Reflections on post-election Iran: An elegy for the voting non-voter
Shervin Malekzadeh is a Visiting Assistant Professor at Colgate University where he is completing a book manuscript on post-revolutionary schooling in Iran from the perspective of ordinary families and local officials tasked with educating “the New Islamic Citizen.” Prior to coming to Colgate, he served as Visiting Professor of Comparative Politics at Williams College and Swarthmore. Shervin received his Ph.D. and M.A. in Government from Georgetown University, and an A.B. in International Relations from Stanford University. A former kindergarten teacher and a regular visitor to Iran, as well as an accidental participant in the 2009 Green Movement, his commentaries on democracy and popular culture in Iran and the US have appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Atlantic, Foreign Affairs, and on France 24 and NPR, among others. Shervin’s research and publications are available at his academic website, www.shervinmalekzadeh.com.
The Green Movement was a warning that the outsized ideational and material resources possessed by the IRGC and its many proxies are rendered impotent unless the leadership can develop a coherent cultural message, suited to the needs and preferences of younger Iranians.
The cycle of elections after the 2009 Green Movement is already being replaced from below by an emerging cycle of protest and violent counter-demonstration, an accelerating path to ruin without the usual offramp of elections to restore the peace.