Wesleyan portrait of Ioana Emy  Matesan

Ioana Emy Matesan

Assistant Professor of Government

Public Affairs Center, 202

Tutor, College of Social Studies


Visit Professional Website

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 Journal of Global Security Studies, Studies in Conflict and Terrorism, Terrorism and Political Violence (here and here), Journal of Strategic Security, and Nations and Nationalism.

From her work:

On what prompts armed Islamist groups to renounce violence (link):

"When violence becomes costly and non-violent alternatives are available, groups can disengage from violence behaviorally. This does not mean that they denounce armed action or give up all military capabilities. The move towards a complete renouncement of violence is marked by the logic of disillusionment. Such a radical transformation is not driven by exit options, but rather by an organizational crisis and high public condemnation."

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."


Academic Affiliations

Office Hours

Spring 2020: Thursdays 2:00 - 4:00 pm & by appointment


Spring 2020
CSS 230 - 01
Soph Gov Tut: State & Society

CSS 230 - 02
Soph Gov Tut: State & Society