Political Expressionism: Roots of Social Movements in Iran, the Middle East, and the World describes how politics is much more abstract now and similar to how expressionism affected the art world. This work applies a theoretical and historical overview to examine changes in how social movements operate over the last century with a comparative overview of events in Iran, the Middle East and the world. Increased usage of Information Communication Technologies (ICTs) and their impact on Traditional Communication Methods (TCMs) forever altered the dynamics of contention. This books’ motivating questions are: What is the modern dream for social change? "What is the future of Social Movements in Iran, the Middle East and the World? ", "What are the roles of Social Movements as a tool which can help create frameworks for democracy?" and “How did Internet Communications Technologies (ICTs) impact the conceptualization of space in states and societies?” Social movements analyzed in this work include, 18 Tir (the Iran Students protest of July 1999), the Green Movement of Iran (2009-2010),the economic uprings and the Women, Life, Freedom Movement in Iran of 2022, the Arab Spring (2010-2012), Taksim Square (Gezi Park) Movement in Turkey (2013) , and the Umbrella Revolution in Hong Kong that started in 2014. This book aims to bridge knowledge gaps between the theory and practice of social movements for academics and human rights activists alike.
Reza Mohajer, Ph.D. is Political Scientist at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa and founded the non-profit Social Peace & Justice Foundation 501(c)(3).
Introduction: Historical Foundation
Chapter 1: Dawn of the Political Expressionism Era
Chapter 2: Theoretical Foundation
Chapter 3: Roots of Social Movements in Iran
Chapter 4: Social Movements in the Middle East and the World
Chapter 5: Impact of ICTs on Social Movements
Chapter 6: Changes in ICT Trends
Chapter 7: Future of Social Movements
“Political Expressionism: Roots of Social Movements in Iran, the Middle East is an important book that deserves the attention of anyone interested in the power of social movements in the Middle East region and the challenge they pose to the current authoritarian regimes there. Reza Mohajer brings the analysis right up to date by exploring the ongoing protests throughout the Arab world and Iran. It is a must-read volume for both academics and policy-making circles.”
“Featuring conceptual acuity, historical depth, and a passion for justice, Reza Mohajer’s extensive commentary on what he calls “the modern dream for social change” will occupy an important place in the literature of social movements for years to come.”
In Political Expressionism, Reza Mohajer offers a deep dive into the way that social media has transformed social movements. Looking at contemporary social movements in places ranging from Iran (a key focus) to Tahrir Square and beyond, he argues that social media have allowed a level of abstraction to develop in social movements characterized by an overabundance, rather than a paucity of information, rapidly shifting truth regimes and a kind of general flexibility that can either be a boon or a hindrance to collective action, depending on how it is undertaken. This is a critical text for anyone who wants to take a step back from the seemingly chaotic and ever shifting nature of contemporary social movements and see what patterns and techniques have emerged, how they operate and how they can be maximized to allow for radical change to occur.