Can Iran’s Islamic Republic No Longer Depend on Its Diehard Backers?

Recent Protests in Rural Small Towns Suggest the Regime's Support May Be Crumbling

In the early weeks of 2018, protests swept through the small towns of Iran, mobilizing angry voices among the disgruntled lower rung of society. Demonstrators marched in the streets and assembled in major squares, chanting slogans against the country’s theocracy. Meanwhile, large cities, where some of the largest anti-regime demonstrations previously had taken place, remained relatively quiet.

Though this year’s demonstrations have received less global coverage than earlier ones, this latest round may well be more significant: They show support for the government crumbling in the rural, poor base that …

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For China’s One-Party Rulers, Legitimacy Flows from Prosperity and Competence

The West Still Underestimates Beijing’s Ancient Social Contract with “Heaven”

It is widely assumed in the West that legitimacy of a government comes from universal suffrage and multiparty competitive elections. Yet this assumption raises two issues: First, historically it is …