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The Multiple Identities of Azerbaijan

Keywords: Azerbaijani , The Multiple Identities , Iran.

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This paper focuses on the emerging Azerbaijani identity and its competing articulations in the Republic of Azerbaijan, in Iran, and in Diaspora. The northern Republic of Azerbaijan has a population of over 8 million people, the majority of whom have different social and political experiences than over 30 million Azeris in the South, or in Iranian Azerbaijan. However, there are formidable historical, socio-cultural, ethnic, and linguistic ties that bind all Azerbaijanis together as one people. This necessity of coming together finds its highest expression in Diaspora and among the Azeri émigrés. In the process, the Azeri Diaspora experiences a host of problems and challenges emerging from multiple identities, globalizing environments, and intercultural communications. This paper examines the multiple identities of Azerbaijan as complex sites of struggle, inclusion and exclusion. As such, the paper argues for an understanding of a common democratic identity that would be simultaneously applicable in the Republic of Azerbaijan, in Iranian Azerbaijan as well as in Diaspora.


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