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Constitutionalism and the Republic: Understanding Iranian Constitutional Development from 1906 to 1989

  • Author(s): Radd, Benjamin
  • Advisor(s): Spiegel, Steven L
  • Binder, Leonard
  • et al.

Iranian constitutionalism has been in existence since the early twentieth century, and has taken many forms. Despite these decades of experience, Iranian constitutional development has yet to reach maturity, as reflected by the domestic turmoil of its various form of governance. Nevertheless, the Iranian constitutional experiment serves as a valuable case study of constitutional development, especially with respect to Islamic societies. This dissertation derives three principles from Iran's constitutional history and development that provide a foundation for understanding greater constitutional development in the region: (1) constitutionalism is a process-driven, rather than event-driven, phenomenon; (2) constitutional development performs best in conjunction with a republican form of government; and (3) judicial agency, in the form of an empowered judicial branch, is critical to any lasting constitutional process.

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