Congratulations to IIES graduate student Sirus Håfström Dehdari, who on Wednesday 13 June successfully defended his doctoral thesis "Radical Right, Identity, and Retaliation". Acting opponent was Sascha Becker of University of Warwick.

We caught up with Sirus after the defense for a brief Q&A.

1. What is the main theme of your thesis?

My thesis is very broad and covers topics in political and institutional economics, as well as behavioral economics, and there is no main theme. However, one recurring theme in the first two chapters is identity: in the first chapter I discuss how salience of certain political issues is related to how voters identify in terms of ethnicity or economic class, while the second chapter explores identity formation resulting from repressive homogenization policies. In the third chapter, I estimate gender differences in the propensity to retaliate, and I find that women are less likely to retaliate.

2. How does it feel now that your thesis is in print and has been successfully defended?

It feels great. After the defense, Torsten Persson said that I, regardless of the outcome, at least did very well. I had not even considered different outcomes so that obviously got me worried a bit, so it felt exceptionally good to hear that I had successfully defended my thesis!

3. What's next for you?

I am joining the Department of Government at Uppsala University as a postdoc at the CONPOL project!

We wish Sirus the best of luck with all his future endeavors!