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Institutional Analysis and Irregular Warfare: Asymmetrical Strategy and the Case of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards

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Abstract

Western armed forces have demonstrated great weaknesses when confronted with irregular forces. Not only does these weaknesses appear on the battlefields but also in the Western scientific community’s conceptual grasp of such forces. One such example can be found in the institution and the historical development of the Revolutionary Guards of the Islamic Republic of Iran. Through the application of Richard Scott’s Sociological Institutionalist framework, this study aims at uncovering the various mechanisms that have enabled the Revolutionary Guards to transform themselves from a ragtag rudimentary paramilitary organization to one of the world’s most formidable irregular fighting machines in less than three decades. Keywords : Revolutionary Guards, irregular warfare, asymmetrical strategy, institutional analysis, Iran.