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Iran in a Revolutionary Process and the Role of the West

April 4, 2023 @ 11:00 am - 12:00 pm EDT

In recent years, there have been numerous waves of protests in Iran against the country’s corrupt theocracy. The death of Mahsa Amini on September 16, 2022, while in police custody for wearing an “improper” hijab, has triggered what has become the most severe and sustained political upheaval ever faced by the Islamist regime in Tehran. Waves of protests, led primarily by women, broke out immediately, sending some two-million people into the streets of 160 cities and small towns across the country. Hundreds of people have died, and thousands are in prison. The regime’s suppression and the opponents’ exhaustion have slowed the protests, but some analysts believe Iran has embarked on an uncharted and irreversible course.

How do we make sense of this extraordinary political happening? How close are the protesters to really dethroning Iran’s leaders? Is Iran on the verge of another revolution? To answer these questions, join the ACG for a virtual discussion with 2022 McCloy Global Trends Fellow Dr. Ali Fathollah-Nejad, Founder & Director, Center for Middle East and Global Order (CMEG).

Dr. Ali Fathollah-Nejad is a German–Iranian political scientist focusing on Iran, the Middle East, and the post-unipolar world order. He is a 2022 ACG McCloy Fellow on Global Trends, exploring how transatlantic foreign policy toward authoritarian states could reconcile interests and values. Also, he is an Associate Fellow with the American University of Beirut’s Issam Fares Institute for Public Policy and International Affairs (AUB-IFI), where he publishes a monthly brief entitled »Iran in Focus« (previously published as »Iran 1400 Brief«). He is the author of the much-acclaimed book Iran in an Emerging New World Order: From Ahmadinejad to Rouhani (2021), as well as initiator and co-host of the Berlin Mideast Podcast (Konrad Adenauer Foundation). He is also an affiliated researcher with the Centre d’Études de la Coopération Internationale et du Développement (CECID) at Université libre de Bruxelles (ULB) and Freie Universität (FU) Berlin’s Center for Middle Eastern and North African Politics.

Dr. Fathollah Nejad has taught globalization and development in the Middle East, contemporary Iran, the Arab Revolts, and great-power politics at the University of Tübingen (as Senior Lecturer in Middle East and Comparative Politics), in the Ph.D. program of Qatar University’s Gulf Studies Center, at FU Berlin’s Center for Middle Eastern and North African Politics, the University of Westminster, SOAS, etc. Due to COVID-19, his Visiting Professorship at the Centre for International Studies of the University of Economics in Prague is postponed.

Dr. Fathollah Nejad is the former Iran expert at the Brookings Institution in Doha (BDC, 2017–20) and the German Council on Foreign Relations (DGAP, 2015–18). In 2020, he published two monographs: The Islamic Republic of Iran Four Decades On: The 2017/18 Protests Amid a Triple Crisis, where he suggested the start of a long-term revolutionary process in Iran, and The Politics of Culture in Times of Rapprochement: European Cultural and Academic Exchange with Iran (2015–16).

He holds a Ph.D. in International Relations from the Department of Development Studies at SOAS (School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London) and was the winner of 2016/17 post-doctoral fellowship of the Harvard Kennedy School’s Iran Project. His about 300 analytical pieces in English, German, and French have been translated into a dozen languages. A frequent speaker at academic conferences and political forums, he regularly contributes to leading international media outlets in English, German, and French – and is fluent in German, French, English, and Persian.


April 4, 2023
11:00 am - 12:00 pm
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