Interviews et entretiens

Elisa Bellè, Marie Curie Fellow
  • BellèBellè

Interview of Elisa Bellè, Marie Curie Fellow

Thank you very much Elisa for accepting to hold this interview with us at the CEE. We are very happy to have you! I would have a couple of questions to ask you, but first, can you tell us about your background?

Yes of course, it’s a pleasure to meet you! I graduated in Sociology, with a special Double degree program: I spent the first two years at the University of Trento, and the following two years in Dresden, Germany, at the Technische Universität. That was a highly formative experience, because at a very early stage of my academic education I discovered a different way to approach sociology, learning to compare and combine perspectives.
Then I came back to Italy, after 2 years and a half spent abroad. And that was another decisive moment for my academic pathway, as I started to work on my Master’s thesis. I decided to focus on gender and political participation, starting to deal with gender and politics, a theme that is still part of my research agenda. I analysed the political careers of men and women in 4 Italian political parties (2 centre-left and 2 centre-right), using narrative interviews, combined with a perspective on the parties as gendered organizations.

After that, I worked for 2 years, but the interest in research and Sociology found its way back again. As a result, I decided to try the admission at the Doctoral school of Sociology and Social Research at the University of Trento. For three years I had the privilege to work with a very dynamic research unit, specialized in the study of organizations, gender, masculinities issues. For my PhD thesis I decided to continue using the gender&organization approach in an interdisciplinary manner, to study political participation. Plus, I decided to accept a second challenge, a methodological one: I wanted to discover the ethnographic method, putting it at the service of politics. I studied the internal life of an Italian political party named Lega Nord (Northern League), which at that time was a federalist/regionalist rightwing force, born at the beginning of the 80’s from the ashes of the old Italian party system. I conducted an ethnographic fieldwork in 2 local party branches: one in a small town of Veneto (North East of Italy) and the other in the large urban context of Lombardia (North West). First of all, my attempt was to re-focus on political parties as territorial organizations (and especially the Lega). Second, I wanted to analyze the party from an internal perspective, as the emergent result of the daily work of militants and local leaders. The basic concept was to be there ? as Clifford Geertz says ? and discover the socio-political world of the party using an immersive technique. Plus, I wanted to compare two extremely different territories: on the one hand, a small town far from the organizational centers of the party, and on the other a very big city, well connected to the internal national leadership of the party.
The final goal was to study the overlap between organizational and territorial aspects in producing different forms of participation and different communities of partisans, although in the same party.

Well, thank you very much! I’m a bit curious about the Marie Curie scholarship that you have been awarded. Can you tell us about it, the whole application procedure and how you finally made it?

Of course! The first idea of my Marie Curie project was developed in Paris, at the Centre for European Studies and Comparative Politics (CEE), when I was there as a visiting fellow in February 2018.
I have to say, discovering the intense life of the CEE was inspiring for me. I started to participate in the general seminars, the seminars on methods etc. In that period, I began to process some basic ideas: the goal was to go more in-depth in the study of the so-called “populist radical right” (PRR).

I had a couple of very preliminary intuitions, which I proposed to Professor Haegel. She suggested to discuss about that with Professor Nonna Mayer, one of the CEE’s experts on PRR. So, I met Professor Mayer at the CEE, and I have to say that encounter was a turning point. She was incredibly helpful in the elaboration of the structure of the project, in precising the analytical structure, the research goals, the theoretical framework. She was also very encouraging throughout all the long process of submitting the proposal, which as we know is challenging and highly competitive (particularly considering that the ethnographic approach is not exactly mainstream). As a consequence, I had to finalize a strong proposal, both in terms of solidity, scientific impact, and innovation of the structure.
I tried the Marie Curie call a first time, unsuccessfully, and then I tried again a second time. After the first refusal, the support of Professor Mayer, the Conseil d’Unité and the MAPS office were really important in keeping my energy alive and trying the second time, that was successful.

Now briefly about the project: it is called ERRANT, standing for Ethnography of Radical Right Activism across Nations and Territories. The structure of the research is comparative and focuses on two leading actors of PRR family: the Italian Lega and the French Rassemblement National. The main goals are three, corresponding in my opinion to three research gaps in the study of PRR that is urgent to fill:

  • The first one is grassroot activism. The PRR has been studied so far much more from the electoral perspective, and less from the perspective of activists. Therefore, I want to shed light on the internal life of these two parties, and on the men and women that engage. Why and how they decide to join the parties? Which are the main pathways of activism (social background, ethnicity, gender, class and cultural capital differences, etc.)? What happens once they have entered? How is constructed a sense of collective belonging?
  • The second goal is, again and especially now, the territory. Political parties are prevalently approached as national actors, stressing the role of their national leaders (particularly PRR formations). However, these forces are very often extremely effective in constructing a strong territorial rootedness. Thus, the basic idea is to go there, where Lega and RN are already mainstream, institutionalized forces, to explore the genetic territories and the social production of their consent.
  • The third goal is the most experimental. It was carefully analyzed with Pr. Mayer. The main idea is the following: PPR are polarizing and dividing societies across Europe. Our aim therefore is to investigate how these frontlines of conflict work across territories, and exactly where these parties are culturally hegemonic. The strongest lines of polarization seem to be ethnicity and sexuality. In my opinion it has become urgent to examine the making-of of this conflicts, focusing both on party activists and their most direct social opponents in local civil societies. What is going on in our society when PRR parties and progressive civil society confront and conflict on gender/sexuality and ethnicity? How is constructed, represented, enacted this conflict? And can we, as publicly engaged researcher, try to build bridges across internal frontiers of fear?

Where does this personal interest of yours to study to extreme movements stem from?

My first curiosity was for parties, gender amd grassroot activism in general. Since I was very interested in masculinity as a central element in producing political identity, I found that Lega Nord was the most interesting political force, because it is historically characterized by a sexual imaginary of virilism, which has always played a crucial role in in constructing a collective identity and a sovereignist imaginary. So, I choose the Lega.

The fieldwork was an incredible occasion to discover a different social world, in terms of political values, beliefs, ways of representing social reality, etc. Of course, it was challenging, but at the same time I was deeply transformed by this experience, both as human being and as a researcher.

And I still believe that investigating such a challenging social milieu could be an innovative contribution to political sociology and collective knowledge. As a matter of fact, the study of right-wing activism is very rare: political ethnographies have been so far much more focused on left-wing movements, because qualitative research requires the construction of a human relationship with the social actors under analysis, and sometimes the distance can be hard to manage. Thus, we don’t have enough ethnographic material on PRR, and I am convinced that it is time to do it: we are already late!

Thank you for being that one person, Elisa! Maybe another question: why SciencesPo’s CEE specifically?

The starting point was the visiting fellowship, back in 2018. When I discovered the life of the CEE, I was so fascinated witch such an energizing atmosphere, full of stimulating topics to discuss, to read, full of encounters and cutting-edge researches. In addition, the solid research tradition on PRR, as well as that on partisan cultures, played an important role in my decision.

Besides, a third crucial point was the methodological openness of the CEE. In fact, often political science and sociology consider qualitative methods, and especially ethnography, as minor, anectodical, not fully “scientific”. On the contrary, at the CEE I immediately felt that quantitative, qualitative, voters, grassroots perspectives were equally treated as scientifically important, which made me feel welcome and stimulated.
Moreover, the CEE is engaging in a crucial scientific question: the centre/periphery divides that are splitting the social structure of Europe, opposing central metropolitan areas and regional areas that feel deprived and marginalized. In this regard, I believe I can bring a fresh empirical contribution to an already advanced debate, by focusing on the complex world of the province.

Well, thank you Elisa! If I had one last question, it would be: why France? Why comparing Italy to France?
Firstly, because I have always been particularly curios about French politics and culture, for personal reasons. Yet, in terms of scientific comparison, RN and Lega were a perfect match,: both are undergoing a big transformation, the RN with the so called “dédiabolisation”, and the Lega with its recent turn from regionalism to nationalism. Moreover, they are elaborating opposite strategies of institutionalization. RN is trying to give a renewed image of moderatism, whereas Lega reached its major consent radicalizing its message. Thus, there is an extremely interesting tension between radicalization and deradicalization that I think can be useful not only for comparing the two parties, but also for the analysis of the European PRR family.

Ok, well thank you very much! If you had anything else to add for those interested into your field of study, what would it be?

One last reflection about our current situation under this terrible pandemic time. It has indeed become more of a concern accessing the field, discovering new scientific environments, given the constraint of having to work remotely.
I have to say that starting a new scientific journey in this moment is not easy, but I’m trying to face the difficulties. I think that the current health crisis will have an influence on my fieldwork, when I will be in these two cities. I have always been interested in the use of public space made by PRR and I believe that observing, analyzing, reasoning about political participation and public space in this specific time of social distancing will be challenging but interesting.

Of course, it seems quite challenging to be doing social research while there is supposed to be no social life!
Yes, it will be complicated, but I think that we have also to stay open to the unexpected. In sociological terms we have the opportunity to observe something that was unthinkable just few months ago. We only have to put at work our scientific imagination, in order to do some kind of “bricolage” of our tools, readapting them to the new situation.

Thank you very much Elisa for your time and participation!

It was a pleasure to meet you, thank you.

@ Jason W. Essomba (January 2021)

Interview d'Abdelkarim Amengay, docteur en science politique (diplômé en 2019).

Comment définiriez-vous votre parcours ?

J’ai un parcours assez atypique. J’ai débuté mes études universitaires à l’âge de 28 ans au Maroc en faisant deux licences à peu près en même temps. Une en science politique et droit constitutionnel, et l’autre à l’École Nationale d’Administration de Rabat en Administration Publique. Ensuite, j’ai travaillé comme administrateur au Ministère de l’Éducation au Maroc avant de partir au Canada où j’ai entamé mes études supérieures en science politique. C’est durant cette période que je me suis découvert une passion pour l’étude des comportements politiques.  
Au départ je n’étais pas vraiment partant pour faire des études doctorales car la recherche me faisait un peu peur ! Cela représentait un autre monde pour moi, qui me paraissait inaccessible. Cependant, au fur et à mesure des études de Master, j’ai pris confiance en moi.  Quand le moment est venu de faire un choix de sujet de thèse pour le doctorat, j’ai décidé de travailler sur l’extrême droite en Europe. Plus précisément, le rôle des médias dans les succès électoraux de ces partis à travers l’étude du cas du Rassemblement national, anciennement Front national (FN).

Durant les premiers mois de mon doctorat à l’université d’Ottawa, j’ai décidé de faire une cotutelle avec une université française. Du fait de sa renommée et de sa stature mondiale Sciences Po s’est imposée de manière presque naturelle. Sur recommandation de Nicolas Sauger, j’ai écrit à Emiliano Grossman pour lui présenter mon projet de thèse et il m’a fait l’honneur d’accepter d’être mon co-directeur de thèse à Sciences Po. Une fois ma demande d’admission en Doctorat à Sciences Po acceptée, le processus administratif de cotutelle fut bouclé en quelques semaines. Quatre ans plus tard, j’ai soutenu ma thèse -en Décembre 2019- devant un jury formé de membres prévenant des deux institutions.

Vos publications et contributions portent en général sur la thématique des radicalités, Qu’est-ce qui vous a poussé vers ce sujet ?

Je dirais qu’étant moi-même immigrant maghrébin au Canada, il arrive un certain moment où l’on se pose beaucoup de questions sur la montée des partis anti-immigrants au sein des démocraties dites libérales. On ne peut pas être insensible à la manière dont les médias nous submergent de contenus sur l’insécurité, l’immigration, l’islam et la place qu’y occupent des chroniqueurs et des commentateurs politiques assumant sans complexe leurs positionnement à l’extrême droite de l’échiquier politique. Donc, au départ, en plus de l’intérêt académique pour la question, il y avait également une motivation de nature personnelle. D’autant plus que, de manière assez surprenante, bien qu’en France on ait souvent invoqué le rôle des médias dans la montée électorale du FN à partir des années 80, cette question n’a presque jamais véritablement fait l’objet d’études poussées.

Pourquoi avoir choisi l’Université d’Ottawa pour votre formation doctorale ?

C’était un choix qui s’explique par deux éléments.  Primo, au Canada, mon pays d’accueil, l’un des rares experts de l’extrême droite en Europe est Daniel Stockemer qui travaille à l’Université d’Ottawa et qui, avec Emiliano Grossman seront mes deux co-directeurs. Secundo, l’Université d’Ottawa m’a offert un financement assez généreux pour ma thèse -que je remercie d’ailleurs- car, sans ce financement la réalisation de ma thèse aurait été très compliquée.

Pourquoi l’avoir complétée par une cotutelle au Centre d’études européennes et de politique comparée de Sciences Po ?

Pour moi le CEE était l’endroit où je pouvais avoir accès à des chercheurs de stature mondiale. Par exemple, Emiliano Grossman est l’un des plus grands experts européens en matière d’étude du rôle politique des médias. D’autant plus que les chercheurs qui travaillent sur cette question en France sont une minorité, encore moins ceux qui le font en mobilisant les analyses quantitatives (avec des statistiques).
Il y avait aussi Nonna Mayer, LA spécialiste française du vote FN.  J’ai eu la chance de pouvoir collaborer avec elle lors de mon passage au CEE.  Ensemble, avec Anja Durovic, nous avons publié un article sur le FN dans la Revue française de science politique. De plus, grâce à Nicolas Sauger, et sous sa direction, j’ai pris part aux travaux de l’équipe de chercheurs qui a préparé le questionnaire de l’Étude électorale française du CEE portant sur l’élection présidentielle de 2017. En somme, c’était la réputation scientifique du CEE et la qualité des chercheurs qui y exercent. Et je peux vous dire que je n’ai jamais regretté ce choix qui a eu un impact extrêmement positif sur ma carrière académique.

Ayant lu quelques-unes de vos recherches, j’ai trouvé assez intéressant d’observer votre approche quantitative dans l’étude de la montée de l’extrême droite. Cela a vraiment été pour moi une surprise de constater l’existence d’études quantitatives sur un tel sujet.

Je dirais, qu’au contraire, cela est très répandu. Si le recours aux méthodes quantitatives au sein de la science politique française a toujours été, et demeure encore aujourd’hui, un courant minoritaire, elles y sont cependant présentes depuis longtemps. Notamment, grâce aux travaux précurseurs de Nonna Mayer en matière de sociologie politique électorale dès les années 1980. Sciences Po en est d’ailleurs un des bastions dans l’Hexagone. Ce sont également ces méthodes que j’ai mobilisé dans ma thèse. Ce qui a nécessité la réalisation d’une base de données à partir de sources diverses. En particulier, les archives de la Bibliothèque nationale de France dans lesquelles j’ai passé plusieurs mois à consulter et à coder le contenu des Unes de la presse régionale pour les quatre-vingt-seize départements métropolitains. Pour chaque département, il s’agissait de couvrir les deux mois qui ont précédé les élections présidentielles françaises de 2012 et de 2017. Finalement, via des analyses statistiques, j’ai pu démontrer que la place qu’occupe la thématique de l’insécurité dans la presse régionale est fortement corrélée au vote pour le Rassemblement national. Là où la couverture médiatique de l’immigration ou de l’islam ne semble pas avoir nécessairement favorisé le vote pour Marine Le Pen lors les deux dernières élections présidentielles. Plus intéressant encore est que cette corrélation, entre la couverture médiatique de l’insécurité et le vote mariniste, apparaît complétement déconnectée de la réalité objective qu’est le niveau réel de la criminalité dans chaque département.

Pour revenir maintenant à votre actualité, qu’est-ce qui vous a mené à Doha ?

Pour beaucoup, cela peut être surprenant. Mais, il faut savoir, que depuis quelques années, il devient de plus en plus difficile de décrocher un poste de professeur directement après son doctorat sans avoir fait un post-doctorat. Alors lorsque le Doha Institute for Graduate Studies m’a offert ce poste, je n’ai pas hésité un seul instant. D’autant plus que cette jeune institution se donne comme mission de devenir la référence en matière de recherche en sciences sociales dans la région du Moyen-Orient et qu’elle offre beaucoup d’opportunités en matière de financement de recherche. Tous mes collègues actuels ont été formés ou ont travaillé dans les meilleures universités du monde. C’est une communauté scientifique très vibrante. J’y ai la possibilité d’enseigner la politique comparée et de continuer à travailler sur les questions de recherche qui m’intéressent, par exemple le populisme. Il y a également l’envie de transfert de connaissances dans cette partie du monde qui m’est chère. Une envie de redonner un peu à cette partie du monde et de partager les compétences que j’ai acquises au sein des universités occidentales, que ce soit en France ou au Canada. Le tout dans un cadre de vie agréable.

Peut-on justement savoir sur quelles thématiques ou quels projets de recherche vous travaillez aujourd’hui ?

Actuellement, j’ai quatre projets de recherche en cours.

Le premier projet porte sur le contenu des médias, ou plus précisément : la place de l’Islam dans les médias. Avec Mohammed Amine Brahmi, un chercheur postdoctoral à l’université de Columbia aux États-Unis, nous réalisons une étude comparative France-Québec de cette présence de cette thématique dans la presse écrite en période électorale. Les résultats de cette recherche, qui est encore en phase de développement, vont être publiés au cours de l’année 2021 dans un numéro spécial de la revue Politique et Société qui sera consacré à la question de l’islamophobie.

Le deuxième projet relève d’un autre de mes centres intérêts : la psychologie politique. Plus précisément, la question qui anime ma réflexion est celle de savoir « comment les traits de personnalité impactent-ils les comportements politiques ? » J’étudie actuellement la relation entre les traits de personnalité et le niveau de confiance que les individus peuvent avoir dans la classe politique via une comparaison France-États-Unis. En m’appuyant sur les travaux d’Herbert Kitschelt –qui a développé au début des années 1980, une classification des systèmes politiques selon laquelle la France serait un système politique fermé et les États-Unis un système politique ouvert– je démontre qu’en France, de par les contraintes imposées par son système politique fermé, les personnes dont la personnalité est plus portée sur l’innovation et la curiosité intellectuelle, autrement dit « les esprits libres », seraient moins amenées à faire confiance à la classe politique. Contrairement aux États-Unis, où ce trait de personnalité n’a aucun impact sur la confiance que peuvent avoir les individus dans les élites politiques de leur pays.

Mon troisième projet est celui d’un chapitre de livre, qui traite de la mobilisation des émotions par les leaders populistes. Il s’agit d’un ouvrage collectif qui réunit huit chercheurs de l’Europe, des deux Amériques et de l’Asie. Dirigé par Alwahab El-Affendi, le président du Doha Institute, cet ouvrage porte sur les travaux de Chantal Mouffe, la grande philosophe politique belge qui a consacré une grande partie de ses travaux à l’étude du populisme dans une perspective postmarxiste. Dans mon chapitre, je m’intéresse au rôle qu’elle donne aux émotions dans la mobilisation des citoyens. Plus particulièrement, je pose la question suivante : « Dans quelle mesure l’état de la recherche en psychologie politique permet de corroborer la théorie de Chantal Mouffe sur la centralité des émotions, et plus particulièrement la peur, dans la montée de la droite radicale populiste radicale en Europe et aux Amériques ?».

Le quatrième projet est un projet qui porte sur la représentation politique des jeunes au Moyen-Orient et en Afrique du nord. Avec Daniel Stockemer, nous venons de lancer un nouveau projet qui vise à identifier les potentiels changements qu’auraient connus la composition des élites politiques en Afrique du Nord et au Moyen-Orient dans la foulée de ce qui est communément appelé les printemps arabes de 2011. Nous nous s’intéressons en particulier à l’évolution de la composition des parlements nationaux (démocratiques ou non). La première phase de ce projet se focalise sur quatre pays : la Tunisie, l’Égypte, la Jordanie et la Syrie pour lesquels la collecte de données est en cours. À terme, nous espérons inclure l’ensemble des pays de la région, notamment ceux du Golf. Car, si la question de la participation politique des jeunes a été abondamment étudiée, celle de la représentation ne le fut que très peu. Encore moins pour cette région du monde.

M. Abdelkarim Amengay, Je vous remercie d’avoir accepté de participer à cette interview et de la richesse de cet échange. Souhaitez-vous ajouter un commentaire ?

Tout d’abord, je vous remercie. Je me suis senti honoré d’être contacté pour échanger sur ces sujets. Je voudrais conclure en disant, qu’au-delà de l’expérience académique enrichissante que j’ai eue au CEE, mon passage fut également une expérience humainement enrichissante. Le CEE dispose d’une formidable équipe de chercheurs de haut-calibre et d’une équipe administrative dévouée, avec à sa tête Mme Amrani, que je tiens à remercier. Merci à eux pour le formidable travail qu’ils accomplirent au quotidien. 

Propos recueillis par W. Jason Essomba (novembre 2020)

Interview of Vicente Ugalde, El Colegio de Mexico, Visiting Professor at Sciences Po, CEE

Dear Professor Vicente Ugalde! Thank you for having agreed to hold this interview with Science sPo’s Centre for European Studies and Comparative Politics (CEE).

Could you tell me a bit about your background (studies, experience, research areas, etc.)?

Well, I studied Law in Mexico, in a city in the Center-North of Mexico called San Luis Potosi. I specialized in Local Law. After that, I did my master’s degree in Constitutional and Administrative Law in Mexico City. In the meantime, I was also doing a Master’s in Urban Studies at Colegio in Mexico. Following that, I travelled to France to further my studies. Once in France, I did a DEA in Sciences Administratives, i.e., Public Administration. Then, I did a PhD in Law but with a much more public policy-oriented PhD dissertation, consisting of using law and regulation to review and analyze environmental public policies in Mexico with a focus on hazardous waste management.

It seems that one of your areas of expertise is Urban governance. Is that true?

Yes, after I concluded my PhD, I went back to Mexico and joined the Centre for demographic urban and environmental studies and I started to teach local government. I progressively studied local systems a lot, as well as different problems arising in governing cities like Mexico City. I started to develop research in governance and local governance system. That is how I met, some years later, my current colleagues at the CEE. We launched a collaboration to study big metropolises around the world.

As you are in Paris at the time, what are the projects, topics or research areas you are currently working on?

At the beginning of my collaboration with the CEE, my interest was in the study of waste management systems in big cities. But right now, and over the past 2 or 3 years I have been studying how local governance drives urban development. In other words, I have been focusing on the study of regulation to organize construction, land use, property distribution control, the right to build, etc. I would like to find out how regulation works in the real world. To this end, I would look at official bodies or government’s agencies responsible for inspection. In order to understand how the legal system deploys its power to manage some tricky situations, I would also look into actual cases of low compliance of urban regulations. In France, we can hardly observe such things in our daily life. While in Mexico if you walk across the streets, you can see construction going on despite those signs and warrants from local authorities imposing to stop the construction.

So, you work quite a lot on urban planning?

Yes. Urban planning is fascinating, and its legal framework is a useful tool to understand it. In fact, in order to better understand what is happening in developing countries like Mexico, it is always critical to build perspective considering also the country’s legal system, how things work there. Comparing is always fruitful for such kinds of analyses. To me, France remains an interesting case study. Not necessarily Paris per se but rather its “banlieue” or surroundings, where urban development is on its way right now.

Can I ask you why specifically choosing Sciences Po’s CEE for your visiting stay?

Well, one of the main intellectual challenges when we have to study cities is comparison, but how? How to propose an elaborated approach, a methodological way to deploy an analysis on 2 or more cities? The CEE team has been working on comparing approaches over many years. One of the main concerns identified with my colleagues at the CEE is that of how to compare cities (for instance, cities from Global South with those in the developed world). Since we are talking about governments, systems, we are therefore also talking about people’s practices, which are not easy to compare. So, for me, this is one of the right places to think about comparison.

Comparative politics are of course one of the peculiarities of the CEE alongside the sociological approach to study social sciences societal phenomena.

I would like to ask would be why specifically Paris today? Why is it so dear or important to you to compare Paris with other cities like Mexico?

I have to say it has to do with some large research projects led by Patrick LE GALÈS to compare the huge metropolises around the world like Paris and Mexico City. That is important because apart from the long way to go in comparing cities, Paris is particularly interesting to start a case. When it comes to the administrative system, Paris (actually France) is similar to Mexico. As a matter of fact, Mexico inherited this legal system from Spain two centuries ago. The legal systems in the two cities (Paris and Mexico City) appear – to us – very familiar in the way in which administrative law is organized, especially in the field of urban law. The Urban legal system in Mexico is closer to the French system than it would be to the Anglo-Saxon system as an example. So, it’s an important point.

Could you just share with us some of your findings after having compared both cities: Paris and Mexico City?

Well, I started my fieldwork in Mexico two years ago. And it is typical of me to watch some of my fieldwork take up to 6 or 7 years …What I can say right now is that: my question is changing over the time.
Nevertheless, I found one global question which consists of trying to understand how urban legal systems work. It is not just about looking into corruption as a simple answer in this kind of research could be “All this could be explained by corruption!”. It is not just that. My research, my first findings drove to me to focus on enforcement systems. It's in the different enforcement systems that strong differences between two cities in urban development governance can be explained.

Well, Thank you very much for such a mind-opening conversation! Thank you for the time you took to discuss this topic with us.

Would you have anything else to add for anybody who would be interested into your field of studies or your research?

Simply that cities are a very interesting field to dig into many questions, not just about the cities themselves but about societies. There are many interesting topics we can study while watching the day-to-day life of cities. I think that Paris is a special case for thinking and finding more special questions about cities as a field of study.

@ Jason W. Essomba

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