Talk by Dr. Paola Rivetti - The Transformation of Activism under Authoritarian Constraints: Evidences from Iran - 27.04.2018, 11.00, IB 204

The Transformation of Activism under Authoritarian Constraints. Evidences from Iran


Dr. Paola Rivetti

Dublin City University


Date: Friday, April 27, 11.00-13.00,

Place: IB 204



Instead of focusing on political participation as a right that is denied or granted, or as the outcome of political and social mobilizations from below, this talk explores what other meanings political participation may have in the context of an authoritarian country – and specifically, the Islamic Republic of Iran. More specifically, my proposition is that we look at political participation as: first, a state-sponsored social programme‌;‌ second, an attitude of the population, shaped and sustained by the “discourse of power”‌;‌ and, third, a set of contentious practices from below, which may subvert and go beyond the state's social programme. Ultimately, I argue that discourses promoted by the state/elite empower political participation. However, people may become political in ways that the regime does not necessarily approve.



Dr. Rivetti is an Assistant Professor in Politics of the Middle East and International Relations. In 2017, she was awarded the Early-Career Researcher of the Year Prize by the Irish Research Council and in 2018, she received the DCU President's Award for Early-Career Researcher. Dr Rivetti holds a PhD in Social and Political Sciences from the University of Siena and an MA in Political Science and IR from the University of Turin.

Dr Rivetti's research interests focus on the government of societies and polities in the Middle East and North Africa from a comparative perspective‌;‌ and on social and political mobilizations. She also works on migration in and from the region. She authored numerous scientific as well as non-academic publications on these topics, published in several languages (Persian, English, French, Spanish, Italian). She carried out extensive field research in the region. Dr Rivetti published articles in: 'International Journal of Middle East Studies', 'Democratization', ‘British Journal of Middle Eastern Studies’, ‘Journal of European Integration’, ‘Middle Eastern Studies’, ‘Mediterranean Politics’, ‘Alternatives: Global Local Political’‌;‌ ‘Foreign Policy-Middle East Channel’‌;‌ 'Anthropology of the Middle East'‌;‌ 'Middle East Report online' among the others. She is co-editor of Islamists and the Politics of the Arab Uprisings: Governance, Pluralisation and Contention (Edinburgh University Press, 2018) and Continuity and change before and after the Arab uprisings. Morocco, Tunisia and Egypt (Routledge, 2015).