After the 1979 Iranian Revolution, Ayatollah Khomeini established the Islamic Republic of Iran, which founded a complex mixture of Islamic clericalism and secular republicanism. He created a hybrid regime, which has undergone five consecutive phases and simultaneously combines elements of authoritarian, semi-totalitarian, and democratic politics. Iran’s post-revolutionary polity is a mishmash of traditional, charismatic, and legal-rational authorities. Khomeini’s complex charisma played a profound role both in the making of the Islamic Republic and in the regime’s survival. In post-Khomeini polity, however, a massive transformation in state–society relations has changed the nature and function of charisma in politics.

Keywords: Charismatic authority; hybrid state; Max Weber; post-revolutionary Iran; authoritarianism