What the Failure of Local Democracy in Iran tells about Islamist Authoritarianism

Kian Tajbakhsh
Thu March 2nd 2023, 6:30 - 8:30pm
Event Sponsor
Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies
Hamid and Christina Moghadam Program in Iranian Studies
Hoover Institution
Event is open to
Experience Type
Humanities Center
424 Santa Teresa Street, Stanford, CA 94305
Levinthal Hall

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Join author Kian Tajbakhsh for a discussion about his most recent book, Creating Local Democracy in Iran: State Building and the Politics of Decentralization. With a combination of historical, political, and financial field research, it explores the multifaceted dimensions of local power and how various ideologically opposed actors shaped local government as an integral component of authoritarian state building.

Kian Tajbakhsh (Ph.D. Columbia 1993) is a Senior Advisor at Columbia Global. In this role, Dr. Tajbakhsh works on university-wide initiatives focused on global migration and is the Coordinator of the Committee on Forced Migration. He is also a Fellow with Columbia’s Committee on Global Thought where since 2017 he has taught the core course in the Global Thought MA program “Globalization and the Problems of World Order.” From 2016-2018 he was Professor of Urban Planning at Columbia. His book Creating Local Democracy In Iran: State-Building and the Politics of Decentralization was published by Cambridge University Press in 2022. Before joining Columbia, Tajbakhsh worked for fifteen years as an international expert in urban policy and local government reform; democracy and human rights promotion. Reflecting his commitment to democracy and human rights, Tajbakhsh was the Open Society (Soros) Foundation’s representative in Iran in the 2000s, where he directed several initiatives aimed at strengthening civil society. Tajbakhsh was among the pro-democracy activists arrested and detained by the Iranian government during the Green Movement protests in 2009 and released as part of the 2016 Iran/P5+1 Nuclear Deal.

If you need a disability-related accommodation for this event, please contact us at iranianstudies [at] stanford.edu (iranianstudies[at]stanford[dot]edu).  Requests should be made by February 21, 2023.