Spotlight on...

"Spotlight on..." New Doctoral Researcher Hamid Talebian

Hamid Talebian joined the GIGA in March 2022 and recently joined the DP to work on his dissertation about Iran’s educational and sectarian-revolutionary para-statal actors in Sub-Saharan Africa, explaining the Republic of Iran’s articulation of its (soft) power. Learn more about Hamid and his dissertation project in this interview.


  • Hamid Talebian joined the GIGA in March 2022, working in the DFG Project “Explaining Middle-Power Engagement in External Regions”, which compares Iranian, Saudi, and Turkish Sub-Saharan Africa Policies. He holds a Master of Philosophy in Global Development from the University of Bergen and now started in the DP to work on his dissertation titled “Iran’s educational and sectarian-revolutionary para-statal actors in Sub-Saharan Africa: Explaining the Republic of Iran’s articulation of its (soft) power.” Get to know Hamid in the interview below.

    What made you choose to do a PhD?

    I wanted to stay in academia and gain more research expertise. Besides, I love writing and bring down my thoughts on paper. I think it was during the time when I was writing up my master’s thesis that I figured this is something I would like to do more.

    If you could choose one person to discuss your research topic with, who would that be?

    I would have discussed it with a professor at the University of Tehran, who unfortunately passed away last year due to Covid. He really shaped my understanding about Islamic thoughts, political Islam-Shiism when I was an undergrad. What difficulties do you expect to encounter during your project?

    I would say the main uncertainty might come from the fieldwork I have been planning for in Iran - especially with regards to the current uprisings and potential outcomes that are yet to come. The other issue is probably something that all researchers would have to confront one way or another; and that is to stay motivated and get through a lot of up and downs.

    Big conference or small workshop?

    For me, the best setting is a mixture of both; something like a big conference with several small workshops happening within its timeframe.

    Paperback book or eBook?

    Definitely paperback; but I have become accustomed to using eBook in the last few years since I have not had enough space to keep books.

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