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 …

More In: protest

How Airports Became the Battleground for Deciding Who Belongs in America

At LAX, Attorneys, Protestors, and Customs Officials Struggle with Trump’s Travel Ban on Muslims

At 3 p.m. on January 28, 2017—the day after Donald Trump signed an executive order banning travel to the United States by citizens of seven predominantly Muslim countries—I frantically tried …

Reports of U.S. Democracy’s Death Have Been Greatly Exaggerated

Recent Protests Show That Americans Want More Government, Just Not This Government

Does Trump’s election and its aftermath mean that the U.S. government is experiencing a crisis of legitimacy? In order to address that question, we need to understand how citizens determine …

If You Want to Rule Brazil, Draw Power from the Streets

In a Country with Too Few Democratic Tools, Mass Protests Can Make or Break a Government

Last August, Brazil’s leftist President Dilma Rousseff was forced to step down from office after the nation’s senate voted to impeach her. But Rousseff’s true downfall came months earlier, when …

To Defy a Dictator, Send in the Clowns

Protest Movements Can Wield Humor as a Weapon Against Oppressive Regimes

When Egyptians gathered in Tahrir Square to protest the regime of Hosni Mubarak in 2011, they brought with them a funny weapon against the guns and tear gas of the …

How India’s Nonviolent Resistance Became a Shifting Global Movement

From Gandhi to MLK to the Arab Spring, Nonviolence Is Portable, but Can It Still Persuade?

Early in the 20th century, M.K. Gandhi began to experiment with a novel form of political action, which he termed satyagraha. Gandhi first used satyagraha to protect the rights of …