June, 2009 Elections in Iran and Lebanon

International Relations

June, 2009 Elections in Iran and Lebanon: A Theoretic Assessment of the Results

Abstract:

This paper looks at two monumental elections in the Middle East (Iran and Lebanon) through a theoretic lense, seeking to confirm or deny existing literature on the behavior of losing parties in developing democracies. If Przeworski’s theory is correct, it should explain the behavior of Hezbollah in Lebanon and Mussavi’s opposition in Iran. Ultimately, Przeworski’s theory falls short, failing to predict the Iranian case. I attribute this shortcoming to the ignoring of cultural variables. The theory of Lindberg (more grounded in cultural variables) seems to better predict both cases; I postulate that the character of Iran as an Islamic Republic affects its behavior in ways that Przeworski’s economics-driven theory cannot account for.

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