Dr. Elhum Haghighat

Professor | Chair
Lehman College | The City University of New York 
School of Natural & Social Sciences

Department of Political Science, Lehman College
The Graduate Center | The City University of New York

Faculty member - Profile: Middle Eastern Studies Program, Graduate Center

Faculty member: Women & Gender Studies Program, Graduate Center

Faculty affiliate: Political Science Program, Graduate Center

Emails: Elhum.Haghighat@Lehman.CUNY.Edu;


Office: (347) 577-4051

I am a professor of Political Science (and Chair) at Lehman College and the Graduate Center of the City University of New York (CUNY). I consider myself an interdisciplinary scholar where my research interests include Demography (intersectionality of politics & demography, contextual demography), Development & Democratization, Politics of Inequality and Social Stratification, Gender and Social Justice in addition to my continued interest in the nexus between education, work and social mobility. My regions/countries of expertise are the Middle East & North Africa (MENA) and the United States. My publications have appeared in a variety of peer reviewed journals including Middle East Critique; American Journal of Islamic Social Sciences; Identities: Journal of Politics, Gender and Culture; Industrial Relations, A Journal of Economy and Society; International Review of Sociology/Revue Internationale de Sociologie, International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy, International Studies in Sociology of Education; Diaspora: Journal of Transnational Studies; Review of Middle East Studies (RoMES); International Journal of Middle East Studies (IJMES). 

I have held positions as a senior research scientist, consultant, quantitative and policy analyst for the U.S. Department of Labor, The World Bank, the Executive Office of Public Leadership of the ETS (all in Washington, D.C.) and published several reports and articles on politics of inequality and social justice, education, immigration, development issues and policies. In addition, I have held visiting professorial posts at Bucknell University and Temple University prior to my positions at CUNY. 

My current scholarly interests are on demographic and democratic transitions in the MENA region and the contextual analysis of these transitions, in addition to my continued interest in the intersection of gender & politics. 

My Books

Demography & Democracy: Transitions in the Middle East & North Africa (Cambridge University Press, 2018)

Women in the Middle East & North Africa: Change & Continuity (Palgrave-Macmillan, 2010, 2012)


  • Demography (intersectionality of demography & politics, contextual demography, Comparative, Middle East & North Africa)
  • Population & Development
  • Power, Resistance, & Democratization in the Middle East & North Africa
  • Identity Politics
  • Popular Culture & Politics 
  • Gender and Social Justice (Middle East & North Africa)


  • Gender & Body Politics (U.S., Comparative, Middle East)
  • Politics of Inequality: Class, Gender, Race, Ethnicity, Identity, Nationality & Intersectionality
  • Identity Politics
  • Social Research Methods (Introductory & Advanced)
  • Political & Social Demography
  • Demography of the Middle East
  • Population, Development & Social Change
  • Comparative Politics (Middle East) 
  • Culture & Politics
  • Education Policies, & Politics (U.S. & Comparative)
  • Gender & Development
  • Gender & Globalization