loading page

Chargement en cours...

Welcome !

I have joined the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies in January 2014. Here in Geneva, I conduct research on the role of law in the process of globalization. I adopt a sociological perspective to understand the production and use of legal texts and their interpretation; and to explain how expert knowledge is mobilized in academic and policy fields.

My research field sites include places where I can study the production of nuclear governance, both at the global level, as well as regional levels (in Europe or in the Middle East in particular). I also study the production of legal artifacts used to regulate capital flows and international trade, which I study in a historical perspective. I have also conducted ethnographic research on literary interpretation as well as research evaluation.

I am particularly interested in advising PhD students who work in the following fields: sociology of knowledge and culture; political sociology (with a focus on the role of experts and bureaucrats in colonial and post-colonial states); law and society (with a focus on transnational and international legal regimes).

I speak fluently French and English and can also read/speak Spanish and Italian.

Bombs, Banks, Sanctions

Ongoing Project: ERC Starting Grant PROSANCT (2017-2022)

As the critical sanctions against Iran’s nuclear program demonstrate, the implementation of sanctions (SANCT) against nuclear proliferators (PRO) has lead to the creation of a global system of surveillance of the financial dealings of all states, banks and individuals, fostered by the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolutions. This is a new and unprecedented development in transnational governance. This research will apply a sociological perspective to the study of this new “transnational legal order” by analyzing how new actors, institutions and legal technologies shape the processes of norm-creation and rules-implementation in the field of nuclear nonproliferation. PROSANCT asks: How have the social characteristics of the actors in charge of designing and implementing sanctions influenced the creation of new norms in the field of nonproliferation? Which legal technologies and which discursive practices have these new actors developed to impose their authority and their legitimacy on the regulation of global financial transactions? Answering these questions will generate a better understanding of key processes in global governance: 1) the increasing role of the UNSC as a global legislator through top-down processes of norms diffusion; 2) the “financialization” of global regulation, with the increasing role played by international financial institutions, which were historically foreign to the field of nuclear nonproliferation; and 3) the “judicialization” of the enforcement of sanctions, and the associated reconfiguration of relations between executive and judicial authorities in charge of punishing nuclear proliferators and sanctions-evaders at the domestic level. To study these legal processes in various contexts (the United States and Europe), PROSANCT applies a multi-methods approach that combines interview-based methods with politicians, high-level bureaucrats and diplomats, and experts, and archival research.

Read an interview here

Related articles and book chapters

Governing Proliferation Finance: Multilateralism, Transgovernmentalism and Hegemony in the Case of Sanctions Against Iran. 2017. Oxford Handbook on International Economic Governance, edited by Eric Brousseau, Jean-Michel Glachant and Jérôme Sgard. Oxford University Press.

Team Members

Post-doctoral Student : Anna Hanson (2017-2019)

Post-doctorant : Farzan Sabet

NPT/EU Nuclear Regime Complex

This decade-long project looks at the question of “global legal pluralism” in the context of nonproliferation, or how a plurality of legal regimes can coexist in harmony rather than with multiplying tensions and double standards.


Fallout: Nuclear Diplomacy in an Age of Global Fracture (University of Chicago Press, 2014)

In Fallout, Mallard looks at Europe’s observance of treaty rules in contrast to the three holdouts in the global nonproliferation regime: Israel, India, and Pakistan. He makes the compelling case that who wrote the nonproliferation and nuclear trade treaties and how the rules were written—whether transparently, ambiguously, or opaquely—had major significance in how the rules were interpreted and whether they were then followed or dismissed as regimes changed. In honing in on this important piece of the story, Mallard not only provides a new perspective on our diplomatic history, but, more significantly, draws important conclusions about potential conditions that could facilitate the inclusion of the remaining NPT holdouts. Fallout is an important and timely book sure to be of interest to policy makers, activists, and concerned citizens alike.

Read the table of contents and introduction

Read an interview in French about Fallout

Read the debate about Fallout in Trajectories with contributions by: Julia Adams (Yale), Ron Levi (Toronto), Nitsan Chorev (Brown), Antoine Vauchez (Sorbonne) and a response by Grégoire Mallard

Read the review by Bruno Tertrais (FRS) in Survival

Read the review by Patrick Roberts (Virginia Tech) in Political Science Quarterly

Read the review by Matthew Kroenig in the American Journal of Sociology

Read the review by Florent Pouponneau in Sociologie du Travail

Read the review by Ariel Colonomis in Critique international

Related articles and book chapters

Antagonistic Recursivities and Successive Cover-Ups: The Case of Private Nuclear Proliferation. Under review at the British Journal of Sociology.

Rules and Monitoring Systems: Complementary or Conflicting Logics? 2017. American Journal of International Law, Unbound.

Crafting the Nuclear Regime Complex: Dynamics of Harmonization of Opaque Treaty Rules (European Journal of International Law, 2014)

Legal Mimetism or Legal Mimesis? Conceptual and Methodological Reflections on the Study of Norm Diffusion. (with Stéphanie Hofmann, 2016) Pp. 89-103, in Vincent Negri and Isabelle Schulte-Tenckhoff,Dissémination et mimétisme en droit international : un regard anthropologique sur la formation des normes,Paris: Editions Pedone.

The Fractal Process of European Integration: A Formal Theory of Recursivity in the Field of European Security (with Martial Foucault, French Politics, Culture and Society, 2011)

L’Europe puissance nucléaire, cet obscur objet du désir (Critique internationale, 2009)

Related book reviews and shorter essays

The Europeanization of European Defense Policy, by Frédéric Mérand (Critique internationale, 2009)

Le retour de la France dans l’OTAN servira-t-il le Canada? (with Frédéric Mérand, Le Devoir, 2009)

France’s return to NATO: what should be Europe’s strategy ? (with Frédéric Mérand, Canada-Europe cluster paper, 2009)

Nation-building and 20th Century Science

More generally, my research also compares how nuclear scientists intervened in debates about national sovereignty and global governance with how other scientists (climatologists, economists, chemists, biologists) intervened in these same debates.

Edited Book

Global Science and National Sovereignty: Studies in the Historical Sociology of Science (co-edited with Catherine Paradeise and Ashveen Peerbaye, Routledge, 2008)

This book provides detailed case studies on how sovereignty has been constructed, reaffirmed, and transformed in the Twentieth century by the construction of scientific disciplines, knowledge practices, and research objects. Interrogating the relationship of the sovereign power of the nation state to the scientist's expert knowledge as a legitimating-and sometimes challenging--force in contemporary society, this book provides a staggering range of case studies in its exploration of how different types of science have transformed our understanding of national sovereignty in the last century. From biochemical sciences in Russia, to nuclear science in the US and Europe, from economics in South Asia, to climatology in South America, each chapter demonstrates the role that scientists play in the creation of nation-states and international organizations. With an array of experts and scholars, the essays in Global Science and National Sovereignty: Studies in Historical Sociology of Science offer a complete redefinition of the modern concept of sovereignty and an illuminating reassessment of the role of science in political life.

Table of contents

Global Science and National Sovereignty: Studies in the Historical Sociology of Science (with Catherine Paradeise and Ashveen Peerbaye, Routledge, 2008)

Who Shall Keep Humanity's 'Sacred Trust'? International Liberals, Cosmopolitans and Nuclear Nonproliferation (in Global science and national sovereignty, Routledge, 2008)

Related special issue:

Science et Souverainetés: Les sciences au-delà de l’Etat-nation (coedited with Catherine Paradeise and Ashveen Peerbaye, Sociologie du travail, 2006)

Science et Souverainetés (with Catherine Paradeise and Ashveen Peerbaye, Sociologie du travail, 2006)

Quand l’expertise se heurte au pouvoir souverain: La nation américaine face à la prolifération nucléaire (Sociologie du travail, 2006)

Related Article

Studying the Tensions between Imaginary Spaces and Concrete Places: The Method of Paired Biographies Applied to Scientists’ Laboratory Lives (Historical Sociological Research, 2014)

Related book reviews

The Radiance of France, by Gabrielle Hecht (Metascience, 2010)

L’engendrement des choses, by Danièle Chabaud-Richter and Delphine Gardey (Les cahiers du genre, 2003)

La genèse des droits de l’homme, by Mikael Madsen (Critique internationale, 2013)

Science for the Empire, by Hiromi Mizuno (Canadian Journal of Sociology, 2009)

The Anthropology of the Gift


Sovereign Exchanges: Gifts, Trusts, Reparations and Other Fetishes of International Solidarity (in preparation)

Gifts, trusts, concessions and reparations tie together nations and other sovereign entities—or do they? Does their circulation follow a different logic than that of the pure rationality of the market? Since Marcel Mauss published his foundational essay “The Gift” in 1925, anthropologists have seen in such exchanges fetishes of international solidarity: their circulation makes manifest how alliances between sovereign entities are formed or disentangled. But Mauss’s reflections on the origins of international solidarity, as this book demonstrates, were deeply tied to the context of war-torn Europe, the colonial expansion of the French empire and the meddling of the League of Nations in North-South relations. Thus, a century after Mauss, what is the continued relevance of his ideas on international solidarity and sovereign exchanges?
This book reflects upon the ways in which the anthropology of gift exchanges founded by Mauss has participated in ideological and discursive debates about sovereignty and international relations in the twentieth century, in the context of Europe’s colonial expansion and retraction. This book not only traces the genealogy of a concept; it also shows how Mauss’s analysis of the gift has provided a normative solution to the problem of international order more generally. By tracing how Mauss’s anthropology of the gift inspired some of his students, like Jacques Soustelle or Pierre Bourdieu, to rethink the future of North-South relations in a post-colonial context, it explains how the anthropology of gift exchanges gave a scientific basis to both defenders and critics of the European colonial mission in a globalizing world. In so doing, this book adds a building block to our comprehension of the role played by various disciplines (anthropology, international law, economics) to the shaping of discourses and governmental practices associated with the rise of European solidarity, the end of colonialism, and the beginning of globalization.

Related Articles

The Gift as Colonial Ideology: Marcel Mauss and the “Solidarist” Colonial Policy in the Interwar Period. Under review at the Journal of International Political Theory.

The Gift Revisited: Marcel Mauss on War, Debt and the Politics of Reparations (Sociological Theory, 2011)

From Colonialism to Globalization: The Changing Regulation of Trade and Finance

Edited Book

Contractual Knowledge: One Hundred Years of Legal Experimentation in Global Markets (coedited with Jérôme Sgard, Cambridge University Press, 2016)

Contractual Knowledge extends the scholarship of law and globalization in two important directions. First, it provides a unique genealogy of global economic governance by explaining the transition from English law to one where global exchanges are primarily governed by international, multilateral, and finally, transnational legal orders. Second, rather than focusing exclusively on macro-political organizations, like the League of Nations, or the International Monetary Fund, the book examines elements of contracts, including how and by whom they were designed and exactly who (experts, courts, arbitrators, and international organizations) interpreted, upheld, and established the legal validity of these contracts. By exploring such micro-level aspects of market exchanges, this collection unveils the contractual knowledge that led to the globalization of markets over the last century.

Table of contents

Contractual Knowledge: One Hundred Years of Legal Experimentation in Global Markets. (2016, with Jérôme Sgard. Pp. 1-60 in Grégoire Mallard and Jérôme Sgard (ed.). Contractual Knowledge: One Hundred Years of Legal Experimentation in Global Markets. New York: Cambridge University Press.

The Duty to Repair in Practice: The Hundred Years History of a Legal Concept. (2016, with Ariel Colonomos) pp. 215-248 in Grégoire Mallard and Jérôme Sgard (ed.). Contractual Knowledge: One Hundred Years of Legal Experimentation in Global Markets. New York: Cambridge University Press.

Related Articles

From Risk Models to Loan Contracts: Austerity as the Continuation of Calculation by Other Means (with Pierre Pénet, Journal of Critical Globalization Studies, 2014)

Shorter essays and book reviews

Rationalizing Capitalist Democracies, by S.M. Amadae (Critique internationale, 2005)

Certifying Social Scientific Knowledge: Epistemic and Moral Underpinnings of Peer Review

This research stream conducted in collaboration with Michèle Lamont and Joshua Guetzkow, examined how social scientists certify future knowledge claims in a context of epistemic diversity. It investigates in particular how research proposals are evaluated in US funding agencies.


Fairness as Appropriateness: Managing Epistemological Differences in Peer Review (with Michèle Lamont and Joshua Guetzkow, Science, Technology and Human Values, 2009)

Evaluating Creative Minds: The Assessment of Originality in Peer Review (with Michèle Lamont, Joshua Guetzkow, Marcel Fournier and Roxane Bernier, in Knowledge, Communication and Creativity, Russell Sage, 2007)

What is Originality in the Social Sciences and the Humanities? (with Michèle Lamont and Joshua Guetzkow, American Sociological Review, 2004)

Beyond Blind Faith: Overcoming the Obstacles to Interdisciplinary Evaluation (with Michèle Lamont and Joshua Guetzkow, Research Evaluation, 2006)

Related article

Interpreters of the Literary Canon and their Technical Instruments: The Case of Balzac Criticism (American Sociological Review, 2005)

Related reports and short essays

Peer Review in International Perspective (with Michèle Lamont, Social Science and Humanities Research Council, 2005)

Pour une évaluation transparente et collégiale (with Martial Foucault, Eléonore Lépinard and Vincent Lepinay, Le Monde, 2009)

Pour des universités plus justes (with Martial Foucault, Eléonore Lépinard and Vincent Lepinay, La Vie des Idées, 2009)

La réforme ignore les prépas (with Eléonore Lépinard, Libération, 2007)

Law Professions/Gender

Important transformations are changing the face of the legal professions and the legal careers in Western liberal states. Legal services to corporate clients appear to be increasingly globalized, with an impact on career opportunities. Simultaneously, a growing number of women are studying law, passing the Bar exam, and starting legal careers.

How significant is transnational mobility for the career track ? What are the biographical “turning points” for male and female lawyers in such professional contexts ? When and how do career differentiate from one another?

Post-doctoral student, Isabel Boni-Le Goff

This project, funded by the Fond National Suisse (2015-2018), analyzes the effects of the changing conditions of work in law firms in France, Switzerland and Germany on the subjective perceptions that young lawyers entertain toward their labor.

Grégoire Mallard, with Isabel Boni-Le Goff, Elénore Lépinard, and Nicky Le Feuvre. In Preparation. “A Case of Love and Hate: The Four Faces of Alienation Among Young French and Swiss Lawyers.” To be submitted in the summer 2017 to Work, Employment and Society.

Grégoire Mallard, with Isabel Boni-Le Goff, Elénore Lépinard, and Nicky Le Feuvre. In Preparation. “Powerlessness, Unfairness and Conflict: Explaining Three Ways of Experiencing Alienation in European Legal Professions.” To be submitted in the Fall 2017 to The Law and Society Review.

Policy Experiment: Establishing a WMD Free Zone in the Middle East

This project assembles a varied range of scholars, diplomats, and EU officials involved in a collective foresight exercise meant to identify key vulnerabilities in present proposals to establish a WMD Free Zone in the Middle East. Among the outcomes, I lead the writing process of a draft treaty that could help policymakers compare their own proposal with the projected Middle East Future collectively discussed.

Main texts and presentations

Model Treaty Establishing a Community of Atomic Energy in the Middle East: A Proposal with comments (background paper, European University Institute, 2012)

Workshop EUI 2012

Workshop EUI 2013

Executive Training EUI 2013

Related Research Policy Papers

The Middle East at a Cross-Roads: How to Address the Perils of Nuclear Development in a Volatile Region (with Paolo Foradori, Global Governance, 2014)

Click here to read the other papers in the “special issue” that I co-edited with Paolo Foradori on the topic, which includes articles by Hossein Mousavian and Mohamed Shaker

Dissuasion, Non-Prolifération, Désarmement: Une stratégie pour l’Europe (with Frédéric Mérand, in Armement et Désarmament nucléaires, Peter Lang, 2011)

Can the Euratom Treaty Inspire the Middle East? The Promises of Regional Nuclear Authorities (The Nonproliferation Review, 2008)

You can also find related papers reflecting on the process of drawing historical analogies in the section on predictive practices

Shorter essays:

Arab states need a regional constitutional order (Christian Science Monitor, 2011)

Exporter du nucléaire, une décision politique (Le Monde, 2007)

Policy Experiment: Using Constitutional Law and Knowledge of Party Politics to Forecast More Democratic Futures in the EU

This project assembles a wide variety of scholars (specialists of European party politics, EU integration and constitutional law scholars) and policymakers from the EU to analyze what the establishment of a European Election Day would change in the electoral life of European nations.

First Workshop Agenda

Related shorter essays

Making Things Public, by Bruno Latour (Contexts, 2006)

La fabrique du droit, by Bruno Latour (Terrain et travaux, 2004)

Policy Collaboration on Global Governance: The International Panel on Social Progress

The International Panel on Social Progress seeks to harness the competence of hundreds of experts about social issues and will deliver a report addressed to all social actors, movements, organizations, politicians and decision-makers, in order to provide them with the best expertise on questions that bear on social change. Together with Gopalan Balachandran, I have lead the collective writing process of its chapter on Global Governance.

Gopalan Balachandran and Grégoire Mallard, with Olufunmilayo Arewa, Lucio Baccaro, Tim Büthe, Andrea Nightingale, Pierre Pénet, Dominique Pestre, Anthea Roberts. 2017. “Governing Capital, Labor and Nature in a Changing World.” Chapter 12 of the Report of the International Panel on Social Progress. Cambridge : Cambridge University Press.

A draft report was published in June 2016


ANSO 37: Research Design and Proposal Writing in the Social Sciences

This course is a class on the art of research design in the social sciences. Students will learn how to relate observations drawn from fieldwork (observation, interview, archives and experiment) with theory. In addition, students will learn various comparative research designs. Students are encouraged to come to class with a research idea in mind, or better, a draft of a research proposal. Throughout the class, students will write small assignments that will allow them to produce a research proposal by the end of the class. Besides, students will learn to better assess truth claims in the social sciences.

ANSO 43: Cultural and Social Theory: Advanced Class

This course pursues two inter-related goals: to help students theoretically construct a problem of sociological and/or anthropological importance; to help students reflect upon social scientific practice by analyzing its relationship with non-academic discourses. The course is thus geared toward helping students write a literature review in which they highlight the deep theoretical issues at stake in socio-anthropological studies of development and globalization. It is also designed with the ambition to help students master the most recent attempts by post-structuralist, feminist and constructivist theorists to re-define the positionality of the researcher and of social scientific discourse within the broader social and political discursive fields. Such reflections are key to build upon social theory and critically engage with contemporary analyses of globalization. In doing so, students will be encouraged not only to discuss core concepts in the abstract, but also to explore the extent to which they can participate in theoretical debates that go beyond the mere description of empirical realities.

ANSO 36: Cultures of Expertise

Experts are a dominant force in our societies. In the last century, they even carved a place for themselves in transnational politics, a realm traditionally left to the power struggles of nation-states and empires. In this course, we will take experts, their epistemic cultures and their influence on both transnational policies and domestic societies as our focus. We will ask the following questions: How do experts construct facts? How do they distinguish themselves from non-experts? How do experts participate in democratic decision-making? How do they influence transnational policies? We will learn about different cultures of expertise in colonial times, the Cold War and the “new globalization” era; topics will range from the role of experts in the management of colonial subjects, international security dilemmas, the creation and regulation of financial markets, health policies, etc. Rather than privileging one perspective on cultures of expertise, the course will draw on theoretical works from sociology, history, anthropology, and science and technology studies. Students will be encouraged to develop an original approach to the topic and to illustrate their approach by researching a case of interest to them

Master of International Affairs 066: Sociology of International Cooperation

This course examines how global threats to human security (from pandemics and climate change to nuclear proliferation, terrorism, and financial crises) are constructed in a way that makes them amenable to become the object of efficient threat limitation and eradication policies (either domestic or transnational ones). The first goal of the course is thus to understand how legal artifacts and expert knowledge practices participate in defining the nature of such global threats; in shaping their being perceived as a threat to the very survival of states and populations; as well as buttressing the legitimacy of international efforts aimed at countering these threats. The second goal is to explain how the regimes of expert and legal knowledge, by which such threats are managed, question the established liberal principles of government as well as embody new articulations between citizens and states, supra-national commissions and courts. This is especially salient when the new powers established to administer the response to such threats claim emergency powers. The third goal of the course is to help students develop a reflection on the possible ways to constitutionalize the new world (dis-)order that emerges from these various threat eradication regimes.

SOC 476: Law and Globalization

This course focuses on various socio-historical approaches to law, with a specific focus on the role that law plays in contemporary modes of global governance, e.g. a new transnational set of rules associated with new sources of authority, which go beyond the forms of state authority that are traditionally called upon to interpret and enforce these rules. Topics range from the protection of the rule of law and human rights to the regulation of collapsing financial markets. Periods range from colonial times, to the Cold War and the “new globalization” era. We will survey different disciplinary approaches to the topic, from history, political science, anthropology and sociology. Students will be encouraged to develop an original approach to the topic and to illustrate their approach by researching cases of interest to them