Floriane Labarussiat

Floriane Labarussiat is a Ph.D. candidate in Comparative Politics at CEVIPOF-Sciences Po. Her work focuses on the relations between the police and the national media in France. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Political Science from Sciences Po, and two master’s degrees: one in Public Policy (Sciences Po, class of 2021) and a M.A. in Political Science (Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne, class of 2021). She also attended Columbia University as an undergraduate student. Since 2022, she teaches Political Science at Sciences Po.


Thesis working title : Dangerous liaisons? An analysis of relations between law enforcement agencies and the national media in France

Thesis supervisor : Prof. Kevin Arceneaux


This thesis explores the relationship between the French internal security forces (Police and Gendarmerie) and the national media in the 21st century.

The paradox is that journalists find themselves in a dual relationship of control and dependence with these institutions. A relationship of control, firstly, in that it has been theorized that the role of a free and independent press in a democracy is to act as a counterweight to the State, ensuring the transparency of its actions and thus preventing any authoritarian drift. Secondly, they are dependent on these regal institutions, which are essential sources of information for their work. Journalists are therefore often faced with conflicting interests, between their ethical imperative to inform, and the essential need not to cut themselves off from their sources, and to maintain relations as serene as possible with those they are responsible for monitoring.

At the same time, internal security institutions are also faced with contradictory imperatives, between the need to make their actions visible via the media, and the need to restrict institutional speech, both for reasons of law or objective operational constraints, and for more ad hoc reasons (the contours of which will need to be clarified).

The media and law enforcement agencies are therefore faced with divergent imperatives, leading to misunderstandings and even mutual tensions, but also to dissonance within themselves, fuelling internal disagreements and resistance. The aim here is to analyze these various phenomena, as well as the workaround strategies developed by the various players studied to ensure the existence of this relationship in spite of everything. 



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