Fields of Research

Five major fields of research guide CERI’s scientific development and federate its activities. These broad fields encompass all research currently being conduced by CERI scholars, across their academic disciplines (political science, sociology, anthropology, history, law, geography and economics) and the various approaches to the study of world politics (international/transnational relations, area studies and comparative politics) represented within the center. Every CERI faculty member choses to associate with a field he or she considers the closest to their research interests; some scholars identify with one major and one secondary field of research. A tandem of co-leaders heads each field of research.


4 - Violence and danger management

Lead by: Laurent Gayer and Sandrine Revet 

Primary members: Claire Andrieu, Adam Baczko, Didier Bigo, Gilles Favarel-Garrigues, Laurent Fourchard, Laurent Gayer, Benoit Pelopidas, Sandrine Revet, Jacques Semelin

Secondary members: Laurent Bonnefoy, Dominique Colas, Stéphanie Latte, Sandrine Perrot, Frédéric Ramel  

Social sciences sometimes seem unarmed faced to extreme crises. Beyond their diversity, be they wars, genocides, or any type of disasters or catastrophes (technological or natural), these crises present a common analytical challenge. How can logics of action, power relations and more generally a certain form of sociological coherence be reinjected into these moments of apparent disintegration of the social order? How can we reflect upon the social, the political or the economy when human or natural violence shake what was thought to be evident? The share of disorder specific to contemporary societies is not only limited to dealing with effective crises. In a more diffuse manner, it is visible through a series of dispositifs of prevention and security assemblages through which the state redeploys in front of new threats and populations who are pointed out as “at risk”. These are the themes on which this Field focuses, through research projects, groups working on “rationalities” of mass violence, the management of “natural” disasters, the contemporary forms of security or the making of politics during an armed conflict. A conceptual reflexion on the very notions of “violence”, “disaster”, “security”, “disorder”, “vulnerability” or “genocide”, among others has been done by the researchers who participate to this Field, in order to question their relevance, their usages and their limits. Two main themes structure research within this Field:

  • Mass violence and extreme crises
  • Security and Insecurity
Research projects:

Projects in progress

Oversight and interrligence networks: who guards the guardians? (ANR-ORA "GUARDINT")

- Nuclear weapons choices. Governing vulnerabilities between past and future (ERC "Nuclear")

- Political vulnerability in the nuclear age (ANR "Vulpan")

- Development of an integrated approach towards the reduction of risks associated with vulcanic eruptions, from research on the aleas to crisis management tools: the case of the Martinique (ANR "RAVEX")

- The use of technologies linked to the interception of communications (ANR "UTIC")

Research groups

- Risks and disasters

- Africa: citizenship, violence and politics

- Political violence

- Terrorism and antiterrorism

- Research network on Mass violence and resistance

Previous projects

- Research network on vigilantism   

- Human trafficking and institutions. A comparison between France and Germany (ANR "ProsCrim")