Vanderbilt Journal of Transnational Law


Jeffrey Usman

First Page



This Note explores the evolution and maturation of Iranian Islamism from the revolutionary elites through the contemporary reformers of the 21st century. The Author examines the conflicting ideological influences that are shaping the Islamist movement in Iran. This Note begins by presenting the framework of the fundamental contradictions that underlie Iranian Islamist ideology. The analysis of the Iranian Constitution is divided into an exploration of the institutional role of the clerical elites in the form of the faqih and the Council of Guardians, the constitutionally defined role of women, the democratic elements in the Iranian Constitution, and Marxism and environmentalism in the Constitution. The Note then addresses the maturation of the Iranian Islamist movement including attempts to reinvigorate the power of the conservatives beyond Khomeini, the election to Khatami, the women's rights movement, the philosophy of democratic Islamism, and the clerical backlash against the reform movement.