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Building the martyr's welfare state: On social policy in Iran.


The story that there's the government on one side, and it does all the bad things we know happens in Iran, and then there's this autonomous civil society which is intellectual, literate, produces all these films that everybody likes in the West, and they're constantly protesting the government - that these two things have nothing in common - I found that story, which is almost every story I read about Iran, to be useless in understanding the Iran I saw with my eyes.

Sociologist Kevan Harris examines the construction and growth of the welfare state in post-1979 Iran - as a long-term, bottom-up development strategy that transformed Iranian society without the influence of US aid, and the catalyst for an upwardly-mobile professional class now challenging the state for political power.

Kevan is author of the book A Social Revolution: Politics and the Welfare State in Iran from University of California Press.

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Kevan Harris

Kevan Harris is an assistant professor of sociology at the University of California at Los Angeles.


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