Ulrike Lepont

Chargée de recherche CNRS

Ulrike Lepont is a researcher in political science at the Center for European Studies and Comparative Politics at Sciences Po.

Her current research focuses on public investment policies in Europe and questions the transformation of the role of the state in the economy after the 2008 and 2020 economic crises. In order to qualify the strengthening of economic interventionism by Member states and the European Union, she proposes to rely on the concept of "investment state" as an ideal-typical model of state intervention in the economy, distinct from both the "regulatory state" and the "entrepreneurial" state. Thanks to this hypothesis she proposes to understand the apparently paradoxical logic of current economic policies: on the one hand, the emphasis on public investment policies that justify indebtedness and, on the other, the maintenance of the objective of reducing the size of the state and public spending in all areas that are not the subject of investment policies.

Ulrike Lepont also takes part in an ANR project led by Philippe Zittoun, Patrick Hassenteufel and Frédéric Lebaron on French economic policies implemented after the 2008 crisis (ANR Desorbercy). In this context, she works more particularly on the elaboration and adoption of the 2008 stimulus and recovery plan as well as the 2009 "Grand emprunt" (renamed Investment Program for the Future).

Previously, she worked on health care policies in the United States as well as on the issue of expertise and experts. From a perspective of the sociology of elites and of the US state, she developed the concept of "peri-administration" to describe the establishment in Washington of networks of professional experts affiliated with non-governmental centers of expertise (think tanks, foundations, academic institutes). She also investigated the effects of this structuring on the production of knowledge available to political decision-makers. Her work has shown that the diversity of the experts' training or affiliations does not necessarily lead to greater heterogeneity in the knowledge produced. She has published several articles on these themes (Governance, Journal of Health Politics, Policy and Law, Revue française de sociologie, Revue française de sciences politiques, Politix, Gouvernement et action publique, Terrains et travaux). A book should also be published in 2022 by the Presses de l'ENS de Lyon.

Research Topics

Economic policies, public investment policies, sociology of the state and its transformations, social and health policies, Sociology of expertise

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