Reading Legitimation Crisis in Tehran: Iran and the Future of Liberalism by Danny Postel
The Iran depicted in the headlines is a rogue state ruled by ever-more-defiant Islamic fundamentalists. Yet inside the borders, an unheralded transformation of a wholly different political bent is occurring. A “liberal renaissance,” as one Iranian thinker terms it, is emerging in Iran, and in this pamphlet, Danny Postel charts the contours of the intellectual upheaval.
Reading "Legitimation Crisis" in Tehran examines the conflicted positions of the Left toward Iran since 1979, and, in particular, critically reconsiders Foucault’s connection to the Iranian Revolution. Postel explores the various elements of the subtle liberal revolution and proposes a host of potential implications of this transformation for Western liberalism. He examines the appeal of Jürgen Habermas, Hannah Arendt, and Isaiah Berlin among Iranian intellectuals and ponders how their ideas appear back to us when refracted through a Persian prism. Postel closes with a thought-provoking conversation with eminent Iranian philosopher Ramin Jahanbegloo.
A provocative and incisive polemic highly relevant to our times, Reading "Legitimation Crisis" in Tehran will be of interest to anyone who wants to get beyond alarmist rhetoric and truly understand contemporary Iran.