and public policies

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Mélanie Henry


CEDEJ has a tradition of researching the practices that make up governance, from the sociology of elections to the analysis of public policies. More recently, our researchers have looked into migrations, subsidies, programs targeting poverty, and international relations. Our interests have shifted from the public sphere to more privatized spaces where politics is exercised and embodied. 

Current research looks at health policies in historical and sociological perspectives. Public health is analyzed through a critical gender studies perspective, in particular through the professionalization of its practitioners and mobilizations for reproductive and sexual health. Our researchers are more and more interested in the politics of the body and in mental health as a major challenge and a way to redefine what’s political and what’s personal. 

How might we understand individual and collective psychological pain in the MENA region? Our research now focuses on the psy disciplines — including psychology, psychiatry, and psychoanalysis — and on how they developed in a postcolonial context. Thanks to its geographical and political centrality, Egypt offers a privileged vantage point to understand the interconnectedness of psy milieux in the region.

Workshops and seminars bring together new research looking into mental health policies in Egypt and the MENA region, overlaps between several regimes of psy knowledge — including the biomedical, the religious, and the magical —, mental suffering and its representations, everyday self improvement practices, etc.