Arbia Selmi

Post-doctoral researcher

Arbia Selmi is a postdoctoral researcher at the ERC-funded LIVE-AR project « The subsequent lives of Arab revolutionaries », hosted at the Ceped (IRD- Université de Paris Cité). She holds a PhD in sociology from the École des hautes études en sciences sociales (EHESS) in Paris. Her thesis, under the supervision of Sophie Pochic, focused on the mobilisation of women trade unionists for access to positions of power within the Tunisian General Labour Union (UGTT). As part of her doctoral research she was a lecturer at the Department of Cultural History and Theory at Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, where she led a seminar entitled « Gender, Law and Collective Mobilisations ». Selmi is a member of the Centre Maurice Halbwachs in Paris, an associate member of the Centre Marc Bloch in Berlin, and an EUME affiliated fellow at the Forum Transregionale Studien in Berlin. Her research lies at the intersection of political sociology (collective mobilisations), sociology of gender and sociology of organisations.
In the framework of the LIVE-AR project, Arbia is interested in the fate of those who participated in the Tunisian revolution of 2011, and the biographical consequences of their activist commitment. She seeks to understand and explore the impact of this extraordinary moment and of the « political » transition on their activist careers, their personal and their professional lives. She is also interested in the emotional heritage of this activists’ commitment, including for those who chose exile and moved to Europe after 2011.


2023: « The right of access to land for rural women: the case of post-revolutionary Tunisia and Egypt ». Research report in the framework of a partnership project funded by the Habitat Foundation. (forthcoming)

2021: « Women blue collar workers in Tunisian trade unions since the Revolution : between hopes of emancipation and marginalisation », in Lapeyre Nathalie, Laufer Jacqueline, Lemière Séverine, Pochic Sophie, Silvera Rachel (dir.), Gender at Work:A Dialogue between Feminist Research and Social Movements, Syllepse.

2019: « Women trade unionists combatting the glass ceiling in (post-) revolutionary Tunisia », Ethnologie Française, special issue Gender, political crisis and revolutions, n° 174, p. 293-309.

2019: « Women and trade union democracy in Tunisia: a mobilization for equality », Letter of l’IRCM, n°23, april-june, p. 3-4.