I am a PhD. Candidate in International Relations at Cardiff University. My research is fully funded by the Economic and Social Research Council and its Doctoral Training Partnership program. My PhD research looks at the role of security policy in the reconfiguration regime legitimacy in Tunisia in an age of authoritarian neoliberalism. I am particularly interested in the link between neoliberalism and illiberal security policies and practices in the global south. My main research interests are security, the Middle East and North Africa and post-colonial IR theory
I have a masters in Politics and Development Policy in Africa and the Global South (Politique et développement en Afrique et les pays du Sud) from the Laboratory of African Studies in the World based at Sciences Po Bordeaux. My master's thesis was entitled 'La stabilisation du régime déocratique en Tunisie: est-elle actuellement remise en cause?' (Is the stabilisation of the Tunisian democratic regime threatened?). In this thesis, I identified three main threats to the new democratic regime in Tunisia faced as it sought to stabilise itself following the revolution. These threats included, the securitization of the terrorist threat leading to the implementation of illiberal security policy, a lack of economic opportunities and a certain 'recycling' of the elites associated with the former, authoritarian regime. This thesis was supervised by René Otayek.
I have a second masters from Cardiff University in the ESRC Social Science Research Methods program specialising in International Relations. My master's thesis was entitled 'Securitization discourse in Post-Ben Ali Tunisia: the Reactualisation of the Security Pact'. In this thesis, I examined the way in which securitization discourse in post-transition Tunisia sought to justify a reversion to liberal security policies and practices associated with the former authoritarian regime. I argued that this represented a reactualisation of the Tunisian 'security pact' associated with the seminal work of Beatrice Hibou (2006). This master's thesis was supervised by Hannes Hansen-Magnusson
I have two undergraduate degrees. Firstly, I have a Politics and International Relations degree from Cardiff University. Secondly, I have a Politics and Economics degree from Sciences Po Bordeaux. I achieved First Class Honours in both these degrees. These degrees were completed alongside each other as part of the prestigious Cardiff-Bordeaux (or FIFRU) programme. In 2014, I won the Cardiff University Undergraduate Student of the Year Scholarship.
My research interests include the international relations of the Middle East and North Africa particularly contemporary Tunisia. My other research interests include post-colonial IR theory, security, terrorism research and the going research agenda of authoritarian neoliberalism. My research is particularly focused on the interaction between neoliberal economic policies and illiberal security policy.
Tholens, S & Maryon, R.M Forthcoming. Terrorism and Organised Crime in Europe. In: Angel, V & Jones E. (Eds) Developments in European Politics 3. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan
I have worked as a PGR tutor in the School of Law and Politics at Cardiff University and an associate lecturer at the University of the West of England. I have taught both seminars and lectures on a range of modules including;
- Introduction to International Relations
- Introduction to Globalisation
- Politics of Crisis and Change
- From Plato to Nato
- International Development
- Security Terrorism and Migration
- Nature and the Use of Research
Securing the secular state in contemporary Tunisia: reconfiguring regime legitimacy in an age of authoritarian neoliberalism
My research looks at the role of security policy in the reconfiguration regime legitimacy in contemporary Tunisia in an age of authoritarian neoliberalism. My thesis seeks to understand the interaction between neoliberalism and illiberal security policy in post-revolutionary Tunisia through the conceptual framework provided by authoritarian neoliberalism. I argue that security politics emerges as the terrain of contestation in which the political power struggles in the battle to reconfigure regime legitimacy play out. I seek to identify and analyse the interactions between the plethora of various domestic and international actors that seek to assert influence in Tunisian security politics and policy and the significance this claims in discussions of regime legitimacy in the post-transition environment.