Wesleyan portrait of Ioana Emy  Matesan

Ioana Emy Matesan

Associate Professor of Government

Public Affairs Center, 228

Co-Chair, College of Social Studies

1 Vine Street,

Tutor, College of Social Studies

1 Vine Street,


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MA Arizona State University
PHD Syracuse University

Ioana Emy Matesan

Ioana Emy Matesan's research focuses on Middle East politics, with a particular interest in political violence and conflict, Islamist movements and diasporic activism. Her book The Violence Pendulum (Oxford University Press 2020) examines what drives Islamist groups to shift between violent and nonviolent tactics. Drawing on a wide variety of archival materials, interviews and reports, the analysis traces the historical evolution of four key Islamist groups: the Muslim Brotherhood and al-Gama’a al-Islamiyya in Egypt, and Darul Islam and Jemaah Islamiyah in Indonesia. Matesan is currently working on her second book on Islamist activism in exile. The project examines how Islamist movements adapt after repression, and strives to understand why some groups are able to revitalize in exile, whereas others decay. Matesan has also published numerous articles on terrorism and disengagement from violence, negotiating with terrorist groups, and organizational dynamics in rebel groups and opposition movements.

From her recent commentary:

On the effects of proscription on the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood: "Ten years after the military coup in Egypt, the repression undertaken in the name of counterterrorism has had a devastating effect on both the Islamist movement and political freedoms in the country." 

On the current challenges facing the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood: "the stark reality is that the Brotherhood is at a turning point: The movement either will have to reinvent itself or face the prospect of gradually fading into irrelevance."

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