William Genieys

William Genieys is a CNRS Research Professor of Politics and Sociology at the Centre for European Studies and Comparative Politics. He was educated at Sorbonne University (Paris 1). After spending twenty years at the University of Montpellier, where he was former director of the CEPEL (CNRS-UMR), he has now moved to Sciences Po. William Genieys was awarded the ‘Prix d’excellence en science politique’ by the Fondation Matéï Dogan in 2013.

His research deals with:

  • Comparative sociology of elites
  • The programmatic approach of policy change
  • Recomposition of states elites power : The government of insiders
  • Representation of democracy among unelected governmental elites 

He is currently working on a project comparing modes of policy decision-making in government processes (Who governs?) in the health policy sector since the financial crisis in France, Germany, the UK and the USA. The starting point for this work is the hypothesis that competition within the state between « custodians of policy » and « austerians » is the driving force for contemporary policy innovation. With Nils Bandelow (Brunswick University), he leads this research program was funded by the ANR and the DGF (2018-2021). Since this year, he develops a new research field: Representations of democracy among unelected governmental elites in France and the United States (20th to 21st centuries).

Current research project:

"Social inequalities” in health: agenda-setting and policy tracing from 2004 to the Covid-19 crisis. (2023-2025, funded by Sciences Po's Scientific Advisory Board and led by Patrick Castel, CSO)

Among his publications are:

Active both in the fields of sociology and political science he has published in international journals such as (Comparative Politics; Journal of Policy History; Studies in American Political Developments; Governance; International Political Science Review; French Politics; Journal of Health Politics, Policy and Law; International Journal of Urban and Regional Research; Academic Psychiatry; Medical Education; Revista de Estudios Politicos) as well as French journals including Revue française de science politique; Revue française de Sociologie; Sociologie du travail; Revue internationale de politique comparée; Gouvernement et action publique; Tribune de la Santé.

Recent articles:

He participates in opinion debates in the audiovisual (Fr3, BFM, CNEWS) and radio (France Inter, RFI, RCF) media, in the written press (Figaro, Les Echos, Le Monde, Le Midi-Libre) and online (The Conversation, A.O.C., Atlantico)

Recent contributions

Radio and TV broadcasts

  • GENIEYS, William. Commentaire de la Cérémonie d’investiture du 46ème Président, Joe Biden, RCF, Le journal de 9 heures on 2January 20, 2021

To know more

Research Topics

Comparative sociology of elites; The method of “programmatic action framework” (PAF); Transformation of state elites: The role of custodians of policy; The government of insiders; Development of antielitism in France, UK and US (20th & 21th century)

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