finezj's picture
Institutional membership: 
Université Grenoble Alpes
Status: 
Assistant Professor (m)
Research areas: 
Economic Sociology
Research team: 
Phone: 
0476825403
Office: 
E203
Address: 
1251 avenue centrale 38400 ST MDH

Onglet(s)

Présentation

Grenoble-Alpes University appointed Jean Finez as a lecturer in sociology in September 2017. At the same time he joined the Regulations team at Pacte. He completed a PhD in sociology at Lille-1 University in 2015 with a thesis on the processes institutionalizing and regulating the railway economy in 19th and 20th-century France. One of the key points of this analysis focused on pricing systems. He continued his work on railways during his time at the Max-Planck Institute for the Study of Societies, Cologne, prior to carrying out a survey of logistics for the French Institute of Science and Technology for Transport, Development and Networks (Ifsttar).
His research now bears mainly on market and price sociology, in particular through the role of technology in economic valorization processes. To this end Finez has recently started investigating the internet sex economy, as part of a research project with Pierre Brasseur at  Lille-1 University.
Jean Finez is on the committee of the economic sociology network (RT12) at the French Sociology Association (AFS) and one of the founding members of the interdisciplinary FerInter research network devoted to railways.

Subject: 
Pratiques économiques et pensées du changement dans un service public marchand. Une sociologie des chemins de fer français aux XIXe et XXe siècles
Dates: 
November, 2015
External supervisor(s): 
Marnix Dressen, Bernard Convert
Abstract: 

A partir d’un matériau composé d’archives, d’ouvrages spécialisés, de littérature grise et d’entretiens, cette thèse explore les transformations des manières de faire et de concevoir l’économie ferroviaire en France. Notre analyse socio-historique met au jour les recompositions de la politique du rail et l’évolution des logiques de gestion des compagnies ferroviaires sur le moyen et le long terme. Tandis que, dans les années 1820-1830, le développement des chemins de fer est laissé à l’initiative des entrepreneurs privés, la seconde moitié du XIXe siècle est marquée par un engagement progressif de l’Etat dans le secteur, qui finance et encadre l’exploitation de vastes réseaux organisés en monopoles régionaux. La nationalisation des chemins de fer en 1938 et la politique de planification des transports de la période d’après-guerre constituent l’apogée de ce processus d’étatisation. Le dernier demi-siècle se caractérise au contraire par une érosion de la conception traditionnelle du service public et par une intensification de la régulation marchande, dont la récente libéralisation du rail et la nouvelle politique commerciale de la SNCF sont les signes les plus manifestes. Les transformations du rail renvoient à l’évolution des catégories de pensée et d’action dominantes au sein du champ politico-administratif, aux rapports de force sociaux dans les entreprises ferroviaires, ainsi qu’aux propriétés matérielles des chemins de fer en comparaison de celles des autres techniques de transport existantes. Ensemble, ces trois dimensions définissent l’espace des possibles et des probables de l’économie ferroviaire.

 

Economic Practices and Thoughts of Change in a Commercial Public Service: A Sociology of the French Railways in the 19th and 20th Centuries

Abstract. Based on a material composed of archives, specialized books, grey literature and interviews, this thesis explores the transformations of the process of making and thinking the railway economy in France. Our socio-historical analysis reveals the rearrangements of the rail policy and the evolution of the company’s management strategy in the medium and the long term. While during the 1820’s-1830’s the growth of railways is left to the discretion of private entrepreneurs,  starting from the mid-19th century the state controls the sector, financing the expanding of the network and strongly shaping large regional monopolies. The nationalisation of the French railways in 1938 and the transport planning policy after World War II represent the climax of the state control. The last half-century challenges the traditional definition of public service in the sector and gives rise to a more market-oriented regulation, symbolised by the opening to competition of the railway market and the new trade policy of the state-owned company SNCF. Changes in the sector are driven by the transformation of mindsets and practices within the “state field”, the balance of power in the rail companies, as well as the material properties and benefits of railways as compared to other existing means of transport. These three dimensions altogether define the space for possible and probable of the rail economy.