A Geopolitical Analysis of Ethnicity in Iran, with an emphasis on challenges and opportunities

Document Type : Original Article


1 -Assistant Professor of Political Geography, Azad-e Islami University, Tehran, Iran

2 – Ph.D, National Defense University, Tehran, Iran


Today, ethnicity and pluralism is one of the important international issues because some 179 countries across the globe have been formed out of ethnicity or racial multiplicity. From the ethnic point of view, India has the foremost place and Iran is one among the multi-ethnic country. The problem of ethnicity in Iran goes back to the last 100 years and to some respect it was propounded during the post-constitutionalism era. Iranian society is consisted of multi-ethnic and diverse local cultures-each of which, apart from common Iranian-Islamic identities, possesses a bit of local and regional identities hence, Iranian society is counted as multi-ethnic and multi-cultural one. However, a multi-ethnic society, in a particular condition, causes challenges and crisis to the government or social management. Instances of those challenges can also be observed in the contemporary Iranian history.
Going through assimilative method that leads to absorption of different ethnicity in a culture as well pluralism method that is based on the official recognition of different ethnic groups and granting them some rights, authors have propound a new approach emphasizing on the rights of citizen. In this respect, in the society, everybody living free from ethnic and cultural prejudices enjoy equal rights. Consequently, we may not talk about ethnic security without focusing on the rights of citizen.
By this way, multi-ethnic issue of a country can be presented like an opportunity and can be placed as the beginning of crisis management of this domain. While discussing ethnicity, the current paper emphasizes on opportunistic approach hence, tries to transform existing challenges and threats into progressive opportunities.


Volume 5, Issue 16
December 2010
Pages 45-69
  • Receive Date: 29 September 2009
  • Revise Date: 28 November 2009
  • Accept Date: 18 January 2010
  • First Publish Date: 18 January 2010