Dr Alexis Artaud de la Ferriere

Personal profile

I am a Lecturer in Sociology here at Royal Holloway and an Associate Researcher at the Groupe Sociétés Religions Laïcités (EPHE/CNRS) in Paris.

I am the President of the Association Française de Sciences Sociales des Religions and I sit on the editorial board of the peer-reviewed journal Social Sciences and Missions. I am also a member of the Panel of Experts for the International Religious Liberty Association and a member of the Council of Experts for the International Association for the Defence of Religious Freedom.

My research interests revolve around the relationship between religion, politics, and society. Most of my work focuses on the sociology and contemporary history of Roman Catholicism, including dynamics of change within the Catholic Church, Catholic missiology, Catholic responses to international migration, post-colonial expressions of Catholicism, and the exchange of ideas between the Catholic Church and secular civil society and state institutions. I am also interested in Church-State relations, laïcité, freedom of religion and belief, and secularisation theory. Recently, I have conducted research into the French Catholic Chaplaincy for Migrants (as part of RELIMIG, a collaborative project investigating the social and religious trajectories of Catholic migrants led by Valérie Aubourg), the Catholic Church in Tunisia, the Scalabrinian Missionaries (with Blandine Cheleni-Pont), and the impact of COVID-19 restrictions on religious liberty in North America and Europe (with Nicholas Miller).

I am currently working on a research project entitled, Governance & Participation in the Catholic Marketplace of Ideas: A Sociological Study of the Catholic Church’s Synod on Synodality, from Consultation to Deliberation to Decision-Making. Based on empirical research conducted in dioceses through-out the globe, this project will shed light on how competing ideas are exchanged and regulated within the Church, examining how the nascent Synodal process affects which ideas have currency within the Catholic marketplace of ideas, which actors can enter the market, what transaction costs different actors incur, and how these ideas inform decision-making in the governance of the Church and the development of doctrine.

Research interests

  • Church-state relations: secularisation, laïcité, freedom of religion and belief

  • Catholicism

  • Religion and politics in contemporary French society
  • Christianity in North Africa

  • Migration and religion

  • Faith-based NGO's

Educational background

  • PhD, Cambridge

  • MPhil, Cambridge

  • BA (Hons), Sheffield

Current PhD students


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