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Political culture and identity in Iran - Essay Example

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The rebels and the guerillas fought side by side to defeat shah and his allies, thus marking the end of the monarchy system in Iran. Ayatollah Khomeini became the first leader of Iran after the monarchy system…
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Political culture and identity in Iran
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"Political culture and identity in Iran"

Therefore, political culture is an important in understanding the setting and dynamics of a country. In Iran, the political culture is interpreted as the collection of Iran’s history that has shaped the perceptions of Iranians and created their unique identity (Samih and Mehrdad p1-3). The most dominant culture in Iran is Islam, and the political culture is more of consensual as opposed to “conflictual” political culture i.e. many different groups rarely clash with the hegemonic group. All ethnic groups, with exception to a few, identify strongly with major features of Iranian culture and civilization. This form of political culture and orientation came into existences as result of Iran’s history, and forms the major basis for identity of Iranians
In 1906, Iran changed its constitution and adopted the monarchy as system of governance. The system worked well until 1953. In that year, Shah, with the help of western powers, staged a successful coup against the governing body to become king. His autocratic reign and tolerance to the western allies frustrated the citizens leading to revolution in Iran. The rebels and the guerillas fought side by side to defeat shah and his allies, thus marking the end of the monarchy system in Iran. Ayatollah Khomeini became the first leader of Iran after the monarchy system. His immediate action was to fuse religion and politics, and “desecularization” of all the country’s institution....
As consequence of Iran’s history, Identity is perceived to be a means of protection for the Iranians, and thus has contributed significantly to the political setup in Iran. The political system and its entire structure is tailored to be in phase with the Islamic religious system. Thus, Iranians identify themselves with the Islamic culture. Although there are other cultures and forms of identity in Iran, their influence have been reduced or totally overshadowed by Shi’ism which is believed be a means of protecting Iranians. The high belief in Shi’ism adopted by Iranians gives a sufficient reason for the adoption Islamic culture and hence the political configurations. Factors influencing Iranian’s politics beyond the political culture The supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khomeini, is the commander in chief, appoints the judiciary, influences the appointment of government officials and controls the national radio. Moreover, he is the ultimate decision maker. Thus, the excessive powers awarded to, and the hidden dictatorial nature of a single individual, supreme leader, influences in totality the Iranian political system. For instance, the disputed 2009 presidential election was marked with massive irregularities sparking protest all over Iran. However, when the supreme leader declared the elections a divine assessment and declared denounced the Pro-Musavi demonstrators, the demonstrators were dealt with harshly by the government forces. Therefore, it can be concluded that individual decisions and leadership of the supreme leader explains largely the politics in Iran. The presence of a theoretical constitution in Iran specifies that the government and the ruling elites obtain their legitimacy from God and the people of Iran. Thus, those Read More
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