Laëtitia Atlani-Duault

Co-director of the Humanitarian aid in globalization plateform


Laëtitia Atlani-Duault is a French social anthropologist. She is Research Professor at CEPED (IRD / Paris V University). She is a recipient of the CNRS medal for research excellence, awarded by France’s National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS).

Her work focuses on critical analysis of the politics and practices of humanitarian aid on both the local and international levels. She also publishes on diverse subjects such as the governance of the United Nations, organized sexual violence and humanitarian assistance, the exportation of democracy in the former Second World, social media in times of epidemics, and the relationship between social scientists and the law. She is currently conducting a large study on sexual abuse in ecclesiastic settings, in her capacity as a scientific member of France’s Independent Commission on Sexual Abuse within the Catholic Church.

Her publications include Au bonheur des autres: Anthropologie de l'aide humanitaire (2005 Editions de la Société d’Ethnologie; updated edition Armand Colin), Humanitarian Aid in Post-Soviet Countries. An Anthropological Perspective (Routledge) and Anthropologie de l’aide humanitaire et du développement: Des pratiques aux savoirs, des savoirs aux pratiques, with L. Vidal (Armand Colin).  She has edited or co-edited numerous special issues such as Les ONG à l’heure de la ‘bonne gouvernance’ (Autrepart, Armand Colin); Anthropologue et ONG, des liaisons fructueuses ? (Humanitaire) ; Éclats d’empire, un nouveau Sud ? (Tiers Monde, Armand Colin); Ethnographies de l’aide (Ethnologie française, Presses Universitaires de France); and "Chercheurs à la barre", with S. Dufoix, (Socio, Éditions Maison des sciences de l’homme). Her articles have appeared in English and French in journals such as The Lancet, Social Science and Medicine; The Lancet Infectious Diseases; Culture, Medicine and Psychiatry; Transcultural Psychiatry; Medical Anthropology; Public Understanding of Science; and Ethnologie Française.

After posts at Lyon II University (2003-2007) and Paris Nanterre University (2008-2011), she became an IRD Research Professor in 2011. She then served as Senior Advisor for Humanitarian Affairs at the UN headquarters (2012-2015). While in New York, she was Visiting Professor at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health and also France’s National IRD Scientific Representative to the United Nations (2015-2017). From 2018 to 2020, she was the Director of the Collège d’études mondiales, FMSH, Paris. From 2019 to 2020, Laëtitia Atlani-Duault was the Scientific Director of the FMSH, supervising both its Research Department and the Collège d’études mondiales.


Select publications

Atlani-Duault L. et al., 2021, Immune evasion means we need a new social contract, Lancet Public Health, pp. DOI:

Velasco Pufleau L. & Atlani-Duault L. (eds), 2021, Lieux de mémoires sonores. Des sons pour survivre, des sons pour tuer, Paris : MSH Editions.

Velasco Pufleau L & Atlani-Duault L. (eds), 2020, Sounds of SurvivalWeaponization of Sounds, special edition, Violence, SAGE, special issue, 124p.

Atlani-Duault L., Ward J., Roy M., Morin C., Wilson A., 2020, Tracking online heroisation and blame in epidemics, The Lancet, DOI:

Moreau, N., Roy, M., Wilson, A., & Atlani Duault, L., 2020, “Life is more important than football”: Comparative analysis of Tweets and Facebook comments regarding the cancellation of the 2015 African Cup of Nations in Morocco. International Review for the Sociology of Sport, pp. 1-24, DOI: 10.1177/1012690219899610

Roy M., Moreau N., Rousseau C., Mercier A., Wilson A., Atlani-Duault L., 2019, Ebola and Localized Blame on Social Media: Analysis of Twitter and Facebook Conversations during the 2014–2015 Ebola EpidemicCulture, Medicine and Psychiatry,  June 2019, pp. 1-24,

Morin C., Mercier A., Atlani-Duault L., 2019, Text–Image Relationships in Tweets: Shaping the Meanings of an Epidemic, Societies 9, 12; doi:10.3390/soc9010012.

Morin C, Bost I, Mercier A, Dozon J, Atlani-Duault L., 2018, Information Circulation in times of Ebola: Twitter and the Sexual Transmission of Ebola by SurvivorsPLOS Currents Outbreaks. 2018 Aug 28 . Edition 1. doi: 10.1371.

Frasca T., Fauré Y., Atlani-Duault L., 2018, Decentralisation of Brazil ’s HIV/AIDS programme: intended and unintended consequences, Global Public Health, Volume 13, 2018 - Issue 12, pp. 1725-1736 |

Atlani-Duault L, Brown L., Fried L., 2018, The elderly: an invisible population in humanitarian aidThe Lancet, Vol. 3, No 1, DOI:

Martins T, Kerr L, Macena R, Mota R, Dourado I, Brito AM, Atlani-Duault and al., 2018, Incentives and barriers to HIV testing among female sex workers in Ceará, Revista de Saude Publica, 52:64.

Atlani-Duault L., 2017, Un pionnier du troisième sexe social: B. Saladin d’Englure, Socio, 9, pp.37-74.

Atlani-Duault L. & Delattre F., 2016, Is Aleppo the Grave of the United Nations?The Lancet, vol. 388, No10059, p.2473. S0140-6736(16)32122-5

Atlani-Duault L., Dozon J.P., Wilson A., Delfraissy J.F, Moatti. JP., 2016, State Humanitarian Verticalism versus Universal Health Coverage. One Hundred Years of French International Health Assistance RevisitedThe Lancet, Vol 387, pp 2250-62.

Gonçalves V.F, Kerr L., Mota R.S., Macena R.H.M., Freire D.G., Brito A.M., Dourado I., Atlani-Duault, L., Vidal L. & Kendall C., 2016, Incentives and barriers to HIV testing in men who have sex with men in a metropolitan area in Brazil. Cadernos de Saúde Pública, 32(5), e00049015.

Atlani-Duault L. et al., 2015, Blood Libel Rebooted: Traditional Scapegoats, Online Media, and the H1N1 EpidemicCulture, Medicine and Psychiatry, Vol. 39, pp. 43-61.

Atlani-Duault L. (co-ed), 2015, Human Rights Cases Online, Alexandria: Alexander Street Press.

Rousseau, C., Moreau N., Dumas MP., Bost I., Lefebvre S., Atlani-Duault L., 2015, Public Media Communications about H1N1, Risk Perceptions and Immunization Behaviours : A Quebec-France ComparisonPublic Understanding of Science, vol.24, no2, pp.225-240.

Atlani-Duault L., 2015, Per il bene degli altri. Antropologia dell'aiuto umanitario, Napoli : Liguori.

Atlani-Duault L. & Dufoix S. (ed)., 2014, Chercheurs à la barre, Socio, Vol.3, 338p.

Atlani-Duault L. & Dufoix S., 2014, Les sciences sociales saisies par la justice, Socio, Vol.3, pp.9-49.

Atlani-Duault L. et al., 2013, Behavioural Research in Epidemics, The Lancet Infectious Diseases, Vol. 13, pp. 367-368.

Atlani-Duault L. & Vidal L. (ed), 2013, La santé globale; laboratoire de l’aide internationale ? (Global Health: A New Laboratory for International Aid?), Armand Colin - Tiers Monde, Vol. 3, n°215, 164p.

Atlani-Duault L., 2013, Comment: “A Small World”: Ethnography of a Natural Disaster Simulation in Lima, Peru, Social Anthropology, Vol. 21, Issue 1, pp. 54–56.

Atlani-Duault L. (ed), 2011, Ethnographies de l’aide (Ethnographies of Aid), special issue, PUF-Ethnologie française, Vol. 41, 148 p.

Atlani-Duault L. & Dozon J.P., 2011, Colonization, Development, Humanitarian Aid. Towards an Anthropology of International Aid, PUF- Ethnologie française, Vol. 41, pp. 393-403.

Atlani-Duault L. & Kendall C., 2009, Influenza, Anthropology, and Global Uncertainties, Medical Anthropology: Cross-Cultural Studies in Health and Illness, 1545-5882, Vol. 28, Issue 3, pp. 207-211.

Atlani-Duault L., 2009, Au bonheur des autres. Anthropologie de l'aide humanitaire (réédition), Paris : Armand Colin, 236p.

Atlani-Duault L. & L. Vidal (eds), 2009, Anthropologie de l'aide humanitaire et du développement (Anthropology of Humanitarian and Development Aid). Paris: Armand Colin, 360p.

Atlani-Duault L., 2009, Anthropologie de l’aide humanitaire et du développement. Histoire, enjeux contemporains et perspectives, in L. Atlani-Duault and L. Vidal (eds), Anthropologie de l’aide humanitaire et du développement. Paris, Armand Colin, p. 17-40.

Atlani-Duault L., 2009, Psychanalyse et anthropologie aujourd’hui : une question de genre. Entretien avec Richard Rechtman, Journal des Anthropologues, Vol. 116-117, pp.212-130.

Atlani-Duault L., 2008, Homosexual Repression and AIDS in Post-Soviet Central Asia, In C. Pope and R. White (eds), HIV/AIDS: Stories of a Global Epidemic, London and New York.  

Atlani-Duault L. (ed.), 2008, Eclats d'empire, un nouveau sud? Asie centrale  et Transcaucasie (Shattered Empires, a New South? Central Asia and Transcaucasia), Armand Colin - Tiers Monde, Vol. 193, 231p.

Atlani-Duault L. & Lautier B., 2008, Quand le Second Monde bascule au Sud, Tiers-Monde, 198, pp.4-12.

Atlani-Duault L. (ed.), 2007, Anthropologues et ONG: des liaisons fructueuses? (Anthropologists and NGOs: Promising Relations?), special issue, Humanitaire, n°4, 80 p.

Atlani-Duault L., 2007, Introduction : Anthropologues et ONG : des liaisons fructueuses ? Humanitaire, Vol. 4, pp. 2-9.

Atlani-Duault L., 2007, Revolutions clothed in the colors of spring. Exporting democracy to the East, In M. Feher (ed.), Non-Governmental Politics, New York: Zone Books, pp. 586-592.

Atlani-Duault L., 2007, Sur les cendres des révolutions de couleur. Drogues et démocratisation en Asie Centrale, Revue d’études comparatives Est-Ouest, 38(1), pp. 29-44.

Atlani-Duault L., 2007, Humanitarian Aid in Post-Soviet Countries. An Anthropological Perspective. London, New York: Routledge, 160p.

Atlani-Duault L., 2007, Goluboi ou la difficulté d’être ‘bleu’. Homosexualité et aide internationale en Asie centrale, Anthropologie et Sociétés, 30(2), pp. 91-111

Atlani-Duault L., 2007, Pentru Binele Celorlalti : Antropologia Ajutorului Umanitar. Bucharest: Ed. Olimp, 191p.

Atlani-Duault L. (ed.), 2005, Les ONG à l'heure de la "bonne gouvernance" (Anthropologists and NGOs: Promising Relations?), Armand Colin - Autrepart, Vol. 35, 183 p.

Atlani-Duault L., 2005, Au bonheur des autres. Anthropologie de l'aide humanitaire. Nanterre : Société d'Ethnologie, 200p.

Bouville J.F., Atlani-Duault L., Heidenreich F. & Moro M.R., 2005, Se protéger en exil. L’‘attachement’ chez les enfants de familles en demande d’asile, L’autre, Vol. 6 (3), pp.385-398.

Atlani-Duault L., 2003, La ‘bonne gouvernance’, nouvelle éthique du développement ? (“Good governance”: a new development ethic?), special issue, Armand Colin-Autrepart, 28: 165-179.

Atlani-Duault L., 2005, Les ONG à l’heure de la bonne gouvernance, Autrepart, Vol. 35, pp. 3-18.

Heidenreich F., Bouville J.F. Atlani L. & Moro M.R., 2002, Processus d’inscription dans la société d’accueil des familles en attente d’un statut de réfugié et de leurs enfants, L’autre, 4(3), pp. 471-4.

Atlani L., 2002, Europe de l’Est: Aujourd'hui les usagers de drogues, et demain ? Trancriptase, 100, pp.10-14.

Atlani L. et al., 2000, Social Change and HIV/AIDS in the Former Soviet Union : The Making of an Epidemic, Social Science and Medicine, 50:1547-1556.

Atlani L. & Rousseau C., 2000, The Politics of Culture in Humanitarian Aid to Refugees Having Experienced Sexual Violence, Transcultural Psychiatry, Vol.37 (3):435-449.

Atlani L., 1998, Le sida se lève à l'Est, Transcriptase, n°64 :20-24.

Atlani L., 1997, Assistance aux victimes de violences sexuelles dans les camps de réfugiés. Lecture ethnologique des recommandations des agences internationales en matière de soutien psycho-socialPsychopathologie Africaine, 1997, Vol. 28,1, pp.25-53.

Mis à jour le
23 September 2016


Immune evasion means we need a new COVID-19 social contract

Paper by Laetitia Atlani-Duault et alii in The Lancet Public Health

Extreme violence: investigate, rescue, judge

Syria, Rwanda, Democratic Republic of Congo
This conference has a dual purpose. The first aim is to study the approaches and practices of social scientists, humanitarian practitioners, and defenders of human rights in time of war, genocide, and mass crimes. It is rare for these three categories of actors to join together...

Will the Syrian tragedy be the United Nations tomb?

Paper of Laëtitia Atlani-Duault in Le Monde
The non-respect of the United Nations resolutions and the resort to chemical weapons in Syria call all the collective security system into question, believes Laëtitia Atlani-Duault, head of the Collège d’études mondiales, in a paper published in Le Monde, on Friday, March 30th...

Decentralisation of Brazil’s HIV/AIDS programme: intended and unintended consequences

Global Public Health
In response to the HIV/AIDS epidemic, Brazil moved to decentralise HIV/AIDS programmes to its states and cities but decentralisation has not provided the results anticipated.

Humanitarian aid in globalization

Understanding the changes taking place in humanitarian aid toda...
The Humanitarian Studies science platform provides an environment for dialogue and debate between researchers from all disciplines and those working in the aid field, aimed at supporting and promoting research on humanitarian aid. It is an open platform and therefore encourages...