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Department of Politics and International Studies (POLIS)


I am a PhD candidate in Politics and International Studies at the University of Cambridge and a grateful holder of the El-Erian Scholarship. Prior to Cambridge, I have been educated in my home country Switzerland completing an MPhil in International Relations/Political Science from the Graduate Institute (Geneva) after having read Political Science from the University of Lausanne.

College: Emmanuel College


My research looks at the rise of behavioural science in modern politics (e.g. the nudge) and seeks to unravel its ambition in terms of a politics of the unconscious. More largely, it claims that the discovery of the unconscious, at the outset of the nineteenth century, has made possible a new rationality of government: that of psychopolitics. This new form of politics is to be found in the emergence of neo-liberalism around Walter Lippmann and Edward Bernays and later in more advanced forms, of which behavioural science is one successful expression. Not yet (if ever) a political thinker, I would like to think of myself as a political rethinker eager to shake off some of the rigidity and frigidity which often conditions the course of disciplinary thinking. This intellectual rethinking I hope to do across my dissertation by bringing depth-psychology, notably concepts and concerns from psychoanalysis in dialogue with politics and political theory.


Other Professional Activities

Outside the perimeters of academia, I keep one foot in the world of literature as a keen reader and writer of poetry, and another in the world of reality through my affiliations with the Foodbank and other active societies.

I also speak French, German, and mumble some street-level rudiments of Spanish and Arabic (Egyptian).

Thesis Title: Governing the Unconscious. The Wager of the Behavioural Project
Supervisor: Dr Christopher Brooke
Emmanuel Robert

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