Tag PhD dissertation

Tag PhD dissertation


Josselin Droff February 6, 2017 Tags: , , , News No comments
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In December 2016, Antoine Pietri defended his PhD dissertation entitled “Conflict economics in light of Contest Theory” at the Centre d’Économie de la Sorbonne (CES) of University Paris 1 Panthéon Sorbonne. He was awarded a PhD degree in Economics.

His PhD dissertation deals with how conflicts, violence and appropriation shape economic behaviors regarding transactions. In particular, it demonstrates that economics does not take sufficient account of the role of the use of force in individual and international relations.

More specifically, Antoine’s PhD dissertation consists of four research articles. In the first one, he offers a complete overview of the “Contest Theory” framework, which considers that agents face a trade-off between guns and butter. In other words, an agent can devote her resources either to appropriative activity (“guns”) or to productive activities (“butter”).

The second article deals with territorial expansions of empires. It shows that the more the population detains easily redeployable assets, the more merchant empires (such as the Venetian empire) dominate the other forms of empire.

The third chapter studies the motivation which can explain the existence of arms trade between enemies. It shows that if the seller has a higher productivity both in military and civilian technologies, there exists a mutually beneficial agreement, even if countries are enemies.

Last, in the fourth article, Antoine proposes to use virtual worlds in order to have a better understanding of real conflicts. Original data are collected from the video game EVE Online. The article attempts to determine key factors explaining victory on the battlefield among the ratio of forces of belligerents, the relative difference of forces, and the absolute difference. Empirical results seem to indicate that the ratio of forces committed to the battlefield by belligerents is the best predictor of a victory. Following this line of reasoning, new research projects will arise from the use of virtual worlds for conflict and defense questions.


Josselin Droff January 27, 2017 Tags: , , , News No comments
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In December 2016, Samuel Faure defended his PhD dissertation entitled “Varieties of decision. The dilemma of armament policy in Europe: The case of France from 1945 to nowadays” (in French) at the Centre de recherches internationales (CERI)  of Sciences Po, Paris. He was awarded a PhD degree in political science.
His dissertation analyzes decision-making within the French defense procurement sector from the end of the Second World to the present. The study examines the puzzle of three ‘varieties’ of decision evidenced within the armaments industry during this period. Each variety of decision is instantiated in a separate public sphere: national, regional and international.
Why has France made procurement decisions at the national level and collaborated with international actors, both in Europe and globally, to acquire war materiel? In response, a configurational model is presented that posits that the varying degree of social interdependence to be found within this sector generates different decision outcomes.
This explanatory model is developed at two levels. On a practical level, the establishment of a particular procurement ‘practice’ (autarky, cooperation or importation) conditions whether or not France acquires weapons at the national, regional or international level. On a general theoretical level, the type of ‘configuration’ (‘amalgamated’, ‘disembedded’ or ‘inclusive’) explains the formation of that practice. The configurational causal mechanism is not considered the independent explanatory variable of the three varieties of decision but rather an explanatory condition, among others.
To empirically test the validity of this explanatory mechanism, 161 semi-structured interviews were conducted and two methods are used: ‘practice tracing’, a type of process tracing, and a ‘most-similar’ case comparison of three separate acquisitions – the French combat aircraft Rafale, the multinational transportation aircraft A400M and the American Reaper drone.

Congratulations to Francesca Artioli, who has recently received her PhD in political science cum laude

Josselin Droff March 3, 2015 Tags: , , , , Uncategorized No comments

In December 2014, Francesca Artioli defended her PhD dissertation entitled “The army, the city and the State. Military retrenchment, urban policies and the transformations of territorial integration in France and Italy” (in French) at the Centre d’Etudes Européennes (CEE) of Sciences Po, Paris. She was awarded a PhD degree “summa cum laude” in political science.

Her dissertation deals with issues regarding public policies and territorial differentiation that have risen as a result of three contemporary phenomena: sectorial structural adjustments and their corresponding territorial impacts; the rescaling of political authority; and the emergence of a variety of local governance models. It analyses the evolution of six cities historically modelled by defense policy, in light of recent defense policy reforms and the rise in local government competencies.

It demonstrates the need to analyze locally-specific forms of national and local public intervention and their reciprocal interactions to understand urban and social evolutions. It develops a framework inspired by historical sociology of the State that conceptualizes the links between public policy and territorial structuring and integration.

On one hand, territorial retrenchment of defense policy varies across cities, as a result of negotiations between central defense and financial administrations and increasing local government lobbying of the central State. On the other hand, it illustrates the varying degrees to which local governments are capable of organizing and managing public intervention and can transform spaces which are historically structured by the State. This capacity hinges upon the nature of urban political agendas; the existing means of institutionalized collective action; as well as upon the ways in which the State operates in cities. Francesca’s dissertation helps redefine central/local relations in the context of decentralization and budgetary constraints.

Francesca Artioli is currently a junior lecturer at the Institut d’Etudes Politiques of Bordeaux and an associate researcher at the CEE.

Congratulations to Vincent Boulanin, who has just received his PhD in defense studies cum laude

Defense & Realms October 21, 2014 Tags: , , , , News No comments

On October 7th, 2014, Vincent Boulanin defended his PhD dissertation entitled From Defense to Security, Economic and political issues of the diversification of European armament firms in the field of security (in French) at the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales, Paris. He was awarded a PhD degree “summa cum laude” in defense studies.

Vincent Boulanin is a researcher at SIPRI, Stockholm. He works on issues related to the production, use and control of emerging military and security technologies, notably cybersecurity and cyberwarfare.

His dissertation deals with the geopolitical causes, economic aspects and political consequences of the diversification of the European arms industry into the realm of security. The objective was to study the so-called “defense-security continuum” at the industry level.

His thesis is that arms producers are not only reacting to a growing demand for security goods and services. They actively take part in the definition and implementation of security policies to the extent that they can shape public demand for the latter. The argument is based on an original approach that combines the empiricism of the arms production literature with the reflexivity of the constructivist literature on security policies in International Relations.

Section I explains why arms producers had to diversify into the security realm to cope with the post-9/11 order. They had to find new growth drivers and they had to reinvent their legitimacy in a context where the landmarks of the defense community were eroding.

Section II presents empirical evidence of such diversification and analyzes to what extent this is a complex phenomenon that cannot be analyzed only through the opposition civil/military.

Section III consists of two cases studies on border security and cyber-security. Both show how arms produced have expanded their influence on the definition and implementation of public security policies.