But a few days ago, I was alerted by my good friend Danny Postel -- one of America's sharpest thinkers on the philosophy of power -- that the links to the new issue of Logos: A Journal of Modern Society & Culture were live.
What a bounty of smart Iran-related material! Among the highlights:
* Danny's lengthy interview with Hossein Bashiriyeh, author of State and Revolution in Iran and one of Iran's foremost sociologists. Bashiriyeh was purged from the University of Tehran's faculty in 2007 and is now at Syracuse University.
The entire interview is worth reading as a primer on the political realities of the moment in Iran, but two things stand out:
(1) Bashiriyeh is definitely in agreement with those arguing against engagement. He tells Postel:
I too think that engagement would in a sense grant legitimacy to a regime confronting a very deep crisis of legitimacy, on the one hand, and would alienate a democratically-inclined and growing opposition movement, which expects moral support from all democratic nations, on the other.gement with Iran at the current moment as useful.
(2) Bashiriyeh sees dissident clerical politics as a key to unlocking the situation for the reform movement. At the end of a long analysis of the current political situation vis a vis the leaders of the opposition, he observes:
Finally, under the current circumstances I think that the rise of a dissident cleric, such as Montazeri, at the head of the movement, could make a great deal of difference in terms of political mobilization and the realignment of political forces and actors.
Read the whole interview here.
* In a co-authored essay, "Behind the 2009 Upheaval in Iran," Kamran Afary and Kevin Anderson (co-author of the classic Foucault and the Iranian Revolution) offer a succinct analysis of the forces of gender, new media, youth politics and repression that have coalesced into a powerful movement. They are hopeful despite the violent supression of the protests and the Stalinist show trials currently underway in Iran, observing that:
All of these struggles of women, youth, and workers have a long history in Iran. Both the protestors and the regime are very aware of this. In this sense, the 2009 protests were a long time coming and will be very hard if not impossible to extinguish.
The new issue of Logos also features four "Reflections on Revolution" in essays by Dick Howard, Marc Luccarelli, Mike Lynn and David S. Mason -- which were part of a March 2009 conference ("The Past and Future of Revolutions") held at Norteastern Illinois University.
Head to Logos now and check it out!
(Photo of July 17 demonstration in Iran by .faramaz, used under a Creative Commons license.)