This project seeks to understand the drivers behind labor protests in the contemporary Islamic Republic of Iran. Iran presents a puzzle because scholars expect labor protest in oil-rich authoritarian states to be low. Oil-rich authoritarian states can invest their external revenues in a repressive apparatus that should be able to prevent social protests. These states often also suffer from high unemployment, which should disincentivize workers from protesting. I explain high levels of labor protest in Iran through a historical analysis of labor-state relations since the 1979 revolution. I argue that labor protests are high because workers can mobilize legal and organizational resources to make rightful claim within a broader context of fierce elite competition. I argue that these resources and political opportunities are outcomes of processes of labor incorporation in the years after the 1979 revolution and Iran-Iraq war (1980-88). Specifically, the post-revolutionary state expanded labor rights, benefits, and organizations, but failed to impose top-down control over labor, which has driven increasingly competitive state elites to seek workers’ support in order to maintain or gain incumbency. I am applying for SSRC funding to supplement earlier fieldwork inside Iran with archival and qualitative fieldwork outside the country. Such out-country fieldwork is necessary because many key sources on post-1979 labor politics are only held by these non-Iranian archives. I will visit the International Institute of Social History in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, and the Iranian Library and Documentation Center in Hanover, Germany. In both libraries, I will study reports on factory dynamics, union relations and labor protests from the late 1980s to early 2000s. In addition, I will use these towns as bases from which to conduct interviews with a number of former Iranian labor activists in order to corroborate the validity and expand the comprehensiveness of the archival findings.