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Hervé Andrès

JPEGResearch Engineer at the CNRS, responsible for popular science, communication and development and PhD in Legal and Political Science.

Hervé Andrès is a research engineer at the CNRS, responsible for the laboratory’s popular science, communication and development, webmaster for the websites of Urmis, sub-editor for the journal les Cahiers de l’Urmis, and training contact for the Nice team.

Political science PhD

In 2007, at the Paris 7 Denis Diderot University, he also defended a PhD thesis in legal and political science on “Foreigners’ right to vote, assessment and theoretical foundations”, completed under the supervision of Mrs Monique Chemillier-Gendreau. The examination board awarded him PhD summa cum laude (unanimously).

Composition of the examination board

- Mrs Marie-Claire CALOZ-TSCHOPP, Senior Research Lecturer at Geneva University,
- Mrs Catherine WIHTOL DE WENDEN, Research Director at the CNRS,
- Mrs Monique CHEMILLIER-GENDREAU, Emeritus Professor at Paris 7 University,
- Mrs Nathalie FERRE, Senior lecturer at Paris 13 University,
- Mr Alain MORICE, Research Manager at the CNRS,
- Mr Etienne TASSIN, Professor at Paris 7 University,

The thesis can be viewed online at the following address :


This thesis presents a data study (socio-demographic, legal and political) and a discussion on the fundamental theoretical challenges of the problem of the right to vote for foreigners. The research focuses on France, but a comparative study on the subject shows that at least a third of world governments have a practice for the right to vote for foreigners, and this practice can therefore no longer be considered as exceptional. Nevertheless, this practice is still limited, which demonstrates the resistance to the paradigm reserving the right to vote to State nationals. A detailed study of French law, its internal contradictions and the constitutional debates raised shows that the fundamental challenges are political in nature. The terms of the political debate are analysed using a historical approach and a study of both the arguments and a press corpus. A comparative view is also focused on the debate currently underway in the United States. On the whole, the analysis of the political debate on the right to vote for foreigners reveals the opposition between the principle of influence and closure on the one hand, and the principle of freedom and openness on the other.

The theoretical discussion sets out the basic challenges of the problem as a contradiction between the principles of democracy and sovereignty. The conflict about the right to vote for foreigners, which is reflected in citizenship/nationality dialectics, is therefore interpreted as a confrontation between the political and police processes (Rancière). What is in play is not only the layout of the borders of the political community but the very design of that community and the politics.
The question of foreigners voting, according to this view, is therefore constructed as a symptom of the crisis of the political model related to modern democratic States, i.e. a nerve centre where the principle of sovereignty contradicts with a substantial definition of democracy. The research consists of revealing the aporia appropriate to the current political system, to its internal alternatives and suggests a democratic post-sovereign radical reform.

Research subjects

- Right to vote for foreigners, citizenship and nationality, democracy and sovereignty
- Interests and aporia of residential citizenship
- Immigration policy and democracy
- Sport, nationality and identity

Several works : see french version of this page