In the Western media and Iran, supporters and opponents of the so-called Green Movement both have used the term "velvet revolution" to describe what Iran has gone through in the aftermath of its June presidential election. What are the local, regional, and global factors that facilitate and block sociopolitical changes in the country?
The conversation features Charles Kurzman (University of North Carolina), Abdolali Rezai (University of Calgary), and Danny Postel (Journalist and Activist), with an introduction from Simon Critchley (The New School).
Simon Critchley was born in Hertfordshire in 1960, and currently lives and works in New York as Professor of Philosophy at the New School for Social Research. He works in continental philosophy, the history of philosophy, literature, ethics and politics.
Critchley argues that philosophy commences in disappointment, either religious or political. These two axes may be said largely to inform his published work: religious disappointment raises the question of meaning and has to, as he sees it, deal with the problem of nihilism; political disappointment provokes the question of justice and raises the need for a coherent ethics. The Book of Dead Philosophers is his eighth book.
Charles Kurzman is a Professor of Sociology at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. His recent research is in the area of Islamic studies. He is an author of several books and many articles.
Among his most prominent publications are: The Unthinkable Revolution in Iran and Democracy Denied, 1905-1915: Intellectuals and the Fate of Democracy.
Danny Postel is the author of Reading "Legitimation Crisis" in Tehran (2006) and the co-editor (with Nader Hashemi) of The Green Movement Reader (forthcoming). He is a Contributing Editor of Logos, a Correspondent for LabourStart, and a member of the editorial board of The Common Review. He is Communications Coordinator for Interfaith Worker Justice, North America Co-Chair of the Iran Labor Support Committee, and a member of Chicago's No War on Iran Coalition. His work has appeared in The Chronicle of Higher Education, Commonweal, Critical Inquiry, The Guardian, In These Times, The Nation, New Humanist, openDemocracy, The Progressive, Salmagundi, Tehran Bureau, and the now-banned Iranian newspapers Shargh and Etemad Melli. His interviews with Iranian intellectuals have been translated into Spanish, French, German, Italian, Serbo-Croatian, Hungarian, and Persian.
Abdolali Rezaei is a professor of sociology at the University of Calgary.