Personal profile

Research interests

My research expertise and interest are in two different disciplines: cross-cultural differences and comparative democratization. I am interested to examine the relation and interaction between societal culture and models of democracy. 
Democracy is institutionalized and practiced in a variety of models in different countries. Among the countries that pass the threshold of having an electoral democracy, diverse institutional settings or democratic models are recognized. But the question is why does this diversity exist and survive? Is the diversity of democratic models affected by cultural differences? And if so, what are the ways in which the compatibility between societal culture and institutional choices matters?

In recent decades, one of the important issues related to democracy has been democratization of previously undemocratic societies. Many countries have been passing the state of transition from an undemocratic to a democratic system. For those countries, the study of the compatible model of democracy is crucial. In general, the elements of societal culture can play significant roles in explaining the emergence of different models of democracy and the compatibility of each model to a specific context. 

The Cultural Compatibility Thesis developed in my PhD dissertation posits that societal culture matters in the process of opting, adopting and adapting political institutions of democracy. The thesis suggests that the mentality of adopting a best model of democracy should be replaced with the attitude of finding the most compatible model

My other interest research and focus is on measuring Public Opinions in authoritarian contexts, with a focus on Iran. I am the founder and director of GAMMAN (The Groups for Analyzing and Measuring Attitudes in Iran) research institute. Using innovative approaches and utilizing digital tools, GAMAAN aims to extract (real) opinions of Iranians about sensitive issues and questions that cannot be measured by using the conventional survey methods under the existing situation in Iran.

Moreover, I am a pro-democracy activist and political analyst of Iranian politics (see my interview with the Tilburg University Magazine, UNIVERS)


Current courses

Click here for my courses.

External positions

A board member of Iran Human Rights, a non-profit, human rights organization (Iran Human Rights)

1 May 2019 → …

Director of the research Group for Analyzing and Measuring Attitudes in IRAN (GAMAAN) (GAMAAN)

5 Mar 2019 → …


  • Cross-Cultural Research
  • Citizens Participation
  • Developing Countries
  • Cultural And Country Differences
  • Comparison Of Cultures
  • Democratic Governance
  • Democracy
  • Iran
  • Cultural Differences
  • Consensus Democracy
  • Politics


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Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

Recent external collaboration on country/territory level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots or