Persian) during recent decades.

In this research the author intends to introduce the new term rusta-shahr to refer to the living space in small-mid scale townships that have recently appeared in every region of the Iranian countryside, whose character is to be described as half-way between the city (shahr) and village (rusta). The trends of recent long-term changes in the structure of Iranian rural society can be characterized by using the concept “rusta-shahr formation” for newly appearing small centers of human settlement in rural societies all over the Iranian countryside.

The author visited about 160 small-middle size towns (with populations between 2,000 and 20,000) in various regions of the Iranian countryside, and conducted interviews with members of shoura-ye eslami (city council), whose system was introduced all over Iran by the former President Khatami in 1999. In the latter part of his two-year stay in that country, the author chose three regions, namely (1) the region surrounding Mobareke in Esfahan state, (2) the region surrounding Dezful in Khuzestan state, and (3) the region surrounding Miyane in East Azerbaijan state, to conduct more intensive fieldwork.

All of these field studies were recorded in the form of videotapes and field notes. The author is now preparing to present findings from these research activities in a clear and understandable style, for readers who are eager to comprehend new trends in the rural side of this important country.


Members of the Research Project


The final results will be published in the I.D.E. Research Series (Japanese) in 2008.