Ever since the mid-1990s, a major shift has been taking place in terms of ideas and discourse among intellectuals in Iran, both religious and secular. This paper will discuss examples of this changing discourse, focusing specifically on the discourse of rights that came to gain prominence by the eve of the disputed presidential elections in 2009. Using the reformist press as the main source of inquiry, this paper will discuss what this discourse of rights is about, how it has taken shape, how it has been influenced and inspired by ideas of reform as well as the women's movement, and why it is important.
Negin Nabavi is associate professor of History at Montclair State University. She has taught at Princeton University, New York University, and the University of Maryland. She has published a number of articles as well as the books, Intellectuals and the State in Iran: Politics, Discourse, and the Dilemma of Authenticity (2003), Intellectual Trends in Twentieth Century Iran: A Critical Survey (2003), and Iran: From Theocracy to the Green Movement (2012).