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Benoit Challand was born in Fribourg in 1972. He studied at the Collège St-Michel in Fribourg (classical humanities, BBenoit Challand ac) with a year abroad spend in Medina Texas (USA, 1990-1991). He read History (Contemporary and Modern History) and Greek Philology at his home University of Fribourg (Switzerland). He obtained a bilingual degree (French-German) in 1999 after having studied one year as Erasmus student at the University of Bonn (Germany) and one semester of exchange at the University of Basel (Swiss Mobility). His final dissertation ("La Ligue Marxiste Révolutionnaire en Suisse Romande") was turned into a book published at Fribourg University Press in September 2000.

He then obtained a Master in Middle Eastern Studies at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London in 2000. He spent nine months in the Palestinian Territories working jointly for the Swiss medical NGO Médecins du Monde and the local organisation Union of Palestinian Medical Relief Committees in Ramallah. He functioned as a Programme Development Junior Officer for these two organisations, and served as a free-lance correspondant for a Swiss local radio (Radio Fribourg).

After his stay in Palestine, he embarked on his PhD at the Social and Political Sciences Deparment of the European University Institute in Florence (Itlay).His dissertation ("The Power to Promote and To Exclude: External Support for Palestinian Civil Society") was written under the supervision of Prof. Philippe C. Schmitter. He was awarded the PhD in July 2005.

He has taught at undergraduate and master levels and is frequently invited to present his work in various international institutions (see also Teaching). In 2006, he also served as the Scientific Coordinator for the first edition of the Master in Euro-Mediterranean Affairs (MAEM - MEMA), an innovative project bringing students and teachers from both shores of the Mediterranean.

In 2008 and 2009, he worked as research fellow for the EUCITAC project, a comparative web-based platform on access and loss of citizenship in the EU and in neighbouring countries. Under the supervision of Prof. Rainer Bauboeck, he coordinated the creation of a new web-site compiling information about citizenship in 33 European countries. 

After three years of teaching at the University of Bologna, he moved to New York, with positions held first at the New School for Social Research and now at New York University. He has been at international conferences held in Cambridge, London, New York, Amman, Ramallah, Qom, Prague, Hong Kong and many other places.

Since 2000, he is a member of the Swiss Expert Pool for Civilian Peacebuilding of the Swiss Foreign Ministry. Under this umbrella he followed two training courses on civilian peace building and wrote a commented bibliography on Democratisation (see Consultancy).

He is a member, a.o., of the:
- American Sociological Association,
- American Poliitical Science Association
- American Historical Association
- British International Studies Association
- Association pour l'Etude de l'Histoire du Mouvement Ouvrier,
- Societe d'Histoire fribourgeoise
- Le Groupe de recherche en histoire intellectuelle contemporaine (GRHIC)


For related presentations, see:
Universitas, Journal de l'Université de Fribourg
La Gruyère (on his work in Palestine) 


Last Updated ( Monday, 27 August 2012 )
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