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Struggle of Memory and the Exit Phase of Revolutionary Regimes: A Comparative Analysis of Soviet Union, China, and Iran

Principle Investigator:Yuan-Horng Chu, Institute of Social Research and Cultural Studies, National Chiao Tung University

No revolutionary regime can last forever. The way out of a revolutionary regime plays a role in redefining the meaning of the outbreak and outcome of a revolution. A revolutionary regime is necessarily a regime of truth that relies on a holistic cultural engineering, including thought education, campaign mobilization, propaganda, media control, and Internet surveillance. Thus reversely, the exit phase of a revolutionary regime involves relentless struggle of memory, reversal of verdicts, unraveling and relearning of historical events. This three-year study plan proposes a comparative analysis of the exit phase of three revolution regimes established in the Twentieth Century: Soviet Union, the Chinese Communist regime, and the Islamic Republic of Iran. The Soviet Union terminated in1991, and in the two decades since it this pluperfect case has generated a rich literature in retrospective research and historical re-interpretation. This study will try to comprehend this emerging body of literature as a ground to understand the other two present progressive cases that are China and Iran.

Keywords: Exit phase of revolutionary regime, regime of truth, struggle of memory, reversal of verdict, historical re-interpretation

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