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CERI : A French Research Center in Europe

The Center for International Studies and Research (CERI)1 recently celebrated its first fifty years of existence, since being founded (in 1952) within the framework of the Fondation Nationale des Sciences Politiques (FNSP). An Associated Laboratory of the CNRS since 1967, CERI is now a joint research unit of the CNRS.

Home to some sixty researchers — attached either to the FNSP or the CNRS - and located in Paris' Saint-Germain district, CERI is the main center in France for research on international relations and international cultural and political areas. Its staff researchers are mainly political scientists but also sociologists, economists, historians, or anthropologists. They are assisted by fifteen or so administrative personnel who take care of managing the center, documentation, publications, and communication.

Since its inception, CERI has studied Europe. The process of European integration, the societies and internal and external politics of European States, political economy, or the impact of transnational phenomena such as immigration or religions on Europe are analysed by CERI researchers. But CERI is also a research center whose activities are carried out in Europe. Choosing to work both in and on Europe inevitably means that CERI's real scope is the wider world.

The researchers and doctoral students of CERI are thoroughly linked into the research nets of Europe. They participate in the colloquia of the major academic associations of Europe and have developed numerous collaborative ties with their colleagues in European universities. The Center has in addition established partnerships with European academic institutions such as the Department of International Relations of the London School of Economics and Political Science, the Department of Political Science at the University of Torino, or the Amsterdam School of Social Science Research. These partnerships, increasing in number, give rise to research groups, colloquia and joint publications.

In addition, an active publication policy keeps CERI very much on the European forefront. Besides its French language publishing activity, the Center maintains two series of titles, one with the British publisher Hurst and the other with the Anglo-American house Palgrave, which allow CERI researchers to publish in English, either through translation or by writing directly in English. By the same logic, the recent collection of research findings available on CERI's website, entitled “Questions de recherche / Research in question”, publishes papers in French and English.

Many European associates of CERI participate in the Center's seminars or spend several months in Paris as guest researchers.  The scientific board of the Center as of 2003 includes a European member from a non-French university, appointed by the Center's leadership. This Europeanisation began at first with the Scientific Council of the journal Critique Internationale, a review of international analysis founded by CERI, on which sit several members from other European countries.

Looking toward the future of research, CERI's directors, Christophe Jaffrelot and Christian Lesquesne, see Europe more and more as the framework for CERI. In the goal of being able to continue its high-quality work, the Center will increase its participation in European programmes, while exploring new and more diversified sources of funding.

CERI already carries out research contracts for the European Commission and works with European foundations. As centers in other countries have done, CERI has developed close relations with private sector partners like firms, banks, or NGO's, not only to diversify its resources but also to disseminate its findings beyond academic circles.

CERI's central objective, in sum, is to reach critical mass in the European environment as the best way to ensure its voice will be heard on the international research scene in the social sciences.




Centre d'études et de recherches internationales

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