I am an associate professor in political science at the University of Paris Nanterre. I am a member of the Institute for Social Sciences of Politics (ISP), and a junior member of the Institut Universitaire de France (IUF).
In 2021-2022, I am on research leave and based as Member with the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton.
My research and teaching come together around a fundamental concern about what we can learn from regions long considered at the margins of the world. I have written on political violence, France’s (post)colonial policy in Africa as well as biometrics. I have also worked on gender and armed conflicts as well as academic freedom.
In my first research, I studied armed violence and conflicts and established an agenda for thinking about the place of violence in both politics and society. Based on ethnographic fieldwork in Chad, my research shows why war is part of the modern, day-to-day framework of politics in Chad as well as in so many other countries around the world. I pay particular attention to the routine forms of violence that mark the “inter-war”, the times and spaces in which war seems to be suspended.
In my follow-up research, I have delved further into both the historical and transnational ramifications of armed violence in Chad and the Sahel. Exploring the role of the former colonial power, I point to an irony: seen from Chad, France has a violent and conflict-ridden history too.
My most recent work examines biometric voting in Africa. I investigate how biometrics has been designed and implemented, from the private companies to the voters in Africa. The deployment of biometric voting in Africa matters not only on its own terms, but also because the circulation of this commodified and technologically-framed conception of politics has troubling implications for democracy.
Beyond my daytime job, I am on the editorial board of Cultures & Conflits, an International Political Sociology journal published in Paris. I am also an editor at Afrique XXI, a French-speaking online media devoted to Africa.
I received my PhD in political science at Sciences Po Paris in 2009. Prior to my appointment at the University of Paris Nanterre, I was a Marie Curie post-doctoral fellow at the University of California, Berkeley. I am the recipient of the 2017 CNRS bronze medal.