Captive Society: The Basij Militia and Social Control in Iran
Iran’s Organization for the Mobilization of the Oppressed (Sazeman-e Basij-e Mostazafan), commonly known as the Basij, is a paramilitary organization used by the regime to suppress dissidents, vote as a bloc, and indoctrinate Iranian citizens. Captive Society surveys the Basij’s history, structure, and relations with the Revolutionary Guard, as well as it sociology and its roles in Iran’s society, economy, and educational system. Saeid Golkar’s account draws not only on published work—including publications of the Basij itself and of the Revolutionary Guard and allied websites and blogs—but also on his own informal communications with Basij members while he studied and taught at Iranian universities, and on limited surveys and a series of interviews he conducted in Iran.
Saeid Golkar is a lecturer in Middle East and North African studies at Northwestern University and a visiting fellow for Iran policy at the Chicago Council on Global Affairs. He was a fellow at the Wilson Center in 2013–14.