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Professor Emeritus of Iranian Studies at the Sorbonne Nouvelle (Paris), he made a large number of visits to Iran and witnessed the devolution of 1978-9. Today he is not allowed to visit the country. After his studies at Tubingen he was a researcher at the CNRS (Paris) and then visiting Professor at the University of Los Angeles (UCLA) and the University of Oxford (St. Anthony’s College). His publications concentrate on the sociology of Shiite Islam (L'islam chiite, croyances et idéologies, 1991) and on the history of Iran during the twentieth century (L'Iran de 1800 à nos jours, 2009).