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Title: The role of parliaments in the resilience of non-democratic regimes : a case study of the Iranian parliament (Majles)
Author: Saeid, Pedram
ISNI:       0000 0004 2697 3636
Awarding Body: University of Hull
Current Institution: University of Hull
Date of Award: 2010
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The new prominence of authoritarianism ushered in a series of new studies that seek to explain the reasons behind the longevity of these regimes. An integral part of these studies is that the institutional arrangements contributed to the survival of autocrats and the maintenance of authoritarian regimes. In particular, they recently began considering the dark side of nominally democratic institutions under authoritarian regimes such as legislatures arguing that they predominantly serve as the means of regime survival. Given these facts, the overall goal of this study is to produce an understanding of the role of parliaments in the survival of authoritarian regimes by focusing on their institutional capacity and related performance. Using the Iranian parliament, Majles, as a case study, the major point of contention in this study are the conditions under which Majles contributed to the resilience of post-revolutionary Iranian regimes. Inspired by the legislative institutionalization approach, three main characteristics are identified to explain the authoritarian legislatures: subordination as opposed to autonomy, exclusiveness as opposed to representativeness and secrecy as opposed to deliberativeness. With respect to these criteria, it is demonstrated that Majles is marked as a subordinated institution, caught between powerful and influential formal and informal institutions. Majles also fell short of meeting the representativeness and deliberativeness identified as decisive criteria in distinguishing authoritarian from democratic legislatures. With respect to the Majles performance, it is shown that Majles has been at the centre of the regime co-optation strategies since the beginning of the Islamic Revolution to encapsulate the loyal oppositions and to exclude those were regarded as outsiders. Majles also acted as the main agent of manipulation of political institutions through its law making function and by this contributed to the stability of the Islamic Republic.
Supervisor: Norton, Philip, Baron Norton of Louth Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Politics ; International studies