Date of Award


Document Type

Masters Thesis

Degree Name


Organizational Unit

College of Arts Humanities and Social Sciences

First Advisor

Nader Hashemi, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Mariano Torcal, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

Darrin Hicks

Fourth Advisor

Bahman Ebrahimi


Comparative study, Democracy, Iran, Portugal, Transition


The thesis compares the period of transition to democracy in Portugal and Iran after the collapse of the authoritarian regimes through revolutions in 1974 in Portugal and 1979 in Iran. Despite the similarities the cases share, the outcome of the transition in Portugal was a political democracy while Iran faced the rise of authoritarianism. The research compares the similar and dissimilar variables between Portugal and Iran such as the form of the break with authoritarianism and holding of initial elections, institutional design, involvement in wars, and popular mobilization. By keeping respecting factors as control variables, the thesis argues for the role of Ayatollah Khomeini, and elite decisions, as the most determinative factors influencing the political outcome. In Portugal, in the absence of a leader uniting the elite and inability of political factions to solely consolidate their power, the Portuguese elite had to compromise. In contrast, in Iran, a charismatic leader, who favored the Islamic Republican Party over other factions, played the most determinative role in directing Iran toward authoritarianism.

Publication Statement

Copyright is held by the author. User is responsible for all copyright compliance.

Rights Holder

Loosineh Markarian Senagani


Received from ProQuest

File Format




File Size

67 p.


Political Science, Design