Street Politics: Poor People's Movements in Iran / Edition 1

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In the late 1970s and throughout the 1980s, an active political movement emerged on the streets of Iran's largest cities. Poor people began to construct their own communities on unused urban lands, creating an infrastructure—roads, electricity, running water, garbage collection, and shelters—all their own. As the Iranian government attempted to evict these illegal settlers, they resisted—fiercely and ultimately successfully. This is the story of their economic and political strategies.

Columbia University Press

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Editorial Reviews

Richard Bulliet
Bayat uses sources no one else has ever brought together for the purpose of studying the revolution, and he adds to them both his personal observations and uncommon sensitivity born of his own family background among the 'deprived.' The result illuminates the Iranian revolution while raising questions as to our understanding of underclass movements around the world.
Focusing on the immediate prerevolutionary period and the first decade of the Islamic Republic, Bayat discusses the economic and political strategies of 'ordinary´ [Iranian] people, mainly in Tehran. . . . He demonstrates that, for these people at least, the populist revolution did not bring about the changes that they needed or wanted.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780231108591
  • Publisher: Columbia University Press
  • Publication date: 11/18/1997
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 256
  • Product dimensions: 5.97 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.59 (d)

Meet the Author

Asef Bayat is associate professor of sociology at The American University in Cairo.

Columbia University Press

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Table of Contents

Chronology of Pre- and Postrevolution Events
1 The Quiet Encroachment of the Ordinary 1
2 Mapping Out the "New Poor" 23
3 The Disfranchised and the Islamic Revolution: "Our Revolution and Theirs" 35
4 The Housing Rebels: The Occupation of Homes and Hotels, 1979-1981 59
5 Back-Street Politics: Squatters and the State 75
6 Workless Revolutionaries: The Movement of the Unemployed 109
7 Street Rebels: The Politics of Street Vending 133
8 Grassroots and State Power: The Promise and Perils of Quiet Encroachment 157
Notes 167
Bibliography 201
Glossary 217
Index 221
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