Democratization

Titlesort descending Author Abstract
FPI Fact Sheet: Five Steps to Hasten Assad’s Exit Foreign Policy Initiative This article outlines a five-step process to speed up the removal of Syrian President Bashar Assad in light of mass demonstrations which began in early 2011. The guide details the roles the United...
A Critique on Arash Naraghi's Islamic Philosophy Akbar Ganji This resource is only in Persian.
A Diplomat's Handbook for Democracy Development Support Council for a Community of Democracies This handbook is designed for both diplomats and civil society groups to gain a greater understanding of the relationships between democratic embassies and foreign ministries and how to capitalize on...
Accountability, Responsibility and Transparency Freedom House, Albert Shanker Institute This article focuses on the responsibility of the state to its citizens.   
Alexis de Tocqueville (1805-1859) Mohsen Heidarian This article discusses Alexis de Tocqueville, a modern intellectual whose main concerns were freedom and municipal councils. This resource is only available in Persian.
An Introduction to Freedom David Boaz This article examines the history of freedom movements. This resource is only available in Persian.
Assessing the Quality of Democracy: A Practical Guide David Beetham, Edzia Carvalho, Todd Landman, Stuart Weir This guide presents a State of Democracy assessment framework developed for use around the world. It combines a commitment to the principles of democracy with dialogue, and looks beyond the formal...
Aung San Suu Kyi: Leading the Burmese Democracy Movement Tavaana This exclusive Tavaana case study describes Aung San Suu Kyi’s nearly 20 year fight for democracy against Burma’s authoritarian rule. Though Suu Kyi was imprisoned for the majority of those years,...
Center for Civic Education: Elements of Democracy Center for Civic Education This exclusive Tavaana Persian translation of Elements of Democracy, developed by the Center for Civic Education and taught worldwide, clarifies the meanings of fundamental terminology surrounding...
Center for Civic Education: Foundations of Democracy, Teacher's Guide Center for Civic Education; Translated by Ebrahim Soltani Through the Foundations of Democracy course curriculum developed by the Center for Civic Education, students gain understanding of the fundamental concepts behind politics and government while...
Charter 08: Calling for Democracy in China Tavaana This exclusive Tavaana case study details Nobel Prize Winner Liu Xiaobo, a Chinese activist who challenged the Communist government by demanding for civic and political rights. The manifesto he and...
Charter 77 Jan Patocka, Vaclav Havel and Jiri Hajek Charter 77, published in January 1977, gathered signatures from the Czechoslovak dissident movement's most prominent members. The movement surrounding the Charter, which emerged in response to the...
Civil Disobedience Henry David Thoreau This translation includes the full text of Henry David Thoreau's seminal 1849 essay Civil Disobedience, a work both Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King, Jr. directly credited as a major influence...
Civil Society: Theories, Contexts, and Experiences, by Kazem Alamdari Kazem Alamdari Civil Society: Theories, Contexts, and Experiences, a Tavaana exclusive book by sociologist and Tavaana instructor Kazem Alamdari, provides an overview of major theories and conflicting definitions...
Common Sense Thomas Paine This pamphlet, published in 1776, presented an argument for American independence from British rule. It attacked the British system of government, especially the institution of the monarchy in...
Concepts of Power and Coercion in the Political Theory of Hannah Arendt Bahram Mohyi The article delves into Hannah Arendt’s view toward power and coercion in people’s social life. This resource is only available in Persian.
Conscience over Atheism and Religion Alireza Manafzadeh The article discusses the book “Conscience, Tolerance or Intolerance” written by Stefan Tsvayg. This resource is only available in Persian.
Constitution and the Limited State Freedom House, Albert Shanker Institute This article discusses limiting the power of state based on the people’s right to political participation. This resource is only available in Persian. For more information, click here.
Constitution of the United States The United States Constitution is a broad framework that, even after 220 years, has the flexibility to adapt to a changing world.
Declaration on the Criteria for Free and Fair Elections The Inter-Parliamentary Council Published in 1994, this text outlines the criteria that elections should meet in order for them to be considered free and fair as well as the role that the state should play during election processes...
Defending Civil Society ICNL, NED The report, co-authored by the International Center for Not-for-Profit Law (ICNL) and World Movement for Democracy Secretariat at the National Endowment for Democracy (NED), articulates well-defined...
Democracy Sidney Hook, revised by Jean Bethke Elshtain The word democracy has many meanings, but in the modern world its use signifies that the ultimate authority in political affairs rightfully belongs to citizens.
Democracy and Peace Bruce Russett This essay, written by Bruce Russett and translated to Persian by Tavaana, advocates a vision of international peace based on several factors. Russett, a political science professor at Yale, asserts...
Democracy and Secularism Abdolkarim Soroush This is an interview with Prof. Soroush about secularism and its effect on preserving religion. This resource is only available in Persian.  
Democracy and the United Nations United Nations The United Nations does not advocate for a specific model of government, but promotes democratic governance as a set of values and principles that should be followed for greater participation,...
Democracy at the Local Level: The International IDEA Handbook on Participation, Representation, Conflict Management, and Governance Timothy D. Sisk A guide to governing effectively at the local level to build a strong foundation for national-level democracy, including advice on how to expand citizen participation, enhance local elections, and...
Democracy in America Alexis de Tocqueville After his trip to the United States in 1831, Alexis de Tocqueville wrote this book about American democracy and its strengths and weaknesses.
Democracy in Arab Countries is Troublesome for Israel This article discusses the consequences of democratic revolutions in Arab countries. This resource is only available in Persian.
Democracy Web - Translation Eric Chenoweth Developed by the Albert Shanker Institute and Freedom House, Democracy Web offers an overview of the architecture of democracy, gives historical background information, and provides a framework for...
Developing a Policy Agenda and Message Before a party can hope to attract large numbers of supporters and, ultimately, win elections, it must develop an effective policy agenda and message. This resource is only available in Persian.
Elections, an Opportunity for Democracy Shahrvandyar This powerpoint looks at elections in a closed political space and their influences on democracy. This resource is only available in Persian.
Enabling Environments for Civic Movements and the Dynamics of Democratic Transition Eleanor Marchant and Arch Puddington This Freedom House study further analyzes the findings of Freedom House’s How Freedom is Won Report, stating that pro-democracy movements can rise in any societal setting, regardless of political,...
Fair, Free and Periodic Elections Freedom House, Albert Shanker Institute This article talks about the right to political participation through fair, free and periodic elections. This resource is only available in Persian.
Fast Track of Secularization and Secularism in Iran Mehrdad Mashayekhi This article discusses secularism in Iran and argues that it is the most significant social change in recent time. This resource is only available in Persian.
Federalist Papers Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, and John Jay A series of 85 essays urging the citizens of New York to ratify the new United States Constitution. Written by Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, and John Jay, the essays originally appeared...
Free and Fair election: Handbook For Domestic Election Observers The Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) The handbook has been developed in collaboration with more than twenty domestic observer groups in the OSCE region and also reflects the experience of domestic observer groups from other parts of the...
Freedom Ayzaya Berlin What is political freedom? Can states intervene in people’s private lives? This resource is only available in Persian.
Freedom and the Right to Participation in Politics Naser Katouzian This article discusses different perspectives on freedom and political participation. This resource is only available in Persian.
Freedom in the World 2009: Setbacks and Resilience Freedom House The Freedom in the World 2009 survey contains reports on 193 countries and 16 related and disputed territories. The most significant gains for freedom in 2008 occurred in South Asia, a rare bright...
Freedom in the World 2010: Global Erosion of Freedom Freedom House The Freedom in the World 2010 survey contains reports on 194 countries and 14 related and disputed territories. For the fourth consecutive year, global declines in freedom outweighed gains in 2009,...
Freedom in the World 2011: The Authoritarian Challenge to Democracy Freedom House The Freedom in the World 2011 survey contains reports on 194 countries and 14 related and disputed territories. Global freedom suffered its fifth consecutive year of decline in 2010, according to ...
Freedom in the World 2012: The Arab Uprisings and Their Global Repercussions Freedom House The Freedom in the World 2012 survey contains reports on 195 countries and 14 related and disputed territories. The authoritarian response to change in the Middle East had a significant impact on the...
Freedom in the World 2013: Democratic Breakthroughs in the Balance Freedom House In the 39th edition of its annual Freedom in the World report, Freedom House ranks the status of civil liberties and political rights in 195 countries and 14 territories. Freedom House documented...
Freedom in the World 2014: The Democratic Leadership Gap Freedom House The state of freedom declined for the eighth consecutive year in 2013, according to Freedom in the World 2014, Freedom House’s annual country-by-country report on global political rights and civil...
Freedom in the World 2015: Discarding Democracy: Return to the Iron Fist Freedom House The Freedom in the World 2015 survey contains reports on 195 countries. For the ninth consecutive year, Freedom in the World, Freedom House’s annual report on the condition of global political rights...
Freedom of Association Freedom House, Albert Shanker Institute Without freedom of assembly and association, defense for individual rights is not possible. This resource is only available in Persian.
From Dictatorship to Democracy: A Conceptual Framework for Liberation Gene Sharp An introduction to the use of non-violent action to topple dictatorships. It offers concise advice on how to plan a successful non-violent opposition campaign, including a list of 198 methods of non-...
Ganji and Quran Arash Naraghi This resource is only in Persian.
Guided Democracy B. Bi Niaz (Dariush) This article tries to answer the question, is it possible to have democracy immediately after the change of regime? This resource is only available in Persian.
Habermas and Playing Chess with a Gorilla Mohammad Reza Nikfar This resource is only in Persian.
Handbook for Nonviolent Campaigns War Resisters’ International This comprehensive handbook outlines democracy movement case studies, practical advice for creating nonviolent campaigns, strategies for resisting oppressive states and exercises for civic groups to...
Helping to Create an Effective Democracy Center for International Private Enterprise The main message of this article is that universal freedom of expression is only found in democratic countries. This resource is only available in Persian.
Historical Inquiry on Freedom and the Architecture of Democracy Freedom House, Albert Shanker Institute This article delves into the foundations of freedom and democracy. This resource is only available in Persian.
I Have a Dream, by Martin Luther King Martin Luther King Martin Luther King: "I am happy to join with you today in what will go down in history as the greatest demonstration for freedom in the history of our nation"...
If Islam and Secularism Can Coexist Arash Naraghi This resource is only in Persian.
Is Putin’s Russia Fascist? Alexander J. Motyl This article examines Russia’s political system during Vladimir Putin’s first presidency from both the viewpoints of oppositionists and supporters. This resource is only available in Persian.
Islam and the Challenge of Democracy Khaled Abou El Fadl This article tackles the question of whether democracy is compatible with Islam. The author presents a detailed argument, with Islamic justification, for the assertion that pursuing democracy does...
Islam, Power and Parameters of a Secular State Abdi Kalantari The author explains how secularism is applied differently in societies based on location and time. This resource is only available in Persian.
Islamic Foundation of Secularism in Turkey Mehdi Khalaji This article discusses how modern Turkey was founded based on the principle of separation of state and religion. This resource is only available in Persian.
Islamic Philosophy and Power, Interview with Mehdi Khalaji Babak Mina In this interview, Mehdi Khalaji tackles the question of whether or not there is a potential political concept in the Philosophy of Islam. This resource is only available in Persian.
Ivan Krastev: Can democracy exist without trust? It seems the more we know about how democracy works — through government transparency, better media coverage, even new insights about our brains — the less we trust democracy itself. Yet it's still,...
Jarreth Merz: Filming democracy in Ghana Jarreth Merz, a Swiss-Ghanaian filmmaker, came to Ghana in 2008 to film the national elections. What he saw there taught him new lessons about democracy — and about himself.
Kasravi and Identity of Secularism Mohammadreza Nikfar Kasravi does not want people to be against religion but in his narration, religion lacks the factors required to be as an institute. This resource is only available in Persian.
Letter from Birmingham Jail Martin Luther King, Jr. Dr. King wrote this letter in response to a statement issued by eight white Alabama clergymen on April 12, 1963, titled "A Call for Unity," which concurred that social injustices were taking place,...
Liberalism, the Essence of Globalization Hossein Daheshyar This article examines liberalism as an important factor of globalization. This resource is only available in Persian.
Martin Luther King and the Montgomery Story Fellowship on Reconciliation This exciting story ties FOR’s civil rights legacy to today’s ongoing work for nonviolence action around the world.
Max Weber and the Theory of Power Bagher Parham This article analyzes Weber’s theory on power and the sociological keys of the Islamic state. This resource is only available in Persian.
Media Monitoring to Promote Democratic Elections Robert Norris, Patrick Merloe This handbook for citizen organizations takes a step-by-step approach to media monitoring. It covers: The importance of determining who controls the media and the difference between state-controlled...
Muslim Democrat (April, 2005) Radwan A.Masmoudi This issue of the Muslim Democrat focuses on the choice of democracy as a political system in the Muslim world, and includes articles on democracy in Jordan, Tunisia, and Iran.
NDI Handbook: How Domestic Organizations Monitor Elections: an A to Z Guide National Democratic Institute (NDI) This handbook provides a comprehensive overview of how to organize a nonpartisan domestic election monitoring effort. It covers: Planning and organizational issues; Recruiting, training and...
On Liberty John Stuart Mill This influential short book, written in 1859, asserted individuals’ sovereignty over themselves and supported their moral and economic freedom from the state. It argues that people should be granted...
Open Letter to Husak Vaclav Havel "Havel published his letter to Husák just a few months before the passing of another great mind, Hannah Arendt (1906-75). Arendt provides us with the tools to understand the totalitarian system from...
Personal Responsibility Under Dictatorship Hannah Arendt This article discusses the relationships between morality, independence of thought, and personal judgment. This resource is only available in Persian.
Pluralism in the Democracy Transition Process Tabarzadi, Afshari, Sigarchi, Parham This author argues that tolerance is the main factor in the transition to democracy. This resource is only available in Persian.
Political Campaign Planning Manual: A Step by Step Guide to Wining Elections J. Brian O'Day One of NDI’s most popular manuals, this publication combines the ideas and materials that NDI trainers and consultants have used in Russia and the countries of the former Soviet Union since 1992....
Political Legitimacy Fabienne Peter Political legitimacy is a virtue of political institutions and of the decisions—about laws, policies, and candidates for political office—made within them.
Power and Persuasion: Nonviolent strategies to influence state security forces in Serbia (2000) and Ukraine (2004) Anika Locke Binnendijk and Ivan Marovic This is a case study outlining the Serbian and Ukrainian democracy movements. Included is an analysis of the strategies employed by grassroots movements to stem the use of violent oppression by state...
Preface of the Theological-Political Treatise Spinoza When it appeared in 1670, Baruch Spinoza's Theological-Political Treatise was denounced as the most dangerous book ever published--"godless," "full of abominations," "a book forged in hell . . . by...
Reflections on the Communism, 20 Years After the Fall of the Berlin Wall Paul Hollander This article analyzes the popularity of Communism after the fall of the Berlin Wall. This resource is only available in Persian.
Religion, Modernity and Secularism Mohammad-Reza Nikfar This resource is only in Persian.
Religion, Modernity and Secularism Mohammadreza Nikfar This resource is only in Persian.
Repression, Backfire, and the Theory of Transformative Events David Hess and Brian Martin This article examines the role of how state repression can actually empower social movements through their strategic use of backfire, which is the “public reaction of outrage to an event that is...
Resistance, Black Summer, And Last Words Shahla Shafigh This is the seventh chapter from the book Islamic Totalitarianism: Delusion or Reality? written by Shahla Shafigh. This resource is only available in Persian.
Responsibility in the Modern Democratic Politics Mohammad Reza Nikfar This article reflects on the traditional and modern understandings of responsibility. This resource is only available in Persian.
Rory Stewart: Why Democracy Matters? The public is losing faith in democracy, says British MP Rory Stewart. Iraq and Afghanistan’s new democracies are deeply corrupt; meanwhile, 84 percent of people in Britain say politics is broken. In...
Rule of Law Freedom House, Albert Shanker Institute In a democratic system, rule of law limits the state’s power. This resource is only available in Persian.
Satisfaction of the Ruled Freedom House, Albert Shanker Institute This article looks at the conditions of “those ruled” in countries which lack democracy. This resource is only available in Persian.
Secularization: Integration and Elimination of Discrimination Mohammad Reza Nikfar How did secularism start among us? What did we achieve? This resource is only available in Persian.
Self-Liberation: A Guide to Strategic Planning for Action to End a Dictatorship or Other Oppression Dr. Gene Sharp This strategic planning guide is intended to assist people planning a grand strategy to liberate themselves from oppression and to build a more free and democratic system. This document is not only...
Separation of Religion and State Mohammad Reza Nikfar This article discusses the theory of secularism and its application in Iran. This resource is only available in Persian.
Sources of Power Center for the Study of Strategic Nonviolent Defense This article focuses on the idea that people need to understand the nature of power in order to achieve victory. This resource is only available in Persian.
State Legitimacy Farshid Yasayi This article examines the source of power in relation to the legitimacy of state. This resource is only available in Persian.
The Anti-Coup Gene Sharp and Bruce Jenkins This book delves into the logistics of and reasons for coups. It also includes ways to defend society against coups and nonviolent weapons which ordinary citizens can use to prevent a coup and/or...
The Birth of Biopolitics Michel Foucault What are the specific features of the liberal art of government as they were outlined in the Eighteenth century? What crisis of governmentality characterises the present world and what revisions of...
The Cedar Revolution in Lebanon Tavaana This exclusive Tavaana case study explores the 2005 Cedar Revolution in Lebanon. The assassination of Prime Minister Saad Hariri in February 2005 galvanized the Lebanese population into a nonviolent...
The Concept of Freedom According to Ayzaya Berlin’s Thought Morteza Afshari Ayzaya Berlin introduces two concepts of freedom, one positive and one negative. This resource is only available in Persian.
The First Iranian Writings about Democracy Akhondzadeh, Nazemdoleh, Aghakhan Kermani This resource includes the first writings by Iranian intellectuals on democracy. This resource is only available in Persian.
The Freedom Papers David Webster, Matthew Gandal and Chester E. Finn, Norman Ornstein, Susan Sullivan Lagon, Celeste Colgan, Steven Goldberg, Bruce Kennedy The Freedom Papers is a series of seven papers that provide practical information, case studies, and sources of information on issues of democracy-building. Topics include: free and independent media...
The Future of Freedom Fareed Zakaria This book discusses liberalism and rule of law in relation to the future of freedom. This resource is only available in Persian.
The Future of Shari'a Abdullahi Ahmed An-Na’im The writer is arguing here for the secular state as a framework for negotiating the future of Shari'a, without claiming or seeking to examine all the theoretical or practical implications of this...
The Heart and Frame of Democracy Abdolkarim Soroush This article discusses the right to political participation, one of the basic human rights in the modern world. This resource is only available in Persian.
The Impact of Socio-Political Integration and Press Freedom on Corruption Nicholas Charron This study provides empirical evidence for the hypothesis that increased openness and transparency in domestic institutions correlates with a decrease in corruption. The author, Nicholas Charron,...
The Obstacles to Democracy in Iran Hassan Yousefi Eshkevari Although Iran has had a constitution, parliament, and elections for over 100 years, the country has not fully experienced democracy. This article responds to this issue. This resource is only...
The Origin and Nature of the New Era Mohammad Reza Nikfar This article examines Hans Blumenberg’s view towards the origin and nature of the new era. This resource is only available in Persian.
The People Power Revolution in the Philippines: I Saw No One Yield to Fear Tavaana This exclusive Tavaana case study describes how after the death of her husband, Cory Aquino took the reins of her husband’s fight against the corrupt and authoritarian Marcos regime in the...
The Philosophy of Freedom and Principles of Democracy Fereidoon Adamiyat This article explains the basis of democracy and freedom, as well as the requirements of a democratic state. This resource is only available in Persian.
The Quick Count and Election Observation: An NDI Handbook for Civic Organizations and Political Parties Melissa Estok, Neil Nevitte, Glenn Cowan This handbook addresses the importance of developing systematic observation of vital election day processes, including the quality of voting, ballot counting and tabulation of election results, as...
The Right to Rise Up: People Power and the Virtues of Civic Disruption Peter Ackerman and Jack Duvall Peter Ackerman and Jack Duvall explore the historical basis of civic disruption producing democratic revolution. The authors give disruption tactics, strategic advice, and nonviolent knowledge...
The Rule of Majority and the Rights of Minority Freedom House, Albert Shanker Institute This article discusses the respect for minority rights in a democratic state. This resource is only available in Persian.
The Shock of Secularism Among the Clergy Mehdi Khalaji The article explains why, more than a century since the idea of secularism entered Iran, the clergy are still in shock. This resource is only available in Persian.
The Spirit of Democracy Larry Diamond In this article the author explains democracy as a global value for all people around the world. This resource is only available in Persian.
The Year Life Won in Serbia: The Otpor Movement Against Milosevic Tavaana This exclusive Tavaana case study describes the Serbian student’s movement Otpor, meaning “resistance”, which was formed by Belgrade university students who yearned for an open society. After the...
Theories on Development Relations Srinivas R Melkote This article focuses on theories of development. This resource is only available in Persian.
Transition to Democracy in Iran: Observations on International Influences on Democratization in Iran Abbas Milani The forces that attempted to create democracy in Iran a hundred years ago are have only grown and become more experienced in the language and logic of democracy. The hitherto unrealized dream of...
Undermining Democracy: 21st Century Authoritarians Freedom House Pivotal authoritarian regimes have adapted and modernized their repressive methods and are undermining democracy in updated, sophisticated, and well funded ways. The result is a disruptive and...
Universal Declaration about Laicite in 21st Century Sheidan Vasigh (translator) This declaration was passed in the French Senate on December 9, 2005. This resource is only available in Persian.
Ushahidi: From Crisis Mapping Kenya to Mapping the Globe Tavaana As Kenya erupted in violence in January 2008, a small group of Kenyan activists and tech experts launched a mash-up technology that would mobilize Kenyan relief efforts and revolutionize crisis...
Velvet Revolution: A Peaceful End to Communism in Czechoslovakia Tavaana This exclusive Tavaana case study describes how Vaclav Havel and the Civic Forum mobilized tens of thousands of Czechoslovaks to hold protests and general strikes that ended Communism in the country...
Walden Henry David Thoreau This translation is an excerpt from Henry David Thoreau Walden, a book documenting his experiences living in self-sufficient solitude on the shores of Massachusetts's Walden Pond. Thoreau (1817-1862...
What Does Secularism Mean? (Interview with Charles Taylor) Ali Mohammad Tabatabaei This article delves into the concept of secularism. This resource is only available in Persian.
What is Enlightenment? Immanuel Kant This article explains that enlightenment means freedom from humility which is imposed on humans. This resource is only available in Persian.
What is Fascism? Yadollah Movaghen This article seeks to explain the rise of Communism in Germany and Italy, two civilized countries where violence and technology were used to control people’s thoughts. This resource is only available...
What is Secularism? Mohammad Reza Nikfar This article discusses the necessity of separation of religion and state. This resource is only available in Persian.
Young Citizens and Civic Learning: Two Paradigms of Citizenship in the Digital Age W. Lance Bennett, Chris Wells, and Allison Rank This paper examines research on school-based civic education in different post-industrial democracies. It explains that younger generations of students who are computer proficient have begun to use...
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What Tavaana Students Have to Say

The best aspects of this course are that it is up-to-date by the level of international standards. It could not be equaled in Iran… it made me acquainted with computer hardware and software, Internet connectivity, useful internet programs, and malwares and viruses and ways of defending against them.
- Reyhaneh, Introduction to Digital Safety course graduate