New Book: Democracy in Iran

Parsa, Misagh. 2016. Democracy in Iran: Why It Failed and How It Might Succeed. Harvard University Press.

Scenescapes coverThe Green Movement protests that erupted in Iran in 2009 amid allegations of election fraud shook the Islamic Republic to its core. For the first time in decades, the adoption of serious liberal reforms seemed possible. But the opportunity proved short-lived, leaving Iranian activists and intellectuals to debate whether any path to democracy remained open. Offering a new framework for understanding democratization in developing countries governed by authoritarian regimes, Democracy in Iran is a penetrating, historically informed analysis of Iran’s current and future prospects for reform. Beginning with the Iranian Revolution of 1979, Misagh Parsa traces the evolution of Iran’s theocratic regime, examining the challenges the Islamic Republic has overcome as well as those that remain: inequalities in wealth and income, corruption and cronyism, and a “brain drain” of highly educated professionals eager to escape Iran’s repressive confines. The political fortunes of Iranian reformers seeking to address these problems have been uneven over a period that has seen hopes raised during a reformist administration, setbacks under Ahmadinejad, and the birth of the Green Movement. Although pro-democracy activists have made progress by fits and starts, they have few tangible reforms to show for their efforts. In Parsa’s view, the outlook for Iranian democracy is stark. Gradual institutional reforms will not be sufficient for real change, nor can the government be reformed without fundamentally rethinking its commitment to the role of religion in politics and civic life. For Iran to democratize, the options are narrowing to a single path: another revolution.

2017 ASA Political Sociology Section Awards


Political Sociology Section Distinguished Contribution to Scholarship (Book) Award

Deadline: 3/15/2017

This award is given annually to the outstanding recent book in political sociology (we will not consider edited books for this award). To be eligible, the book must have a 2016 copyright date. The selection committee encourages self-nominations or suggestions of work by others. Nominations from publishers will not be accepted. To nominate a book for this award: 1) send a short letter (via e-mail) nominating the book to each committee member below and 2) have a copy of the book sent to each committee member, at the addresses below. Winners will be notified and announced prior to the ASA meetings allowing presses to advertise the prize-winning book. The deadline for nominations is March 15, 2017.


Dana Fisher, Chair, University of Maryland,
2112 Parren Mitchell Art-Sociology Building, 3834 Campus Drive, College Park, MD 20742

Elizabeth Popp Berman, University at Albany,
Sociology, University at Albany, SUNY, Albany, NY 12222

Elizabeth Holzer, University of Connecticut,
Sociology Dept & Human Rights Institute, University of Connecticut, 344 Mansfield Road, Storrs, CT 06269

Rima Wilkes, University of British Columbia,
Sociology, 6303 NW Marine Drive, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia V6T 1Z1, Canada

Political Sociology Section Distinguished Contribution to Scholarship (Article or Book Chapter) Award

Deadline: 3/15/2017

This award is offered annually for the outstanding recently published article or chapter in political sociology. To be eligible, submissions must have a 2016 publication date. The selection committee encourages either self-nominations or suggestions of work by others. (Please note that each author may have only one article nominated.) A brief nomination letter and a copy of the article or chapter should be sent to each selection committee member at the e-mail address below.

The deadline for nominations is March 15, 2017.


Amy Binder, Chair, University of California, San Diego,

Sandra Levitsky, University of Michigan,

Nina Eliasoph, University of Southern California,

Carly Elizabeth Schall, IUPUI,

Political Sociology Section Best Graduate Student Paper Award

Deadline: 3/15/2017

This award is offered annually for the best graduate student paper in political sociology. Persons who were graduate students at any time during calendar year 2016 are invited to submit published or unpublished papers for this award. To be eligible, papers must be either single authored or co-authored by two or more graduate students. Articles co-authored (and/or subsequently published jointly) by a faculty and a student are not eligible. Please note that each author may have only one article nominated. A brief nomination letter and a copy of the article or chapter should be sent to each selection committee member at the e-mail addresses below. The deadline for nominations is March 15, 2017.


G. Cristina Mora, Chair, University of California, Berkeley,

Jennifer Hsu, University of Alberta,

Bin Xu, Emory University,

Cristina Lacomba, Harvard University,

New Book: Scenescapes

Silver, Daniel Aaron & Terry Nichols Clark. 2016. Scenescapes: How Qualities of Place Shape Social Life. The University of Chicago Press.

Scenescapes coverAccording to co-author Dan Silver, Chapter 6 is of particular interest to section members: “There we trace a widening gap in the types of local amenities associated with Democratic and Republican voters. We also show how local scenes are key factors in explaining social movement organization activity and in generating resources that fuel local political contestation. Chapter 5 may also be of interest, as it includes a discussion of residential divisions into cultural enclaves, as well as an analysis of activities that may bridge such differences, such as martial arts.”

More about the book: In Scenescapes, Daniel Aaron Silver and Terry Nichols Clark examine the patterns and consequences of the amenities that define our streets and strips. They articulate the core dimensions of the theatricality, authenticity, and legitimacy of local scenes—cafes, churches, restaurants, parks, galleries, bowling alleys, and more. Scenescapes not only reimagines cities in cultural terms, it details how scenes shape economic development, residential patterns, and political attitudes and actions. In vivid detail and with wide-angle analyses—encompassing an analysis of 40,000 ZIP codes—Silver and Clark give readers tools for thinking about place; tools that can teach us where to live, work, or relax, and how to organize our communities.

New book: When Solidarity Works

Lee, Cheol-Sung. 2016. When Solidarity Works: Labor-Civic Networks and Welfare States in the Market Reform Era. Cambridge University Press.

When solidarity works coverWhy do some labor movements successfully defend the welfare state even under the pressures of neo-liberal market reform? Why do some unions (and their allied parties and civic associations) succeed in building more universal and comprehensive social policy regimes, while others fail to do so? In this innovative work, Cheol-Sung Lee explores these conundrums through a comparative historical analysis of four countries: Argentina, Brazil, South Korea and Taiwan. He introduces the notion of ’embedded cohesiveness’ in order to develop an explanatory model in which labor-civic solidarity and union-political party alliance jointly account for outcomes of welfare state retrenchment as well as welfare state expansion. Lee’s exploration of the critical roles of civil society and social movement processes in shaping democratic governance and public policies make this ideal for academic researchers and graduate students in comparative politics, political sociology and network analysis.

CfP: Broken: Barriers, Parties, and Conventional Wisdom in 2016 (conference)

On March 18th, 2017, Saint Anselm College will host the third academic symposium in its American Election series. This year’s conference, entitled Broken: Barriers, Parties and the Conventional Wisdom in 2016 will explore the dynamics of the 2016 elections, including trends at the national and state levels, focusing on how this election broke new ground and turned the convention wisdom on its head. Papers are welcome exploring a wide range of topics connected to the 2016 elections, including proposals in the areas of campaigns and elections, candidates, foreign and domestic policy and the election, the role of faith, race, and gender in electoral politics, political party dynamics, and elections at the state level. The conference will be held at the New Hampshire Institute of Politics, which has served as ground zero for New Hampshire’s first-in-the nation primary. The symposium format is designed to facilitate feedback and discussion; therefore participants are expected to attend the full day of sessions.

Selected papers presented at the conference will serve as drafts of chapters in a proposed edited volume. Papers that will to be considered for the volume should use the following format: 1) What is the conventional wisdom on the topic, and 2) Did the conventional wisdom hold in 2016? Papers selected for the volume will be limited to 5,000 words, and must use Chicago style formatting (with in-text/parenthetical citations).

Proposals of not more than 250 words must be submitted by December 15th, 2016, to ensure full consideration. Please submit proposals to Dr. Tauna Sisco, at Further details about the conference, including registration fees, accommodations, and a tentative schedule of events, will be available on the conference website as details are announced. The website can be found at:

CfP: Development in the Face of Global Inequalities (conference)

An International, Interdisciplinary Conference sponsored by the World Society Foundation May 11-13, 2017, Barcelona, Spain,

How can development occur in the face of mounting global inequalities and the rapid depletion of the world’s resource base? Innovative approaches are needed to better understand recent trends in the distribution of wealth, income and opportunities in the capitalist world economy, and more fully comprehend the availability, use, and governance of resources. Original ideas are equally needed to gain insights into the transformative politics that might help to address the tensions and possible trade-offs between inequality reduction and sustainability.

Co-organized by the Institut Barcelona d’Estudis Internacionals (IBEI), the World Society Foundation (WSF), the Sociology of Development Section of the American Sociological Association (ASA), and the International Center for Development and Decent Work (ICDD), this conference invites scholars, practitioners and policy-makers to explore new directions for analyzing these pressing challenges and identify the kinds of institutions, policies, and collective action that are (or would be) necessary for achieving the reduction of global inequalities in a sustainable manner.

Confirmed keynoters include Catherine Boone (LSE), Melani Cammett (Harvard), Patrick Heller (Brown), Sam Hickey (Manchester), Timur Kuran (Duke), Branko Milanovic (CUNY), and Maristella Svampa (CONICET).

The WSF provides 30 travel grants to participants for cover their travel and accommodation costs. These grants are given on a competetive basis for the strongest paper submissions, though with a preference for graduate students, and scholars and policymakers working at institutions in the Global South.

The organizing committee will develop sessions based on the pool of submissions it receives and group related papers into thematically connected panels.

CfP: Special Issue on Global Health and Development

Sociology of Development invites papers for a special issue on Global Health and Development. The issue welcomes sociological contributions across thematic foci and analytic approaches. Potential topics could include (but are by no means limited to): comparative analyses of health policies and policymaking, international organizations and health, inequalities in health outcomes, gender, class, race/ethnicity, and health, globalization and health challenges, migration and health in global perspective, and mental health policies and inequalities across the globe. Manuscripts should be approximately 8,000 words in length, including references, tables and figures. For formatting instructions, see:

The deadline for submissions is March 31, 2017. All manuscripts should be submitted online through the journal’s submission system ( Please clearly state in your cover letter that the manuscript is for consideration in the Global Health and Development special issue. Questions about the special issue can be directed to the guest editor: Shiri Noy, at

Political Power and Social Theory call for themed volume submissions

Political Power and Social Theory, an award-winning peer-reviewed biannual journal series published by Emerald Press, is current accepting proposals for special themed volumes. Volumes should fit into the broad mission of the journal. Length of the entire volume should be between 80,000 and 120,000 words. Proposals of 2-5 pages should include (a) description of the volume theme, (b) list of proposed articles and authors (this can be tentative), and (c) date in which the completed first drafts can be submitted. They should be sent to the Editor, Acceptance of proposals does not guarantee publication, as each of the articles and the manuscript as a whole is subject to peer review. Deadline: rolling submission. For more information and titles of past special volumes see: and

Mini-conference: Can Comparative Historical Sociology Save the World?

The Comparative Historical Sociology Section of the ASA is proud to announce it will be hosting it’s annual mini-conference at the University of Washington on August 19th, 2016. Titled Can Comparative Historical Sociology Save the World? the conference explores how scholars might use the tools of comparative and historical sociology to engage issues of public concern. Our day will begin with an opening plenary featuring Peter Evans, Fatma Müge Göçek, Ebenezer Obadare, Fabio Rojas, and section chair, Monica Prasad. Three panel sessions will cover timely themes such as the practice of policy-relevant research, international migration, and legacies of race and gender inequality. The program will conclude in a joint reception with the Economic Sociology section, which is also hosting a mini-conference at the University of Washington.

View the conference program and register online at Registrations on our before August 11th will include a box lunch. We look forward to seeing you in Seattle!

Rose Series Call for Book Proposals

ASA Rose Series in Sociology, a book series published by the Russell Sage Foundation, is seeking book proposals. The Rose Series publishes cutting-edge, highly visible, and accessible books that offer synthetic analyses of existing fields, challenge prevailing paradigms, and/or offer fresh views on enduring controversies. Books published in the Series reach a broad audience of sociologists, other social scientists, and policymakers. Please submit a 1-page summary and CV to: Lee Clarke, For more information, go here.