Presentation of the CSO

Read the CSO 2022 Activity Report - in French [PDF]

The Centre for the Sociology of Organisations (CSO) – a joint research unit affiliated with Sciences Po and the CNRS – is an academic centre that built its reputation on organisational studies and has progressively broadened its scope. Today, the centre is well-known for research in the fields of economic sociology, the sociology of organisations, of public action, of professions, of social movements, and of law.

The centre is directed by Sophie Dubuisson-Quellier and Patrick Castel as Deputy Director.


The research carried out at the CSO covers a wide range of subjects, which are often approached from a comparative perspective and maintain a conscientious familiarity with the changes taking place in contemporary society.

Research at the CSO is organized into 5 research programmes that aim to explore their subjects within a sociological approach:

our (Inter)National Position

The CSO occupies an important place in the French social science landscape. Together with the CRIS, ex-OSC, the CEE and the médialab, it contributes to the excellent reputation that the Sciences Po Department of Sociology currently enjoys in France. Its researchers contribute to and assume responsibilities as constituents of the discipline’s key journals (Revue Française de Sociologie, Sociologie du travail, etc.), professional organisations (Association Française de Sociologie, etc.), and research administration bodies (Comité national du CNRS, Conseil national des universités, etc.). The CSO’s researchers are also keen to ensure that their work has real connections to society at large, leading them to work with public and private institutions (ADEME, Banque de France, ANSES, consulting firms, etc.) as well as to participate in public debate.

On the global scale, the research conducted at the CSO is frequently published in major international journals (Higher Education, Organisation Studies, Social Networks, etc.) and the centre’s researchers are invested in networks, associations, and research programmes that bring together scholars from around the world (SASE, EGOS, etc.). Further, CSO researchers are often solicited as experts by foreign and international organisations (ERC, Fonds de recherche Société et Culture du Québec, FNRS, etc.).
In addition to these outward-facing engagements, the CSO regularly hosts distinguished guest researchers, postdoctoral researchers, and graduate students attracted by the centre’s reputation and researchers for periods ranging from one month to one year.

Dynamic Research Predominantly Financed by Contracts

The CSO responds regularly, and often successfully, to calls for projects on both the national and European levels; alongside contracts and partnership agreements, these supply the necessary financing to complement the recurring subsidies provided to the CSO by Sciences Po and the CNRS.

A Commitment to Teaching and Training

The CSO stands out for its long-established, sustained engagement in research training through research practice. Not only are the centre’s scholars deeply invested in the Master’s in Sociology and teaching activities within the Sciences Po Department of Sociology, but the centre has also developed its own doctoral programme with full and collective support for its graduate students. These students are directly involved in the centre’s research programmes and participate fully in the centre’s activities and daily life.

The CSO is also deeply involved in the workings of Sciences Po, where the centre’s researchers hold important positions such as: Dean of Research; Dean of the School of Management and Innovation; Dean of the Doctoral School; Director of the Master’s programme in Organisational Behaviour and Human Resources; and Director of the Master’s programme in Public Policy.

Many CSO researchers participate in the governance of the School of Public Affairs and the Urban School, while others oversee research programmes at the Laboratory for Interdisciplinary Evaluation of Public Policies (LIEPP). Regardless of their affiliation (CNRS, FNSP, PU), all CSO researchers teach in undergraduate and/or Master’s programmes.

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