Is the Iranian Revolution Sustaining a Constitutional System? The Assessment in Terms of Bruce Ackerman's Theory

Document Type : Science - Research


Associate Professor, Department of Islamic Philosophy and Theology, University of Tehran, Tehran, IRAN. Yale University (Senior Research Scholar).


The law legitimate power. Over the 20th century, constitutions have been an essential part of the dynamic. ‘How can be the Iranian constitution assessed over the long term?’ ‘How do people evaluate their legitimacy?’ ‘Does the issue matter at all for theoreticians at the leading edge of science?’ Iranian revolutionary constitutionalism has an essential role in Bruce Arnold Ackerman's thesis of contemporary legitimacy. Avoiding the pitfalls of Weber's thesis, which accounts for legality to tradition, charisma, and bureaucratic rationality, Ackerman holds that modern notions over the legitimacy based on constitutions. This paper tends to analyze the position of the Iranian revolutionary structure in the mentioned theory. The first scenario in Ackerman's trichotomy is "Revolutionary Constitutionalism," whereas "the insider-establishment providing modest outsiders with strategic concessions" constitutes the second, followed by a third "elite construction constitutionalism." As an example of the first scenario, he mentions the constitution of the Islamic Republic of Iran as well as France, Italy, India, and South Africa. While Mao's and Stalin's periods regarded as two negative examples of the thesis, Iranian revolutionary constitutionalism represents positive revolutionary constitutionalism and democratic government.