Jann Boeddeling

Jann Boeddeling

PhD Candidate

Department of Government

About me

Thesis: 'Bending time and breaking structures: Events, spontaneity, and interaction in the 2010/11 Tunisian Uprising'

Directed by social power, agency reproduces structure most of the time. How, then, do we make sense of those rare instances when previously heteronomous actors band together, break free of, and, at times, even transform structural shackles? Drawing on empirical data from the 2010/11 Tunisian Uprising, I argue that such episodes are inexplicable by sole recourse to causal antecedents. Rather, in situations of mass mobilisation, agents appear capable of interactionally producing novel relations, ideas, and subjectivities that are irreducible to anterior conditions. It is this creative dimension of collective agency – or revolutionary Praxis – that is constitutive of historical Events.

Research interests

  • Contentious Politics (Popular Mobilisation; Revolution)
  • Interactionism and Collective Creative Agency (Praxis)
  • Historical Sociology and Social Theory (Eventfulness; Temporality)

Selected publications

  • ‘Ambiguity, Spontaneity, and Creative Agency in the 2010/11 Tunisian Revolution’, paper presented at the Middle East Studies Association Annual Meeting, November 2017, Washington DC
  • The Emergence of "the People" - Spontaneity of Collective Subjectivity in the 2010/11 Tunisian Revolutionary Mass Mobilisation’, paper presented at Historical Materialism Beirut, 2017, Beirut, Lebanon
  • The Egyptian Revolution between Inclusiveness and Disintegration – A Gramscian perspective’, paper presented at the 12th Conference of the European Sociological Association, August 2015, Prague
  • Druck der Straße und Stimme des Volkes – Wohin steuert Ägypten?‘, ad hoc international, no. 10/2012
  • Corporate Social Responsibility: A perspective from Weberian economic sociology‘, Universität Witten/Herdecke discussion papers, Nr. 22/2012

Teaching record

  • Graduate Teaching Assistant, London School of Economics and Political Science, Department of Government: ‘Theories and Problems of Nationalism’, two weekly Undergraduate student seminar groups
  • External lecturer (Gastdozent), Witten/Herdecke University, Faculty for Economics and Management: ‘Social entrepreneurship in theory and practice’, 3 day block seminar for 12 BA students, 8 ECTS-credits


John Chalcraft (Supervisor) and Nigel Dodd (Advisor)