The Socio-economic Prerequisites of Democratic Transition; Case Study: Iran

Document Type : Original Article


Assistant Professor of Political Sociology, Tarbiat Modares University, Tehran, Iran


This paper initially attempts to demonstrate that Iranian society has constantly attempted to democratize the authoritarian regime, but it usually fails in the transition stage. I have shown that the democratization process in Iran has often resulted in the creation of a newly shaped authoritarian structure rather than an institutionalized democratic regime.  Meanwhile, I have argued that the democratic process has not been interrupted and some of the minimum criteria of the transition process, such as the politics of periodic elections, have been realized in Iran. In this study the democratic transition has been explained through socioeconomic development. The data for this paper consist of forty-two cases of parliamentary and presidential elections. The hypothesis is evaluated using regression analysis technique. The empirical findings indicate that the proportion of the total variance of democratic transition which is explained by the socioeconomic development is 0.56 percent. This relation is positive and is statistically significant at .05 level.