Click the star to add/remove an item to/from your individual schedule.
You need to be logged in to avail of this functionality.

Accepted Contribution:

From progress to stalemate: unfinished infrastructures and radicalized protests in post-sanction Iran  
amir khorasani (Bremen University)

Short abstract:

This study explores how, over the past five years in Iran, the suspension of infrastructural projects due to Trump's sanctions has radicalized the previously reformist language and practice of social movements.

Long abstract:

How have the “suspended” infrastructural projects (Rathgeb Aung, 2022) contributed to a shift in the language of previously reformist social movements into a more radicalized one in Iran? This study suggests that the infrastructure halt brought about by Trump's sanctions in the previous five years has had a significant impact on social protests in Iran by complicating the modernization narrative and disrupting the "promissory nature of infrastructure" (Hetherington, 2014).

Before Trump's actions, during nuclear negotiations, the Iranian reformist state asserted that resolving tensions with the West would modernize energy infrastructure, bringing prosperity and contemporaneity to Iranians. Following Trump's announcement of the US withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal in May 2018, once again foreign companies exited Iran's infrastructural energy projects, oil sales declined, and crucial infrastructural plans froze due to budget deficits and restrictions on money transfers. A pervasive sense of infrastructural halt overshadowed the country, which has complicated the narrative of progress toward "independence and industrialization" (Koyagi, 2021). The transformative impact of "unfinished and unbuilt" infrastructural projects (Corse & Kneas, 2019) overshadowed social protests in the country as different factions of the state struggled to uphold the promise of modernization through the promise of new deal or sanction-neutralizing policies. Despite these efforts, no narrative proved strong enough to restore confidence in the future.

This study delves into how sanctions closed the horizon of the future and influenced social protests in Iran, diminishing the role of mediatory activists and movements in navigating the evolving socio-political landscape.

Combined Format Open Panel P040
Zeitenwende et al. - Infrastructures as media of transformation
  Session 1 Tuesday 16 July, 2024, -