Güneş Murat Tezcür and Taghi Azadarmaki, 2008. "Religiosity and Islamic Rule in Iran," Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion 47(2): 211-224.

We investigate the relationship between religiosity and support for Islamic rule in the Islamic Republic of Iran (IRI). Are high levels of religiosity associated with an ideology characterized by clerical rule, supremacy of Islamic law, and state enforcement of Islam? The data come from a random sampling survey conducted in Tehran in August 2003. It covers a range of questions on religiosity, social, and political attitudes, and has a sample of 412 respondents. The analyses show that religiosity is closely affiliated with an ideological understanding of Islam in Tehran. Interestingly, political dissatisfaction does not negatively affect this association. Shi‘ism in Iran has evolved from a “world-shaking” force into a “world-legitimating” force.


Güneş Murat Tezcür, 2007. "Constitutionalism, Judiciary, and Democracy in Islamic Societies," Polity 39(4): 479-501.

This article reconsiders the relationship between secularism, liberalism, and democracy in non-secularized societies by focusing on judicial activism. The goal is to identify the forms of constitutionalism and judicial review that are necessary for the sustainability of democracy in societies where exclusive and holistic interpretations of religion remain pervasive. How is it possible to prevent majority rule from decaying into the tyranny of the majority in such societies? Neither the guardianship regimes embodied by the Iranian and Turkish republics nor Islamic democracy provide viable models that overcome the tension between constitutionalism and democracy. However, a conflict between these two principles in Islamic societies is avoidable. Judicial review, sanctioned by democratically written liberal constitutions and not guarded by non-elected institutions such as military, would be a guardian of individual and minority rights in Islamic societies.


Güneş Murat Tezcür, Taghi Azadarmaki, and Mehri Bahar, 2006. "Religious Participation among Muslims: Iranian Exceptionalism," Middle East Critique 15(3): 217-232.

This article aims to specify the reasons for the low rates of mosque attendance among Iranians. The data for the article come from the World Values Survey that was conducted in Muslim countries and a survey conducted in Tehran by the authors. The article asks whether the peculiar characteristics of Shi’ism or of Islamic government in Iran are responsible for the low rates of mosque attendance. The survey evidence indicates a strong correlation between frequency of mosque attendance and positive evaluations of political governance. It also reveals that many people with strong religious beliefs do not attend Friday congregational prayers.