Iranian Diaspora

Examining the political behavior of the Iranian diaspora.


Presidential elections have become important events for Iranian citizens abroad. The act of voting demonstrates the desire to maintain links with the home country and implies rights that are acknowledged by the Iranian State; but it also draws a new line between those who wish to vote and can, and those who do not wish to vote or, for diverse reasons, are unable to. 

At the same time, gradual integration of the first or second generation of Iranians abroad has resulted in various degrees of political engagement in receiving countries. The variation in transnational political participation, at home or in host countries, can be explained by a range of factors, among which generational identities, conditions under which emigration took place and prevailing forms of local integration in different host contexts all play an important role. Forms of dual political belonging may contribute to the shaping of a migratory diplomacy that would, directly or indirectly, influence bilateral relations between Iran and countries where Iranians have settled.

Approach and Objectives

This “remote voting behavior” study will address several key questions, including: 

  • Ways in which the definition of Iranian citizenship interacts with the political behavior of the Iranian diaspora(s) through distance voting.

  • Forms through which the involvement of members of the diaspora in the local politics of their receiving societies are articulated.

  • How this interaction sheds light on aspects of the policy of the Iranian state to its diaspora since 1979.

This project will create numerous opportunities for joint publication, presentation and academic collaboration with peer institutions.


“Understanding Iran’s Electoral Processes and its Political Implications”

Talk, Princeton University, April 25, 2018
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“Up to the Minute Iran: Changing Perspectives”

Panel, Princeton University, Feb. 22, 2018
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