J. Peter Burgess

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J. Peter Burgess
J. Peter Burgess.jpg
Born (1961-06-01) 1 June 1961 (age 59)
Scientific career
FieldsPhilosophy, Political Science, Security Theory
InstitutionsEcole Normale Supérieure (Professor) University of Copenhagen (Professor)

J. Peter Burgess (born 1 June 1961 in Munich, Germany) is a philosopher and political scientist. He is Professor and Chair of Geopolitics of Risk at the Ecole Normale Supérieure, Paris, Adjunct Professor at the Center for Advanced Security Theory (CAST), University of Copenhagen and Associate Researcher at the Centre for Law, Science, Technology and Society Studies (LSTS) at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel. He is Series Editor of the Routledge New Security Studies collection. His research and writing concern the meeting place between science, culture and politics in particular in Europe, focusing most recently on the theory and ethics of security and insecurity. He has published 11 books and over 75 articles in the fields of philosophy, political science, gender studies, cultural history, security studies and cultural theory. He has contributed to research and educational policy in Norway, France, Poland and the European Commission. In addition, he has developed and directed a number of comprehensive collaborative research projects with Norwegian and European partners.

Early life and studies[edit]

Burgess grew up in the U.S. Midwest and studied Mechanical Engineering and Applied Physics at the University of Colorado, Boulder, graduating with a B.S. in 1983. He then turned his attention to European literature and literary theory, completing a B.A. in English Literature at the University of Iowa in 1984, an A.M. at the University of Chicago in Comparative Literature in 1986 and an M.Phil. at Columbia University in French and Comparative Literature in 1989. In 1985 he began a series of intermittent studies in semiotics at the University of Paris VI (1988–1989) and philosophy at the Free University of Berlin (1989–1990). He completed a D.E.A. in philosophy at the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales, Paris and a Doctorate in philosophy from Université François Rabelais de Tours in 2010 with a thesis on the politics of Hegel's dialectic.

Career and research[edit]

Burgess worked as teacher of philosophy at the Lycée Français d’Oslo and Adjunct Lecturer in Philosophy at the University of Oslo in 1992-1994 before becoming a Lecturer and Researcher at Volda University College where he remained in several capacities until 1998. His research in this period focused on theories of cultural and national identity and led to a variety of publications on Norwegian nation-building, culture and language politics. In 1998-2000 he was Jean Monnet Fellow at the European University Institute, Florence. Here research expanded to questions of the European identity and the language politics of Vico. During this period he also began a collaborative project on security identity at the Peace Research Institute Oslo (PRIO). In 2001, Burgess was named Editor of Security Dialogue at PRIO and undertook a long-term reform of the journal, lifting it to its current status as among the most prominent journals in security studies in the world. In 2004, Burgess was named Leader of PRIO's Security Programme, which he led until 2011. His research in this period focused on theoretical and ethical issues connected to risk, uncertainty, security and insecurity, with a particular attention to European politics. He has argued in a number of works for the cultural, societal and philosophical foundations of security. During this period Burgess rose to spearhead PRIO's European research portfolio. He has been actively involved in funding and execution of over 35 Norwegian and European research projects.

Burgess has held adjunct positions at the Centre for Development and the Environment at the University of Oslo (2003–2004), as Visiting Professor at the Fondation national de sciences politiques (Sciences Po) (2004–2005), Adjunct Professor at Collegium Civitas, Warsaw (2007–2010), Adjunct Professor at Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) (2008–2010), and Senior Researcher at the Institute for European Studies, Vrije Universiteit Brussel (2009–2011).

Contributions to Research, Educational and Social Policy[edit]

Since 2007, Burgess has actively participated in the formation of the European security research policy and the shaping of European research programmes, participating in policy formation working groups and projects in and around the European institutions. He was an active participant in ESRIF, the European Security Research and Innovation Forum, contributing directly to the main elements of its final report, published in 2009. He has been a central member of the European Commission's Working Group on the Societal Impact of Security Research and authored a number of contributions to security research policy in the Seventh Framework Programme and Horizon 2020. He is currently Chairman of the Ethics Advisory Group of the European Data Protection Supervisor.

Personal life[edit]

J. Peter Burgess is married to Karen Lieve Ria Hostens, Cooperation Delegate for the International Committee of the Red Cross, and father to three children. He lives in Paris.


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