CHANGES – Social sciences of contemporary changes

In the Anthropocene era, unprecedented climatic, economic, technical and social changes are impacting the world. In order to understand and explain these changes using social science perspectives and tools, 12 research units in Bordeaux have come together to form the CHANGES - Social sciences of contemporary changes department.

© contrastwerkstatt - fotolia © contrastwerkstatt - fotolia

The CHANGES department was born out of the desire of social science research units to pool their strengths and skills in Bordeaux.

The scope of the department involves a broad interdisciplinarity within the Human and social sciences, combining disciplinary approaches in development, anthropology, architecture, demography, labor and social security law, epistemology, geography, history, history of science, history of law, landscape, philosophy, political science, economics, educational sciences, sociology, urban planning.

The scientific objective of the CHANGES department is to respond to the challenge of analyzing contemporary changes in all fields, including those of other sciences.

The historical context that motivates the focus on issues of change is that of an entanglement of the "natural", "technical" and "political" dimensions of increased risk and uncertainty in the governance of things and people, the extension of interdependencies, "butterfly effects" and solidarities between all levels.

The social sciences respond to these challenges with concepts and methods of inquiry and comparison that allow for a better understanding of how the reality in which we live is constructed, instituted, governed and transformed by relationships between actors.


Director: Éric Macé

Deputy director: Marie Coris


Research activities at CHANGES are animated by an internal call for projects policy, intended to encourage the advent of original research projects or collaborative networking, with the objective of Human and social sciences actively contributing to major IdEx Bordeaux projects, as well as regional, national and European calls for research projects and collaborations with other scientific fields. These research activities have four main focal points:

  • Focus 1: Change and/or consequence governance
  • Focus 2: Innovations: products and results of change
  • Focus 3: Actors of change: promotion, transformation and resistance
  • Focus 4: Interdisciplinary analysis methodology in social sciences of change

The CHANGES department is a stakeholder in three Societal Innovation Centers (CIS):

  • Forum Urbain
  • VIA Inno, the technological intelligence platform
  • Chrisalidh, the Resource Center for Social Innovation in Local Actions and Initiatives for Human Development

Key figures

  • 12 research units incl. 5 joint research units, 900 members incl. 470 teaching, research & administrative staff & 430 doctoral students
  • 7 scientific establishments jointly supervising the units
  • 16 disciplines covering the entire field of Human and social sciences

Component structures of the department

The department is made up of 12 units, 6 of which are primary units, 3 secondary units and 3 associated units, of which 5 joint research units and 7 hosting teams.

Primary units

Secondary units

Associated units


Component council

The council is composed of 28 members from the 6 primary unit laboratory councils, including 15 lecturer-researchers and researchers, 4 support staff, 6 doctoral and post-doctoral students and 3 external members.

Directors' committee

The Directors’ committee is made up of the management team members from the 12 department units.

Scientific council

The Scientific council is composed of 4 members:

  • Michèle Lamont, Professor of sociology, Harvard University, Doctor Honoris Causa from the University of Bordeaux
  • Bernard Debarbieux, Professor of geography, University of Geneva, Dean of the Faculty of Society Sciences
  • Catherine Larrère, Professor Emeritus of philosophy, University of Paris 1 - Panthéon Sorbonne
  • Giovanni Dosi, Professor of economics at the Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies in Pisa

Doctoral schools

Themes :


Updated on 07/05/2020


Éric Macé

Office N109 Avenue Léon Duguit
33608 Pessac Cedex

Marie Coris
Deputy director

Research booklet

Discover our multidisciplinary, interdisciplinary and international research!


Change, stakeholders, public action, international comparisons, democracy, interdependencies, markets, migration, norms and law, inequality and social justice, institutions, globalization, governance, controversies, social and political conflicts, gender, risks, health, knowledge, science, territories, transition.