This article aims to investigate the involvement of intellectuals in the major social and protest movements of the 20th century. Four significant social movements of this century were selected for analysis: the national movement of the years following World War II until 1953, the anti-monarchy movement of 1978 and 1979 that led to the establishment of the Islamic Republic, the green movement of 2009 in response to the results of the presidential elections, and the popular protest uprisings of 2018 and 2019. The growth of the role of intellectuals in Iran’s social movements is revealed by a comprehensive assessment of these four significant movements of the century. In the first major movement of the century, intellectuals had a crucial role in establishing discourse and legitimizing the movement. However, intellectuals played a little intellectual or practical role in the most recent protest upheavals. The typology proposed in the study of these four movements illustrates the evolution of the various faces and types of intellectuals. Some movements utilized intellectuals as a point of reference and discourse generators, while others produced their own intellectuals. The slow decline of social movements in the latter half of the twentieth century may be interpreted as an indication of the intellectual crisis in Iran.
This speech is part of the following panel:
The full article of this speech has been published in Azadi Andisheh Journal No. 11 (see below).