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Sociology Research


Dr Véronique Mottier is a Fellow and Director of Studies at Jesus College, University of Cambridge (since 1999) & Professor in Sociology at the University of Lausanne (since 2006).

Having grown up in Tunisia and the Netherlands, she currently divides her time between the UK and Switzerland. She has received degrees in French (Certificat d’études françaises modernes), Political Science (‘Licence’ & M.A.) and Sociology (‘Licence’) from the University of Geneva, and a Ph.D in Sociology from the University of Cambridge, supervised by Anthony Giddens, in 1998. She was a Lecturer (1989-93) and ‘Maitre-Assistante’ (1996-99) in Political Theory at the University of Geneva, a temporary University Lecturer in Sociology at the Faculty of Social and Political Sciences, University of Cambridge (1999-2002) and then a NSF Research Professor in Politics and Sociology, Institut d’études politiques et internationales, University of Lausanne (2002-2006).

She has taught summer courses in Discourse Theory and Analysis at the ECPR Summer School in Social Science Data Analysis and Collection at the University of Essex (1999-2006), the European University Institute in Florence (2001-2006), the Swiss PhD Summer School in Advanced Methods in the Social Sciences in Lugano (since 1999- ), and at the Universities of Johannesburg, Pretoria, Lisbon, and Hamburg. She has also given guest lectures at the Universities of Amsterdam, Basel, Brussels, Oxford, Copenhagen, Leeds, Loughborough, Neuchatel, Pune (India), Roskilde, UCL, Zürich, Luzern, UCM Maastricht, Dundee, to name but a few.

Research Interests

Her research and teaching interests are in the areas of social and political theory; historical and political sociology; gender, sexuality and ‘race’; feminist theory; welfare states and social exclusion; coerced sterilisation policies and child removal programs in the Western world; and interpretative research methods, especially discourse theory and analysis.


Courses taught this academic year:

SOC2: Social Theory: ‘Feminist Theory and Sexuality’

SOC6: Advanced Social Theory: ‘Gender and Sexual Nationalism’

Current Doctoral students:

Gloria Casas-Vila, University of Lausanne

Edmée Baillif, University of Lausanne

Dina Bader, University of Lausanne

Key Publications - Books

The Rise and Fall of French Social Theory (Harvard University Press, forthcoming)

Sexuality (Sterling, 2010)

Sexuality: A Very Short Introduction (Oxford University Press, 2008)

Genre et politique (Gallimard, 2000).

Key Publications - Other

Mottier, V. Co-edited special issue of Psychology & Sexuality (2016), DSM-5: Classifying Sex.

Mottier, V. Co-edited special issue of Archives of Sexual Behavior (2015), Feminist Politics of Reproduction.

Mottier, V. Special Issue of Feminist Theory (2009), Postcommunisme: Genre et Etats en transition.

Mottier, V. Co-edited special edition. Numéro spécial de Nouvelles Questions Féministes (2004).

Grants and Projects

Mottier, V. (PI) Sexual Interactions in the Context of HIV/Aids Risk in Switzerland. Swiss National Science Foundation and European Commission (1998-1999 & 2000-2002): £210,000 [link]

Mottier, V. Swiss National Science Foundation, Principal Investigator and Research Team Leader, ‘Social and Political Implications of Eugenic Practices’, University of Lausanne, 2002-2006, CHF978.781 (=£700.000).

Mottier, V. Swiss National Science Foundation, Co-Investigator with V. Barras and C. Kraus (P.I.), ‘Manufacturing Heterosexuality: The History of ‘Female Desire Disorders’ in Switzerland since the 1960s’, University of Lausanne, 2014-2016, CHF175'218 (=£125.000).

Mottier, V. Small research grants from the Fondation Chalumeau, Geneva (1999) 

Mottier, V. Small Research Grant from Decanat SSP, University of Lausanne (2015).

Dr Mottier has received conference funding from Crassh, University of Cambridge; the Wellcome Trust; the British Sociological Association; l’Institut Français (Oxford); and the Gender Identity Research and Education Society GIRES, U.K. (2013).

Mottier, V. Debating Homosexuality in Uganda: The case of members of parliament. Cambridge Africa Alborada Fund (2016-2017): £5680


Véronique Mottier was the first sociologist ever to be awarded the ‘Prix Jubilé’ by the Académie Suisse des Sciences Humaines et Sociales (in 2001), for her research on eugenics in Switzerland.

She was awarded a NSF Research Professorship in Politics and Sociology, Institut d’études politiques et internationales, University of Lausanne (2002-2006).

She has been awarded student grants from the Swiss National Science Foundation for summer schools in 1989 and 1993 & a visiting scholar year at King’s College, Cambridge (1993-94); Doctoral research grants from the Société Académique de Genève (1994-95), Fondation Schmidheiny (1995-96) and the Committee of Vice-Chancellors and Principals of British Universities, Overseas Research Students Award (1994-1997).

Job Title:
Fellow and Director of Studies at Jesus College, Cambridge, Professor in Sociology, Laboratoire THEMA, Université de Lausanne