Jean-François Bayart

Yves Oltramare Chairholder
Professor, Anthropology and Sociology

PhD, Sciences Po, Paris


Jean-François Bayart is a specialist in historical sociology and comparative politics. He is also Director of the Chair of Comparative African Studies at the Université Mohammed VI Polytechnique, Rabat, and Director of the Fonds d’analyse des sociétés politiques (FASOPO).

Jean-François Bayart was Researcher at the French National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS) from 1976 to 2015 and Director of CERI from 1994 to 2000, and is Founder of the Politique africaine (1980) and Critique internationale (1998) journals, as well as Karthala’s Recherches internationale (1998) collection. He has been a member of the Editorial Advisory Board of African Affairs since 1983. Jean-François Bayart is particularly interested in the role of religion in the formation of states in Africa and the Middle East (Turkey, Iran), proposing a new problematisation of identity, culture and globalisation.

Published works include L’Etat en Afrique. La politique du ventre (Fayard, 1989, new edition 2006), L’Illusion identitaire (Fayard, 1996), Le Gouvernement du monde. Une critique politique de la globalisation (Fayard, 2004), L’Islam républicain. Ankara, Téhéran, Dakar (Albin Michel, 2010), Les Etudes postcoloniales, un carnaval académique (Karthala, 2010), Sortir du national-libéralisme. Croquis politiques des années 2004-2012 (Karthala, 2012), and Le Plan cul. Ethnologie d’une pratique sexuelle (Fayard, 2014). Jean-François Bayart has also led or co-led several books, including Religion et modernité politique en Afrique noire. Dieu pour tous, chacun pour soi (Karthala, 1993) and La Cité cultuelle. Rendre à Dieu  ce qui revient à César (Karthala, 2015, with Ariane Zambiras). He has taught in Paris, Lausanne, Turin, Geneva and Rabat.He has also held positions within the French government, as Permanent Consultant for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ Centre for Analysis, Planning and Strategy (CAPS) (1990-2004) and as Member of the White Paper on Defence and National Security Commission (2012-2013).