Discussion Papers

No.019 Structural Changes and Formation of Rūstā-shahr in Post-Revolutionary Rural Society in Iran

by SUZUKI Hitoshi

December 2004


The following paper is based on the author's two-year research and fieldwork in Iran and examines the process of political and social changes since the Iranian Revolution of 1979 and the subsequent impact of the Iran-Iraq War of 1980-88. This paper focuses on the transition of traditional, small villages into rūstā-shahr or small rural cities and the first and second nation-wide elections of shourā or councils which were the first steps toward self-government. The author is guardedly optimistic regarding this democratic process but warns of possible future social unrest if changes are not more "balanced" between cities and rural areas and if the employment needs of the burgeoning younger generation are not met, political and social consequences may be catastrophic.

Keywords: Iran, rural society, social transformation, local election.

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For the final version of its contents, you should consult below:
"The Shaping of Rusta-shahrs and the Emergence of Self-Governance in the Post-Revolutionary Rural Societies of Iran," Tsugitaka Sato (ed), Development of Parliamentalism in the Modern Islamic World, Toyo Bunko, 2009, pp.154-175.

Please note that discussion papers are works in various stages of progress and most have not been edited and proofread and may contain errors of fact or judgment. Revised versions of these papers may subsequently appear in more formal publication series. The views expressed in this publication are those of the author(s). The IDE does not guarantee the accuracy of the data included and accepts no responsibility for any consequences arising from its use.