Photo of Ammar Maleki
  • Prof. Cobbenhagenlaan 221, Montesquieu Building, room M 507

    5037 DE Tilburg


If you made any changes in Pure these will be visible here soon.

Personal profile

Research interests

My research expertise and interest are in two different disciplines: cross-cultural differences and 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 modelThe findings of this theme of research reveal important lessons and implications for both political researchers and practitioners, who work on designing a compatible model of democracy in new and developing democracies as well as on reforming institutional settings in developed democracies.

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

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics where Ammar Maleki is active. These topic labels come from the works of this person. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • 1 Similar Profiles
cultural theory Social Sciences
political attitude Social Sciences
operationalization Social Sciences
Group Social Sciences
presidential election Social Sciences
Iran Social Sciences
voter Social Sciences
follower Social Sciences

Network Recent external collaboration on country level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots.

Research Output 2013 2018

Cultural compatibility and satisfaction with democracy: A cross-national panel study

Maleki, A. & Doorenspleet, R., Sep 2018, (Submitted) p. 1-32. 32 p.

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperOther research output

The findings of a survey on political attitudes of Iranians

Maleki, A., 10 Aug 2018, 19 p.

Research output: Book/ReportReportProfessional

political attitude
presidential election

Understanding patterns of democracy: Reconsidering societal divisions and bringing societal culture back in

Maleki, A. & Doorenspleet, R., 2018, Consociationalism and power-sharing in Europe : Arend Lijphart’s theory of political accommodation. Jakala, M., Kuzu, D. & Qvortrup, M. (eds.). Palgrave Macmillan, p. 11-34 24 p. (International Political Theory).

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterScientific

Waarom het Openbaar Bestuur Ertoe Doet: Over de Economische en Sociale Betekenis van Bestuurlijke Instituties

Translated title of the contribution: Why public administration mattersZouridis, S., Kaufmann, W., Atrokhova, V., Maleki, A., Crompvoets, V., Verba, M. & Hermans, M., 24 Feb 2017, Tilburg: Tilburg School of Governance. 77 p.

Research output: Book/ReportReportProfessional

Open Access

Contestation and participation: Operationalizing and mapping democratic models for 80 electoral democracies, 1990-2009

Maleki, A. & Hendriks, F., Apr 2016, In : Acta Politica. 51, 2, p. 237 272 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

Press / Media

National teachers' strike in Iran: New practice of civil protests

Ammar Maleki


1 Media contribution

Press/Media: Expert Comment

Is there a secret negotiation between Iran and the US?

Ammar Maleki


1 Media contribution

Press/Media: Expert Comment

Roundtable on findings of Gamaan's survey

Ammar Maleki


1 Media contribution

Press/Media: Expert Comment

Ammar Maleki: Academic and Activist

Ammar Maleki


1 Media contribution

Press/Media: Other