1. Government Knowledge and Engineering: Political participation, representation and professionalisation

Head: Magali Nonjon, lecturer in political science

This unit aims to analyse the transformation of knowledge and instruments of government. The activities and research connected to this unit also seek to understand the circulation of government knowledge and engineering, both vertically (from international to national or local) and horizontally (between territories, related institutions or within the same network). There is an emphasis on studying participatory policies, urban policies, safeguarding societal concerns and, on a broader level, what is referred to as “city governance” with the dual aspects of constant negotiations and public action (and the distribution of resources) and the work of forming electoral and political frameworks.

Four main matrices of inquiry guide the members’ work: analysis of new levers of political legitimacy and public decision-making, analysis of the production, dissemination and circulation of expert government knowledge, the study of the professionalisation of political work and government work, and analysis of the construction of an ideal in terms of good government. The team for this unit also works to produce a “Barometer of territory values and representations” as a tool for measuring and monitoring subjective  representations related to the founding principles of living together (equality, practical opportunities, vision for the future, justice, quality of life, apprehension regarding change) in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur region.

Keywords: government knowledge / professionalisation of political work / governability of cities and territories / expert markets

 

2. Mobilisation, expertise and political processes

Head: Christophe Traïni, University Professor of Political Science

This research unit’s original approach lies in the examination of interactions between the two systems for coordinating collective action: the testing of emotions and formalisation of expertise. With this goal in mind, the unit seeks to compare two areas of study that are usually separate: on the one hand, the study of collective action, mobilisation and social movements and, on the other hand, public action, the development of public policies and methods of governance.

In order to better assess the relative significance of emotions in the coordination of collective action, this programme systematically and intentionally compares contrasting cases and fields: moral protests, politicisation of scientific controversy, memory conflicts, judicialization and juridification of disputes.

Keywords: mobilisation / emotion / expertise / activist involvement / territorialisation / political violence / participatory policies / public action

 

3. Governing religion

Head: Franck Fregosi, University Professor of Political Science

 The “Governing religion” unit seeks to study changes in the relations between religion and politics, which it measures through the institutional, legislative and practical processes and tools aimed at governing, supervising and controlling the expression and spread of religion (Islam), particularly in the Euro-Mediterranean region and in Pakistan and Indonesia. The thematic programme entitled “Religion, an affair of State(s)!” is a cross-disciplinary thematic framework aimed at examining the religious sphere as a field affected by certain decisions and public policies in which the intervention of public powers interferes with religious affairs by implementing traditional sectoral policies (security, migration, urban policy, foreign policy, education, etc.).

But it also seeks to study the specific intervention of public powers in religious affairs in its unique and sometimes politically strategic dimension of developing targeted public policies (including those aimed at religious minorities). The government initiatives and political proposals that have arisen following the terrorist attacks against France since January 2015 provide a recent illustration of the current significance of religious issues in public debate (promotion of interfaith dialogue, adapting the organisation of Islam, controversy surrounding Salafism, etc.). This is also seen in political undertakings aimed at guiding public action and putting it on the agenda (involving Muslim religious stakeholders in the production of counter-speech, policy for creating Muslim chaplains in prisons, creation of training on secularism, administrative closure of mosques considered radical, etc.).

The research conducted at unit 3 is aimed at demonstrating that the implementation of public policies related to religious affairs, both in the northern and southern areas of the Mediterranean region and Asia, involves converging approaches. These include the persistence of dynamics focused strictly on security aspects, the development of close partnerships between public and private actors, approaches aimed at safeguarding religion by promoting reputable “moderate” versions of Islam that could be supported by public authorities, and the identification of the numerous interactions and interfaces between the academic world and development of State policies with security policies and policies directly targeting religious affairs.

The researchers involved in this unit study the way State action tends to be implemented through 4 main areas: the management and/or surveillance of places of worship, training for clerics and creation of a more or less explicit reference document establishing orthodoxy based on the principle of moderation (a form of Islam representing a “happy medium”, liberal Islam, State Sufism, etc.), and finally the interactions between secular State law and religious law.

Keywords: religious governance/public framework/State-religious relations/State orthodoxies/process of fighting radicalisation

 

4. International Economics and Finance

Head: Céline Gimet, University Professor of Economics

The “International Economics and Finance” unit is divided into two main research projects with two major themes: the International Finance programme and the International Economics programme. While each programme has specific projects, the issue of regional governance is a common theme. More specifically, the goal is to examine financial, real and environmental interdependencies that exist within a single economically integrated geographic area.

On the one hand, the impact of monetary policies and exchange rate regimes on regional financial cycles and, on the other hand, the processes of transferring production activities and enhancing demand inside countries and regions are new phenomena in a globalised world. The idea is therefore to focus the analysis on new trends and their consequences by using appropriate methodological tools that can lead to recommendations for economic policies.

This implies decompartmentalising disciplinary fields because, in the literature, the geographical and environmental approach is used independently of issues that are inherent in the integration of financial markets. It also implies pooling the methodological tools specific to each level of analysis in order to offer an original approach that is specific to this unit.

Keywords: International trade/financial crises/environmental economy/regional economy/international financial governance/monetary unions

 

5. Armed forces, conflicts, colonial and post-colonial situations

Head: Walter Bruyère-Ostells, University Professor of History

The main objective of this unit is to contribute to the historical analysis of armed conflicts and (post)colonial situations. The scope of reflection on war has expanded to include contexts of violence and extraordinary circumstances. A particular emphasis will be placed on the adaptations of armed forces through a series of questions related to the deployment of forces.

Working close to the ground, a social and political approach to combatants (and associated actors) is used to examine both individual and collective trajectories (with an emphasis on studying intermediaries) and the methods for developing, circulating and receiving practices and knowledge related to the military profession and working conditions.

The purpose is to see how the deployment of armed force overseas or in missions to control overseas territories leads to the development of administrative practices in which occupying officers or troops play an often-prominent role and are called upon to modify their roles or responsibilities.

Keywords: conflicts/armed forces/violence/extraordinary circumstances/empires