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The Puzzle of a Loyal Minority: Why Do Azeris Support the Iranian State?

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Ever since its inception, the state of Iran has been pressed with the challenge of integrating the multiple ethnic identities that make up its plural society. In contrast to a number of other minorities like the Kurds and the Baluchis, the Azeris have shown loyalty to the Iranian state to the surprise of foreign scholars and policy makers. They have done so even in spite of a number of potentially favorable political and economic conditions that could support the realization of national aspirations. This article addresses this puzzle: why, against seemingly favorable odds, have Iranian Azeris refrained from asserting their national ambitions and joining their newly independent kin north of the border? In an attempt to solve this puzzle, the paper will examine the triadic relationship among the Azeri minority in Iran, their home state (Iran), and their kin state (the Republic of Azerbaijan).

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: December 1, 2013

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