Books

Innovation in Islam: Traditions and Contributions

To cite this publication: Mehran Kamrava, ed., Innovation in Islam: Traditions and Contributions (Berkley, CA: University of California Press, 2011).

Focusing on the ways and means through which the teachings of Islam have been produced and perpetuated over time, the contributors investigate such areas as the arts and letters, jurisprudence, personal status, hermeneutics and epistemology, and Muslims’ perceptions of the self in the modern world. Innovation in Islam illuminates a debate that extends beyond semantics into everyday politics and society—and one that has ramifications around the world. Read more from University of California Press.

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Iran Today: An Encyclopedia of Life in the Islamic Republic

To cite this publication: Mehran Kamrava and Manochehr Dorraj, Iran Today: An Encyclopedia of Life in the Islamic Republic, 2 vols (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 2008).

Heir to a long history and a great culture and civilization, Iran embodies a rich, complex, and diverse mosaic that defines its national identity. Diversity is also the operative word that describes Iranian landscapes and geography, its multiple ethnic groups and their varied cultures and traditions, as well as the uneven and vastly different levels of economic and industrial development, conflicting political tendencies, and different and often contradictory social and cultural outlooks. The 1978-1979 revolution transformed the society and culture in fundamental ways and redefined social life. It created new institutions of governance and Islamicized the culture, education and the legal system in an attempt to create a new society that would usher in the reign of piety and virtue. Yet, Islamization had to come to terms with pre-Islamic and illustrious Persian history and culture, as well as the realities of an interdependent, postmodern, globalized world in which, as a developing country, Iran resides in the periphery. Within this framework, the dynamics and complexity of social life in the Islamic Republic unfold. This encyclopedia is the source for up-to-date, authoritative information on a full range of critical topics of interest. Read more at Greenwood Pubilshing Group.

Iran's Intellectual Revolution

To cite this publication: Mehran Kamrava, Iran's Intellectual Revolution (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2008).

Since its revolution in 1979, Iran has been viewed as the bastion of radical Islam and a sponsor of terrorism. The focus on its volatile internal politics and its foreign relations has, according to Kamrava, distracted attention from more subtle transformations which have been taking place there in the intervening years. With the death of Ayatollah Khomeini a more relaxed political environment opened up in Iran, which encouraged intellectual and political debate between learned elites and religious reformers. What emerged from these interactions were three competing ideologies which Kamrava categorises as conservative, reformist and secular. As the book aptly demonstrates, these developments, which amount to an intellectual revolution, will have profound and far-reaching consequences for the future of the Islamic republic, its people and very probably for countries beyond its borders. This thought-provoking account of the Iranian intellectual and cultural scene will confound stereotypical views of Iran and its mullahs. Read more at Cambridge University Press.

comparative politics

To cite this publication: Mehran Kamrava, Understanding Comparative Politics (London: Routledge, 2014).

Comparative politics has undergone significant theoretical changes in recent decades. Particularly since the 1980s, a new generation of scholars have revamped and rejuvinated the study of the subject. Mehran Kamrava examines current and past approaches to the study of comparative politics and proposes a new framework for analysis. This is achieved through a comparative examination of state and social institutions, the interactions that occur between them, and the political cultures within which they operate. The book also offers a concise and detailed synthesis of existing comparative frameworks that, up to now at least, have encountered analytical shortcomings on their own. Although analytically different in its arguments and emphasis from the current "Mainstream" genre of literature on comparative politics, the present study is a logical outgrowth of the scholarly works of the last decade or so. It will be essential reading for all students of comparative politics. Read more at Routledge.