Wesleyan portrait of Ioana Emy  Matesan

Ioana Emy Matesan

Assistant Professor of Government

Public Affairs Center, 202

Tutor, College of Social Studies


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MA Arizona State University
PHD Syracuse University

Ioana Emy Matesan

Ioana Emy Matesan focuses on Middle East politics, particularly security and political violence, democratization and Islamist movements. In Egypt and Indonesia, Matesan conducted National Science Foundation-supported fieldwork exploring why groups adopt or abandon violence and how tactical and ideological change happens within Islamist movements. She has also researched and published on Hamas and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, new security challenges in the Middle East and North Africa after the Arab Spring, and the dynamics of resistance to foreign rule.

Her articles have appeared in Studies in Conflict and TerrorismTerrorism and Political Violence, Journal of Strategic Security, and Nations and Nationalism.

From her work:

On how armed non-state actors react to their mistakes  (link):

"All groups, regardless of ideology and organizational structure are willing to accept their mistakes if they bear high public costs. This shows that all armed groups can be open to learning and self-criticism, and are sensitive to public opinion and condemnation. This finding not only challenges pervasive assumptions about groups that employ violence, but it also identifies a crucial Achilles's heel for armed organizations: public opinion."

On retaliatory strikes against ISIS in Syria (link):

“This leaves [another] possible strategic logic to the attacks in Iraq, Lebanon and France: provocation. It is a strategy beloved by al-Qaida and many other extremist groups, who count on the emotional response of their opponents, and who know that the use of indiscriminate violence against them will turn them into martyrs and heroes, boosting their ranks and recruitment potential. And if this is the case, then the escalation in military strikes, the resurgent sectarian rhetoric and the bubbling xenophobia in the West in response to the attacks is precisely what ISIS was counting on, and hoping for.”

Academic Affiliations

Office Hours

Fall 2017 - No office hours.


Spring 2018
GOVT 270 - 01
Comp Pol of the Middle East

GOVT 298 - 01
Terrorism and Film