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Precarize and divide

Stella Morgana defended her thesis on 31 March 2021

M.S. Morgana
31 March 2021
Leiden Repository

Did the agency of workers represent a driver for change between the 1979 revolution and the 2009 Green Movement in Iran? On what terms? How did discourses around labor transform relations of power and domination during this period? Which processes shaped workers’ subjectivity within Iranian society in terms of class, social justice, collective thinking and solidarity-building?

The abovementioned questions guide 'Precarize' and Divide: Iranian Workers from the 1979 Revolution to the 2009 Green Movement. This dissertation analyses political changes and social transformations in the Iranian labor realm from 1979 to 2009 through the lens of discursive shifts and transformations in hegemonic relations. Whereas workers were crucial to the success of the 1979 revolution, in 2009 they were absent as a collective force. This dissertation examines the reasons explaining this absence. It shows that—beyond state repression—the processes leading to workers’ precarization, both structurally and discursively, hindered workers’ active role in shaping and determining grassroots politics. On the one hand, legal, economic and social factors marginalized workers. On the other hand, the shifting context mirrored the Islamic Republic of Iran’s official discourse and its necessities to consolidate its power. As a result, workers were not able to develop robust solidarity-building mechanisms and cross-class alliances in 2009 as it was in 1979.

Supervisor: prof. dr. M.L.J.C. Schrover (LUIH);
co-supervisor: dr. M. Warnaar (LIAS)

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