A Social Revolution
Politics and the Welfare State in Iran
University of California Press 2017
New Books in Middle Eastern StudiesNew Books in Peoples & PlacesNew Books in Political ScienceNew Books in Politics & SocietyNew Books in Public PolicyNew Books in SociologyNew Books in World AffairsNew Books Network December 11, 2017 Heath Brown
Kevan Harris is the author of A Social Revolution: Politics and the Welfare State in Iran (University of California Press, 2017). Harris is assistant professor of sociology at the University of California, Los Angeles. Much scholarship has focused on understanding the Iranian revolution of 1979, especially in relation to other nations in the Middle East and those further away in the West. The Islamic Republic of Iran is an interesting foreign policy study, but of less interest for studies of the political development of the state. Absent from this conventional interest is the ways that the Iranian government has adopted and implemented social policy, before and after the revolution. Based on extensive fieldwork, Harris shows how the government since 1979 took welfare state institutions of the pre-revolutionary regime and expanded programs for health, education, and aid. His descriptions of the provision and administration of healthcare services in rural regions of Iran is especially interesting. These findings place Iranian development into conversation with studies in sociology, political science, and area studies of the varying paths of state development in Latin America, Asia, and Africa.