IRSEM's Scientific Council


The role of the scientific council is set out along the lines of the ministerial order on the framework of the IRSEM. As mentioned, the scientific council, “proposes research themes; communicates on the scientific program of the institute and on the outreach and partnership policy; formulates opinions on the scientific quality of work submitted by the Institute management; and is to be consulted for awarding of prizes and research grants”.

According to the ministerial order, the Scientific council is said to gather, “10 qualified individuals recognised for their scientific competencies, appointed by the decision of the Defence Minister, on the proposal of the Director of the institute, for a period of 3 years and renewable once”.

→ See the ministerial order of 01/02/2017  which appoints the following 8 non-resident experts. Following the recent April 2021 amendment, 2 additional members will be appointed soon:


Professor Philippe Boulanger (FRA, geography, University of Paris-Sorbonne)

 Philippe BoulangerProfessor Boulanger holds a “agrégation”, France’s highest Diploma of Education, as well as a PhD in Geography. He is currently teaching at Sorbonne University and is a member of the Administration Council of the Société de Géographie in Paris. He has previously participated in the 47th session of the "Armament and Economy of Defence" program at the IHEDN. Furthermore, he has subsequently held academic positions, such as Director of the Geography Department of University Paris-4 Sorbonne in Abu Dhabi (2006-2009), Associate Professor at Sorbonne University (2000-2010) and member of the National Council of Universities (2003-2007).  Professor Boulanger also teaches a seminar on military geography, in which he specialises in, at the Department of Geography at the Ecole Normale Supérieure in Paris.


Fanny Coulomb (FRA, Economist, Sciences Po Grenoble)

Fanny_COULOMB_v1Officially Research Director, Professor Coulomb also holds a PhD in economics. She is currently teaching economics at Sciences Po Grenoble while carrying out research at the Centre for International Security and European Cooperation. This research centre is attached to the University of Grenoble-Alpes’s Law Faculty, where she teaches multiple subjects within the Master’s degree in International Security and Defence, such as “The World Weapons Industry” and “Economics of National Security and Defence”.



General Benoît Durieux (FRA, Historian and Serviceman, Sciences Po)

Général_Benoît_DURIEUXA graduate from the Écoles Militaires de Saint-Cyr, General Durieux is currently the Commander of the 6th light Armoured Brigade at Nîmes after having been a director of the CHEM (2014-2016) and Land Forces Deputy at the Ministry of Defence cabinet from 2011-2014. General Durieux also has operational experience within the Foreign Legion in the Balkans, Africa and Afghanistan. He also graduated from Sciences Po Paris, the University of Georgetown, Washington D.C., and obtained his PhD in History at the Ecole Pratique des Hautes Études (EPHE) on the influence of Clausewitz in France. General Durieux is the author of numerous works and teaches at the Paris School of International Affairs of Sciences Po.


Professor Olivier Forcade (FRA, Historian, Sciences Po)


Research Director, Professor Forcade has received the agrégation as well as a PhD in History. He currently teaches at Sorbonne University, of which he is the Vice-Dean. He was previously an Associate Professor, then a Professor at University of Picardie Jules Verne (2002-2008), a Lecturer at Sciences Po (1993-2005) and a Professor at the École Militaire de Saint-Cyr (1991-2002). His work focuses on the contemporary history of international relations and, in particular, of intelligence. Following his participation as a member of Scientific Council of Historical Research of Defence and of Centenary Mission of 1914-1918, he obtained the bronze medal of the National Defence and holds the title of “Chevalier des Palmes Académiques”. 


Professor Julia Grignon (FRA, Lawyer, Laval University, Quebec)

Julia_GRIGNON Professor Grignon holds a PhD in Law from the University of Laval where she teaches International Humanitarian Law, International Human Rights Law and International Refugee Law. She is the Co-director of the Clinic of International Criminal and Humanitarian Law, Co-director of the Centre for Interdisciplinary Research on Africa and the Middle East and member of the Quebec Institute for Advanced International studies and the Centre for International and Transnational Law. She has worked as a Research and Teaching Assistant at the Law Faculty of the University of Geneva.


Professor Beatrice Heuser (DEU, Historian and a Political Scientist, University of Reading, UK)

Beatrice_HEUSERInitially qualified as a historian, Professor Heuser holds a PhD in Political science from the University of Oxford. She is also a Research Director at the University of Marburg. She is a Professor and Chair of International Relations at University of Reading in the UK. She previously held the title of Director of Research at the History Centre of German Defence in Potsdam (Militärgeschichtliches Forschungsamt), and Professor of Strategic Studies at the Department of War Studies of King’s College London (1991-2003). In the past, she has also worked for the Royal Institute of International Affairs (RUSI), the French and British Ministries of Defence and the European Commission.


Professor Thomas Lindemann (DEU, Political Scientist, Ecole Polytechnique / University of Versailles Saint-Quentin)

Thomas_LINDEMANNProfessor Lindemann has obtained the agrégation as well as a PhD in Political science. He currently teaches at the University of Versailles Saint-Quentin and at the École Polytechnique. Previously, Professor Lindemann has worked as a Professor at University of Artois (2008-2013) and at University of Bordeaux IV (2005-2008), and Associate Professor at University of Toulouse-1 (1998-2005). He also is an elected member of the CNRS National Committee 40th section and the administration council of the French Association of Political Sciences. During the 2016 autumn term, he was a visiting professor at the University of Columbia in New York. Professor Lindemann is a specialist in War Theory, including constructivism, war catalysers and the philosophy of recognition).


Claude Weber (FRA, Sociologist, Écoles Militaires de Saint-Cyr)

Claude_WeberProfessor Weber holds a PhD in Social Sciences, with a major in Ethnology. He currently is an Associate Professor in sociology at the Écoles Militaires de Saint-Cyr, the Director of the Department of Sociology and an associate researcher at the Interdisciplinary Centre of Analysis of Human and Social Processes at University of Rennes-2. Professor Weber is also leading the Work Group 05 entitled "Armed Forces and Societies" of the International Association of Sociologists in French Language. Furthermore, he is a member of the Thematic Network 08 named "Military Sociology:  Security, Armies and Society" of the French Association of Sociology. Professor Weber specialises in military sociology.