Unleashing social media potential to research violence against women and girls in Iran

Researching violence against women and girls (VAWG) in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) presents unique challenges, primarily due to various contextual factors that hinder conventional survey methodologies. These challenges include limited funding, political obstacles, and safety concerns for both researchers and participants. Consequently, traditional survey approaches may prove unfeasible or inadequate in capturing the complex realities of VAWG in these settings.

VAWG is a particularly pressing issue in Iran, a Middle Eastern country marked by its patriarchal structure and systematic and pervasive gender discrimination. The patriarchal and legal structure of the country perpetuates gender inequalities and reinforces societal norms that tolerate or even condone violence against women. Yet, understanding the full scope of VAWG in Iran remains hindered by a lack of robust data.

In a recently published study, VISION researchers, Ladan Hashemi and Sally McManus, collaborated with counterparts from Bristol University (Nadia Aghtaie) and Iran (Fateme Babakhani) to explore the effectiveness of social media in recruiting victims of violence in Iran, shedding light on their experiences and the potential of social media as a research tool.

The findings revealed valuable insights into the manifestation and context of VAWG in Iran. Social media recruitment proved to be effective in reaching a diverse sample of victims and provided crucial insights into the dynamics of violence, the identities of perpetrators, and the settings where violence occurs. Victims often reported experiences from more than one type of perpetrator, spanning both public and domestic spheres. While social media recruitment offers broad reach and a safer environment for data collection, it also presents challenges such as sampling biases which affect the generalisability of findings.

For further information please see: Social Sciences | Free Full-Text | Using Social Media to Recruit Seldom-Heard Groups: Reaching Women and Girls with Experience of Violence in Iran (

Or contact Ladan at  

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Book launch: The Ethics of Surveillance in Times of Emergency

This event is in the past.

The Ethics of Surveillance in Times of Emergency, edited by Kevin Macnish and Adam Henschke

Join us for the launch of this exciting, open-source, edited collection from Oxford University Press

29 April, Monday, 6  – 7:30 pm

The Pavilion (ground floor), University Building

City, University of London EC1V 0HB

How do we respond to emergencies in ways that are both consistent with democratic and community principles, and that are ethically justifiable? Emergencies place stress on existing infrastructure and communities, and put significant pressure on democratic decision-making. What have we learnt from pandemic surveillance about the challenge of acting in times of emergency? How can philosophy help us understand the ethics of public health surveillance technologies? When should we use surveillance to monitor public responses and protests to crises?

We will hear from the editors, authors, and selected discussants.

About the Editors:

  • Kevin Macnish is Digital Ethics Consulting Senior Manager with Sopra Steria. He is a former analyst and manager at GCHQ and the US DOD, and an assistant professor at the universities of Leeds and Twente. Kevin has published academic articles, chapters, and books on ethics and technology. He is a Visiting Research Fellow at the University of Leeds and a member of the International Association of Privacy Professionals’ Research Advisory Board
  • Adam Henschke is an Assistant Professor with the Philosophy Section at the University of Twente. He works primarily in the ethics of technology, with much of his work focusing on security. He has written on the ethnics of surveillance, the internet of things, human military enhancement, and counter-terrorism. Recent publications include the co-edited books Counter-Terrorism, Ethics and Technology: Emerging Challenges at the Frontiers of Counter-Terrorism (2021) and The Palgrave Handbook of National Security (2021)

Register for the event

This book launch is sponsored by the Violence and Society Centre at City, University of London

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Call for Papers: Cyprus and the violence of bordering 50 years on

The island of Cyprus is known to most in Europe as a popular holiday destination; the violent history and the ongoing (if stable) conflict on the island is easily forgotten by tourists who enjoy the sunny beaches, the rich archaeological sites, and the club scene of Agia Napa. Yet for half a century Cyprus has remained divided. In August 1974 Turkish forces occupied the island and initiated a process of violent partition against the backdrop of two decades of conflict: first with the British in the fight for independence and then among Greek and Turkish ethnic groups trying to get a footing in national and municipal politics while hamstrung by an unworkable constitution

Cyprus is part of an archipelago of hybrid spaces in the eastern Mediterranean. Historically governed under Hellenic, Venetian, Byzantine and Ottoman rule, in 1878 the island was leased to Britain, and then formally annexed as a crown colony in 1914.  The complex international and regional politics of decolonization laid the ground for the partition of the island. Since the 1950s the ‘Cyprus question’ has become a permanent fixture in international politics, and ever since multiple plans have been proposed for the ‘solution’ to the Cyprus question; those that have been implemented have failed to unify the communities and establish peace.

This workshop, Partitioning for Peace? Cyprus and the violence of bordering 50 years on, will bring together scholars from various disciplines and paradigms (politics, IR, history, literature, anthropology, media and communications, sociology, journalism, geography, migration studies, border studies, peace and conflict studies) to discuss new research on the past and present of the Cyprus question 50 years on from the events of 1974. We welcome applications from academics, early career scholars, policy professionals, and practitioners working in community-based initiatives.

We invite new work responding, but not limited, to the following questions:

  • Where does the Cypriot experience sit in the context of the global history of territorial partitions?
  • What is the dynamic relationship between emotion and territoriality that sustains conflict?
  • In what ways does the partition keep peace on the island (and beyond) and in what ways does it sustain violence?
  • How does population dislocation compromise prospects for a resolution?
  • What is the logic of the solutions proposed by the international community and why have they failed?

The workshop will take the form of an in-person event on 7th – 8th of November 2024 at City, University of London, with paper presentations and discussion over one day, and a linked panel event.

Interested applicants should submit a 500-word abstract and a short 2-page CV in one document by 15 May 2024 to and with the subject line Partitioning Cyprus.  A small amount of travel support will be available for early career researchers, please indicate if you would like to be considered for this support.

The successful applicants will be notified by 1 July 2024. Full drafts will be due by 16 October 2024 for circulation to workshop attendees.

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State Violence – An online research symposium

This event is in the past.

We invite you to attend State Violence: An online symposium, Thursday 19 October at 13.00 BST. This symposium brings together researchers in International Relations to discuss the conceptual development, critical concerns, causes, ethics, and empirical realities of state violence.

This discussion starts from the premise that we do not dedicate enough time in IR to the violence of the state. We ask what this means in global systems and structures, as well as in lived experiences and everyday realities. Themes include legal violence, epistemic violence, colonial violence, digital violence, human rights activism, and affective atmospheres of violence.

We invite you to participate in a thought-provoking discussion that pushes the boundaries of international relations theory. The event will involve a panel of four speakers, each taking a different approach to the theme of state violence. It will be followed by 45 minutes of participatory Q&A where we invite the audience to submit questions and fuel further discussion.

The speakers and chair are:

Leonie Fleischmann – Senior Lecturer in International Politics and Human Rights at City, University of London

Jasmine Gani – Senior Lecturer in International Relations and Co-Director of the Centre for Syrian Studies at the University of St Andrews

Ty Solomon – Professor of International Relations in the school of Social and Political Sciences at the University of Glasgow

Sasikumar Sundaram – Lecturer in International Politics, Foreign Policy and Security Studies at City, University of London

Chair: Alexandria Innes – Senior Lecturer of International Politics and researcher in the Violence and Society Centre at City, University of London and Co-Investigator in the VISION consortium

To register please see: Webinar Registration – Zoom

The symposium is facilitated by the International Ethics Section of the International Studies Association; the Violence and Society Centre at City, University of London; and the Societal Insecurities Research Cluster in International Politics at City, University of London.

For further information, please contact Andri at