Founded at Sciences Po in 1952, the CERI is today France’s principal research center dedicated to the study of international/transnational relations and regional area studies. The Center has been directed by Alain Dieckhoff since the beginning of 2014 and has enjoyed the status of joint research entity (UMR 7050) under the combined auspices of Sciences Po and the CNRS, since 2002.
The CERI currently comprises 51 permanent faculty. members. It also hosts nearly 80 doctoral students in IR and area studies from the Sciences Po Doctoral School. The CERI’s research agenda is based on the conviction that the study of the globalized world must proceed through a two-pronged approach: area studies and international and transnational relations.
The Center brings together scholars from several social science disciplines, among which political science is the best represented, along with sociology, anthropology, history and economics. A dozen or so of the Center’s scholars are specialists of international relations in the strict sense. In area studies, the Center is particularly strong in North Africa and the Middle East, Latin America, the Far East, South Asia, West Africa and the African Great Lakes Region. The Center’s approach to area studies emphasizes fieldwork, empirical and comparative approaches, and the study of rare languages.
The CERI undertakes collaborative projects through three cross-disciplinary research programs dealing with public policy in non-European countries, representation and practices of social classes around the world, and the sociology of diplomacy, respectively. The Center’s researchers work side by side in research groups on specific issues and in productive dialogue with the Center’s five main lines of research: actors and levels of regulation in world politics; political participation and mobilization; the State and its transformations; violence and danger management; identity and politics.
The CERI is, first and foremost, a center for basic research where curiosity and scholarly innovation are given paramount importance. It maintains a close relationship with the teaching programs offered at Sciences Po at all levels (Undergraduate College, Paris School of International Affairs [PSIA], Doctoral School).
The CERI is engaged in the civic space and public debate, as well as being committed to providing support for and sharing its expertise with numerous public institutions, especially the French ministries of foreign affairs and defense. It also undertakes to disseminate its scholarly knowledge widely through the organization of public lectures and conferences, through the presence of its researchers in the media, as well as through the book collections and scholarly journals it publishes.