Program on Science, Technology and Society at Harvard

Harvard Kennedy School of Government | Harvard University
Stève Bernardin

Stève Bernardin

email: Steve.Bernardin (at)

Stève Bernardin holds a PhD in Political Sociology from the Université Paris I Panthéon-Sorbonne and is a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Laboratoire Techniques, Territoires, Sociétés (LATTS, UMR 8134) where he works on public problems related to the development of so-called “smart cities” in France and the United States. He was a Fulbright Fellow and an Arthur Sachs Scholar in the Program on Science, Technology, and Society at Harvard Kennedy School in 2006-2007.

Trained as a political sociologist, Stève is interested in public problems and their scientific framing. His thesis was inspired by Joseph Gusfield’s classic work The Culture of Public Problems: Drinking-Driving and the Symbolic Order. The analysis relies on extensive fieldwork, conducted over more than three years in the United States, to emphasize the role of private companies not only in the framing of technical solutions, but also in the definition of social problems.

His paper “Taking the Problem to the People” proposed a critical analysis of the widely circulated call for political consensus on public problems. The article was published in Technology and Culture in April 2015. In 2016, it won the International Prize Jean Widmer, intended for “a high-quality article, in a scientific publication such as a review, journal or book, which makes a significant contribution to the study of communication and the public sphere”.


Bernardin, S., « “Taking the Problem to the People.” Traffic Safety from Public Relations to Political Theory (1937-1954), » Technology and Culture, Johns Hopkins University Press, vol. 56, No. 2, 2015, 420-439

Bernardin, S., « The private making of a public problem: the case of traffic safety in the U.S. (thesis abstract), » Revue de la régulation. Capitalisme, institutions, pouvoirs, MSH Paris-Nord, vol. 17, 2015 (on-line)

Bernardin, S., « Book Review: Edward T. Walker, “Grassroots for Hire. Public Affairs Consultants in American Democracy” (Cambridge University Press, 2014), » Revue Française de Science Politique (forthcoming)

Bernardin, S. and Jeannot, G., « “From “smart” to “integrated” cities: a research agenda, » in Ph. Marest and O. Pascal (eds.), Cities in Transition. Digital intelligence as a tool for public utilities, ASTEE (forthcoming)

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