Sociologist, Historian of Ideas, Research Engineer, Inserm
Economist by training
My current research is focused on comparing the dynamics of the divergent development of French and US thought on drugs and the forms of dependence associated with them. This comparative approach embraces a rather long time frame, going from the 1930s, a key period in the blossoming of “erudite” US thinking on these subjects, to the present times.
Whereas all French thought was organized, at the beginning of the twentieth century, around the concept of “mania” and its various misadventures (morphinomanie [morphine “mania”], cocaïnomanie [cocaine “mania”], héroïnomanie [heroin “mania”], éthéromanie [ether “mania”], etc.), fully in line with nineteenth-century thought in psychiatry on the various “manias,” US thought was built, for its part, on a basically different concept, the concept of “addiction,” which was forged in the late 1930s by the Chicago School of Sociology. These differences in nature and content of the basic concepts induced relatively incommensurable problematics and systems of belief (regarding the way of dealing with “abusive” uses of drugs) on either side of the Atlantic. We are currently focused on analyzing the ins and outs of these constituent divergences in the various fields of drug policy (care, social action, public policies).