Clerical militia and securitization of seminary schools in Iran

Saeid Golkar*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The Clerical Basij Militia is an institution created and used by the Islamic Republic of Iran (IRI) to exert strict control over seminary students (tollab), silence dissident clergy, and nullify threats from seminarian scholars. The expansion of Clerical Basij in seminaries has led to regime control over clerics and the securitization of seminary schools. It has also resulted in the emergence of a new group among the clergy with a hybrid identity: part clergy, part security. The expansion and strengthening of this group could lead to the transformation of the Islamic Republic into a “theological security state.”.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)215-235
Number of pages21
JournalContemporary Islam
Issue number3
StatePublished - Oct 1 2017


  • Basij
  • Clerical establishment
  • Iran
  • Militia
  • Securitization of seminary schools
  • Seminary schools

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cultural Studies
  • Religious studies

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