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Oil, Labour and Revolution in Iran: A Social History of Labour in the Iranian Oil Industry, 1973-1983

Peyman Jafari defended his thesis on 11 October 2018

Peyman Jafari
11 October 2018
Leiden Repository

This thesis retrieves the working and everyday life experiences of oil workers in 1973-83, and explores their cultural, religious and political ideas and activities during the social transformations of this period that ends with the the Iranian Revolution and the Iran-Iraq War. It analyses the historical process of class formation in the Iranian oil industry and argues that a number of developments such as the expansion of the oil industry, internal migration and the changing ideological landscape of the 1960s re-formed the working class in the oil industry in dramatic ways, which helps to understand the mass participation of oil workers in the revolution. Looking at the oil strikes, the thesis argues that they played not only a crucial role in the downfall of the monarchy but that they also made an essential contribution to the emergence of the institutions that underpinned the post-revolutionary state, which in turn was challenged by the oil workers showras (councils) in 1979-82. It is argued that although the showras were ideologically diverse and had a great democratic potential, they were eventually repressed and integrated into the corporatist arrangements of the populist post-revolutionary state that consolidated its power after the start of the Iran-Iraq War.


  • Prof. dr. T. Atabaki
  • Prof. M. van der Linden (UvA)
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