Olivier BORRAZ

CNRS Senior Research fellow

Research Programs
Knowledge, science, and expertise program : Public policy and transformations of the state program

Olivier BORRAZ

The CSO's director from july 2013.

For the last 15 years, Olivier Borraz has conducted research in the field of risk.
Initially, he was interested in crises in the area of food safety and controversies surrounding environmental health. In addition, he has analyzed decision-making processes in health safety, the creation and operation of health safety agencies, and more generally risk regulation policies in both the health and environmental sectors.
He later began to explore issues surrounding the emergence or non-emergence of certain environmental health risks, as well as the production of related knowledge and skills.
More recently, his research has taken two directions. On the one hand, he analyzes the role of government in crisis preparation and management, looking specifically at the nuclear sector. On the other, he is participating in a comparative study on the spread of risk instruments in France, the United Kingdom, Germany, and the Netherlands, in sectors as diverse as occupational health, flooding, criminal policy, and education.
Lastly, he is working to develop a socio-economic analysis of risk.

In 2008, he published Les politiques du Risque(Sciences Po University Press) and a new series devoted to public policy (Politiques Publiques, Sciences Po University Press) with Virginie Guiraudon.

At the CSO, he directs the Risk governance program and collaborates on the healthcare program.

Sciences Po Paris

Courses Cities at Risk in the Master’s program "Governing the Large Metropolis" with Lydie Cabane.
Courses The politics of risk with Jean-Noël Jouzel in the Bachelor.
Qualitative methods courses in the Sociology PhD program with Patrick Castel, Didier Demazière, and Anne Revillard

Offices Held

CSO acting director from july 2013.
Member of the board of directors of Sciences Po Paris since 2013

Previous positions :
Co-managed with Sandrine Lefranc and Daniel Benamouzig the CNRS Pluridisciplinary Thematic Network (RTP) Sociétés en mouvement, science sociale en evolution (Societies on the move, social sciences in evolution) (2005-2008).
Scientific secretary of section 40, Politics, Power, Organization of the CNRS National Committee (2000-2004).

Membership in Research Groups

Chair of the Réseau Risques et Société (Risks and Society Network) (2007-.)
Member of the Scientific Council of Agence Nationale de Sécurité Sanitaire (2010-.)

Previous positions :
Member of the Scientific council of the Institut de Recherche en Santé Publique (Research Institute on Public Health) (2007-2009).
Member of the Scientific council of the Health and Radiofrequencies Foundation (2007-2010).
Member of the Scientific council of the Groupement d’interêt scientifique (GIS) Risques collectifs et situation de crise (Collective risks and crisis situations) (2003-2005).
Member of assessment Committee of the Plan national santé environnement (National plan on environmental health) (2006-2007).
Member of the assessment group for la politique de préservation de la ressource en eau destinée à la consommation humaine (policies on preservation of water intended for human use), Commissariat Général au Plan (2000-2001).

Awards and Honors

Bronze medal from the CNRS in 1998.
”Prix special du jury” (Jury’s award) from the jury of the GRALE-CNRS judging theses about local governments in 1995.


Habilitation (HDR) from Sciences Po Paris, Political Science major (2007).
Doctorate from the Political Studies Institute (IEP) in Paris, Sociology major (1994).
DEA in sociology at the Political Studies Institute (IEP) in Paris (1987).
Master’s in political sociology from the Université de Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne (1986).

Professional Career

Senior research fellow (research professor) since 2007.
CNRS research fellow since 1995.

"L'extension du domaine de la crise ? Les exercices de gestion de crise dans la gouvernance de la filière nucléaire française", December 2019.

"Une cartographie du populisme. Expériences comparées de la relégation et du sentiment d’injustice", November, 2019.

" L'expertise en sciences sociales : une affaire politique ?", 2018.

"Varieties of Risk Regulation in Europe: Coordination, complementarity & occupational safety in capitalist welfare states", October 2017.

"Les risques de l'inspection : Les stratégies de défense des inspecteurs face aux changements du droit", 2017.

"States of crisis", 2017.

"Bureaucratie, organisations et formalisation des savoirs", L'Année sociologique, 2016.

"Commande", 2015.

"Régulation", 2015.

"Science réglementaire", 2015.

Sciences sociales, 2015.

Open editorial. Symposium on the Use of Social Sciences in Risk Assessment and Risk Management Organizations in Europe and North America, European Journal of Risk Regulation, April 2014.

Le risque et les limites de l'État, April 2014.

"O surgimento das questões de risco", Sociologias, April 2014.

"A Sociological Checklist for Assessing Environmental Health Risks", European Journal of Risk Regulation (EJRR), April 2014.

A sociological checklist for assessing environmental health risks, 2014.

"Opening editorial. The Use of Social Sciences in Risk Assessment and Risk Management Organisations", 2014.

"De la réalité d'un problème sanitaire à l'étude de sa "réalisation"", Environnement, Risques & Sante, July 2013.

"Risk and the limits of governance: Exploring varied patterns of risk-based governance across Europe", Regulation and Governance, June 2013.

"Pour une sociologie critique des risques", March, 2013.

See all publications