Didier Bigo is Professor at King’s College London Department of War studies and MCU Research Professor at Sciences-Po Paris
He is also the director of the center for study of conflicts, liberty and security (ccls) and editor of the quarterly journal in French Cultures et Conflits published by ccls and l’Harmattan. See the website CCLS.EU
He has been the founder and co-editor with Rob Walker of International Political Sociology one of the journals of the International Studies Association published by Wiley Blackwell. He is co editor of the Routledge collection International Political Sociology, and the Routledge collection liberty and security.
He is responsible of the KCL WP of the FP7 SOURCE in London and coordinator of the ANR UTIC in Paris
His areas of interests are:
* International Political Sociology – Transdisciplinary approaches- Transversal Lines.
* Critical Security Studies (CSS) -the PARIS school: Political Anthropological Research on International Sociology
* Thinking in terms of relations and process: Reframing the international as dynamics of power. Lessons from and across the paths opened by Norbert Elias, René Girard, Michel Foucault, Pierre Bourdieu, and Bruno Latour
* Theory of boundaries and limits : methodologies implying reflexivity of knowledge, working as a collective intellectual. Deconstructing the individual curriculum- the ownership of ideas- the neo liberal academia and its “productivism”.
These lines of research have been experimented through specific enquiries on the conditions of possibilities of freedom in contemporary societies and the practices they generate. At the limits of freedom, how are constructed and articulated the dispositifs of violence, mobility, security ? How transnational professional fields emerged through the specialisation of their management and how they relate to politicians and to politicisation of people? How a “beyond” of the reason of state reconfigure the boundaries of what means national security, public and private sphere, internal and external borders?
Empirically from the 1980s to now, the focus has been around the development of policing activities transnationally, especially in Europe and in the Transatlantic area.
*Police liaison officers in Europe, actors of the international scene, the end of the supposed monopoly of the military and the diplomats, the challenge to professionals of politics
*Terrorism as a false concept- Thinking political violence relationally- the construction of the boundaries between security and insecurity- network of professsionals of political violence and networks of professionals of security- the relations between the two worlds.
*European Union: the struggle against terrorism and the emergence of a field of professionals of “internal security in Europe”. The security continuum and the connection between political violence and foreigners- The justification of exceptional practices by police and intelligence services for managing the everyday practices of migrants. (De)citizenship. The trajectories of the institutions of migration, justice and home affairs, a field of professionals of (in)security expanding beyond Europe and beyond public management. Mobility as freedom of circulation in the European Union? Mobility under smart surveillance. Smart mobility against smart surveillance.
* Antiterrorist policies in Europe and their effects on freedom, privacy, equality. Constructing the boundaries between war-crime terrorism and fate. Refusing the functionalist answer that antiterrorism is the answer to a predefine terrorism. When antiterrorist policies construct the enemy within as a (virtual) traveller. The transatlantic management of security. Abandoning political judgement for technology. Schengen- Justice and Home Affairs in Europe and their external dimensions.
* Merging of internal security and external security: Refusing the war and crime argument. The justification of global terrorism or global insecurity and its errors- Why police activities and military activities are pushed to “fusion”? Symbolic politics, politicians and transnational practices of antiterrorrist coalitions. The strategies of reconversion of the “strategists”: geopoliticisation of the everyday- Abnormalising some citizen – the Ban-opticon.
* Migrants and refugees in Europe, border controls and beyond: space-time controls, traceability of mobility, freedom and autonomy of migrants : The sociology of the different universes of professionals of border controls. The political imagination of mobility. Is moving a form of resistance and a practice of freedom?
* Security and liberty, biometrics identifiers and databases, societal security : the de-assembling and re-assembling of the defense industry into a border-security-prevention complex of services. The unbearable lightness of security.
* (Un)freedom in contemporary societies: The transnational guilds managing “sensitive information” and the reconfiguration of the reason of state, a post snowden enquiry on the relations bewteen intelligence, surveillance and obedience.