Maastricht University, Netherlands

The Iranian protests that started in September 2022 with the slogan ‘woman, life, freedom’ grew into a revolt against the social and political structures of the Islamic Republic. In this lecture, Peyman Jafari discusses the nature and development of these protests, and places them in a long history of the struggle for freedom in Iran. By comparing the protests with those from 2009, 2018 and 2019, and the revolution of 1978, the lecture addresses a number of important questions: Why are the protests different now? How is the state reacting? What is the role of international politics? What are the possible outcomes?

Peyman Jafari is a research fellow at the International Institute of Social History (Amsterdam) and Assistant Professor of History and International Relations at the College of William and Mary (Williamsburg, Virginia). His research focuses on the relationship between empires, labor, and ecology in the global history of oil, the social history of revolutions and the role of the social movements in contemporary Iran. He is a regular commentator on Iranian current affairs in international media. He is the author of Het andere Iran: van de revolutie tot vandaag [The Other Iran: From the Revolution to Today] (Ambo/Anthos, 2009). He has co-edited two volumes: Iran in the Middle East: Transnational Encounters and Social History (IB Tauris, 2015) and Worlds of Labor Turned Upside Down: Labor Relations and Revolutions in Global Perspective (Brill, 2021). He is currently writing a monograph titled Oil and Labor in the Iranian Revolution: A Social History of Uneven and Combined Development.