Abstract for: Modeling Spiral of Silence Process: A Case-Study of Iran Presidential Elections 1997

System Dynamics has already proved useful in modeling various social phenomena and processes. As perfect examples of such processes, we can mention elections which are effected by many different social, economic, and political factors in every country. Often those factors are so interrelated and the pre-elections situations are so complicated that even the best political analysts not only cannot predict which party would win the competition, but also, after the elections, are unable to fully explain what factors contributed the most to one partyís success in the elections. In this paper, we turn our attention to Iranís presidential elections held in 1997 whose outcome was unpredictable even a few weeks before the elections day. Few people could believe the result of the elections, yet many politicians, analysts, economists, and sociologists tried to describe the sequence of occurrences that led to such a huge win for the Reformists party. Among all the explanations proposed by different people, we focus on a sociological analysis which considers various important factors in Iranian society. The high compatibility of the results of our modelís simulation with what happened in reality shows the great help that modeling can provide us in understanding social happenings.