Skip to main content
    • Aa
    • Aa



The prevailing perception within the academy, policy circles, and the media inside and outside Iran has been that the members of bazaars are a unified social class engaged in a symbiotic relationship with the political elite of the Islamic republic and the conservative faction in particular. This approach is largely built on the perspective that there is a historic predilection for bāzārīs and clerics to cooperate (“mosque–bazaar alliance”), and thus ideological compatibility and familial ties between the clergy and bāzārīs have continued and developed into an alliance under the current regime headed by segments of the clergy. For instance, one of the leading experts on 20th-century Iran, Nikki Keddie, comments that, despite Mohammad Khatami's reformist agenda, “the ruling elite, who represent an alliance between the commercial bazaar bourgeoisie and conservative clerics, resist giving up their economic privileges as they do their political ones.”

Corresponding author
Arang Keshavarzian is Associate Professor in the Department of Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies, New York University, New York, N.Y.; e-mail
Linked references
Hide All

This list contains references from the content that can be linked to their source. For a full set of references and notes please see the PDF or HTML where available.

Hootan Shambayati , “The Rentier State, Interest Groups, and the Paradox of Autonomy: State and Business in Turkey and Iran,” Comparative Politics 26 (1994): 307–31

Theda Skocpol , “Rentier State and Shiʿa Islam in the Iranian Revolution,” Theory and Society 11 (1982): 265–83

Ahmad Ashraf , “Bazaar–Mosque Alliance: The Social Basis of Revolts and Revolutions,” International Journal of Politics, Culture, and Society 1 (1988): 538–67

Wolfgang Lautenschlager , “The Effects of an Overvalued Exchange Rate on the Iranian Economy, 1979–84,” International Journal of Middle East Studies 18 (1986): 3152

Misagh Parsa , States, Ideologies, and Social Revolutions: A Comparative Analysis of Iran, Nicaragua, and the Philippines (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2000)

Arang Keshavarzian , Bazaar and State in Iran: The Politics of the Tehran Marketplace (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2007)

Thomas Carothers , “The End of the Transition Paradigm,” Journal of Democracy 13 (January 2002): 521

Larry Diamond , “Thinking about Hybrid Regimes,” Journal of Democracy 13 (April 2002): 2135

Steven Levitsky , “Elections without Democracy: The Rise of Competitive Authoritarianism,” Journal of Democracy 13 (April 2002): 5165

Ellen Lust-Okar and Amaney A. Jamal , “Rulers and Rules: Reassessing the Influence of Regime Type on Electoral Law Formation,” Comparative Political Studies 35 (2002): 337–66

Jason Brownlee , Authoritarianism in the Age of Democratization (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2007)

Asʿad Abukhalil , “Change and Democratization in the Arab World: The Role of Political Parties,” Third World Quarterly 18 (1997): 149–63

Mona El-Ghobashy , “The Metamorphosis of the Egyptian Muslim Brothers,” International Journal of Middle East Studies 37 (2005): 373–95

Ellen Lust-Okar , Structuring Conflict in the Arab World: Incumbents, Opponents, and Institutions (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2005)

Kelee S. Tsai , “Capitalists without a Class: Political Diversity among Private Entrepreneurs in China,” Comparative Political Science 38 (2005): 1130–158

Abbas Vali and Sami Zubaida , “Factionalism and Political Discourse in the Islamic Republic of Iran: The Case of the Hujjatiyeh Society,” Economy and Society 14 (1985): 139–73

Beatriz Magaloni , Voting for Autocracy: The Politics of Party Hegemony and its Demise (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2006)

Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

International Journal of Middle East Studies
  • ISSN: 0020-7438
  • EISSN: 1471-6380
  • URL: /core/journals/international-journal-of-middle-east-studies
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *


Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 4
Total number of PDF views: 32 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 149 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between September 2016 - 21st September 2017. This data will be updated every 24 hours.