TEPSIS in English


Coordinating institution

Institution name Status

Institution managing funding

 Institution name Status
PRES Hautes Etudes Sorbonne Arts et Métiers  EPCS

Affiliation of project partners



Staff employed

IRIS UMR 8156/ U 997 EHESS /CNRS/Inserm/UP13


















CEMAf UMR 8171 UP1 /CNRS/EPHE/Université de Provence


CETOBAC UMR 8032 CNRS/EHESS/Collège de France







Summary. 3

1.      Scientific and Technical Description of the Project 4

1.1.            Description of the programme; ambition, pertinence, and scientific strategy  4

1.2.            Scientific presentation of the research project 8

1.3.            Impact of the programme on training. 14

1. 4. Socioeconomic impact of the programme. 15

2.      Organisation and governance of the project 18

2.1.            Composition of the partnership. 20

2.1.1         Partners’ description, relevance, and complementarities  20

2.2.            Governance. 36

3.     Funding justification. 39

3.1.1         Research project  39

3.1.2         Educational project  40

3.1.3         Valorisation/ Exploitation of results and technology transfer  41

3.1.4         Governance  42


In contrast to the hyper-specialisation of contemporary social sciences, the TEPSIS LABEX project aims to establish the foremost French and European national and international research platform in the Historical and Social Sciences of Politics. Its chosen object is the diversity of modes of political involvement in the polity and in the domain of contemporary societies. It proposes to link analysis of the governmental and administrative modes of modern and contemporary societies with analysis of the social practices which are transforming the organisational and regulatory forms of human activity. TEPSIS is an integral part of the excellence initiative project “Paris Novi Mundi Université” (PNMU) led by the PRES HESAM. It brings together researchers and teams from 12 Research Centres associated with the CNRS (all of which are evaluated as A+ or A by the AERES) and from the ENA research centre. Its 249 professors, researchers and engineers constitute by far the foremost grouping in France – and one of the foremost in Europe – in this field of research. Altogether, they have obtained more than 70 ANR and 3 ERC grants.

The priorities of the TEPSIS programme are organised around three axes: 1/ State Transformation 2/ Politicisation of Society 3/ Institutionalisation of Social Issues. These divided into nine major teaching and research themes led by pluridisciplinary teams bringing together several UMR (mixed research units): Historicity of the State; State weaknesses; Politics within and beyond the State; Political timescales, territorial discontinuity, and mobilisation; Everyday relations to politics; Legitimacy and delegitimation of elites; The political construction of subjectivities; The structuring of the social order; Social differentiations and inequalities and two federative transversal operations: The Encyclopedia of the historical and social sciences of politics; which is the concrete realisation of the common work achieved by TEPSIS and is published on-line; and the Descriptive repertory of politics, a constantly evolving database which provides the foremost international monitoring tool on political forms.

TEPSIS’ teaching programme links training of future generations of high-level researchers to the diversification of their professional integration by 1) creating a high-level training programme that favours international integration within the PNMU’s International Master College (IMC) – this TEPSIS programme will extend from bachelors’ to PhD levels and will combine international mobility and pluridisciplinarity; and 2) transversal actions favouring PhD students: establishment of an intervention fund to favour mobility, financing of international workshops, and diversifying vocational integration by organising a Job Market

Scientific communication and promotion will be achieved through three facilities coordinated with those established by PNMU:

1st) Dissemination of TEPSIS results through The Encyclopedia of the historical and social sciences of politics, the launch of a TEPSIS book series, and the creation of a documentary database, the Descriptive repertory of politics. To these will be added a programme to give young researchers experience of the various forms of publishing.

2nd) TEPSIS Agenda: this partnership between the media, schools of journalism, and researchers will organise meetings for decision-makers and for citizens; it will also produce and disseminate synthetic reviews.

3rd) The TEPSIS Circles for Projects and Exchange seek to diversify exchanges between researchers and actors in the public, institutional, economic, and social spheres with the aim of creating and leading research projects, consultancy actions, applied expertise, and knowledge dissemination (including training actions).

Governance: TEPSIS is piloted by a Governing Board comprising 16 members (its decision making body): 13 members representing the partner UMRs, 2 for the two main doctoral schools (the EHESS and Paris 1), and 1 for the PRES HESAM. The Board fixes internal regulations, finalises each year the TEPSIS LABEX programmes of research, training, and dissemination of knowledge, and decides on the annual budget, which is organised by the various LABEX actions and programmes. The board elects a Director and four deputy directors for a three-year period, renewable once. The Director and adjutants constitute the Executive Office, which implements the scientific, training, and communication policies adopted by the LABEX Board, and represents LABEX before instances of the PRES. The Scientific Committee comprises 18 members (named for 4 years) drawn from organisations outside LABEX, of which a third are foreign researchers.

The TEPSIS project is submitted in coordination with the IDEX initiative of the PRES HESAM « Paris Novi Mundi Université » (PNMU), the strategic objectives of which are 1) to develop world-level research; 2) to reinforce investigation of social transformations by emphasising their global and historical context; and 3) to strengthen synergy with cognitive sciences, experimental psychology, environmental sciences, and mathematical modelling.

1.   Scientific and Technical Description of the Project

1.1.  Description of the programme; ambition, pertinence, and scientific strategy

The TEPSIS laboratory of excellence project aims to establish the foremost French and European platform for national and international research into the Historical and Social Sciences of Politics. This ambition is imperative: the relations between society and politics are in constant flux, and States are confronted with new challenges (climate, finance, energy, health, geostrategy…). Only pluridisciplinary, international perspectives which consider politics in its historical and national contexts are in a position to take up the challenges posed to traditional models of knowledge by the transformations of society.

The chosen object of the TEPSIS LABEX is therefore the diversity of modes of political involvement in the polity and in the domain of contemporary society. It proposes to link the analysis of the modes of government and administration of modern and contemporary societies with that of the analysis of the social practices which challenge, configure, and continually transform the organisational and regulatory forms of human activity.

TEPSIS brings together teams with an international reputation for expertise in these different domains, and that are already working together to cross the frontiers between disciplines. The main disciplines and methodologies employed are political and social history, the anthropology of the contemporary world and of cultural regions, the history of healthcare and health policy, comparative analysis of the long timescales of social regularities and the shorter timescales of social events, and quantitative and qualitative investigative methods. In the tradition of the École des Annales from which it sprang, TEPSIS takes up the challenge of a coherent, global view of social sciences and lends particular attention to their most stimulating innovations (postcolonial studies, subaltern studies, gender studies, histoire-monde…). TEPSIS combines rigour in empirical and theoretical research with a high-level teaching programme. “Empirical”, because backed by ANR, ANRS and ERC Grants projects. “Theoretical”, as it pursues the ambition to rebuild the conceptual framework of the historical and social sciences of politics on a new interdisciplinary epistemology. The teaching programme is founded on the combined bachelor’s degrees, the master’s degrees, and the doctoral schools of the EHESS, of Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne, and on the experience of the ENA, which TEPSIS will reinforce by providing interdisciplinary bridges in new curricula up to the post-doctoral level. Over and above initial training, TEPSIS will carry lifelong learning modules and act as a source of the diffusion of knowledge in the public sphere, most notably through the TEPSIS Agenda. The challenge is to train the high-level researchers of tomorrow and to make research-based teaching one of the mainstays of the training of future corporate and administrative managers. Here, TEPSIS conforms to the PNMU excellence initiative project led by the PRES HESAM, which makes a priority of the decompartmentalisation of the social sciences and the training of political and economic elites. TEPSIS brings together teams from 13 research partners (12 UMR associated with the CNRS assessed as A+ or A by the AERES, and of which 2 are also INSERM research centres; and also the ENA research centre): that is, a total of 249 professors, researchers and engineers who constitute by far the foremost grouping in France – and one of the foremost in Europe – in this field of research. These partners have obtained more than 70 ANR and 3 ERC Grants since 2008, which illustrates the quality of their research.

The TEPSIS programme comprises 3 axes: State Transformation, Politicisation of Society, and Institutionalisation of Social Issues which divide into 9 areas of teaching and research and 2 federative transversal operations.

State Transformation: the origins of the various disciplines of the social sciences run parallel to the assertion of the State. They have thus been impacted by numerous social transformations and this is why the State has been seen as the essential expression of ‘the political’. But this expression is changing. We will therefore establish three areas of research to grasp its different reconfigurations: 1. the historicity of the State; 2. its weaknesses; and 3. its relations with politics and its very historical status.

Politicisation of Society: questioning the frontiers and the transformations of the State leads us in return to consider how subjects appropriate – or don’t -, and then citizens, appropriate politics and political challenges. The gap between political elites and ordinary citizens is partially diminished, as this process of politicisation proceeds by inventing and transforming courses of action (corn riots, strikes, demonstrations, voting). The appropriation is nonetheless unequal and depends heavily on intermediaries (professional politicians, intellectuals, trade unionists). Three domains of investigation cover the characteristics of this politicisation: 4. mobilisation; 5. everyday relations to politics; and 5. the role of elites, their legitimacy, and their delegitimation.

Institutionalisation of Social Issues: the different domains of politics show that it should be understood as a social construct – and that the social should be taken as being a political construct. It is therefore important to conduct fieldwork on the seizure of the social by politics, from knowledge to categories and from categories to modes of intervention, such as those established by the State, but also by religious, economic and private institutions. The emergence of new social objects in the public sphere (such as gender, for example), their modes of public expression (such as demands for equity or the denunciation of discrimination), and their consequences (the demand for parity) cast new light on the way in which issues become social problems which, in turn, become a matter of public policy. When analysed with respect to different places and timescales, investigation of this dual tendency follows three paths: 7. the political construction of subjectivity; 8. the structuring of social order; and 9. the shifting of inequalities.

Transversal research operations. The first consists in an Encyclopedia of the historical and social sciences of politics. Given in the list of EHESS publications as The Rural and Urban History of France or as Doing History, the encyclopaedia is positioned with respect to three international undertakings that have marked an epistemological turning-point: the Geschichtliche Grundbegriffe, the “Ideas in Context” collection from the Cambridge School for the History of Political Thought, and the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, a major resource of analytic philosophy. Unlike these resources, and unlike the French projects that distance themselves from the conceptual history of Koselleck, it will be founded on the methods of the social sciences and will go beyond concepts to sum up the advances and limits of the various specialised areas of knowledge.

The second operation is a Descriptive repertory of politics. This is a database of the State and of the transformations of politics throughout the world, along the lines of the Human Relations Area Files. On the basis of the fields of research of the mixed research units which comprise TEPSIS – and also those of our foreign research partners – it will collect and bring together empirical, comparative research from those areas of the world where the transformation of modes of political intervention is most apparent: Europe and its new governance, Africa, the Far East, the Arabic and Muslim world, the Americas. At present, there is no standardised comparative data available, and it is this lack that we shall rectify by reinforcing circulation of the methods and concepts of the social sciences.

The educational programme. TEPSIS offers an overall renewal of the historical and social sciences of politics. Research-led teaching occupies a central place in training future high-level researchers and in facilitating their professional integration in the senior civil service, in corporations, in consulting and expertise and with respect to public and private decision makers and administrations.

To achieve this, we rely on the exceptional resources made available by the PRES HESAM PNMU, which brings together the widely renowned courses of Paris 1, the EHESS, or the ENA in the historical and social sciences of politics and – without supplanting them – enriches them by the creation of new excellence programmes. Our priority is the establishment of the international TEPSIS programme – from bachelor’s to PhD level, on an interdisciplinary basis and integrating an obligatory module which must be taken and evaluated in a high-level foreign university.

Transformational and leverage effects: TEPSIS addresses the challenges of a social science placed at the service not only of knowledge, but also of the different sectors of society. TEPSIS seeks to effect a transformation of the social impact of research in social sciences through the training of researchers and corporate executives and by knowledge transfer targeting the decision makers and actors of public policy. The challenge is to promote a partnership between science and the citizen which will facilitate understanding of the principles, the stakes, and the results of research by adopting means of communication that are appropriate to the widest range of targets. Together, the programmes of research, training, and communication also seek to orient research in social sciences back towards society itself. The contribution of the two research units of the INSERM will be determinant in reinforcing this orientation towards public health policy.

Impact on international research. By linking social and historical sciences within a vast research and teaching programme, the TEPSIS LABEX will contribute – with its international partners – to the revision of a large part of contemporary knowledge. The EHESS and Paris 1 are already involved in over 30 national and international networks. The Descriptive repertory of politics promotes wide scale international coordination between researchers and favours the circulation of methods and concepts between historical and social sciences.

Impact on teaching. TEPSIS will contribute to the establishment of the new dynamic led by the PNMU IDEX. Generally, this is a matter of accelerating the internationalisation of educational programmes and of developing a new interdisciplinary culture on the basis of a large-scale epistemological project. An “international TEPSIS course” will be established covering bachelor’s to PhD levels, and existing PRES courses will benefit from TEPSIS research: its results and advances will impact the regular update of the PRES programmes.

Impact on the careers of future elites. With the benefit of contributions by the LABEX research teams and from the ENA programmes, TEPSIS will consolidate the training of future elites with high-level research in social sciences. From initial training onwards, the TEPSIS approach will test new training programmes that will take their place in the PNMU International Master College. With respect to lifelong training, TEPSIS’ pluridisciplinary research projects and the actions it takes with its partners will provide the inspiration for the programmes offered by PNMU’s “Odysseus Executive Training”.

Structure. Within the PRES HESAM, TEPSIS brings together and federates 13 research partners, all assessed at A+ and A, which have politics and political science as their common object of investigation. This concerns the articulation of their results, but also the establishment of priorities and the definition of the programmes to be realised. TEPSIS will thus allow the structuring of a field of research and teaching which is at present disparate and often hermetically closed between one discipline and another and between cultural zones. On the basis of the widely-recognised experience of both the EHESS and Paris 1, TEPSIS will provide a vital fulcrum for the development of synergistic relations within the “Anthropology, Sociology, Demography, and Political Science” department of PNMU.

1.2.  Scientific presentation of the research project

Human and social sciences came into being by offering ways of analysing societies and their forms of political organisation. From its earliest origins, philosophy has defined authority and the division of skills. Until the Enlightenment, the question of right human government addressed a system in which political authority, religious institutions, and the management of resources were functionally and analytically inseparable. More recently, the constitutional foundations of liberal societies have encouraged autonomous analysis of the political domain. In the 19th Century, there was a separation of enquiry between law, the humanities, and the social sciences. This tripartite division is reflected in the establishment of separate departments that are frequently mutually hermetic. In the United States, “social sciences” and “humanities” are frequently dissociated, and even in the spatial disposition of the campus. Even if such divisions are less notable in France, where sociology first saw the day within the discipline of philosophy, and where history is considered as a social science, it nonetheless continues to represent a strong intellectual constraint. TEPSIS intends to overcome this separation and to renew the tradition of exchanges between the social sciences and the humanities around the common object of the political act. First conceived as a science of government, political science has moved closer to the social sciences, enlarging its domain of investigation from professional politics and its main institutions (parties, political systems) to the beliefs and behaviour of ordinary citizens and the sociohistory of their practices – as pursued, for example, by Jacques Lagroye of Paris 1 and the team he founded (whose successors participate in TEPSIS). Similarly, sociologists and anthropologists have taken as their object “the political”, considering first its institutional forms, then its pre-institutional forms – and even those that will never be instituted.

If these different historical, sociological, and anthropological approaches have had mutual influence, it is undoubtedly through their objects – “the political” and its historical and contemporary manifestations; common methods and concepts only emerging relatively lately. Each scientific tradition has nevertheless remained attached to its particular concerns and challenges. As a result, there are frequent confrontations and even outright conflict. Either the eventuality of a unified social science has become remote, or such unification has excluded history to the benefit of an epistemologically ‘presentist’ approach. However, the historical perspective can make a dual contribution: sociogenetical (by understanding the origins and the developments of various forms of governance) and comparative. Comparison with past situations allows us to avoid ethnocentric bias, as Weber, Elias, and Kantorowicz demonstrate. Investigating the past is also a matter of learning how to reveal hidden sociopolitical configurations and of learning how to address the diverse modes of politicisation apparent in social life.

TEPSIS has the ambition of returning to and renewing the programme defined by the precursors of our disciplines in order to propose a new approach to politics. This requires that we provide the theoretical framework, the range of methodological tools, and – above all – the institutional and human infrastructures without which the global character of the approach would remain a mere ideal. This common enterprise is the collective base on which the entire project is founded. For the TEPSIS teams, this is a matter of considering and collating the globalised re-readings proposed in a disorganised fashion by contemporary social sciences. This ranges from the critiques of globalisation by economists such as Stiglitz or by those who denounce a process of global cultural homogenisation to the analysis of forms of cultural appropriation and hybridisation of anthropologists such as Appadurai and Hannerz, passing through – among others – Sassen’s reflections on global cities and on inequalities. Lastly, TEPSIS’ role is to propose its own answers by establishing a rigorous methodology which combines comparison, entangled history, connected history, and transfers and appropriations, and which falls within the three axes: State transformation, Politicisation of society, and Institutionalisation of social issues.

First axis: State transformation

1st Theme: The historicity of the State. Nothing is the subject of greater debate than the date at which the modern State came into being. It is variously held to be coeval with the appearance in medieval times of princely taxation, with the widescale importation of Roman titles and magistracies during the Renaissance, with the pomp and royal majesty of the Classic age, with the extension of coercion at the time of the “military revolution”, or with the emergence of police authority during the Age of Enlightenment. The construction of national identities and their role in the establishment of Nation-States have been the subject of more or less convergent research from Ernest Gellner to Benedict Anderson. Recent work on the relations between State and empire (such as that of Frederick Cooper, or the work brought together by Craig Calhoun in Lessons of Empire) lead us to rethink the forms of domination exercised beyond their frontiers by modern States (colonialism being just one manifestation). Contrary to predictions, studies of globalisation have shown their persistence and their resistance in the face of the pressure of economic forces that seek to shake protectionist policies. In this first theme, which brings together the UMRs 8558, 8209, 8097, 8178, 8032, 8036 and the CERA (ENA), TEPSIS proposes to assess existing studies on State historicity and, by their light, to rethink transformations of the State on the long run.

2nd Theme : State weaknesses. If the State’s hold over societies has not disappeared, it has nonetheless undergone a major transformation. While the fall of the communist regimes has weakened the State in the East, the system of contemporary treaties (European for example), including those relating to the regulation of competition, trade and financial markets, has undermined the legal foundations of the sovereignty of the Nation State.  At the same time, the adoption of “new public management” has resulted in a profound modification of the Civil Service. We must therefore consider, and put into perspective, the changes in the role of the State and its organisation, and find new approaches that will allow us to understand how the State remains a founding matrix of social organisation in competition with other sources of authority. This can be illustrated by the study conducted by the UMR 8178 on the adoption by public administrations of managerial techniques drawn from the private sector, or by the global health programmes of the UMR 8211. Their results document the various forms taken by contemporary social regulations. This theme brings together the UMRs 8209, 8156, 8178, 8083 and the Joint Programme with the LABEX Strasbourg School. The two LABEX have decided to pool their researchers around a common theme on “Elites between the State and transnational fields”. They will conduct a series of field enquiries in 10 European countries on the mobility of elites between different spheres of power.

3rd Theme: Politics within and beyond the State. From a long view and with respect to different national contexts, the political field has undergone major evolutions. Through analysis of the older forms of social politicisation (lampoon and “doléances” or “registers of grievances”) and more modern manifestations (strikes, demonstrations, petitions), the logic of mobilisation and the “repertory of action” described by Charles Tilly have become “objects”. Theories of collective action have passed from an irrationalist conception (drawn from crowd psychology) to an analysis in terms of rational choice (Olson, 1965), soon reformulated in the wake of research into social movements in terms of the mobilisation of resources (Morris and Herring, 1987; Zald 1992). The research conducted by members of TEPSIS on mobilisation and demobilisation in different contexts, including ultramodern movement such as anti-globalisation (Sommier 2005), has contributed to the production of methodological tools which overcome the alternative between irrational and rational choice by analysing the meaning human beings give to their action and the recourse to rationality following the Weberien concept according to value. There are no comparative assessments available and, a fortiori, no pluridisciplinary assessments. We offer the international scientific community a historical and transnational current status report on these fields of politics, thus founding the study of these new objects. This theme brings together UMRs 8156, 8209, 8097, 8558 and 8032.

Second axis : the politicisation of society

4th Theme: Political timescales, territorial discontinuities, mobilisation. Here, the challenge is to review the question of political timescales and to compare experience acquired in Western Europe with processes implemented in other regions of the world. Some regions have been subjected to colonial status, others have undergone the power of intervention deployed by Western countries, while yet others have pursued their own paths.  TEPSIS will pay particular attention to the disaccord of political timescales and to territorial discontinuities.  TEPSIS will thus compare models of politicisation and mobilisation within different national and supranational political spaces, including recent phenomena such as social networks and the Arab revolutions or the reconfiguration of autochtonies. The differing commitment stances of intellectuals and professionals, along with the constitution of diverse collectives, constitute the principal fields of research of this 4th theme which subsumes UMRs 8039, 8209, 8097 and 8211. We will emphasise research into the Arab and Muslim world (UMR 8032), enquiries into the mobilisation of victims (scandals concerning contaminated blood and growth hormones – UMR 8178), and the constitution of patients’ collectives (UMR 8211).

5th Theme: Everyday relations to politics. Although we speak freely nowadays of a “crisis of politics”, research must go beyond such simplifications and examine recent mobilisations, their emergence and causes, and their loss of impetus. Beyond hasty reporting of current events marked by abstention, alternations and the restructuring of the party systems, it is essential to give a finer analysis of everyday relations to politics, and notably through qualitative and ethnographical enquiries that will help us understand how opinion is formed and transformed. Grasping the lay relation to politics is also a question of studying spheres other than traditional political parties (associations, NGOs, worldwide social forums). We must understand not only how the sense of what is “just” is shaped within the social groups that these arenas mobilise, but also the appropriations and reappropriations of social space (districts, villages, prisons, hospitals), or public uses of the past and of collective suffering (memories of the Shoah; of Gulags; of the Armenian, Cambodian, and Rwandan genocides). Research is being developed into the mobilisation of women and sexual minorities within UMRs 8178, 8156, and 8209; enquiries into the political construction of categories of handicap in UMR 8211; or Interdisciplinary and Comparative approaches of Dead Bodies Treatment in the 20th century for the ERC Starting Grant conducted by UMR 8156. Lastly, the inter-laboratory research into the 2012 French presidential election will be renewed for each new major election. This 5th theme concerns the UMRs 8039, 8156, 8209, 8097, 8558, 8178, 8083, 8168 and 8032.

6th Theme: Legitimacy and delegitimation of elites. Working on these processes is a matter of reconsidering the place of political, intellectual, journalistic and partisan elites; it is also a matter of addressing the modes of intervention and, forms of governance they prefer. Do these elites still contribute towards politicisation and the development of opinions?  Or, on the contrary is their loss of legitimacy a factor of demobilisation?  Answering these questions – which are regularly posed in the public sphere – leads us to follow new paths of enquiry by considering the role of texts and images, from the circulation of printed lampoons in the early modern era through to the most contemporary forms of distribution, and also the impact of the performing arts. By way of illustration, we would underline the research of UMR 8558 on the production of State elites, of UMR 8178 on the role artistic forms on the politicisation of populations, of UMR 8032 on the way civil servants reinforce their “administrative” dependence, and of the CERA on ENA students. Lastly, UMR 8097 conducts an ANR project on The production of state elites in partnership with the Conseil National du Droit (national council on law) and l’Ecole Nationale de la Magistrature (national magistrates’ school). This 6th theme brings together UMRs 8209 (partner of Columbia and of the CFJ – the Paris school of journalism), 8097, 8558, 8083, 8178 and the CERA.

Third axis: Institutionalisation of social issues

7th Theme: The political construction of subjectivities. Analysis of the way in which States and authorities produce the historical and synchronous forms of the subjects they govern is at the intersection of numerous disciplines, including history, sociology, anthropology, political science and psychology. The global analysis of contemporary forms of subjectivity is not so much characteristic of any particular psyche, as of a social attitude which expresses itself individually, via the representation of ‘interiority’. Its investigation leads us to examine the sense human individuals give to their action, without falling into the excesses of the 20th Century ‘linguistic turn’, which at times substituted the analysis of conceptual representations rather than of the realities to which such representations supposedly correspond. Numerous TEPSIS sociologists, political scientists, or historians have – like their Anglophone counterparts (cf. Robert Nye on the birth of criminology) – questioned the origin of these evaluative schemes, the human individuals and institutions which have produced them, and the various struggles where they have been at stake. This is illustrated by work on public policies which has favoured taking into consideration the mid to long term in order to analyse the genesis of categories of public action (Topalov 1994; Dubois 1999; Lenoir 2003). The study of traditional and new categories (proletarians, employees, victims, the disabled, the sick, people in insecure jobs, women, sexual minorities) is essential for the analysis of the construction of ‘subjects’. The investigation by UMR 8178 into the new classes of ‘the insecure’, the enquiries into moral economies of the ERC Advanced Grant “Towards a Critical Moral Anthropology” conducted by UMR 8156, and the work of UMR 8039 on the processes of desubjectivisation and that of UMR 8211 on handicap and Alzheimer’s disease will provide the structure of this 7th theme. It brings together researchers from UMRs 8156, 8211, 8209, 8558 and 8039.

8th Theme: The structuring of social order. How is social order politically structured? How does globalisation change relations to power? The various mechanisms of differentiation instituted by the categories, norms and tools of public action will be analysed on the basis of ‘social’ policies, i.e. those relating to the various forms of risk and dependence. Present research by TEPSIS teams bears witness to this, and particularly with respect to questions of age (UMRs 8039, 8211, and 8209), of the management of bodies and of behaviour (health, mental health, and disability), the sexual division of the social world (UMRs 8209, 8156, and 8178) and up to and including ethnic groupings (UMR 8032). Biopolitics – that is, the way in which life is taken in charge politically – will be central to our historical consideration of the reconfigurations of the division between the public and the private spheres, in terms of sexuality and, more broadly, intimacy. Its most contemporary expression is undoubtedly given by the politicisation of psychological distress where personal suffering becomes a collective cause involving public policy and social and care work. This 8th theme brings together UMRs 8211, 8032, 8209, 8097, 8178, 8156 and 8168.

9th Theme: Social differentiation and inequality.

Finally, we will look at the social differentiations which generate numerous forms of inequality, particularly on the transnational scale of globalization:  inequalities in health (UMRs 8211 and 8156); in terms of class (UMR 8209 and 8178), in terms of access to the professions (CERA); and discrimination and the ‘racialisation’ of social issues (UMR 8156). This provides the framework for the analysis of violence (physical and symbolic, political and economic) already undertaken by UMRs 8036 and 8039 and the work on the anthropology of violence by UMR 8156. However, domination produces not only victims, but also subjects. UMRs 8039, 8211 and 8156 pursue research into mental health and studies psychological suffering up to its political dimension. This theme also includes the teams of UMRs 8209, 8097, 8178, 8558, 8039 and the CERA.


The federative transversal operations

The Encyclopedia of the historical and social sciences of politics. Conceived with reference to operations undertaken in foreign universities and following on from EHESS publications of the 1970s and 1980s, The Encyclopedia will provide the concretisation of common research by TEPSIS teams. Between 100 and 150 core concepts of their research will be the subject of an ‘entry’ in the Encyclopedia. Each (for example, State, border, subject, family, gender) will be dealt with by taking into account the evolution of knowledge and methods from the initial institutionalisation of the social sciences up to the most recent developments. The digital edition will permit permanent updating and enrichment of these entries in cooperation with foreign teams.

The descriptive repertory of politics. Conceived on the model of the Human Relations Area Files, this repertory will allow the cataloguing and the on-line diffusion of historical, ethnographical, and sociological enquiries on worldwide political forms. The review of data will be realised on the basis of work on different geographical areas by TEPSIS teams. At this point, an editorial support cell will list and format data. Thereafter, each team will pursue its work of documenting changing aspects. Eventually, the Descriptive repertory of politics will allow collaborative sharing of the full range of available investigations into political forms. All teams will participate in the updating of this open, evolving database which will provide a monitoring tool for following political developments on the international scale.

Interdisciplinary strategy

By bringing together teams from different disciplinary backgrounds, TEPSIS takes up the wager that the social sciences and the humanities, but also psychology, can serve as a source of mutual enrichment in research and in research-based training. When they consider societies under the relation of leadership and the processes of politicisation, each brings into play the traditions, the results, and the know-how of the others. As they deal with the functioning of societies and their political organisation, the enquiries undertaken by TEPSIS concern France, Europe, the Arab and Muslim worlds, the Americas, and Asia – and notably with respect to the LABEX ELASIA project, with which there are direct links. This interdisciplinary approach, with its empirical and theoretical preoccupations, aims to restitute without abstract formalism the variety of social worlds, starting from close observation of synchronic and diachronic diversity with the aim of re-founding the concepts employed in the historical and social sciences of politics. This is an essential consideration, as variations in the investigated fields affect not only the empirical aspect of research, but also the theoretical foundations of the disciplines and their tools of formalisation. The pluralism of the societies studied is at the heart of an integrated approach which aims to promote a new interdisciplinary epistemology.

Project dynamics, attractiveness, calendar

These 9 areas of investigation and 2 transversal operations are the concrete expression of the reconstruction of the historical and social sciences of politics that TEPSIS seeks to establish. The new TEPSIS has significantly reinforced the project registered in 2010 under the same title. TEPSIS maintains the capacity of each team to conduct its own projects (UMR 8156 has obtained an ERC Starting Grant in 2011) and offers them all the possibility of working on federative projects and on transversal operations. The dynamics of the operation are founded on 4 lines of action:

  1. From 2012 to 2014, seminars and research programmes linked to currently financed programmes will be developed. TEPSIS will build on 4 ERC and more than 100 contracts financed by the ANR, the l’ANRS, the DREES-MIRE, the CNAMTS, the Agence de la Biomédecine, the Insee, the INPES, the IRDES, Cancéropôle, the Fondation Alzheimer, the AP-HP, the DGS, and Ministries (Health, Education, Foreign Affairs, Defence, Work).
  2. A previsional fund will be established to ensure TEPSIS’ development potential with respect to major calls for research projects and to incubate new projects linked to the programming of the 9 projects outlined above.
  3. A call for applications for young researchers in foreign universities that are in partnership with TEPSIS will add to its attractiveness.
  4. A call for applications for doctoral contracts will be progressively established to sustain the development of the 9 areas of investigation.

Nevertheless, TEPSIS’ ambition is also to transform the place of the social sciences in everyday political life, to make them accessible and co-operative. To this end, two transversal operations – The Encyclopedia and the Descriptive repertory of politics – will benefit from the support of a “TEPSIS documentary and publishing cell” initiated on LABEX’ own funding.


2012: development of seminars by project; first call for previsional projects; establishment of the “TEPSIS documentary and publishing cell”.

2013: First calls for application for young researchers and contractual doctoral students

2015: Assessment at three years of LABEX and redefinition of projects.


1.3.  Impact of the programme on training

Through the EHESS, The university of Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne and the EPHE, the research units within TEPSIS are involved in 4 combined bachelors’ degrees (history and political science; philosophy and political science; economics and political science; law and political science);  in 10 masters’ programmes (anthropology; political studies; history; history of sciences, technology, and society; interdisciplinary practices in human and social sciences; health, populations, and social policies; social sciences, territories, and development; the sciences of religions and societies; political sciences; sociology); et in the 5 Doctoral Schools: socials  sciences; history; political sciences; religions and systems of thought.

Two new systems will be established to accompany PNMU in its efforts to reinforce the internationalisation of the training offer and develop the initiative of undergraduate and graduate students:

1. A high-level programme favouring international, disciplinarily-open courses within PNMU’s International Master College (IMC).

2.Complementary actions to develop the international character of doctoral training and to diversify the professional integration of doctoral students.

The TEPSIS international programme

The TEPSIS programme ranges from combined bachelors’ to doctoral level. This high-level scientific training programme is characterised by its ability to bring together and mobilise several disciplines. It will be international both by its openness and by its content. By the disciplinary variety of its UMR, TEPSIS ensures the intellectual plurality required for the training of its students and adopts it as its didactic framework. In order that students be able to participate in the international intellectual community, they must benefit from periods abroad that are long enough to allow them to integrate the different intellectual traditions in Europe and beyond. The programme will draw on existing partnerships with major foreign universities. The educational programme will be founded on seminar-based training, in the style of a school of research through research, and will allow active orientation through new links between the different stages of training. Common seminars will address both doctoral and masters’ students, thus committing them from the outset to a course of study within the perimeter of the TEPSIS programme. From doctoral orientation onwards, the TEPSIS programme will encourage international mobility in order to favour experience-based knowledge of economic, political, and social challenges and to allow students’ subsequent professional integration in various sectors (scientific, administrative, expertise). TEPSIS sets itself the objective of promoting the professionalisation of PhD programmes beyond the strict confines of academia. This TEPSIS programme will benefit from a dedicated pedagogical secretariat and from dedicated tutoring: it will ensure coherence in the choice of seminars and dual enrolments and will oversee the organisation of international mobility.

Generalising TEPSIS initiatives.

TEPSIS will favour the generalisation of these experimental approaches to other masters’ programmes and, eventually, to other combined bachelors’ degrees. It will act through measures linked to its policies of pluridisciplinarity, internationalisation, and the diversification of professional integration. Its support will take three forms:

  1. The creation of an intervention fund to help mobility. This will be made available to doctoral students working on themes relevant to TEPSIS’ stated priorities, and will be related to the policies of international co-operation implemented by the member institutions. It will stand as a complement to the help made available to co-supervision.
  2. The financing of international workshops with the aim of developing international scientific exchanges.
  3. Actions intended to favour the diversification of professional integration by implicating students in promotion (see below); organisation of a “Job Market”.


2012: Creation of an intervention fund to help students’ mobility

2013: Establishment of a TEPSIS programme for 25 students in Master 1

2015: Assessment of the TEPSIS programme, making available the programme to 80 students, first TEPSIS Job Market

2016: Establishment of an in-service training programme

1. 4. Socioeconomic impact of the programme

By its very purpose, TEPSIS is required to interact with public and private sector decision-makers, with journalists and those working in communication as well as with educators and, more generally, citizens. In the fields of expertise and of the dissemination of knowledge, its objective is to make an innovative contribution that is anchored not only in its own research work but also in work identified through its international co-operations. It will ensure its scientific communication through three channels, coordinated with those set up by PNMU: 1. dissemination of advances in the Historical and Social Sciences of Politics; 2. the TEPSIS agenda; 3. The TESPIS Circles for exchange and projects

1.4.1. Disseminating advances in the Historical and Social Sciences of Politics

This programme will develop an editorial policy that serves the need of promoting the Historical and Social Sciences of Politics in the context of a profound transformation of the publishing industry. It is based on three projects:

1. Publication of the Encyclopedia of the historical and social sciences of politics. 2. Publication of the Descriptive repertory of politics

3. The TEPSIS publishing programme, which will prepare young researchers for all aspects of publishing.

Researchers working with TEPSIS and its member institutions have acquired wide experience in publishing and editorial projects through the organisation of top-level reviews and collections. Certain of these are directly linked to member institutions (Actes de la recherche en sciences sociales; Raisons Pratiques; Annales. Histoire Sciences Sociales; L’Evolution psychiatrique). The same goes for major world regions (Cahiers du monde russe, Cahiers d’études Africaines, Politique Africaine, Nuevos Mundos, Mundos Nuevos). Furthermore, several teams are in regular, close collaboration with scientific journals of reference (Revue française de science politique ; Politix. Revue des sciences sociales du politique ; Genèses. Sciences sociales et histoire ; Le Débat ; Sociologie, Social Science Information ; Centre d’éthique clinique). The EHESS and Paris 1 have their own widely-renowned publishing houses – “les éditions de l’EHESS” and “les éditions de la Sorbonne”. The ENA publishes La Revue française d’administration publique, which addresses a public consisting of practitioners and academics in the fields of public administration and of comparative and European public policies. These three institutions also have a great deal of experience in open access and electronic publishing, and notably through the Centre for open digital publishing (Centre pour l’édition numérique ouverte, CLEO) for the EHESS. Lastly, the ENA publishes the on-line journal Études européennes, which is defined as “La revue perm@nente des professionnels de l’Europe” (“the perm@nent journal for European professionals”). Each institution also follows a policy of making available archives collated during major investigations, such as the Archives du Goulag déveloped by UMR 8083. The TEPSIS collections will make use of this capital of experience, know-how, and social networks to realise the following three projects:

The Encyclopedia of the historical and social sciences of politics, a collective work by TEPSIS, will be published, on the one hand, in the form of scientific articles (the “entries” in the Encyclopedia) which will be regularly updated and enriched following the example of the Encyclopédie Médico-Chirurgicale; and, on the other hand, in the form of an interactive bilingual wiki. This digital activity will found a real-time space for exchanges between the various actors.

The Descriptive repertory of politics, established in conjunction with TEPSIS’ publishing partners, will most notably gather accounts of investigations, field-based notebooks and journals, and audiovisual documents concerning all those regions of the world that are the subject of enquiry for its teams and their international partners.

The Tepsis Publishing Programme: working with publishers constitutes an important part of the training for work in research, and represents a valuable skill that can benefit a professional development path. Familiarisation with publishing activities (writing, correction, edition of collections, copy editing) and mastery of the various tools of documentation and of dissemination of the results of research are key elements in the training of students following TEPSIS courses.


2012 – Constitution of the editorial team for The Encyclopedia of the historical and social sciences of politics. Creation of website and follow-up of digital activities by the TEPSIS Documentation and Electronic Publishing Cell.

2014 – First edition of The Encyclopedia of the historical and social sciences of politics; development of the TEPSIS Documentation and Electronic Publishing Cell


1.4.2. The TEPSIS Agenda

The TEPSIS Agenda will lay the groundwork for reconciliation of the long timescales of research and the short timescales of public action and of political and social events. The guiding principle is the creation of a programme of public information meetings prepared by the researchers and the preparation of short synthetic works. These meetings will be established in partnership with press organs (including Le Monde, Libération, Sciences Humaines, and Radio France) and with the Paris school of journalism (CFJ). Major political events (French and foreign elections, European and international summit meetings) will constitute a first occasion for such meetings. As the dates of such events are known in advance, these sessions of “The TEPSIS Agenda” will be prepared beforehand and alimented by current research to provide a variety of viewpoints on the subject. Here, the intersection of the experience of the ENA (which benefits from its links with international civil servants) and of the Université de Paris 1 and the EHESS (which benefit from their relations with major foreign universities) will allow us to go beyond received analyses. Unexpected events will furnish the second stage of the TEPSIS Agenda. Following the example of the conferences organized at the time of the humanitarian crisis in Haiti, humanitarian or health crises, armed conflicts, the death of major figures, or environmental disasters will provide the object of sessions calling on the wide range of disciplines and specialisations of TEPSIS teams and their international networks. These public TEPSIS-organised debates and conferences will benefit from the documentary resources of the member institutions. The agreement between the CFJ and Paris 1 concerning the training of journalists will be brought into play. As part of their professionalisation, students in media studies and TEPSIS doctoral candidates will participate in the organisation of these events. Collectively, the researchers and the institutions who comprise TEPSIS have already acquired experience of similar undertakings. The UMR 8178 is associated with the Entretiens de l’information, which favours exchanges between researchers and journalists. The EHESS Cercles de formation have, since 2010, opened a cycle of “crisis meetings”, and its audiovisual service has just programmed a cinematographic event on “the Arab Spring”. This kind of undertaking will be made systematic, and its professionalism guaranteed, by coordination of the digital resources of the various partners. The regularity and responsiveness of the TEPSIS Agenda programme of events will effectively ensure its place in the French intellectual and media landscape.


2012: experimental testing of the TEPSIS Agenda during the French presidential campaign, in partnership with a daily paper.

1.4.3. The TEPSIS Circles for Projects and Exchange

The object of the TEPSIS Circles is to multiply exchanges between research teams and actors in the public, institutional, economic, and social spheres in order to generate and follow through new projects of research, dissemination, and training. The TEPSIS Circles act as relays for and as stimulants of major themes that will be constantly renewed at the joint demand of the public and private partners and the scientific members of TEPSIS. Each TEPSIS Circle will be constituted for between six months and two years. The member units of TEPSIS already possess solid experience in the evaluation of public policies and in cooperation with corporations, and this will be enlarged to include other partners such as employers’ or corporate federations; national or European trades unions confederacies; public administrations in the social and health sectors; commemorative institutions and museums; political institutions and territorial collectivities; French and national associations; and think-tanks. TEPSIS will build on the experience of the Groupement de recherche sur l’administration locale en Europe (Research Group for Local Administration in Europe – GRALE) which, since its creation in 1999, has succeeded in bringing together research teams working in law, political science, or economics and public management and administrative institutions, corporations, and local collectivities with the object of following the various developments of the process of decentralisation of state organs in France. Three major themes that already answer a demand indentified by our partner units will be rapidly set up: Democracy and security; New African questions; Research and mental health.


March 2012:         Establishment of a support cell and first TEPSIS Circle.

2013: Establishment of four TEPSIS Circles for Projects and Exchange.

Fin 2015: Assessment of the first TEPSIS Circles: evaluation of their impact in terms of research, of renewal of major doctoral themes, and on the professional integration of PhD holders. Promotional actions taken in the framework of TEPSIS LABEX will underscore the structuring actions undertaken in the general framework of the PNMU IDEX. The TEPSIS Agenda and the TEPSIS Circles will take their place in the individualised interventions of the Odysseus Executive Training programme, with the intention of sensitising executives and decision makers to the challenges of globalisation; the TEPSIS Circles will also allow the identification of emergent themes that are taken up in this programme. Implicating PhD students in the day-to-day life of the TEPSIS Circles follows the same rationale as the PNMU’s Doctorat-emploi (PhD employment) programme, helping them to elaborate their professional and employment strategies, whether they aim for academic work or not.

2.   Organisation and governance of the project

3.2.   Scientific and technical coordinator Director of Studies at the EHESS, Richard RECHTMAN is an anthropologist and a consultant psychiatrist in the public hospital system. He directs the clinical and research centre in transcultural psychiatry at the Centre Philippe Paumelle (ASM 13) and has directed or co-directed several research programmes financed by – among others –  the MiRe-Drees, Inserm, CNRS, ANR, and La Maison des Sciences de l’Homme de Paris-Nord. Since January 2011, he has been deputy director of the IRIS, UMR 8156-U997. He also co-ordinates the Erasmus Mundus European PhD programme and Master’s course in Dynamics of Health and Welfare and is currently part of the ERC Advanced Grant “Morals: towards a critical moral anthropology” (held by Didier Fassin) and of the ERC Starting Grant “Interdisciplinary and Comparative approaches of Dead Bodies Treatment in the 20th century” (held by Elisabeth Anstett). His research is concerned on one hand with political anthropology and mental health and, on the other, with the process of ‘othering’ which accompanies mass crimes and genocides, and notably the genocide perpetrated in Cambodia by the Khmer Rouge between 1975 and 1979. In 2010 he and Didier Fassin received the Douglass Book Prize for Best Work in European Anthropology for their monograph “The Empire of Trauma: an Inquiry into the Condition of Victimhood” published in 2009 by Princeton University Press. Since 1999, he has worked with anthropologists, historians, sociologists and political scientists in the EHESS’ programme of interdisciplinary research (PRI) entitled ‘Health and Society’. This interdisciplinary outlook is at the heart of his theoretical and empirical approach, linking the genealogical approach with psychiatric and anthropological methods. It is in this spirit that he has been a member since 2003 of the international consortium CHIR Culture and Mental Health Research of McGill University, Montreal, and is a member of the editorial board of several international reviews (Anthropology & Medicine, Transcultural Psychiatry, Community Mental Health Journal). He is, in addition, editor in chief of the review L’Evolution Psychiatrique. From 1997 to 2010 he directed the Centre Hospitalier Spécialisé de la Verrière (MGEN), a psychiatric establishment exclusively devoted to public health care with a workforce in excess of 400. Here, in 1999, he also founded the Department for Adolescent Psychiatry, for which he ensured the cross-sectorial management. Pursuing his research and his professional clinical activities conjointly, he has always worked in multi-disciplinary teams, directing complex initiatives in research, care, and administration. He is the author of more than eighty publications – principally in French and in English, but also in Spanish and in Cambodian – the majority of which have appeared in international reviews on psychiatry, anthropology, sociology, political science, history, and legal studies.

  • Rechtman, R. (2011). Enquête sur la condition de victime. Études, Revue de Culture Contemporaine, Février(4142), pp 175-186
  • Rechtman, R. (2010) La psychiatrie à l’épreuve de l’altérité. In D. Fassin, Les nouvelles frontières de la société française, Paris, La Découverte.
  • Rechtman, R. (2010). Quand les experts promeuvent la réparation. Sciences Sociales et Santé, 28(1), 33-41.
  • Rechtman, R (2009) Psychanalyse et anthropologie aujourd’hui. Une question de genre. Journal des anthropologues, (116/117), 121-129.
  • Rechtman, R. (2009). Témoigner de la guerre au prisme du traumatisme psychique.  In F. Rousseau & B. Schmidt (Eds.), Les dérapages de la guerre du XVIème siècle à nos jours. Kriegsverbrechen vom 16. Jh. bis zur Gegenwart (pp. 298-305). Hambourg: Dobu Verlag.
  • Fassin, D & Rechtman, R (2007) L’empire du traumatisme. Enquête sur la condition de victime. Paris, Flammarion [English translation 2009 Princeton University Press]. Re-edited in the Champ/Flammarion collection in 2011 with a new preface.
  • Rechtman, R. (2006) The survivor paradox: psychological consequences of the Khmer rouge rhetoric of extermination. Anthropology and Medicine Journal 13(1), 1-11
  • Rechtman, R. (2006). Cultural Standards, Power and Subversion in Cross-cultural Psychotherapy. Transcultural Psychiatry, 43(2), 169-180.
  • Latté, S. & Rechtman, R. (2006). Enquête sur les usages sociaux du traumatismes au décours de l’accident de l’usine AZF à Toulouse. Politix, 73(18), 159-184.
  • Cesoni, M.L. & Rechtman, R. (2005) La « réparation psychologique » de la victime : une nouvelle fonction de la peine ? Revue de droit pénal et de criminologie, February, 158-178
  • Rechtman, R. (2004). The Rebirth of PTSD: the rise of a new paradigm in psychiatry. Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology.39(11), 913-915.

2.1.  Composition of the partnership

2.1.1   Partners’ description, relevance, and complementarities


PROCHASSON Christophe Prof. DE UMR 8558 EHESS
MATONTI Frédérique Prof. UMR 8209 UP1 Panthéon Sorbonne
MICHEL Patrick Prof. DR et DE UMR 8097 CNRS et EHESS
RECHTMAN Richard Prof. DE UMR 8156 EHESS

Executive committee

Nom/Surname Prénom/First name Poste/Position Discipline/Domain Unité /Partner Etablissement /Organisation or institution
BESSIN Marc DU CR Sociology UMR 8156 CNRS
SAPIRO Gisèle DU Prof. DR Sociology UMR 8209 CNRS
ISRAËL Liora MC Sociology UMR 8097 EHESS
CHATRIOT Alain CR History UMR 8558 CNRS
BLUM Alain Prof DE History UMR 8083 EHESS
CEFAI Daniel Prof DE Sociology UMR 8178 EHESS
BOYER Véronique Prof DR Anthropology UMR 8168 CNRS
URFALINO Philippe Prof DE/DR Sociology UMR 8036 EHESS-CNRS
BUNGENER Martine Prof DR Economics UMR 8211 CNRS
BOILLEY Pierre PR History UMR 8171 UP1 Panthéon Sorbonne
CLAYER Nathalie Prof DE/DR History UMR 8032 CNRS
BATAILLE Philippe Prof DE Sociology UMR 8039 EHESS
LARAT Fabrice PR Political science CERA ENA
Partner Affiliation


staff     = 249

Category of personnel (researchers)
IRIS UMR 8156 EHESS /CNRS/Inserm/UP13 35 9 CR  – 4 DE – 1 DE/PH – 1 DE/PR –

1 DR – 1 DR/MC – 11 MC – 1 MC/PH  –  2 PR – 1 PR/PH – 1 PRAG – 2 IE

CESSP UMR 8209 UP1/CNRS/EHESS 37 4 CR – 8 DR – 12 MC – 13 PR
CMH UMR 8097 EHESS/CNRS/ENS 27 7 CR – 2 DE – 6 DR – 2 IR – 4 MC – 4 PR – 2 PRAG
CRH UMR 8558 EHESS/CNRS 15 6 DE – 1 DE/PR – 7 MC – 1 PRAG
CERCEC UMR 8083 EHESS/CNRS 20 2 DE – 2 DR – 9 MC – 5 CR – 2 IE –


7 DE – 6 DR – 10 CR – 2 PR – 5 MC – 2 IE – 1 CE – (+ 1 P-Doc)
MASCIPO UMR 8168 EHESS /CNRS/UP1/UP10 13 2 CR – 2 DR 1 IE – 6 MC – 2 PR
CESPRA UMR 8036 EHESS/CNRS 9 5 DE – 2 DE/DR – 1 DR – 1 MC
CEMAf UMR 8171 UP1/CNRS/EPHE/Univ. of Provence 6 2 CE – 3 MC – 1 PR
CETOBAC UMR 8032 CNRS/EHESS/Collège de France 13 5 CR – 2 MC – 1 DE – 2 DE/DR – 1 DR – 2 PR
CADIS UMR 8039 EHESS / CNRS UMR 8039 27 3 DE – 4 CR – 8 foreign PR – 2 DR – 2 MC – 1 IE – 1 Post doc – 1 Prag – 2 foreign MC– 2 foreign CR– 1 PR
CERA ENA 3 2 CE – 1 DE

249 researchers or researcher-lecturers[1]

Prof. DE Directeur d’études


Prof. DE/DR Directeur d’études/ Directeur de recherche


Prof. DE/PH Directeur d’études/ Praticien Hospitalier


Prof. DE/PR Directeur d’études/ Professeur d’université


PR Professeur d’université


PR/PH Professeur d’université/ Praticien Hospitalier


Prof. DR Directeur de recherche


Prof. DR/MC Directeur de recherche / Maître de conférences


MC Maître de conférences


MC/PH Maître de conférences/ Praticien Hospitalier


CR Chargé de Recherches


CE Chargé d’études


PRAG Professeur agrégé


IE Ingénieur d’étude


IR Ingénieur de recherche


OTHERS  11 foreign researchers / 1 INVs (Institut National de Veille Sanitaire) researcher / 1 researcher seconded from the health ministry / 2 Post Docs



Among the academic and scientific distinctions of TEPSIS members:

IUF UMR 8168 Gilles HAVARD
CNRS Silver Medal – 2009 UMR 8097 Serge PAUGAM
CNRS Silver medal – 1999 UMR 8036 P-Michel MENGER
CNRS Bronze medal – 2000 UMR 8209 Gisèle SAPIRO
CNRS Bronze medal – 2001 UMR 8156 Michel NAEPELS
CNRS Bronze medal – 2002 UMR 8209 Anne SIMONIN
CNRS Bronze medal – 2002 UMR 8211 Maurice CASSIER
Junior member of the IUF since 2007 UMR 8209 Johanna SIMEANT
IUF junior UMR 8209 Bertrand GUILLARME
Prix Adam Podgorecki (RCSL/ISA) UMR 8097 Liora ISRAËL
Prix de thèse, Institut des Amériques, France, 2011 UMR 8039 Alejandra AQUINO-MORESCHI
Prix de thèse Le Monde de la Recherche Universitaire – 2010 UMR 8156 Joëlle VAILLY
Prix Félix de Beaujour, Académie des Sciences Morales et Politiques – 2003 UMR 8097 Isabelle PARIZOT
Prix François Furet UMR 8558 J-Frédéric SCHAUB
Prix François Furet UMR 8036 Gilles BATAILLON
Prix Irène Joliot Curie – 2008 UMR 8097 Catherine MARRY
Prix Le Monde de la recherche Universitaire – 2006 UMR 8097 Cécile VAN DE VELDE
Professeur Honoris Causa of several universities UMR 8558 Bernard VINCENT
Advanced Grant of European Research Council UMR 8156 Didier FASSIN
Starting Grant of European Research Council UMR 8156 Elisabeth ANSTETT
Sabanci Academy Award – 2008 UMR 8032 Olivier BOUQUET
Douglass Book Prize Association Américaine d’Anthropologie – 2010 UMR 8156 Didier FASSIN
AcronymUnit type Full name(translation) Director Disciplinary fields Scientific domains  Aeresassessment
IRISUMR 8156 U997 Institut de recherche interdisciplinaire sur les enjeux sociaux(Institute of Interdisciplinary Research on Social Issues) Marc BESSIN Anthropology, ethnology, history, medicine, psychiatry, public health, educational science, sociology Social sciences, Politics, Health A+



Created in 2007, the IRIS – Institute of Interdisciplinary Research on Social Issues (Social Sciences, Politics and Health) – is a pluridisciplinary research centre (anthropology, history, law, political science, public health, and forensic medicine). The centre’s research covers all five continents. The IRIS is in full development, welcoming in 2011 4 new associate professors and a CNRS research associate, as well as 5 invited foreign researchers. Four research habilitations were defended (E. Fassin, I. Merle, M. Naepels, M. Salaün) and 3 more are programmed for 2011-2012 (M. Bessin, D. Merklen, C Vassy) ; 15 theses have been defended since September 2010. At present, IRIS comports 51 permanent members (of which 13 are form the CNRS: 10 research associates, 2 research directors, 1 research engineer), four postdoctoral students, and 130 PhD candidates, of which are significant number are grant funded. Its publications (papers and articles in A-level journals) and its wholehearted participation in the organisation of scientific events and research programmes bear witness to the high level of scientific activity of the Iris.

The intellectual and social integration, professionalisation, and promotion of PhD students’ research are priorities for the Iris, and are favoured by the availability of a dedicated digital workspace. This policy is bearing its fruits, both in the recruitment of researchers who have defended their theses under the tutelage of the laboratory, and in the success of the projects conducted by doctoral candidates (this is most notably illustrated their winning the “journée de doctorants” – the organisation of a thematic day-long seminar to present new directions in research – in response to a Campus Condorcet call for tender). Since 2007, more than 20 research contracts have been obtained including 1 Advanced Grant and 1 starting grant from the European Research Council and 4 ANR programmes. Over the same period, 80 books (30 edited and 10 in English) and approximately 300 articles (70 in A-ranking journals and 50 in English) have been published. The centre is strongly involved in five Masters programmes at the EHESS including two joint programmes with the Université Paris 13 and the Ecole Normale Supérieure, as well as in two graduate schools: Social Sciences at the EHESS and Erasme at the Université Paris-13. The 130 PhD candidates are enrolled under the supervision of the 18 members of staff holding the requisite qualification for the supervision of doctoral work: almost half these students have funding. In the 2009 evaluation by the AERES (Research and Teaching Quality Assurance Agency) the Iris received an A+ rating. Above and beyond the diversity of their objects and fields of research, the members of the Iris share a common conception of the social sciences, a concern with social change and an interest in the diverse expressions of ‘the political’. The position defended in the different works undertaken is both critical and reflexive: critical, in the approach taken towards the objects studied, the issues at stake, and also the conditions in which scientific data are produced; and reflexive, in considering the historicity of the disciplines at play and the positions of the researchers with respect to their fields of investigation but also with respect to society as a whole. Four major axes of research structure the centre’s work, each constituted itself of distinct scientific programmes. 1. Critique, Inquiry, Texts: Ethics and Politics of Inquiry. Representations and Narratives. Moral Economies. 2. State, Globalization, Immigration: The Colonial State and its Heritage. History of Immigration and Categorisation of Foreigners. From Immigration Policy to Immigrant Experience. 3. Inequality, Violence, Gender: Class Relationships and Social Policies. Violence, Power and Resistance. Gender, Sexuality and Subjectification. Discrimination, Racialisation, Identification. 4. Biomedicine, Health, Work: Politics of the living being. Politics of Health. Mental Health and Subjectivity. Health in the Workplace.


 CESSP UMR 8209Centre européen de sociologie et de science politique

(European centre for sociology and Political science)Gisèle SAPIROPolitical science, sociologyPolitical sociology, globalisation, Europeanisation, Sociology of elites, of social movements, of culture and the media.A+

AcronymeUnit type

Full name (translation)


Disciplinary fields

Scientific domains




CESSP UMR 8209 Centre européen de sociologie et de science politique(European centre for sociology and Political science) Gisèle SAPIRO Political science, sociology Political sociology, globalisation, Europeanisation, Sociology of elites, of social movements, of culture and the media. A+



Founded in January 2009, the European Centre for Sociology and Political science (CESSP) is affiliated with the Université Paris I-Panthéon-Sorbonne, the EHESS and the CNRS (UMR 8209). It was established through a merger of the CRPS (Sorbonne centre for political research) and the CSE (Centre for European sociology) and has 62 full-time members (15 researchers, 36 teaching researchers and 11 support staff), 40 affiliated members, 16 foreign correspondents, and 250 PhD students. The centre is affiliated with three masters’ courses (the faculties of political science and of social and economic administration at the Sorbonne; the faculty of sociology at the EHESS) and two doctoral schools: that of political science at the Sorbonne and that of the EHESS. Since 2006, its members have published 59 works and directed 61; they have produced 231 articles in scientific journals – including 72 in foreign languages – and nearly 300 book chapters and have made presentations to 317 international conferences; they have also produced 118 promotional articles in the press and given 209 media interviews, conducted more than a hundred expert consultations for public and private organs, and won 32 research contracts (including 5 European and 9 ANR contracts). The centre has access to a vast international network and actively develops international partnerships. It welcomes a large number of invited researchers and foreign post-doctoral and PhD students. Because the CESSP firmly believes in the interaction of all subfields of the social sciences, its current research programmes cover a large range of topics: globalisation, European construction, public policies, political parties, social stratification, gender, social movements, elites, intellectuals, forms of knowledge, culture, media, and markets. This wide array of research interests is structured around seven research programmes which can consulted on the Centre’s website. All research conducted at the CESSP follows an approach wedding the formulation of theoretical problematics and rigorous empirical enquiry, and refuses to dissociate quantitative and qualitative methods or historical and ethnographical viewpoints. The analysis of national and supranational levels coordinates comparatism and the study of international exchanges and transfers. The Centre is renowned for a sociological approach to the traditional objects of political science that is centred on the actors and the institutions that generate politics and policies.

The CESSP will contribute to the “TEPSIS” Labex project by studying the stakes of governance and regulation in the contexts of globalization and of European construction. Here, it poses a number of questions: How do these processes affect the functioning of the Nation-States, national identities and international relations between European countries and with other countries, especially developing countries in Africa? How do they impact poverty and the transformation of the working conditions of the working classes? Is there an international or European power elite, or is the elite still defined nationally? Where and how are these elites trained? Alongside the study of political actors at the local, national and supranational levels, the CESSP will develop its research programme on international social movements (for example the anti-globalisation and European trade unions movements) and on the construction of a European public sphere.


Unit type

Full name


Disciplinary fields

Scientific domains


Aeres assessment

CMH UMR 8097

Centre Maurice Halbwachs

Patrick MICHEL

Sociology, anthropology, ethnology, histoire

Social science, Methodology



The Centre Maurice Halbwachs (UMR 8097) is a mixed research unit under the co-tutelage of the CNRS, the EHESS and the Ecole Normale Supérieure (Ulm). It resulted from the fusion of the LASMAS (Laboratory of sociological analysis and of the methods applied to social sciences) and of the social science department of the ENS, and is since 2006 located on the Jourdan Campus with the Ecole d’Economie de Paris (The Paris School of Economics). The CMH comprises 16 CNRS researchers; 15 researcher-lecturers, drawn principally from the EHESS and the ENS; and 16 support staff (15 CNRS and 1 EHESS). It also comprises around a hundred PhD students and has around fifty associate members. The Centre Maurice Halbwachs is organised into four teams: PRO (Professions, networks, organisations) under the direction of Sophie Pochic; GRECO (Research group on cohesion and social justice) under the direction of Michel Forsé; ERIS (Research team on social inequality) under the direction of Serge Paugam; and ETT (Enquiries, Fields, Theory) under the direction of Stéphane Beaud. Each team organises its own regular seminar, to which is added a general monthly lunchtime seminar. Day-long seminars and conferences are organised all through the year. The laboratory’s project for the next four years is to focus on the objective determined by its present management team of reinforcing synergy and transversal relations between the four research teams who comprise the laboratory, as was suggested by the AERES which assessed this laboratory as A+. These teams share a common vision of the social sciences centred on empirical approach in the service of a rigorous and reflexive conception of sociological inquiry. The research centre stands out by its high level of expertise in quantitative and qualitative methodology, as well as its combination of different methods and scales of analysis. These skills combine with the centre’s mission to make official statistical data available via the ADISP (Archives de Données Issues de la Statistique Publique/ French Official Statistics Portal) which is run by the GRECO team. The question of data is central to various initiatives linked to the Réseau Quételet (Réseau français des centres de données pour les sciences sociales/French Data Archive for Social Sciences) and the GIS Quételet, of which the CMS is one of three partners (and by this associated with the EQUIPEX project on Historical Financial Data and CASD – Centre d’Accès Sécurisé aux Données / Secure Remote Access Centre).

The centre stands out by its extremely active role in disseminating knowledge and favouring wider public understanding. It plays a major role in several GDR (Research Groupings): GDR Management, GDR Gender and the Job Market, GDR Sociology and Economics – which is located in the centre – and accommodates the editorial committees of several journals in the discipline (Genèses, Sociologie, Bulletin de Méthodologie Sociologique). Its members are regularly called upon to participate in public debates. Lastly, the centre enjoys high international visibility (invitations, publications in foreign languages, exchanges of lecturers, researchers, and students.


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UMR 8558

Centre de Recherches Historiques

(Centre for Historical Studies)


Medieval history, modern history, contemporary history, social and economic history, historical anthropology, historical géography, historical demography, the history of the religious, the history of the literary

Human and social sciences



A mixed EHESS/CNRS research unit, the CRH comprises 139 statutory members: 80 lecturers and researchers, 2 PRAG (secondary school teachers on higher education secondment), 43 ITA and BIATOS (support staff in the fields of research, engineering, administration, libraries, technical support and maintenance) and 271 doctoral students. It was rated A+ by the AERES (Teaching and Research Quality Assessment Agency) in February 2009. The agency underscored the exceptional scientific output of the unit (75 lecturers and researchers considered to be actively publishing out of 79, without including the numerous actively publishing ITA staff in the unit) as well as its high level of implication in the wider scientific community (editorial committees, creation of databases and tools, etc.) and its widescale orientation towards international relations. Foreigners comprise approximately 60% of the doctoral students supervised by the 54 members of qualified doctoral supervision staff. Founded in 1949 by Fernard Braudel, the CRH is a centre for historical studies which inherits prestigious tradition awhile looking firmly towards the future of the historical sciences. Its specificity lies in its ability to open dialogue between sectors that all too often work in isolation from one another. Its members make concerted efforts to go beyond the traditional boundaries of historical periods (the CRH includes scholars of Antiquity, Medievalists, Modernists and Contemporary historians). The centre eschews specialisation based on geographical areas in favour of addressing common issues in diverse locations. It fosters active interdisciplinarity through historical anthropology and historical geography and through constant exchange with sociologists, sociologists of religion and literary specialists. The CRH is organised into 15 research teams. They focus upon different thematic fields without this entailing any compartmentalisation of the centre as a whole. The research output of the centre is disseminated through various channels (Atelier du CRH online, the Bibliothèque du CRH, a network of 12 websites) and by the affiliated journals. In parallel, the CRH contributes to creating and distributing tools of benefit to the wider scientific community, in particularly in making texts and iconographic sources available online and in the field of systems of geographical information. The Labex project “State Transformations, Politicisation of Society, Institutionalisation of Social Issues” is firmly situated in one of the three central themes of the CRH’s work: the Social History of Politics. Furthermore, it project coincides with the concerns of several teams within the research centre: the attention paid to effects of scale as a form of situated analysis of the general problem of the construction of the social; the desire to resituate the political in the historical conditions of its constitution, as well as in a constantly comparative analysis; interdisciplinary dialogue, particularly with sociologists and anthropologists, but also with literary scholars. These three approaches are all the more appropiate to the overall succes of this LABEX project, as they are founded on intensive existing cooperative work with other project partners.


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UMR 8083Centre d’études des mondes russe, caucasien et centre-européen

(Centre for Russian, Caucasian and Central-Eastern European studies)Alain BLUMhistory, sociology, political science, géography, demography of the Russian, Caucasian, Cental European and Central Asiatic world.Social sciencesA+


The CERCEC is the only UMR research unit in France devoted to this cultural area as a whole. Amongst its main research themes, the centre’s studies in contemporary history are strongly postioned in generalised reflection on 20th-century history, which leads to the exploration of various key directions in the historiography of that century. to various key directions in the historiography of this century being explored. Questions of wartime violence, of political violence (surveillance and trials), of the endings of wars, of loyalty and forms of power, have all contributed to a better conceptual grasp of the approaches that have been developed and then applied to questions that – although presenting specificities in the Soviet case – are by no means exclusive to this context. Evidently, questions related to Empire are highly present. The circulation of knowledge, of technology, and of people is not restricted to the flux between the Empire and the rest of the world, but is also a dynamic within the Empire itself. The administration of linguistic or religious diversity, the constitution of decentred history, or the imperial hub are not the points of origin from which history is constructed; all these approaches which have as their object “the Empire” to interrogations that are to be integrated with geographically diversified considerations.

Equally important are the efforts to develop studies of the contemporary context and of the post-soviet/post-communist period through research seminars, workshops, and personal and collective projects (funded within the PICS framework, for example) or through ANR projects such as that focusing on “Post-Soviet Caucasia and Central Asia: the new South?”. A pioneering cross-disciplinary theme focusing on the study of the environment was put in place a few years ago, and has since been reinforced by both recruitment and the creation of a specific team. This testifies to a constant concern with better understanding of the interaction between the State and the various social actors who are confronted with environmental issues at different levels (local associations, government at all levels, the press, researchers, NGOs and international institutions). This approach to ecology, which is at the heart of current political affairs as evidenced by the devastating fires in Russia in the summer of 2010, also allows us to account for continuities in the definition of public policy, and also in its practice and procedures, while also drawing attention to the emergence of new social actors.


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UMR 8178

Institut Marcel Mauss


Sociology, Anthropology, Law, Linguistics

Social sciences



Created in January 2006, the Marcel Mauss Institute (UMR 8178) is a unit federating four centres of the EHESS: the CEMS (Centre for the Study of Social Movements), the CENJ (“Yan Thomas” Centre for the Study of Judicial Norms), the GSPM (Group for Political and Moral Sociology) and the LIAS (Anthropological Linguistics and Sociolinguistics). The specificity of the questions posed by members of the IMM about the public sphere and about democracy resides in the fact that they place action – whether it be individual, collective, or public – at the very heart of their concerns. On the one hand, developing a sociology of public events and problems allows new questions to be raised: how can the exploration and management of the “problematic situations” that emerge on certain events give rise to the public shaping of the systems of actions and actors that function either in cooperation or confrontation in the search for definition and resolution of such situations? How do political decisions or social conflicts clash with established habits, ethical sensitivity, or supposedly universally-recognized principles? How do events, situations or problems achieve visibility in the public arena through the ongoing practical accomplishments of the individuals and collectives who act to thus attract the attention of third parties? The processes of questioning and of publicising such states of affairs also require investigation, as they go hand-in-hand with a rupture with the obvious and the impossibility of simply taking things for granted. On the other hand, research on critical judgment as the cornerstone of the modern constitution of a public sphere entails rethinking the ways in which the social world is composed and decomposed. Rather than conferring upon the sociologist the ability to impose coherence from above, it is a matter of exploring the various ways in which the critical faculty functions and identifying its cornerstones; of accounting for the multiple means through which the state of a operations by which societies achieve stability or modification; of apprehending the forms of practical reasoning that govern the selection and analysis of materials (decisions, behaviour, performance, situations, speeches, texts, etc.) that have been constructed as the objects of critical analysis. These two theoretical orientations entail the realisation of investigations that favour the observation of situations of trial or difficulty. In the various periods of dispute, when the normal course of affairs is interrupted, the social world presents itself as the object of a continued effort to create coherence. These ‘difficult situations’ come in a variety of forms: situations of alert, experimentation, measure, testimony, negotiation, strategy, conversation or deliberation. Their specific contexts include collective reactions to events; legal investigations; scientific or public controversies; public awareness networks; public investigations; consultative assemblies and local committees; electoral ballots; media polemics; street demonstrations; public opinion polls, etc. The study of the public sphere and of public judgement has as its corollary particular attention to experience, which is understood as the space in which the processes of both individualisation and the formation of collectives are concretised.


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UMR 8168

Mondes américains, sociétés, circulations, pouvoirs, XV-XXIe siècles

(American Studies, Societies, Circulation, Power, 15th – 21st Centuries)

Véronique Boyer

History and Anthropology of North American  and Latin American societies

History, anthropology



The MASCIPO, created in 2006, is a federative unit which brings together five centres working on the Americas as a whole: the CERMA (Centre for Study and Research into American Worlds), the CENA (Centre for North American Studies) and the CRBC (Centre for Research on Contemporary Brazil) at the EHESS; the CRALMI (Centre of Historical Research into Latin America and the Iberian World) at Paris I and the ESNA (Empires, Societies, Nations, America, Eastern Mediteranean) at Paris Ouest Nanterre La Défense. It comprises 36 statutory researchers and lecturers, 9 support staff, and around 80 PhD students. The cornerstone of Mascipo’s scientific project is a triple concern for interdisciplinary relations between anthropology and history; for a reflective criticism of our categories and scales of analysis; and for a comparative account of the different American societies in the modern and contemporary periods, and of the Americas compared with the rest of the world. All the axes of the unit’s research have made a methodological priority of a transversal relation between periods, domains, and disciplines. American societies have a common history. They were born from the encounter between Amerindians, Europeans, and Africans in the context of the formation of colonial empires in the modern period. They were transformed by independence and by the arrival of new Nation-States from the beginning of the 19th to the middle of the 20th Centuries. The plural character of these societies, the weight of religion, and their territorial immensity, have marked the processes of nation-building and politicisation. The current metamorphoses of political and social issues in all contemporary societies – democratisation, redefinition of citizenship, and the struggle against inequality – remain in the Americas profoundly linked to their post colonial and post-slavery characters. By their constitutive experience, the Americas represent an unrivalled laboratory for conceiving the historicity and the fragility of the State through the lens of the colonial and imperial question, then that of republicanism and of federalism; of transnational phenomena starting from, for example, pan-Americanism; the new forms of political mobilisation such as the Landless Workers’ Movement, the struggle for the rights of indigenous peoples; the transformation of systems of categorisation of populations which has been the object of conflict and negotiation between the State and the civil population.


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UMR 8036

Centre d’Etudes Sociologiques

et Politiques Raymond Aron

(The Raymond Aron Centre for Sociological and Political Studies)


Philosophy, political sciences, history, sociology

Social sciences, politics



The Raymond Aron Centre for Sociological and Political Studies or ‘CESPRA’, UMR 8036, was established in its current form 1st January 2010. The Centre is a locus for the development of interdisciplinary studies of politics, an approach that can be characterized by the following four traits:

1) A concern for combining social sciences (which implies, among other things, the importance of surveys) and philosophy. This concern is not only evidenced by the presence of several philosophers but also by the desire and ability of all members to confront the questions of social sciences and of moral and political philosophy;

2) The extension of the cultural areas in question (Europe, North America, South America, the Middle East and soon Asia);

3) Interdisciplinarity. The Centre comprises, in equal parts, sociologists, political scientists, historians, and philosophers who have the common desire to emphasize dialogue between the objects, problems, and methods of the different disciplines;

4) A rigorous conception of the political in which politics cannot be confounded with the sole confrontation of wills or with the existence of collective activities, but with the question of the maintenance of social order and the stabilisation of a ‘being-together’, of a collective entity. Hence the fact that our interests centre around the following questions: political regimes and their relationship to war and other forms of violence; history and the evolution of democratic mechanisms and institutions; the evolution of ways of regulating work and professions; conceptualising collective identity and common meaning.

Under the dual tutelage of the CNRS and the EHESS, the Centre comprises 36 permanent titular staff (of which 8 are EHESS directors of studies, 2 are EHESS assistant lecturers, 6 are CNRS research directors, and 2 are CNRS research assistants) to whom are added 8 non-permanent titular staff (PhD beneficiaries and temporary research assistants). In the last five years, the centre has won around 15 contracts. Nilufer Göle is the recipient of the ERC EuroPublicIslam Advanced Grant. In the same period, the Centre’s members have published 50 works (of which 20 are in English). The 80 PhD students are under the direction of 13 accredited research tutors. In 2009, the AERES evaluation of the project of creation of the CESPRA (by fusion of two existing centres) awarded it a global appreciation of A. The Centre follows four principal axes of research, each composed of several programmes:

1- Regimes, mechanisms, and democratic organs: political forms, transformation of representative democracy. Collective decision and deliberation. The institutions of democracy.

2 – Political violence, the public space, and gender : Islam in the European public space. Political violence, pseudodemocratic regimes and gender. Civil war and political regimes.

3 – The dynamics and regulation of equality and inequality : Employment markets and professions. Systems of insurance and competition. Theories of justice and of equality.

4 – Social imaginings. Religious pluralism and modernity. Common sense and cosmpolitanism. The values, practices, and organs of precaution.


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UMR 8211 U988

Centre de Recherche Médecine, Sciences, Santé, Santé Mentale, Société

(Medicine, Science, Health, and Mental Health Research Centre)


Sociology, Anthropology, History, Economics

Social sciences, Politics



The Cermes3 is a research unit (CNRS, Inserm, EHESS, Université Paris Descartes) that brings together sociologists, historians, economists and anthropologists to develop research focusing upon the recent changes in the relationships between medicine, science, healthcare, mental health, and society. The Cermes3 researchers work on diverse objects of study – the dynamics of pharmaceutical innovation, clinical practice in cancer research and treatment, the history of psychiatry, care of Alzheimer sufferers, care of addicts, disability care and policy – but all their research starts from the hypothesis that a new configuration of the relations between medicine, science and society has been taking shape over the past twenty years. In order to characterise this new configuration, the Cermes3 researchers use the methods of the social sciences as a base from which to question the processes at work in the field of healthcare that determine the new relation between healthcare actors; the new forms of intervention and care; the new hierarchies of professional, economic, and state regulations; and also the evolution of ethical and moral regulations. One of the specificities of the centre is that it conducts a comparative analysis of these reconfigurations in time and space. The research presently underway at Cermes3 that justifies its involvement in the TEPSIS Labex project and constitutes its particular contribution concerns:

1. Innovative practice and care in the field of healthcare and, more particularly, the links between the production of knowledge and the construction of markets, medical practice, and technology (history of medication and therapeutic agents, relocation of the boundaries between curative and palliative interventions, and between patient care practices and service provision);

2. The redefinition of health risks and of their modes of management (the importance of genetic predisposition, of neuroscience; the proliferation of controversies and of forms of public expertise);

3. The prevalence of “mental health” (the aim of which is not simply to treat the ill, but also to optimise ‘normal human beings’, their performance, and even their modes of socialisation);

4. The forms and the challenges of encouraging individual responsibility for healthcare in the context of a transformation of the relations between science and politics, of the collective mobilization of patients and users (new rights, mechanisms of involvement or of healthcare by patients themselves and by their immediate circle) and of the constitution of public expertise;

5. The extension of performance evaluations and of quality control, both by economic tools and by “Evidence-Based” medicine;

6. The challenges arising from the globalisation of healthcare, and particularly in the field of medication, where the search for alternatives to the classical model of development based on “North-South” transfers involves “South-South” circulation (Brazil, India, Western Africa) as well as modes of intervention that call upon local and/or traditional knowledge.


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UMR 8171

Centre d’études des Mondes Africains

(Centre for African Studies)


Institutions, values and beliefs

Environment and society

Cultures and cultural production

The study of the human past

Social sciences

A +


The Centre for African Studies (CEMAf, UMR 8171) was established in January 2006 by a merger between three research units. Renewed in 2010, UMR 8171 has been assessed at A+ by the AERES.

Its scientific project is based on five principle axes of research: Epistemology and Forms of Knowledge; African Transformations and Long-Term Globalisation; States, Space, and Memory; Political Configurations, Identity Mobilization and Religious Dynamics; Development and Social Construction, Environments and Health. In the context of the TEPSIS LABEX, the CEMAf will contribute to developing the third and fourth research themes in particular. Highlighting the various loci of power (political, religious, and economic) affords the possibility of outlining African geopolitics in a way that sets aside not only current frontiers but also the traditional schemes that delineate frontiers between States. Rather than studying each politico-cultural entity side by side and thus favouring a centralised historical approach, it seems more valuable to analyse their zones of contact as symbols of the relations between and the articulation of different spaces. These contact zones can be “frontier” zones; spaces with a substantial cultural mix and under fluctuating or shared political influence. But contact zones can also be immaterial or cultural. The cohabitation of several religions in one same region necessarily entails adjustments, mutual influences and also – on occasion – a certain tolerance. In order to go beyond the traditional delimitations of the different politico-cultural spaces in Africa, we will superimpose a geography of networks. The Political and the Religious are, in Africa, two fields that are often the subject of misconceptions both in the lay and in the academic eye. The political aspect is reduced either to magnified versions of pre-colonial States that are, in reality, effectively lost in history or to “fiat States” that confer putative political individuality to a makeshift institutional assemblage constantly threatened by territorial partition and “ethnic violence”. The religious aspect is in no better position, as it is seen as being jammed in between acculturation and religiosity, between hybridisation and fanaticism, and between magical thinking and essentialism. Nonetheless, these are two schemes that are fundamental to a clear understanding of both past and present social worlds. We can apprehend African political ideologies, mechanisms, and processes over time; taking into consideration not only the religious dynamics that accompany them but also the different identity-based mobilisations provoked before, after, and during them. The simultaneous restitution of the products and manifestation of religious or identity-based movements by repositioning them in the field of the Political allows us to consider politics both with an institutional or instituted apprehension (State, royalty, initiatory societies) and with respect to their institutionalisation – that is, their invention and their innovatory elements.

By taking as our object of study past and present religious dynamics (Islamic influences, Christian churches, local religious creeds), we can better apprehend how – on the basis of local (rural or urban), national or global (translocal or transnational) political contexts – these dynamics produce a series of discourses and identity-favouring practices that alter the register of sociality and of collective representations. Considering the political with regard to identity mobilizations and religious dynamics will enable a widening of focus to analysis of a State “reworked” by witchcraft, as well as to analysis of the “African rebirth” renewing “traditional religions”.

A further perspective consists in centring investigation on the novel configurations generated by the superposition of different forms of thought, and notably the persistence in contemporary society of a form of ritualistic thinking that escapes traditional distinctions between the political, the religious, the social, and the construction of identity.



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UMR 8032

Centre d’études turques, ottomanes, balkaniques et centrasiatiques

(Centre for Turkish, Ottoman, Balkan and Central Asian Studies)

Nathalie CLAYER

History, sociology, anthropology, political sciences, geography, literature, linguistics, the sciences of religions

Social sciences, Politics

A +


The CETOBAC – Centre for Turkish, Ottoman, Balkan and Central Asian Studies – (UMR 8032 – CNRS-EHESS-Collège de France) comprises 14 researchers, 8 researcher-lecturers, 5 support staff, a hundred PhD students, and around 20 associated researchers working on a vast zone extending from the Balkans to Central Asia, through Anatolia and the Near East. From the starting point of Ottoman history, the centre’s activities have widened over recent years as the result of a more pluridisciplinary approach (historians and specialists in language and literature joined with political scientists, sociologists, anthropologists and geographers); by an extension of the geographical zone under consideration to include – in particular – Central Asia; and by a widening of interests towards contemporary issues (creation of a Contemporary Turkey centre and interest in contemporary Central Asia and the Balkans). In the team’s traditional field – the Turkish domain – the unit benefits from expertise that is unparalleled outside Turkey itself. The political and academic transformations underway in Turkey render exchanges and collaborations with Turkish researchers and academics particularly fruitful. The opening up of Eastern European states has also given better conditions for research, allowing the development of new subjects and access to new archives while forging stronger links within these countries. In its present field of expertise – from the Balkans to the Asian heartland – the team occupies an original position of the European level.

The centre has developed its links with French institutions (ENS, Universities, the Institut Français abroad, Istanbul/Tashkent and others). It also has a substantial teaching commitment, with many classes and seminars given not only by the lecturers but also by the researchers (EHESS, Collège de France, INALCO, Paris IV, Strasbourg). The laboratory, which was assessed as A+ by the AERES in 2009, has won two ANR projects (one on conflicts, and the other on the governance and administration of Turkey). Its greatest thematic strengths are the study of the manifestations of religion and the relations between religion and politics, the question of empires and of the passage from empire to Nation-States, the question of minorities, and – more generally – of the development of politics in the zones studied. The centre’s strong commitment to serving the expectations of society in general is clear and evidenced by the numerous public interventions and expert consultations carried out by its members.

The CETOBAC has a strong international reputation with collaborations in place with researchers and institutions in the US, Germany, Turkey etc. Its members participate in international symposiums (MESA…). Its accredited tutors supervise joint PhDs with Tunisia, Italy, and Turkey. The centre publishes in foreign languages (English, Turkish, Greek, Spanish, and Bulgarian). It publishes two collections, and is the main actor behind the plurilingual journal Turcica, an authoritative journal in the field that attracts the highest-level international researchers. It also publishes online The European Journal of Turkish Studies (50% in English, Turkish and German collaboration etc.) and is behind the recent launch of the Central Eurasian Reader. A Biennial Journal of Epistemology and Critical Bibliography of Central Eurasian Studies


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UMR 8039

Centre d’Analyse et d’Intervention Sociologiques

(Centre for Sociological Analysis and Intervention)


Sociology, anthropology, political science, public health, medical ethics, education sciences

Social sciences, Political science, Health

A +


In its role as a laboratory of sociology, the Cadis studies social action. The centre constructs its object by linking theoretical rigour and a constant concern for methodology, and investigative work invariably occupies a central place in its activities. Its members conduct major research programmes both in France and abroad. The Cadis enjoys international renown on the strength of its publishing activities, of its participation in international symposiums, of its involvement with learned societies, and of its media presence. The centre has published a large number of works, many of which have been translated into several languages, and many hundreds of articles. The results of Cadis’ research touch controversial public debates. More often than not, its production infringes the received cosial representations of social problems. This is illustrated by the work on youth and education by François Dubet, on discrimination in hiring by Philippe Bataille or, at the moment, by Geoffrey Pleyers’ work on globalisation. At present, the laboratory comprises around sixty researchers and around a hundred PhD students, most drawn from the Master’s in ‘General Sociology’ at the EHESS. The Cadis studies social life, its transformations and organisations and the decline of institutions; the construction of individual and collective identity with respect to the subject’s social experience; political transformation and the future of democracy, whether through adaptation to globalisation or historical rupture and whether by cultural evolution, social movements, or revolutionary phenomena; and the temptations of falling back onto nationalism or communitarianism in the face of globalisation and migration. The Cadis’ research programmes extend over several years and have often a transnational character, such as Michel Wieviorka’s work on racism and discrimination at the end of the 1980s, muticulturalism and diversity in the 1990s, violence and anti-Semitism in the 2000s while – at the beginning of the 80s – its object was the study of terrorism and political violence in France. Fahrad Khosrokhavar has done likewise in turning his attention to the construction of Islam in France – and including in prisons – while making a comparative international study of young people and their relationship with religion in a medium-sized Iranian town. The Cadis approaches social action from the perspective of the social experience of those who act. Methodologically, the Cadis takes social subjects as starting points and discovers the situations in which they move, decide, judge, choose, or develop awareness of their subjugation. This is never done with the intention of assigning to the subject a role of ‘victim’, with its concomitant risk of further hampering their capacity to act in or of enclosing them in a restrictive social identity. The Cadis unendingly rediscovers the capacity for action of social actors by remaining close to the most vulnerable among them – for instance, those with major illness, or those who are most exploited and dominated, as is the case with immigrants and their children – while they make efforts to exist and to live as social agents defending their rights and establishing new rights. Following a suggestion by the AERES, on the arrival of its new director (Philippe Bataille, who arrived in 2010 following Alain Touraine and Michel Wieviorka) the Cadis has reorganised itself and its teams according to two axes of research:

1)   The subject, subjectivity, the process of subjectivisation, desubjectivisation

2)   The world, globalisation, antiglobalisation

The working hypothesis which underlies this bipartite organisation assumes of social life and its various forms of organisation, of social representations, and – above all – of human and social experience of life and of the order which contextualises social life, that these elements are taken as points of tension between the aspiration to subjective efficacy which grants existence to the social actor and the vast movement of globalisation. If it is not satisfactorily conceptualised, this globalisation is experienced as a situation of crisis and as a process of decline and loss although it indeed offers – as Alain Touraine has emphasised – numerous opportunities to the various social actors. The Cadis refuses to reduce the subject’s capacity for action either to the homoeostatic imperatives of unity or fixity in social life – as given, for instance, by the action of professional norms that are largely of institutional origin – or to moral adaptation. Rather, it sees in their denunciation or in their developing awareness a desire for transformation and for new rights that will allow the subject to affirm their identity without isolating themselves from the vast cultural movement of globalisation and of membership, whether it be social, cultural and/or national, or religious and/or political. The Cadis studies social action and its agents as the product of a tension between subjectivity and the global era, much as Manuel Castells analyses networks of communication. In example, for the Cadis it is fundamental to understand the subjective experience of racism by the migrant who circulates between different social spaces (Alexandra Poli) as to understand circuits and the crossing of frontiers on the global scale (Yvon Le Bot) or the relations between commerce and migration (Michel Peraldi).



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Centre d’expertise et de recherche administrative (ENA)

(The Centre of Expertise and Administrative Research)

Fabrice LARAT

Administration and public policy



The CERA is composed of a director and two researchers, all of whom hold a doctorate and have many years of experience in research. It regularly welcomes foreign or French researchers and notably, in the recent period, two researchers holding a Gutenberg Chair. The Centre of Expertise and Administrative Research (CERA) of the ENA was founded in 2006. Its mission is to develop the research activities and scientific monitoring of the Ecole Nationale d’Administration (National Management School) in the fields of public administration and public politics, and to implement their promotion on a national and international level. These activities aim, amongst other things, to contribute to the teaching in both initial higher education and continued education. In this capacity, its main missions are the following: editing the journal Revue Française d’Administration Publique (RFAP) as well as other publications intended, in particular, to enhance and promote research conducted within the ENA; Organizing conferences, round tables and other scientific events:

http://www.ena.fr/index.php?/fr/recherche/colloques-manifestations; Conducting research and disseminating the results in the best journals in the discipline, in France and abroad; Developing partnerships with university establishments and research centres concerned with questions pertaining to public administration through common projects or responses to calls for tender; and Representing the ENA in national and international networks for the disciplines covered by the CERA – here, the ENA is active in the International Association of Schools and Institutes of Public Administration and the European Group for Public Administration of the Institut International des Sciences Administratives (International Institute of Administrative Sciences), it also belongs to the Societé Française d’Evaluation (French Evaluation Society) and the Conseil Supérieur de la Recherche et de la Formation Stratégique (Higher Council for Research and Strategic Education).

In the framework of TEPSIS, the ENA – through the CERA – will conduct a project of research into the questions of equality of access to the civil service. There is, at present, a lively debate on the “social openness” of the Grandes Ecoles and the possible effect of social bias on the Category A entrance competitions for the recruitment and training of administrative elites. It has resulted in a number of initiatives intended to widen access (quotas, specialized courses, preparatory classes integrated into regional institutes of administration, at the ENA or at the Ecole Nationale de Magistrature). The CERA project will study the innovations and changes resulting from these recent initiatives with respect to traditional meritocratic mechanisms (i.e. “State Historicity”) and examine the challenges posed in terms of the struggle against discrimination (i.e. “Social Differentiation and Inequalities) and the legitimacy of the various approaches presently in place, and notably for the senior civil service (i.e. “Legitimacy and Delegitimation of Elites”. These analyses will permit the organisation of workshops and conferences for the interpretation of results, and also resulting publications.

2.2.  Governance

The TEPSIS LABEX has a system of governance that allows mutualisation between the partner establishments and units, and which reinforces the synergy favourable to a concerted renewal of research. TEPSIS is piloted by a 16-member Governing Board (its deliberative and decisional body). The Governing Board is composed of 13 members representing each of the partners UMR 8156 – IRIS, UMR 8209 – CESSP, UMR 8097 – CMH, UMR 8558 – CRH, UMR 8083 – CERCEC, UMR 8178 – IMM, UMR 8168 – MASCIPO, UMR 8036 – CESPRA, UMR 8211 – CERMES3, UMR 8171 – CEMAf, UMR 8032 – CETOBAC, UMR 8039 – CADIS and CERA (each partner designates a permanent representative and a substitute). The Board also comprises representatives from the two main doctoral schools – ED 286 at the EHESS and ED 113 of Political Science at Paris 1 – and also an invited representative of the PRES HESAM at each meeting. The Governing Board meets 5 times a year. It decides on the applications, resignations, or exclusion of LABEX partners. The Board of direction fixes internal regulations. It finalises each year the targets in research, training, and diffusion of knowledge of the TEPSIS LABEX programme. It debates and adopts its budget. It can, if the need arises, create specific commissions All decisions are made on a two-thirds majority. It elects a Director and four deputy directors for a three-year period, renewable once. The Director and deputy directors constitute the TEPSIS LABEX’ Executive Office and constitute the executive management of TEPSIS.

The Director implements the scientific, training, and communication policies adopted by the LABEX Governing Board, and represents LABEX before instances of the PRES. The Scientific Committee comprises 18 members who are named for 4 years (renewable once) by the Governing Board on the suggestion of the Executive Office. Its members are drawn from organisations outside LABEX, of which a third are foreign researchers. The key scientific disciplines of the LABEX must be represented within the Scientific Committee. It elects its President and meets at least twice a year, with one meeting consecrated to examination of the LABEX programme and the formulation of proposals. The Scientific Committee pronounces on all questions concerning scientific policy, training and the promotion of the LABEX. On the proposal of 8 of its members, the Governing Board can call an Assembly of the TESPIS LABEX members. The LABEX Executive Office is responsible for updating the list of the LABEX members, which is initially defined as listing the researchers and lecturers who have filed their bibliographies.

All calls for projects and for applications made by the TEPSIS LABEX favour the axes of scientific research and the training actions that comprise the scientific and pedagogic programmes of the LABEX.

The annual budget presented to the Governing Board is organised with respect to the actions and the programmes of the LABEX.

Criteria of evaluation of LABEX governance: The successful implementation of the scientific and pedagogical programmes; The quality of budgetary planning; Respect of the rules adopted for the meetings of piloting bodies.



5.3.   Institutional strategy

The TEPSIS LABEX project contributes to the “Paris Novi Mundi Université” (PNMU) excellence initiative laid down by the PRES HESAM. It integrates in a single coherent dynamic research units and members of three PRES institutions: the EHESS, the University of Paris 1 (Panthéon-Sorbonne), and the ENA.

The PNMU will constitute a new international research university in Paris, bringing together the largest French university in the fields on law, economics, and social sciences; higher national schools (écoles normales supérieures) and ‘grandes écoles’ in engineering, administration, management, and industrial design; and research institutions in the fields of human and social sciences[2]. The PNMU will become the foremost French hub for higher education and research in the fields of the humanities and the social sciences: with 24 000 students (3000 at undergraduate and 21 000 at master’s and postgraduate levels) it will boast the highest level of postgraduate students in the world; with around 3000 permanent university lecturers and researchers, 91 research units assessed at A+ or A, and 17 doctoral schools equally assessed at A+ or A. HESAM will become PNMU during the first four years of the project, with the ambition of becoming one of the foremost world-ranking research universities within the next ten years.

The IDEX will be the principal tool of this transformation. PNMU will construct a new academic culture that articulates knowledge and action, and will develop ‘thematic excellence hubs’ on the basis of the selected LABEX and EQUIPEX projects and of the “Noyaux d’excellence Thèmatique” (NeXT, or “Thematic Excellence Hubs”), which bring together the high-visibility scientific domains in the PRES. All the PNMU’s LABEX and EQUIPEX are interdisciplinary and inter-institutional research programmes. They are developed in coordination with the strategic objectives of the partner institutions. The NeXT programme engages: 1) to develop world-level research in our domains of competence; 2) to encourage the study of the transformation of societies, with particular attention to their global and historical contexts; and 3) to reinforce synergic exchanges with the cognitive sciences, experimental psychology, environmental sciences, and mathematical modelling. In accordance with the PNMU’s ambitions, the TEPSIS Labex will: 1) use the common PNMU signature in all its publications; 2) refer to the PNMU for the application and evaluation of its research projects; and 3) implement procedures in conformity with academic practice for all recruitments.

[1] « French Academic titles, with the following general equivalences: Prof = professor; DE = director of studies; DR = research director; PR = senior lecturer; PH = hospital consultant; MC = assistant lecturer; CR and CE= research assistant;  PRAG – lecturer; IE and RE = research engineer ».

[2] The members of the PresHESAM are: Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne (UP1), Conservatoire National des Arts et Métiers (CNAM), Ecole Française d’Extrême-Orient (EFEO), Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales (EHESS), the École nationale d’administration, Ecole Nationale des Chartes (ENC), the École nationale supérieure d’arts et métiers, l’École nationale supérieure de création industrielle, Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes (EPHE), l’ESCP Europe,  Arts-et-Métiers ParisTech (ENSAM), Institut National d’Histoire de l’Art (INHA), l’Institut national d’études démographiques, l’Institut national d’histoire de l’art, and l’Institut national du Patrimoine (INP). Among PNMU’s other partners are: the CNRS, the Fondation Campus Condorcet, Universcience, and the Fondation Maison des sciences de l’homme.