Re-assessing the impact of the 1979 Iranian revolution on Sunni Islamism

I am delighted that the award of a grant from the Henry Luce Foundation will fund research on the impacts of the Iranian Revolution on Sunni Islamism in Lebanon, Tunisia and Morocco

Dr Michel Mason, Director of the Middle East Centre

iranian revolution 4 3
Men in demonstrations during the 1979 Iranian Revolution. Photo: Wikimedia Commons

A new project looks at the 1979 Iranian Revolution's impact on the evolution of Sunni Islamism in the Arab world, using four case studies deemed representative of its regional, organisational and ideational diversity. It aims to contribute to the existing scholarship and to the upcoming public debate about the effects of the Iranian revolution forty years later.

The study by LSE Visiting Fellows Dr Toby Matthiesen and Dr Raphael Lefevre, from the University of Oxford, is funded by a US$50,000 grant from the Henry Luce Foundation.

By examining four case studies, the authors seek to illustrate the effect the Iranian Revolution’s mix of religion and ideology had on the Sunni Islamists’ thinking and strategies, and the evolution of this effect from 1979 until today.

Dr Michel Mason, Director of the Middle East Centre, said, "I am delighted that the award of a grant from the Henry Luce Foundation will fund research on the impacts of the Iranian Revolution on Sunni Islamism in Lebanon, Tunisia and Morocco. At the LSE Middle East Centre, we are particularly pleased that this grant features a partnership with colleagues at the University of Oxford." 

The Henry Luce Foundation seeks to enrich public discourse by promoting innovative scholarship, cultivating new leaders, and fostering international understanding. This grant follows the Foundation’s first gift to LSE in 2019, which was in support of a project examining the efforts of Iraq’s post-2003 ruling elite to build a democratic system to manage religious and ethnic diversity.

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