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Elhum Haghighat
Position: Professor, Middle Eastern Studies
Professor, Women's and Gender Studies
Professor, Political Science
Campus Affiliation: Lehman College
Degrees/Diplomas: Ph.D. - University of Maryland, College Park - Maryland Population Research Center (MPRC)/Center for Population, Gender & Social Inequality & Sociology program; Specializations: Demography; Development; Gender, Work & Family; Quantitative Methodology
Research Interests: Gender & Politics, Demography (intersectionality of demography & politics, contextual demography, Comparative, Middle East & North Africa), Population & Development, Gender, Inequality & Justice (Comparative, Middle East & North Africa)

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. 

Courses Taught and Developed

  • Political Demography 
  • Population & Development
  • Politics & Culture
  • Politics & Gender (U.S., Middle East)
  • Politics of Education (U.S., Comparative)
  • Social Science ​Research Methodology (Qualitative & Quantitative)
  • Advanced Quantitative Research Methods
  • ​Political Interpretation & Analysis​
  • Immigrant Communities in the U.S.​
Publications Books
  Demography and Democracy; Transitions in the Middle East and North Africa

The Middle East and North Africa have recently experienced one of the highest population growth rates in the world, something which has profoundly affected the wider region and its institutions. In addition, the recent period of unprecedented political turbulence has further complicated the picture, resulting in uprisings and resistance movements that have coincided with intense shifts in socio-cultural norms, as well as economic and political change.
Women in the Middle East and North Africa; Change and Continuity

This book explores the complexity of women's social status in the Middle East and North African region and fills a gap in the existing literature by providing an up-to-date and comprehensive portrait of women's status from a theoretical and socio-demographic perspective. The author debunks some common assumptions regarding the economic, cultural, and demographic transformations of the MENA region. The book highlights the social forces that have transformed the region over the past several decades.