2021. “Democracy and Bureaucracy in an Ideological State: The Problem of State Capacity in Iran.” The 3rd National Symposium of Social Sciences Students’ Studies. Tehran. 351- 363.

ABSTRACT: The present article investigates the association between bureaucracy and democracy in an ideological state. Theoretically, this article underlines the views of Francis Fukuyama in his book Political Order and Political Decay. However, rather than dwelling on the details of Fukuyama’s theory, what matters is the interpretation of his books in the Iranian intellectual community. This interpretation is embodied in the paper Reformism based on modifying the efficiency of the state by Mohammad Fazeli. Therefore, I begin by delving into the relationship between bureaucracy and democracy from Fukuyama’s perspective. By doing so, I will make brief references to the ideas that Iranian academics have borrowed from Fukuyama’s development theory. In the following, I briefly compare Fukuyama’s End of History in tandem with his development theory. I then concentrate on what an ideological state means and expound on the flaws in Fukuyama’s Iranian interpretations. In this way, rather than seeking to critique the views of Iranian thinkers, I would highlight points that have been overlooked in the practical interpretation and application of Fukuyama’s views. For this reason, rather than focusing on the positive aspects of Iranian descriptions of Fukuyama’s perspective, this discussion relies on the peripheral details specific to Iran (and countries with ideological states). These are details that revolve around ideology in which their consideration is of utmost importance for any form of policy-making.

2019. “The Influence of City and Urban Management on Tehran’s Art Scenes, 2005-2017.” The 2ndNational Symposium of Social Sciences Students’ Studies. Tehran. 285-295.

ABSTRACTThis study attempts to answer how the city and city management shape the cultural scenes of Tehran. This question relates to the status of urban culture on the one hand and to specify the role of urban governance in shaping it on the other. To answer this fundamental question, I described and analyzed the current status of theater and music as two entities with different experiences in the urban environment and policies. To this aim, the selection of art in general, and two branches of it in particular, was a purposeful and strategic choice. I viewed art as the manifestation of material culture and the most manifest sub-system of culture that can adequately represent the continuum of various cultural scenes. The philosophy behind the selection of theater and music as two instances of art was that they could provide a holistic view of Tehran’s art scene; the current status of other branches of arts, such as painting, photography, and graphics, is somewhat similar to theater, and cinema is by far equal to music. I begin this article by portraying a comprehensive account of Tehran’s theater and music transformation in recent years to brief the readers about Tehran’s art scenes’ abnormal and politically unbalanced status. Then, using Andrew Sayer’s theory about space, I shift the discussion to my primary focus, i.e., the role of spatial concentration in the formulation of art scenes. Spatial concentration is a prominent factor shaping and affecting cultural scenes in at least three ways: Disrupting the previous order, continuing the initial conditions, and establishing new orders. The analysis of the latter case leads us to Georg Simmel’s essay The Metropolis and Mental Life. By borrowing some of the basic concepts of that essay, I explain the characteristics and consequences of the current spatial-cultural relations and the rise of new orders. Finally, in light of the discussions regarding spatial concentration, I discuss the dual role that any urban policy can play in shaping cultural scenes.