The Role Of Charismatic Authority And The Process Of Institution Building

1623 Words Dec 11th, 2014 7 Pages
On June 3, 1989 Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini died of complications following surgery. Millions of Iranian citizens took to the streets to mourn his passing. During the period of mourning, thousands were injured and many lost their lives. This mass outpouring of passion was aimed at the man largely responsible for the Iranian Revolution of 1979 and the establishment of an Islamic Republic. While the 1979 Revolution was facilitated by a number of groups including but not limited to the religious Ulama class, Ayatollah Khomeini and his writings permeate most discussions about the revolution and the subsequent founding of the Islamic Republic. It must be asked then, what was it about Ayatollah Khomeini that led to widespread support for him across Iran? To help answer this question, the rise and subsequent accomplishments of Khomeini will be analyzed using Max Weber’s work on the relationship between charismatic authority and the process of institution building. This analysis will not only provide an explanation for why Ayatollah Khomeini was so revered by his followers, but it will also examine whether the 1979 Revolution led to the creation of a sustainable government structure. Ayatollah Khomeini was ultimately able to utilize the charisma he possessed in order to create a system of government that has achieved stability, even after his passing.
The role of the charismatic leader in the emergence of a new society has been frequently commented on from within the studies of…

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