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A sociologist and lecturer, Michel Wieviorka was director of studies at the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales (EHESS) and chaired the International Association of Sociology from 2006 to 2010, before serving as a director of the Maison des Sciences de l'Homme until 2020.

He chairs the jury for the Michel Seurat Fellowship (CNRS) and the Scientific Council of the Representative Council of Black Associations in France (CRAN).

His sociology introduces a perspective that takes account of globalisation, individual construction and the subjectivity of players. The sociology of action that he has developed since his early work on consumer movements in the 1970s has led him to study both social movements and phenomena such as racism, violence and anti-Semitism.

His international recognition is largely due to his work on terrorism (special prize from the European jury in Amalfi in 1989 for his book Sociétés et terrorisme), on other forms of violence, and on globalisation and multiculturalism.