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PhD in political science and/or sociology (M / F)

This offer is available in the following languages:
Français - Anglais

Date Limite Candidature : vendredi 25 juin 2021

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General information

Reference : UMR8085-CARBOU-001
Workplace : GUYANCOURT
Date of publication : Friday, June 4, 2021
Scientific Responsible name : Patrick HASSENTEUFEL (Université Paris-Saclay-UVSQ)
Type of Contract : PhD Student contract / Thesis offer
Contract Period : 36 months
Start date of the thesis : 1 October 2021
Proportion of work : Full time
Remuneration : 2 135,00 € gross monthly

Description of the thesis topic

Title : Scientific expertise and decision in health policies in a crisis context (France-Germany-European Union)

The thesis project focuses on a comparative Franco-German analysis of the role of institutionalized scientific expertise in public health policy decisions. Since the 1990s, public institutions of scientific expertise in the field of health have multiplied. These institutions provide support for public decision making, in particular on issues such as the fight against epidemics, the validation of pharmaceutical products and medical devices, the definition and organization of "good practices" in health care, the quality of environmental health, etc. In France, these institutions have taken the form of agencies (Haute Autorité de Santé, ANSES, ANSM, Santé Publique France, etc.) and councils (Haut Conseil de Santé Publique and, more recently, the COVID-19 Scientific Council, established in March 2020). In Germany, scientific institutes (in particular IQWIG and IQTIG) and expert committees (Sachverständigenrat zur Begutachtung der Entwicklung im Gesundheitswesen) have also been created in recent decades. However, older scientific institutions still play an important role, such as the Robert Koch Institute, which dates back to the end of the 19th century and is now at the forefront of disease control and public health.
While a number of studies have focused on the creation of these new bodies of scientific expertise in health, as well as on the way they are organized and operate (for France, see in particular Benamouzig, Besançon, 2005; Benoît 2020), this project focuses more on the ways in which expertise and decision making have been articulated (and/or disarticulated) in health, mainly over the last two decades. It is part of a triple sociological perspective:
- a sociology of public action perspective, which focuses on the interactions between scientific actors, administrative actors and political actors in the context of the formulation and adoption of public decisions;
- a sociology of expertise perspective aiming at analyzing the composition of these bodies from the profiles of their members (professional trajectories and inclusion in scientific, interpersonal and political networks);
- a sociology of science perspective on the types of scientific knowledge mobilized, on the methods of production of this knowledge within the framework of these institutions of scientific expertise, as well as on the content and type of opinions published by these institutions.

The proposed Franco-German comparison has a triple objective:
1. To reveal and explain the differences and the commonalities in the impact of scientific advice on decision-making, based on comparable issues (knowing that the two countries have health systems with strong similarities but marked differences in terms of political systems).
2. To take into account the international and transnational dimensions of the processes at stake, by focusing on the interactions between the scientific expertise institutions of the two countries, and more broadly on the globalized exchanges in which their activities take place.
3. To take an interest in the dynamics of Europeanization at work in these two countries, members of the European Union, in particular the links with the European health agencies (ECDC and EMA) which also have a role of scientific expertise, in a current context of reinforcement of the Europe of health.

Work Context

Location: Laboratoire Printemps (Guyancourt, France) and Centre Marc Bloch (Berlin, Germany).

The doctoral student will be enrolled in the Social Sciences and Humanities doctoral school (Université Paris-Saclay) in political science or sociology, and will be attached to the Printemps laboratory (UMR 8085), in connection with two of the laboratory's axes: sociology of public action and sociology of science.
Co-supervision will be provided by Patrick Hassenteufel (professor of political science, UVSQ) and Morgan Jouvenet (HDR research fellow, CNRS).
The thesis is part of a cooperation with the Marc Bloch Center, where work is currently being developed on the role of expertise in the context of "multiple crises". Funding for research stays in Germany and at European institutions can be requested from the Graduate School of Sociology and Political Science at the University of Paris-Saclay and from the Ile-de-France region (mobility grants). In addition, the themes of this thesis will be used to respond to international calls for projects that allow for the financing of research stays abroad.

Constraints and risks

To be expected:
- Stays in Berlin, at the Marc Bloch Center, which will host the PhD student to facilitate his/her work on the German component.
- Trips elsewhere in Germany and to cities hosting European institutions, in order to conduct interviews.

Additional Information

Expected skills:
The candidate should have a master's degree in social sciences (preferably political science and/or sociology) with a research dimension and/or experiences (internship) related to the thesis topic. The position requires knowledge in sociology of public action, sociology of science and sociology of health, as well as an understanding (at least passive) of German (for the field) and good oral and written communication skills (in French and English) to present papers and write articles in scientific journals. The doctoral student will have to demonstrate autonomy, in particular to connect the French and German parts of the field. In addition, the candidate should be able to work in a team on multidisciplinary projects.

Applications should include a detailed CV, a letter of motivation, a summary of the Master's thesis or internship report, and the Master's grades.

The deadline for applications is 02/07/2021.

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