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Iran's Eleventh Presidential Election Revisited: The Politics of Managing Change

Ali Ansari

LSE Middle East Centre Paper Series | 17 | November 2016


The election of Hassan Rouhani to the Presidency of the Islamic Republic in 2013 signalled for many a popular rejection of the politics of confrontation endorsed by his predecessor Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, and support for greater liberalism at home and internationalism abroad. With his first term coming to an end and an agreement reached on Iran’s nuclear programme, this paper revisits the 2013 presidential election campaign and argues that the process retained much of the intricate management of previous elections. A willingness to ‘believe the rhetoric’ of the campaign has resulted in a dangerous mismanagement of expectations. 

This paper follows on from an earlier book: Ali Ansari, Iran, Islam and Democracy: The Politics of Managing Change (London: Chatham House, 2006). 

About the Author

Professor Ali Ansari is Visiting Professor at the LSE Middle East Centre. He is also Professor of Iranian History & Founding Director of the Institute for Iranian Studies at the University of St Andrews. 

Download the paper (PDF)