Nonna Mayer

CNRS Research Director

Nonna Mayer is a CNRS Research Director Emerita at the Centre for European Studies and Comparative Politics of Sciences Po. She chaired the French Political Science Association (Association française de science politique) from 2005 to 2016. She co-organises with Samy Cohen the methodological research seminar « Les sciences sociales en question. Grandes controverses épistémologiques et méthodologiques » since 2011. She is a member of the French National Consultative Commission for Human Rights (CNCDH) since 2015.

1. Research activities

Main research topics

  • The electoral dynamic of the RN and of Populist Radical Rights in Europe, with a focus on the impact of gender and sexism on these votes and on the demobilizing effect of social precariousness.
  • The transformations of racism and  antisemitism, notably on the base of  data drawn from the annual "Baromètre racisme" of the CNCDH (1990-2023).
  • Intercultural relations, between minorities and majority population and between minorities, particularly between Jews and Muslims (see below: « Relations interculturelles : le cas de Sarcelles », « Encounters » and « ReligSpace »)

Ongoing projects

  • YOUNGELECT. Electoral survey coordinated by Vincent Tiberj and  Amaïa Courty (Centre Emile Durkheim, Sciences Po Bordeaux), funded by INJEP, the region Nouvelle-Aquitaine, the CEE - Sciences Po and the Fondation Jean Jaurès, conducted by Kantar (April 25- June 10,  2022) on a national sample representative of the population registered on the electoral lists (N=1223).
  • Coordination and analysis of the Annual Barometer on Racism of the National Consultative Commission for Human Rights (CNCDH), with Guy Michelat (†2022), Yuma Ando, Vincent TiberjTommaso Vitale (« Le regard des chercheurs, in CNCDH, Rapport 2022 sur la lutte contre le racisme, l'antisémitisme et la xénophobie, Paris, La Documentation française, p. 139-200.)
  • ANR ORA “ENCOUNTERS”: Muslim-Jewish encounters, diversity and distance in urban Europe (2019-2023).This project, multidisciplinary (sociology, ethnology, political science) and comparative (Paris and Strasbourg in France, Berlin and Francfort on Main in Germany, London and Manchester in the UK) is coordinated by Ben Gidley (Overall project lead, Birkbeck College, London University). It explores the cultural, ethnic and religious interactions  between Jews and Muslims in urban context, through associative life, arts and music, institutional initiatives and everyday encounters. Nonna Mayer coordinates the Paris ethnographic fieldwork with Elodie Druez (CEE Associate Researcher) and the quantitative work package with Vincent Tiberj (Centre Emile Durkheim).
  • ERC “RELIGSPACE”: The effect of Manifestations of Religion in the Public Space on Socio-political Integration of Minority-Religion Immigrants (2018-2023). The project, comparative (France, Israel, UK) and pluridisciplinary (political psychology, sociology, geography, political science), explores how the visibility of minority religions in the public space (place of worship, statues, shops) influences the socio-political integration of immigrants belonging to these religions (Christian, Jewish or Muslim) and to what extent it increases their feeling of belonging to the host society. Methods combine virtual reality experiments, natural experiments (in the urban context) and opinion surveys (with geo-localization of participants). Nonna Mayer is responsible for the French fieldwork with Elodie Druez (CEE Associate Researcher).
  • « Intercultural Relations : the case of Sarcelles », with Vincent Tiberj (jointly funded by Fondation Nationale des Sciences Politiques (FNSP) and Korean National Research Foundation (NRF), convention NRF7S1A3A2066657), on the base of a telephone survey conducted in January 2019 on a representative sample of the population living in Sarcelles.

2. Teaching

Nonna Mayer teaches in the Pre-college Master Classes Programme of Sciences Po since 2019 on “Populism et Democracy”. In 2023, she also taught "Populism and racism in Europe" for the O.P. Jindal Global University Summer School on European Affairs and for the Tokyo-Hokkaido University Spring School on European Affairs (both in Sciences Po).

She gives training sessions on the topics of racism and antisemitism for judges and prosecutors in the training programme of the Ecole nationale de la magistrature (since 2017) and for the “Diplôme Universitaire de Formation à la lutte contre le racisme et l’antisémitisme” of Paris 8 university (since 2021)

3. Editorial activity

She is in charge of the series "Contester" at the Presses de Sciences Po (since 2007), specialised in the transformation of collective action repertoires.

She is on the editorial board of the journals Patterns of Prejudice (since 1994) and International Political Science Review (since 2011) and on the editorial advisory board of French Politics (since 2002). 

4. Prizes and awards

UACES Lifetime Achievement Award (University Association for Contemporary European Studies), Lisboa, 3rd August 2019.

5. Publications

Academic articles

The multidisciplinary open archive HAL

Bibliography (PDF, 572 Ko)

Podcasts, blogs, debates

Jews and Muslims in the 19th arrondissement of Paris: face to face, or side by side? Blog du projet européen Encounters, juillet 2023.

“Islamo-leftism in French universities: a dangerous chimera". Blog de l’ECPR/The Loop, juin 2023. 

Droite radicale : les femmes s’y mettent aussi (surtout en France). Interview dans CNRS Le Journal, 20 janvier 2023. 

Les femmes et le vote en faveur de l'extrême droite. Entretien pour le podcast "Genre, etc." du programme Présages, Sciences Po, janvier 2023. 

Quels sont les points communs aux extrêmes droites de nos années 20 ? Débat Le Grand continent, 25 octobre 2022 

Revisiting the French lower classes support for the radical right. Note en ligne pour la Fondazione Feltrinelli, 10 mai 2022.

"Qu'Emmanuel Macron prenne au sérieux les sciences sociales !" Interview par Laurent Simon, TheMetaNews, 27 avril 2022.

Présidentielle : les démocraties à l'épreuve de l'extrême droite en France et en Europe. Débat à Sciences Po, 21 avril 2022.

Undermining Democracy: Marine Le Pen and Eric Zemmour’s Populist Politics. Institut Montaigne, 14 avril 2022.

6. Contact details


  • Tel: +33145497733

Research Topics

Sociology of political behavior ; Racism and antisemitism ; Inequality and democracy ; Radical rights

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