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Dr Sarah Perret

Dr Sarah Perret

  • Academics

Research Associate

Research subject areas

  • International relations
  • Politics
  • Policy
  • Security

Contact details


Sarah Perret is Research Associate at the Department of War Studies working on the ERC Project led by Pr. Claudia Aradau: ‘SECURITY FLOWS: Enacting border security in the digital age: Political lives of data forms, flows and frictions.’ This research project focuses on data collection, circulation and interoperability for border security in the EU, and aims to propose an innovative theorisation of the epistemic impacts of datafication as generating both learning and ignorance. Sarah Perret studies more specifically the transformation of knowledge through practices of digital (in)security at ‘borders,’ and the effects of ‘datafication’ on EU border security practices.

She received her PhD in Political science and International relations from University of Paris-Saclay (in November 2015), in which she compared the security implementation ("securitization") of legislative changes on naturalisation in Germany, the United States, and France. The dissertation explored the structures of domination in the construction of the meaning of ‘threat,’ especially regarding questions of democratic legitimation (rule of Law, symbolical power of the Parliament, juridical language). This work made three main contributions: Firstly, it contributed to the study of ‘securitization’ by focusing the understanding and analysis of ‘securitization’ process on written enunciations as a State practice. Second, it took the law as the objectified embedding of insecurities into and by the State and combines theoretically the legitimisation function of law and its symbolic violence (P. Bourdieu) practised by the State. Finally, it contributed empirically by comparatively studying and contextualising the legislative evolutions on naturalisation in France, Germany and the US since 2000.

Before joining the Department of War Studies, she conducted a postdoctoral research at the ENS in Paris focused on the re-conceptualising ‘risk’ and the sharing knowledge on societal security, and taught at University of Paris-Saclay, Paris 2 Assas University, Paris 8 Vincennes Saint-Denis University, Georgetown University, ENS, Sciences Po and University of Trento. She has also been a visiting researcher at Georgetown University's BMW Centre for German and European Studies during her doctoral studies.

She is also ‘chercheuse associée’ at the Ecole Normale Supérieure (Chair in Geopolitics of Risk) and at the LabToP-CRESPPA/CNRS in Paris, and a founded Member of the multidisciplinary network on Terrorism Studies called OCTAV (Observatoire collaboratif sur le terrorisme, l’antiterrorisme et les violences).

In parallel of her academic curriculum, she has been parliamentary advisor at the French ‘Assemblée nationale’ and consultant at the World Bank (2015-2016) on Government and public policies in West Africa (Senegal and Guinea). She also has been ministerial advisor on equality and social diversity at the Ministry of National Education, Higher Education and Research.

Research interests

  • Naturalised citizens, Migrants, Policy makers in the EU
  • International relations and International Political Sociology
  • Sociological approaches to Critical Security Studies
  • ‘Symbolic Violence’ of Citizenship and in(security) in border policies
  • Counterterrorism and counter-radicalisation law-making
  • Datafication and digital devices

Recent publications

  • S. Perret (2020, forthcoming) ‘Légiférer: un outil de gestion du ‘risque terroriste’?,’ in Adib Bencherif and Frédéric Mérand (eds.), L’analyse du risque politique: de la pratique à la théorie, Presses Universitaires de Montréal
  • S. Perret, D. Root (2019) ‘Nationalité/citoyenneté,’ in Alex Macleod et Philippe Bonditti (eds.), Relations Internationales. Théories et concepts, Editions Athéna, Montréal.
  • F. Ragazzi, S. Davidshofer, S. Perret, A. Tawfik (2019), The effect of Counterterrorism and Counter-Radicalisation Policies on Muslim Populations in France: A Quantitative Study, Paris, CCLS.
  • S. Perret (2018), ‘L’écrit comme pratique de sécuritisation: analyse des évolutions législatives sur la nationalité française’, Études Internationales, Vol. 49(1), p. 57–82.
  • S. Perret (2017), ‘Vers la structuration d’un nouveau champ d’étude sur la coopération européenne en matière de sécurité intérieure?’, Politique Européenne, n°58, 2017.