Ioana Emy Matesan is an Associate Professor of Government and a Tutor in the College of Social Studies at Wesleyan University. She is also a core faculty member for the Middle Eastern Studies minor, and the Muslim Studies minor.
Matesan’s research focuses on contentious politics and politics of the Middle East, with a particular interest in political violence, social movements and Islamist groups. Her first book, The Violence Pendulum (Oxford University Press 2020), examines what drives Islamist organizations to shift between nonviolent and violent 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.
Matesan holds a BA in Political Science and Economics from Monmouth College, a Master’s degree from Arizona State University, and a PhD from Syracuse University. At Wesleyan she is excited to teach courses in comparative politics, Middle East politics and terrorism and film.