Publication Date


Document Type


Committee Members

Laura Luehrmann (Committee Chair), Donna Schalgheck (Committee Member), Vaughn Shannon (Committee Member)

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Theories of social movements suggest that 'objective' changes in the structure of political opportunities and their interaction with mobilizing and framing mechanisms render a system vulnerable to mass protest. By examining the variables relevant to such interaction, this study seeks to account for the emergence and form of the 2009 Green Movement in Iran. This research uses the congruence method and process traces the movement adherents' activities, mainly their use of Information Communication Technologies, and investigates the so-called opposition leaders' activities and statements. The study argues that in accounting for emergence and form of the Green Movement, we need to attribute the central role to the bottom-up framing processes that gave value and meaning to the movement's goals and strategies. Political opportunity structures only appear in terms of 'perceptual' rather than 'objective' changes in the structure of the system. Further, the research investigates implications for other authoritarian settings and, more generally, for theories of social movements.

Page Count


Department or Program

Department of Political Science

Year Degree Awarded