Political Parties and Their Impact on Security Governance in the Islamic Republic of Iran

Document Type : Research Paper


assistant prof. of political science at shiraz university


In recent decades, the concept of a security governance model—where public and private sectors collaborate with the government to provide security—has drawn significant interest. Its potential impact on reducing security costs has prompted scholars in the field of politics and security across various countries to explore its characteristics, implementation methods, influencing factors, and underlying foundations.
While limited theoretical and practical work has been conducted on this issue, it appears that political parties play a crucial role in security governance within different societies, including Iran. Recognizing their significance in providing security, both the broader political society and security practitioners should prioritize their establishments in programs and policies to ensure comprehensive security.
This paper aims to examine the influence of political parties on security governance. It assumes that political parties significantly impact security governance through functions such as promoting accountability, fostering culturalization, and facilitating coordination among security agencies (which form the foundations of security governance). Additionally, political parties contribute to increased participation from public and private sectors, resource accumulation for providing security, and the advancement of decentralized policy-making and decision-making (which serve as indicators of effective security governance).
This study adopts the theory of structure-agent or structuration. According to this approach, both structuralism and voluntarism represent single-causal and simplistic views that fail to fully analyze complex events in human society. Consequently, a synthesis of these perspectives is necessary. While structuralism emphasizes the supremacy of structures, attributing socio-political events to their influence, voluntarism takes the opposite stance. In the voluntarism perspective, the role of the human agent is central, and structures are seen as products of voluntary action.
However, the structuration theory adeptly combines these two perspectives in a nuanced and innovative manner, effectively addressing criticisms of the methodology. According to Anthony Giddens, one of the early proponents of this theory, the interaction between agents and structures situates actors within their action environment. Consequently, the outcomes of individual actions are shaped by both the specific actions themselves and the broader contextual framework. These structures play a dual role: they mediate agents’ actions, that is, shaping the conditions within which those actions occur, while also undergoing reconstruction through those very actions.
This paper seeks to examine the role of political parties in security provision within the security governance model, drawing on structuration theory. By adopting this approach, we gain insights into the geographical, cultural, and political structures that either constrain or enhance the influence of political parties in Iran. Additionally, it enables statesmen to grasp the limitations and capabilities of political parties, emphasizing their pivotal role as a decisive factor in achieving effective and comprehensive security within the security governance framework.
Result and Discussion
The initial step toward developing security governance in Iran involves the establishment of robust political parties. Subsequently, socio-cultural structures must be crafted, alongside the realization of security governance indicators. These structures encompass important metrics such as culturalization, public acceptance, coordination, and responsibility. Their significance is such that constructing an effective security governance model hinges upon them.
Governance indicators involve various metrics, including private and public sector participation, decentralized policy implementation and decision-making, resource mobilization for security, geographical decentralization, and the cultivation of a comprehensive security perspective. Consequently, statesmen play a crucial role in recognizing the significance of political parties. Simultaneously, their attention to historical and existing structures is vital for realizing an effective security governance model that aligns with Iran’s present and future context.
The current model of security governance in Iran is both desirable and necessary. It is desirable because citizens have the right to participate in political and security affairs. Moreover, it is necessary due to the complexities of providing security in today's decentralized, complex, and interconnected world. Achieving cost reduction and optimizing security mechanisms require active participation from both the public and private sectors within the security governance framework. Iran, like any other country, is intricately connected to the global network of governance. Therefore, understanding the efficiency and necessity of such a model is crucial. An important question for future research is to what extent the existing political system is prepared to adapt and embrace the requirements and dimensions of the security governance model.


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