Research Associates

Pierre France

Research Associate

Phone: +961 (0)1 359240


Pierre joined the Orient Institut in 2020 as a Research Associate. A Ph.D candidate (defense in waiting) in Political Science at Paris 1 Sorbonne University, his doctoral research focuses on the process of a the Lebanese state survival throughout the Lebanese war (1975-1990). It led him to study the Lebanese state in its material and human forms, with a specific attention to several public institutions' and their civil servants' histories. This research resulted also in a broad revisit of the Lebanese war based on comparative and historical sociology. Aside of his Ph.D, Pierre co-wrote a book with Prof. Antoine Vauchez in 2017, to be published in a revised english edition in 2021 (Cornell) on the phenomenon of top french civil servants becoming lawyers, a contribution to the study of the blurrying lines between public and private social spheres in contemporary France. He has been also a full time Junior Lecturer in Political Science at Sciences Po Aix (2016-2018).

Pierre's main research project at the OIB, "Fictio Statis. Unreliable numbers, Private Statistics and Economists’ careers in Lebanon (1950-1990)" aims at unfolding the question of numbers in Lebanon, from the mandate to the contemporary period. Along different periods, this project embraces the study of main figures' providers whether public or private, national or international, but also militant, tackling their interplay, cross-dependencies and conflicts, and questionning the effect of this specific market/field on the type of professional careers od Lebanese/Arab statisticians and economists.

He will also carry on working on other various projects about music in Lebanon and the Arab world, for which he has been recently invited at the Camargo Foundation (Cassis, France) as Core Program Fellow in 2020, for a joint project on audio cassettes and heritage. At the Orient Institut, Pierre will especially work on a new project grounded into digital humanities, dataviz and cartography entitled "Mapping Music in The Arab World". 

Fictio Statis (Pierre France)

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  • (with Antoine Vauchez) Sphère publique, intérêts privés, le grand brouillage [public sphere, private interests, the great blunder], Paris, Presses de Science-Po, 2017. Translation to be published in a revised and expanded edition in January 2021 (Cornell, Corpus Juris)


  • Arkan ad dawlé, Directeurs généraux, bureaucratie et survie de l’État pendant la guerre civile. [Pillars of the State. Officers, top civil servants, and why they kept working during the Lebanese Civil War], Confluences Méditerranée, 2020

  • L’invention de la figure du gouverneur et d’une banque « publique » : la Banque du Liban pendant la guerre civile [How a public figure of Central Bank and its governor was invented during the civil war in Lebanon], Legal Agenda, 2020

  • Des Ors de la République et de la main invisible des milices. La banque centrale libanaise pendant la guerre civile [militias' invisible hands. The lebanese central bank during the civil war], in Grajales Jacobo (dir.), Ancrés dans le danger ? États, autorité et gestion de la violence [Grounded in danger ? States, authority and the management of violence], Karthala, 2019

  • Deux guerres lasses. Entre le Liban et la Syrie, quelques pistes sur l’écriture des « guerres civiles [War weary works: about an emergent “Weak field,” narrative approaches, and the long term in the writing on the civil wars in Syria and Lebanon], Revue Internationale de Politique Comparée, 2018

  • Stream Poker, Orient XXI. 2020. Why Streaming Hasn’t Overtu(r)ned Music in the Arab World. Not Yet (1) & Towards a new Arabic Pop ? (2) [french and english], June 2020.

  • Archives sauvages et bootlegers des musiques arabes. Les formes du patrimoine musical arabe sur le web, 2000-2018 [Bootleg archives of arabic music. The rise of a digital network around arabic music (2000-2018)], Annales d'Islamologie, 2019

  • Méfiance avec le soupçon ? Vers une étude du complot(isme) en sciences sociales [Distrust in suspicions? Towards a study of "conspiracism" through social sciences], Champ pénal/Penal field, 2019, n°17

  • [w/ Alessio Motta] En un combat douteux. Engagement en ligne, complotisme et disqualification médiatique, le cas de l’association ReOpen911 [In Dubious Battle. Online activism, « conspiracism » and disqualification in the media: the French ReOpen911 organization case], Quaderni, n°94, 2017, pp 13-29


  • Interview for AFP, 17 November 2020, online.

  • Interview for Challenges, February 2020, online.


  • “State at Work: a Sociology” (thesis presentation) at the IREMAM research seminar, 17 September 2020, Aix-en-Provence.

  • “How to re-think the Lebanese Civil War”, IFPO, 21 February 2020, Beirut.

  • “The Lebanese Central Bank during the Civil War”, Rendez-vous de l’IFPO, Beit Beirut, 19 February 2020, Beirut.

  • “Bootleg Heritage of Arab Music: amateurs' digitization websites and practices (2000-2019)”, at the conference “Recollecting a Shared Polyphony: Popular Culture, Media Technologies and Heritagization of Music across the Mediterranean”, Forum Transregionale Studien, 23–24 January 2020, Berlin.