Iran’s Uprisings for ‘Women, Life, Freedom’: Over-determination, Crisis, and the Lineages of Revolt

Sadeghi-Boroujerdi, Eskandar. 2023. Iran’s Uprisings for ‘Women, Life, Freedom’: Over-determination, Crisis, and the Lineages of Revolt. Politics, 43(3), pp. 404-438. ISSN 0263-3957 [Article]

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Abstract or Description

This article explores the manifold lineages of crisis and revolt currently afflicting the Islamic Republic of Iran, most recently articulated in the 2022/2023 national uprisings where women-led mass protests and forceful rejection of mandatory veiling laws captured global attention. This interdisciplinary piece of research, bringing together several different theoretical approaches and historical literatures, interrogates and reflects upon what I call following Stuart Hall a “conjunctural crisis” along the four major axes of 1) gender oppression and social reproduction; 2) the ethnocentric, dominative and centralising nation-state and the still unresolved “ethno-national question”; 3) “religious democracy” and the impasse of the Reform movement and, 4) authoritarian neoliberalism and the Islamic Republic’s political economy of predation. The article aims to show not only how these distinct crises have longer and more complicated lineages than might initially appear to be the case, but also demonstrate how they have mutually constituted and shaped one another over the course of several decades, constituting part of a larger political and social system. Moreover, it aspires to provide a systematic and historically contextualised account of ongoing emancipatory struggles for democratic rights and liberation in today’s Iran.

Item Type:


Identification Number (DOI):


Iran, gender, ethnicity, race, class, Islamic Republic of Iran

Departments, Centres and Research Units:

Politics > Centre for Postcolonial Studies


2 February 2023Accepted
23 March 2023Published Online
August 2023Published

Item ID:


Date Deposited:

27 Jan 2023 09:47

Last Modified:

10 Aug 2023 13:56

Peer Reviewed:

Yes, this version has been peer-reviewed.


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