Marie Alauzen defended her doctoral thesis at the Center for the Sociology of Innovation (CSI), under the supervision of Fabian Muniesa, on October 18, 2019. Her doctoral work titled “Unfolding the Platform State. An inquiry into the modernization of French public services” focuses on the transformations of the interface between the State and the political society, as they were surveyed between 2014 and 2017 in the modernization projects of the State General Secretariat for the modernization of public action. Her study of modernization “in the making”, dealing with the trials and errors of the project managers from the administrative department mission in charge of the reform of the State under President François Holland’s mandate, captures several related phenomena. She describes a sociology of a modernizing work made up of mini leaders organized around a profusion of projects, in a boot-camp atmosphere that one could hardly expect to find in public administrations hallways, and which gives room for many failures or folds of the projects launched. She characterizes the contents given to a reform implemented without any overall plan nor main ideological line of action, but is carried out on a daily basis with an ability to decide and a stabilization of technologies and knowledge of government originating from design, data processing, behavioral sciences or even social sciences. What the thesis shows is that the modernized State and the citizen-users undergoing changes are shaped by a human-machine relation concerned with the ergonomic quality and the readability of the interfaces, by a certain taste for experimentation or even by a concern for what is now called digital sovereignty.
Among the projects selected in the survey, the FranceConnect identification technology has enabled Marie Alauzen to open a project of reflection on the digital identity which she is currently leading within the Responsible Digital Identity Chair at Télécom Paris, in the framework of a postdoctoral contract. Valérie Fernandez, Laura Draetta, Fabian Munies and she have set up a working group on this topic within the Observatory for Responsible Innovation, and she is currently carrying out a controversy study on another technology for the identification of physical persons, called Alicem.
Along with Jérôme Denis, David Pontille and Didier Torny, Marie Alauzen contributes to a research project in anthropology of writing, Scriptopolis.