Constitutional Utopianism: a Case Study of the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Iran
PDF (English)

Słowa kluczowe

Values and principles
Constitutional utopia

Jak cytować

Vakilian, H. (2022). Constitutional Utopianism: a Case Study of the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Iran: a Case Study of the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Iran. Forum Prawnicze, (6(68), 47–62.


This paper will examine constitutional utopianism in the specific case of the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Iran. Given that utopianism in constitution-making is inevitable, some constitutionalists place an emphasis on pragmatic utopianism as the acceptable approach towards constitutional utopia. Also, it is stated that the consistency of constitutional values and principles, mostly derived from constitutionalism, is a necessary element for a possible constitutional utopia. Based on this theoretical framework, the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Iran is examined as a case study. It is demonstrated that, instead of one constitutional utopia, we can find three inconsistent utopias intertwined in a single constitutional text: a constitutional utopia based on Western Constitutionalism, an Islamic utopia and a leftist utopia. Through examples taken from the preamble and articles of the Constitution, the inconsistency of these utopian worlds is demonstrated. Finally it is concluded that Iranian Constitution of 1979, and its amendments in 1989, may be categorized as failed constitutional utopianism.
PDF (English)


Abrahamian, Ervan. Iran. Between Two Revolutions. Princeton:Princeton University Press, 1982.

Adams, Maurice, Ballin Ernst and Anne Meuwese. "The Ideal and the Real in the Realm of Constitutionalism and The Rule of Law: An Introduction." In Constitutionalism and the Rule of Law, Bridging Idealism and Realism, edited by Maurice Adams, Anne Meuwese and Ernst Hirsch Ballini. Cambride: Cambridge University Press 2017.

Aristotle. Politics. Massachusetts: Harvard University Press, 1955.

Asil, Hojatollah. Armanshahr Dar Andishe-e Irani. Tehran: Nashr-e-Nay, Tehran, 2014.

Backer, Larry Cata. "From Constitution to Constitutionalism: A Global Framework for Legitimate Public Power Systems." Indiana Journal of Global Legal Studies, vol. 16, iss.1, Article 5 (2009).

Barber, Nick W. The Principle of Constitutionalism. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2018.

Bauer, Christian A., and Harald Bolsinger. "The Value of Constitutional Values: With Examples of The Bavarian and Indian Constitution." Tattva - Journal of Philosophy. no. 6. (February 2014).

Burrati, Andrea. Western Constitutionalism, History, Institutions, Comparative Law, Springer Nature Switzerland AG & G.Giappichelli, 2019.

Dabash, Hamid. Theology of Discontent. London: Routledg 2017.

Dahl, Robert A. On the Political Equality. Yale University, 2006.

Esmaeli, Mohsen. and Amini Hoissein, "The Semantics of Some of The Islamic Norms in The Constitution Based on The Concept of ,". Quarterly Journal of Public Law Knowledge (2015).

Frankenberg, Gunter. "Comparing Constitutions: Ideas, Ideals and Ideology - Toward a Layered Narrative." International Journal of Constitutional Law, vol 4, iss. 3 (2006).

Fuller, Lon L. The Morality of Law. New Haven: Yale University Press, New Haven, 1969.

Gheissari, Ali, and Vali Nasr. "Democracy." In Iran: History and Quest for Liberty (2006), 87.

Herman, Susan N. "Constitutional utopianism." Utopia500, (December 2016).

Jonathan M Adler. General Principles of Constitutional and Administrative Law (Hampshire: Palgrave Macmillan, Hampshire, 2002), 17.

Kadivar, Mahdi. "Shara-e Shoraye Negahban Dar Barabre Ghanon-e Majles." Baztabe Andishe, no. 43 (2003).

Katouzaian, N. "Gozari Bar Tadvin-e Pish Nevis-e Ghanon Asasi." Constitutional Law Quarterly, no. 1 (2002), 122-123.

Khomeini, Ruhollah. "Islamic Republic of Iran Constitution Means Islamic Law," Keyhan Newspaper, no. 10738 (1979).

Loughlin, Martin. "The Constitutional Imagination." The Modern Law Review, vol. 78, issue 1 (2015).

Manteghi Fasaei, Zahra Gonblaz. Taking a Look at The Concept of Utopia in the Political Philosophy of Plato and Farabi, 2019.

Milani, Abbas. "The three paradoxes of Islamic Revolution in Iran." In The Middle East Institute. The Iranian Revolution at 30. Washington DC, 2009.

Murphy, Walter F. "Constitutions, Constitutionalism And Democracy." In Constitutionalism and Democracy: Transitions in the Contemporary World, edited by D Greenberg. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1993.

Nishihara, Hiroshi. "The Significance of Constitutional Values." Potchefstroom Electronic Law Journal, no. 4. (2001).

Parpworth, Neil. Constitutional and Administrative Law. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2012.

Rosenfeld, Michel. "Can Constitutionalism, Secularism and Religion Be Reconciled in an Era of Globalization and Religion Revival?." Cardozo Law Review (2009).

Sargent, Lyman Tower. Utopianism: A Very Short Introduction. New York: Oxford University Press, 2010.

Sartori Giovanni. "Constitutionalism: A Preliminary Discussion." The American Political Science Review, vol 56, no 4, (1962).

Schirazi, Asghar. The Constitution of Iran: Politics and State in The Islamic Republic, translated by John O'kane, I.B Tauris. London, 1997.

Solum, Lawrence B. "Constitutional Possibilities." Illinois Public Law and Legal Theory. Research Paper, no. 6-15 (2007).

Sturm, Douglas. "Constitutionalism: A Critical Appreciation and an Extension of The Political Theory of C.H MaIlwain." Minnesota Law Review, no. 54, (1969), 228-239.

Tamadonfar, Mehran. "Islam, Law and Political Control in Contemporary Iran." Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, vol. 40, iss.2 (2001).

Ullman, Walter. "Ascending And Descending Theses of Government." In The Political Theory Reader, edited by P. Schumaker. Wiley-Blackwell, West Sussex 2010.

Venter, Francois. "Utilizing Constitutional Values in Constitutional Comparison." Potchefstroom Electronic Law Journal, no. 4 (1), (2001), 33-44.

Venter, Francoise. "Utilizing Constitutional Values in Constitutional Comparison." Potchefstroom Electronic Law Journal. no. 4 (2001).

Vieira, Fabio. "The Concept of Utopia." In The Cambridge Companion to Utopian Literature, edited by Gregory Claeys, 7. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2010.

Waldron, Jeremy. "The Rule of Law." In Stanford Encyclopedia, 2016.

Weale, Albert. "Constitutional Design." In Encyclopedia of Democratic Thought, editedy by Paul Barry Clarke and Joe Foweraker. London: Routledge, 2001.

Yeh, Junn Ron, and Wen Chen Chang. "The Emergence of Transnational Constitutionalism: Its Features, Challenges and Solutions." Penn State International Law Review, vol. 27:1, (2011).

Creative Commons License

Utwór dostępny jest na licencji Creative Commons Uznanie autorstwa – Na tych samych warunkach 4.0 Miedzynarodowe.

Prawa autorskie (c) 2021 Forum Prawnicze