Maral Karimi's work, "The Iranian Green Movement of 2009: Reverberating Echoes of Resistance", is a link in a chain of clarification and understanding of this globally significant civic eruption, one, because of the country within which it occurred-Iran; two, the domestic social conflicts inducing its occurrence-a revolt from disgruntled urban, pro-Western, middle-class professional intelligentsia, students and, small business owners; three, the opponents choice of social media technology for voicing, in this case, globally, their grievances against the established political authority of their Iran, namely, the Mullahs of the Islamic Republic; fourthly, their choice of modern media technologies echoed similar revolts from below in North Africa (think: the Jasmine Revolution; and, Arab Spring) where mass use of modern social media technologies caught dictatorial regimes by surprise temporarily escaping their control exposing to them a new vulnerability in their authority profile of their regimes in the minds and eyes of their domestic publics and global communities, namely, their inability to control both the forms and contents of the narrative of social conflicts within their countries and externally vis a vis the rest of the world.
The Green Movement was a pioneering political movement in the modern history of Iran which demonstrated the awesome liberating power of social media technologies and of their destabilizing consequences for dictatorial governments such as the country's Islamic Republican Government. Maral Karimi's work puts the reader front and center in this struggle for a new political authority and political culture in the Iran of 2009 by bringing the language use of the main players in the conflict under critical examination, exposing their self-deceptions, silences, commitments, assertions, capitulations, compromises, organizational weaknesses and political fears. The reader acquires a measured understanding via discourse analysis of the intellectual innards of the government officials and civic leaders in opposition to the government and is able to understand the why's and wherefores of events that subsequently unfolded. For example, one can pinpoint why the recent 2017-2018 revolt of unemployed workers, unemployed students, underemployed citizens, housewives and government workers in cities and districts away from Tehran, the nation's capital, took the spontaneous form they took and were absent the leadership of the urban middle-class (leaders of the Green Movement) which did not voice their specific material concerns during the 2008 revolt. As unemployed and underemployed workers and unemployed students they were on their own and had purchase on the moral conscience and political authority of the Mullahs since the latter frequently wrapped its cloth of legitimacy (vis a vis its urban middle-class political competitors, for example) in claims to be institutional representatives of the downtrodden of Iran, the very constituencies that took part in this spontaneous revolt.
Maral Karimi's work assists all those seeking a fuller understanding of modern Iran an opportunity to do so because of its signature critical discourse analysis of the conflict's main players and acknowledgement of the mobilising role of social media in the conduct of the conflict/political competition between the Islamic Republican rulers of the country and their less religiously partisan middle-class critics. A recommended work.
Charles Simon-Aaron, PhD
Maral Karimi’s book is a must read for anyone interested in an in-depth analysis of the Iranian 2009 Green Movement. This theoretically sophisticated and methodologically innovative empirical research makes a significant contribution to our understanding of the emergence and demise of the popular uprising following the contested presidential elections as well as the consequences of this failed movement that further undermine democratic values and the viability of Reform Movements.
An excellent example of a critical discourse analysis case study with concrete implications for directions of resistance movements beyond the context of Iran.