Qom After Islamic Neo- Liberalism: A Narrative of the City in Limbo

Kamaluddin Duaei, Center For Near And Middle Eastern Studies (CNMS)
2019 Middle East : Topics & Arguments  
Despite its classically appreciated rank in the constellation of Shia world, its key role in the turbulences that led to the 1979 Islamic Revolution of Iran, and its contentious relevance since the establishment of Islamic Republic, Qom has been one of the least researched cities of modern Iran. Of the few inquiries carried out around the city and its late sociology, almost none has taken into account arch-structures of capitalist political economy and the undercurrents of middle-class
more » ... ddle-class consumerism in terms of everyday life. This study aims at building up a critical take on Qom, particularly with regard to the developments of the last decade when neoliberal economics embrangled its already perplexed urban landscapes. Employing perspectives from cultural geography and economic sociology, it investigates the ways in which urban planning and municipal policy have diverged from or converged with ideological ideals of the state. Caught between the old holy town of Qom and the modern metropolis of Tehran, between asceticism and hedonism, between aspired ideals of religious tradition and banalities of consumer society, and between the Islamic Republic and the United States, Qom is indeed a microcosm of the whole state.
doi:10.17192/meta.2019.12.7932 fatcat:zey3mwex5jcvlgqo2jwhu77gva