Charlotte Halpern

FNSP tenured researcher

Dr. Charlotte Halpern holds a PhD in political science and is an FNSP tenured researcher at Sciences Po, Centre for European studies and comparative politics in Paris. She has done extensive research on state restructuring, policy change and the selection of policy instruments, mainly in the field of environmental, transport and urban policies in Europe and South America. Current research projects include CREATE, a European-funded project (Horizon 2020) on "Congestion reduction in Europe" and MEGOWAS (funded under USPC-NUS joint research projects) on the "Metropolitan governance of water  systems".

She has co-edited several books (e.g.,  Policy analysis in France, Policy press, 2018 with P. Hassenteufel and P. Zittoun; Policy  instrumentation, Presses de Sciences Po, 2014 with P. Lascoumes and P. Le Galès), special issues and articles in academic journals (Comparative European Politics; West European Politics; Politique européenne; and chapters in peer-reviewed books. She teaches courses on public policy analysis, comparative urban governance and environmental policies at Sciences Po and AgroParisTech. She is an associated researcher at the Sciences Po research programme Cities are back in town. She has done research stays on several occasions at Nuffield College, Oxford (under the OXPO programme), the  Max-Planck Institute for the Study of Society in Cologne, and the Humboldt University in Berlin. She has been an invited lecturer at the Escuela de Gobierno y Politicas publicas at the PUCP, Lima (Peru), where she is an associate researcher at the Public Policy Research Group  and has contributed to the creation of the Observatorio de políticas públicas para la ciudad  

Current and past research projects

CREATE Project, « Congestion Congestion Reduction in Europe: Advancing Transport Efficiency » (2015-2018)

CREATE is a 36-months research project (2015-2018) funded by the European Commission under Horizon 2020. This project addresses the task Tackling Urban Road Congestion, taking a long-term view of how this can be achieved, especially in cities experiencing rapid growth in car ownership and use. It deals with most of the issues set out in the Commission’s Urban Mobility Package (2013).
As a part of the CREATE project, the CEE team, coordinated by Charlotte Halpern, is in charge of Work Package 4 (WP4) "Comparative analysis of transport policy processes". In combination with members of the CREATE consortium and the work achieved as part of other WPs, its primary goal is to develop a qualitative analysis of long-term transport policy development across five European capital cities, i.e. London, Vienna, Berlin, Copenhagen and Paris Ile-de-France, that is large cities characterized by advanced sustainable mobility policies and a significant reduction in car use (peak car phenomenon).

Visit the CREATE project’s website

For more information on the work achieved at Sciences Po, CEE on the CREATE project 

MEGOWAS Project, « Metropolitan Governance of Water Systems » (2017-2018)

MEGOWAS is a 12-months research project, funded under USPC-NUS joint research projects, focuses on issues related to water supply in four major metropolitan areas: Manila (Philippines), Jakarta (Indonesia), Lim (Peru) and Sao Paulo (Brazil). Focusing on the governance of water systems, it seeks to produce exploratory case studies as well as a first comparative analytical framework. Several research teams, in the four metropolitan areas, were involved in the project and at Sciences Po, CEE, the research team involved Charlotte Halpern (co-PI) and Alvaro Artigas.
Main events and publications: final conference "Water governance in times of relentless urban growth" (21 June 2018) 

SYRACUSE Project, « Networked symbioses adapted to sustainability-oriented urban contexts » (2012-2016)

This research programs examines the most promising technological innovations in the field of urban utilities (water, waste, energy), mainly around issues of symbiosis, convergence and decentralization. SYRACUSE combines the skills of both social scientists (CEE, Sciences Po; LATTS, Université Paris Est) and engineers (Safege, Cirsee, Explicit) in order to assess the impact of a series of technological, institutional and financial innovations that aim at improving urban sustainability. 10 case studies have been selected worldwide, as well a typology of technological solutions to be examined. One of the main goals of the study is to built an instrument of decision-making assistance that would help determine which solutions are pertinent in which context and notably when decentralized utilities might be more environmentally efficient than centralized ones and when solutions pertaining to network symbiosis might be worth generalizing.

Charlotte’s contribution to this research programmes is twofold: first the coordination of the work package on urban governance and policies, with a particular focus on modes of political regulation in the field of urban utilities (What is politically regulated and what isn’t?) as well as on forms and degrees of policy change; second, two case studies that is Lima (Peru) and Amsterdam-Schipol (Netherlands).

The SYRACUSE project is funded by the French National Research Agency, Research programme « Sustainable Cities & Buildings », 48 month. 

« Le ‘Grenelle de l’environnement’ as an innovative participatory device? Actors, discourses, effects » (2009-2012)

This project provides an in-depth analysis of the “Grenelle de l’environnement” that is, a large national procedure of public consultation and participation that was launched by the then-newly elected president Nicolas Sarkozy in order to address environmental and climate change issues, and design environmental policies and instruments. This highly politicized process stood at the crossroads of different rationales: the executive’s attempts to effectively mobilize social and political support beyond its traditional electorate in order to negotiate major state reforms; the arrival of a new generation of environmental activists wishing to promote an a-political and institutionalized form of environmental issues and interests’ representation – as opposed to a Green part – as part of the debate on environmental democracy, and third, a managerial approach to State and territorial reform as a way to accelerate the transposition of EU legislation and bypass economic, territorial and social resistances during environmental policy implementation. This research programme provided an in-depth analysis of this consultation process by jointly examining the sociological profile of participants to the Grenelle, the discourses (media, grey literature) produced during the Grenelle, as well as its outcomes in three different policy areas (waste, eco-building and renewable energy). The combination of three different scales of analysis allowed to critically address the way in which the outcomes of participatory devices had been addressed in the literature and to identify evolving forms of environmental policy-making.

Project funded by the French Ministry of the Environment, Research programme « Concertation, Décision, Environnement », 36 month. 

« Choice and combination of policy instruments in the urban and the environmental policy fields in France, Germany, the UK and the EU » (2005-2008)

This research project focused on policy instruments and new modes of governance in the EU. It explored when new policy instruments, based on non-hierarchical steering modes, result in policy change. It analyzed the use of new policy instruments in different policy sectors and member States, and demonstrated under which conditions the choice of policy instruments contributes to structure policy outcomes and implementation processes across policy sectors and political systems. The project underlined the contradictory impact of different policy instruments and the rise of NMG as a response to the coordination problems raised by the use of new policy instruments. It critically examined the import of EU policy instruments and their combination in different national contexts. The policy instrument project also had an horizontal dimension which was relevant for the overall integrated project.

Funded by the NewGov Research Programme, 6th PCRD, 48 month.

To know more

  • Tel: +33145498692
  • Office C310, 3rd Floor

Research Topics

Public action, Urban sociology, Public policies, Social movements, European Union

Responsable scientifique du Master Stratégies territoriales et urbaines de Sciences Po, Responsable du Double diplôme Urban policy LSE-Sciences Po, Co-responsable, avec Céline Belot (Pacte, IEP de Grenoble) et Laurie Boussaguet (Sciences Po, CEE & Université de Rouen) du groupe de projet de l'Association française de Science Politique PopAct "Opinion publique et action publique", Membre du comité de rédaction de la revue Gouvernement et action publique, Co-éditrice des cahiers de recherche du Programme Villes et Territoires de Sciences Po
Back to top