Insight
is our reward

Publications in Social Sciences by NOMIS researchers

NOMIS Researcher(s)

January 5, 2024

Anthropologue et médecin, Didier Fassin est professeur au Collège de France, titulaire de la chaire Questions morales et enjeux politiques dans les sociétés contemporaines, et directeur d’études à l’EHESS. Anne-Claire Defossez est sociologue, chercheure à l’Institute for Advanced Study de Princeton.

Fuyant les violences politiques, les persécutions religieuses ou la pauvreté, des hommes, des femmes, des enfants d’Afghanistan, d’Iran, du Maghreb et d’Afrique subsaharienne, se mettent en route pour des voyages de plusieurs années au cours desquels ils affrontent les rackets des bandes armées, les brutalités des polices, les camps d’enfermement, les murs de barbelés, les rigueurs du désert, les périls de la mer. Beaucoup y perdent la vie.
Cinq années durant, été comme hiver, Didier Fassin et Anne-Claire Defossez ont mené une recherche à la frontière entre l’Italie et la France, dans les Alpes, auprès de nombre de ces exilés, pour reconstituer leur périple en l’inscrivant dans le contexte géopolitique des bouleversements du monde. Ils ont pris part aux activités menées pour leur porter assistance. Ils ont rencontré les multiples acteurs de ce territoire de migrations millénaires.
Leur enquête donne ainsi à comprendre l’expérience des exilés, l’engagement des volontaires et même le désarroi des forces de l’ordre, conscientes de la vanité de leur mission. Elle dévoile l’inefficacité d’une militarisation de la frontière qui rend plus dangereuse la traversée de la montagne et d’une politique qui nie les droits de personnes en quête de protection.

Research field(s)
Social Sciences

NOMIS Researcher(s)

November 15, 2023

Social connections are an important means for people to cope with adversity and illness. Thus, technologies, such as social network analysis, that can leverage close, face-to-face social networks could help optimize healthcare interventions and reduce healthcare-related costs, particularly in low-resource settings.

Research field(s)
Social Sciences

NOMIS Researcher(s)

Published in

October 7, 2023

The 21st century has seen displacement of migrants and refugees unprecedented since World War 2. As of the end of 2022, of the 108 million people who had to leave their homes because of persecution, conflict, violence, or human rights violations, 62·5 million were internally displaced, 35·3 million were refugees, and 5·4 million were officially asylum seekers.

However, the number of people still in transit in search of protection or a better life is unknown. Whether they are Venezuelans trying to reach the USA, Senegalese trying to reach the Canary Islands, or Ethiopians trying to reach Saudi Arabia, or whether they are Guineans crossing the Sahara, Afghans crossing the Evros River, or Rohingyas crossing the Andaman Sea, the only figures that we have about these people are the conservative statistics produced by the International Organization for Migration of the number of deaths worldwide: 58 280 in 10 years.

But what about those who survived? In Europe, an indirect source is the number of asylum seekers, since most people arriving after forcible displacement apply for refugee status. In 2022, not counting Ukrainians who were granted temporary protection, there were 881 000 people seeking asylum, mostly from Syria, Afghanistan, Venezuela, and Türkiye.

This means at least an equivalent number of people travelled from their home country to their host country in the previous months or years. Yet, we know little of the journey of this approximately 1 million displaced people.

Research field(s)
Social Sciences

NOMIS Researcher(s)

Published in

August 7, 2020

The concept of moral economy stems from two theoretical traditions: that of E. P. Thompson, which corresponds to the norms and obligations involved in traditional economies, and has nourished the works of social historians and political anthropologists; and that of Lorraine Daston, which characterizes the values and affects regulating the activity of a given group in a given time, and has inspired historians and anthropologists of science. This essay offers a third reading attempting to reconnect these irreconcilable approaches by considering a moral economy as the production, circulation, appropriation, and confrontation of values and affects with regard to a significant social object, such as immigration or punishment, rather than to a social group. This new approach allows us to address some of the issues raised by R. H. Tawney’s analysis of religion and by Marcel Mauss’s interpretation of the gift. Particular examples are drawn from the capitalist devaluation of human lives and the humanitarian asymmetrical relation of obligation.

Research field(s)
Social Sciences