Sophie Dubuisson-Quellier,

Sophie Dubuisson-Quellier,

New CSO director
  • Sophie Dubuisson-QuellierSophie Dubuisson-Quellier

On January 1st, 2023, the Center for the Sociology of Organizations will change direction: Sophie Dubuisson-Quellier will succeed Olivier Borraz, who has been in the position since July 2013. 

Sophie Dubuisson-Quellier, Mathias Vicherat, director of Sciences Po, Olivier Borraz and Marie-Hélène Papillon, Déléguée régionale de la délégation Île-de-France Villejuif du CNRS.

Interview with the new director of the laboratory

You have been a researcher at the CSO since 2003, and you are about to take over as director. What are your links and your history with this research centre?

Unlike previous directors, I am not a 'pure' product of the CSO. I was trained at the Centre de sociologie de l'Innovation at the Ecole des Mines de Paris. I did a thesis in economic sociology there which helped to highlight the role of material devices in economic coordination. But I soon wanted to develop a more political approach to market relations, by highlighting the power relations between supply and demand, but also between suppliers, and finally between the various actors seeking to frame economic action, such as militant organisations through committed consumption, or the State through the government of conduct.
When I applied to the CNRS in 2003, after having been a lecturer at the Ecole des Mines de Nantes, the CSO seemed to me to be a logical research centre, both because the market was already perceived as an organised space and because the notion of power is fundamental in the sociology of organisations. Moreover, I discovered a deeply collective research centre. And twenty years after I joined, I find that this dimension has been further strengthened, as shown by the many collective projects and books we produce there, most recently with the publication of “La société des organisations”. The book, directed by Olivier Borraz, my predecessor at the head of the centre, involved all 28 CSO researchers. This quality of the CSO is essential in my eyes, as research is a collective activity, even if today's public policies place more value on individual careers. In addition to the benefits we derive from this for scientific production and teaching, it also means that the CSO is a place of strong solidarity, mutual support and respect between all its members. These are values that I hold dear, and that are shared by Patrick Castel, who will be at my side as deputy director.

What are the main projects you would like to carry out at the CSO?

The CSO is organised around five research programmes that allow us to make the objects we are investigating and our research questions on contemporary societies more understandable. I would like us to be able to highlight the meaning of the transformations that are disrupting our societies today: the multiplication of pandemic risks, tensions over energy, the digitalisation of societies, the financialisation of domestic economies, the multiplication of inequality dynamics, etc. The ecological crisis is one of the major upheavals. It must be examined in its multiple social, political and economic dimensions. The various studies that the CSO conducts on environmental issues can make our centre a strong player in the institutional landscape of social science research on climate and the environment. This is research that our societies need to answer essential questions such as: where does the ecological crisis come from and how to get out of it?
We can also provide educational resources for training, at the college level, in graduate schools and in executive education on these environmental issues, at a time when Sciences Po is taking up these training issues.

What will be the highlights of the next few months?

We will be recruiting in the next few months for a position of assistant professor in sociology of the environment and ecological transition (see the job description). Recruitment is an important step for us, because if we are demanding in terms of scientific excellence and international openness, we are just as demanding in terms of the candidates' ability to work in a team.

We are also going to bring our partnership with the Copenhagen Business School to life, through the reciprocal hosting of researchers and doctoral students and the organisation of joint workshops. The environmental issue will have a prominent place, but we have other common interests, notably in organisations and economic governance. Finally, several important projects are being submitted, in which we will be associated with the hard sciences. We already have experience of cooperation with disciplines other than the social sciences (physicists, doctors, epidemiologists) and we know that they are essential for grasping the complexity of contemporary problems such as public health or the environment. 


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