CIENS (France)

The CIENS is a public academic teaching and research center  dedicated to interdisciplinar nuclear and strategic studies. It offers a consistent set of seminars on History, Ethics, and Security studies / IR, as well as research publications and animation, in partnership with the French MoD and the Commissariat à l’Energie Atomique et aux Energies Alternatives (CEA), which fund the two postdoctoral fellowships hosted by the Center.

Belonging to the vibrant Ecole Normale Supérieure de Paris Ulm (ENS-Ulm), a public “grande école” integrated in the Paris Sciences et Lettres (PSL) Consortium, the CIENS is hosted by the Department of Geography and Territories (itself an interdisciplinary teaching and research unit, including geopolitics, IR and Peace studies, with Master’s specialisations on the contemporary Middle East and Europe (the CIENS being mainly involved in the last one). Its seminars are open to partners of the PSL consortium, including the Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne University, Paris 2 Panthéon-Assas  and the INALCO Institute (non-Western Languages).

The CIENS emanates from the common will of academics and practitioners to fill in the gap on nuclear deterrence, arms control and proliferation in the French academic landscape, in a time when these issues are confirmed as central in contemporary IR, and utterly need an interdisciplinary approach of human and social sciences, combining History, Geography, Pol Sci, Economy, Philosophy, Law, but also less visible fields like linguistic and aesthetic studies.

Besides regular publications on strategic issues, especially on nuclear deterrence, proliferation and disarmament, two international conferences, have already been set up, whose topics are tightly linked to the EU Consortium’s mandate  :

  • “From West Berlin to North Korea : challenge to extended deterrence” in June 2018;
  • “Getting rid of Nuclear Weapons: Philosophical Foundation and Historical Circulation of Ideas in Nuclear Disarmament” (forthcoming, May 2019).

Contact information


École Normale Supérieure – Paris (ENS-Ulm)
Département Géographie et Territoires

The team

Nicolas Roche nicolas.roche@diplomatie.gouv.frNicolas Roche is Director of the CIENS, where he teaches on Ethics and nuclear weapons. He graduated from the ‘Ecole des Chartes, as archivist and paleograph, from Sciences-Po Paris and the National School of Administration. He has served in the Foreign Affairs ministry, Defence ministry, and the French Atomic Energy Commission (Military Applications Division).
  • IR
  • Strategic studies.
  • Philosophy
  • Ethics
Ilaria Parisi
Ilaria Parisi is a post-doc research fellow at CIENS. She teaches History of Nuclear deterrence and co-animate a research seminar on the same topic. She holds a PhD in Contemporary History and defended her thesis in November 2017 on France and the Euromissile Crisis (1977-1987). She specialised on Cold War, nuclear history, and French nuclear policy.

She is currently exploring the way in which France engaged a bilateral dialogue on nuclear deterrence with her main security partners, Great Britain, Germany and Italy, and how it evolved during the 1970s and 1980s.

  • Cold War
  • Nuclear History
  • French foreign policy
Guillaume de Rougé
Guillaume de Rougé is a post-doc research fellow at the CIENS. He is responsible for a research seminar on Global History of Nuclear Deterrence. He is working on a two-years Research Program dedicated to a “Socio-historical approach toward Europe and deterrence” in the post Cold War era, focusing on the intricacies of European defence and European deterrence. He holds a PhD in Contemporary History (2010) focused on France and  European Defence in the 1990s. He  specialised on the post-Cold War era, European security and French foreign and defence policy.

Since 2011, he has been Assistant lecturer in IR at Sciences-Po Paris, INALCO, Sorbonne-Nouvelle and Vincennes-Saint-Denis Universities.
From 2011 to 2015, he worked for the ministry of Defence, as a policy advisor on US and NATO defence planning.

  • Strategic studies
  • European Security and Defence Cooperation
  • Strategic cultures
  • Global history of nuclear Deterrence
Céline Jurgensen
Céline Jurgensen is teaching at the Centre for Nuclear and Strategic Studies (CIENS) of Ecole Normale Supérieure Ulm in Paris and at the Panthéon-Assas University (Paris 2). She is also a visiting lecturer at the Aix-Marseille University.

She co-edited a book on French nuclear deterrence, titled “Résistance et Dissuasion – Des origines du programme nucléaire français à nos jours” (Odile Jacob, 2018).

She is a French career diplomat. After graduating from the National School of Administration (E.N.A.), she joined the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 2003. She held various positions at the Legal Department, the Department of Strategic Affairs, Security and Disarmament and the French Mission to the United Nations in New York. In 2012, she joined the Ministry of Defense, as Deputy Defense Policy Director, in charge of WMD issues. From 2014 to September 2016, she was Deputy Director for Human Rights and Humanitarian affairs, at the United Nations and International Organizations Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. She is currently Director for Strategy and Policy at the French Atomic Energy Commission (Military Applications Division).

Dominique Mongin
Dominique Mongin is teaching at the Centre for Nuclear and Strategic Studies (CIENS) of Ecole Normale Supérieure Ulm in Paris and at the National Institute for Oriental Languages and Civilizations (INALCO).

He got his PhD in history at Paris I Panthéon-Sorbonne University in 1991.

He was appointed in several French governmental offices in charge of defense and security issues.

He has published several books on these topics, including  more recently “Résistance et Dissuasion – Des origines du programme nucléaire français à nos jours” (co-edited, Paris, Odile Jacob, 2018) and « Dissuasion et Simulation – De la fin des essais nucléaires français au programme Simulation » (Paris, Odile Jacob, 2018).