Nicolas Bau, Class of 2022

PhD researcher at the the University of Geneva (UNIGE) | Graduate from the Political Science Master's degree, Programme in Public Policy
  • Nicolas Bau, Graduate from Programme in  Public PolicyNicolas Bau, Graduate from Programme in Public Policy

Can you tell us about your academic background?

I joined Sciences Po as a Master's student, after a B/L preparatory class, completed by a bachelor's degree at the Nouveau Collège d'Etudes Politiques, a joint program of the universities of Paris VIII and Paris Nanterre.
I had the chance to pursue a very rich and stimulating undergraduate training, which allowed me to quickly develop an interest in public policy. The NCEP offered a comprehensive, critical and actionable training for public action.
During this period, I was very marked by the reading of Michel Foucault, especially on neoliberalism, and by the uses of his thought in political science. This episode constituted an important moment in my reflection on my desire to pursue research. This interest was confirmed after a positive experience in a research laboratory.
At the end of my bachelor's degree, I had a clear idea of my desire to do a research Master’s, and from this perspective I applied for the Master's degree in Political Science at Sciences Po.

Why did you choose the master's degree in Public Policy?

By a happy coincidence, three new tracks, including one in public policy, were opening up in the Political Science master's program for the year I wanted to join it.
I wanted a solid education in public policy and Sciences Po is a reference university in France and abroad in this field. Furthermore, I had never been taught methods in preparatory classes or in my bachelor’s, and I wanted to benefit from methodological support, which is at the heart of research training.
During the first year of training, the master's degree in public policy offers comprehensive and advanced teaching in qualitative and quantitative methods. Plus, compared to the other majors, the Public Policy track offers teaching in methods applied to the analysis and evaluation of public policies. Finally, the pluralism of the program, both in the courses offered and the approaches taught, convinced me to apply in the Public Policy track.

Why did you choose to pursue a PhD? How is your daily life organized?

The Master's degree raised more questions in me than it resolved.
My Master's thesis, which focused on the influence of neo-managerial ideas on French foreign aid policy, raised a broader question about the effects of changing ideologies on foreign aid policies. It is in this perspective that I applied to the University of Geneva to work under the advice of Simone Dietrich, who is developing a research agenda on foreign aid bureaucracies.
I also wanted to teach, and the PhD offers the opportunity to do so. I am funded by a teaching assistant contract. I dedicate half of my working time to teaching, and the other half to do research for my thesis, to co-organize scientific events, and to participate in the academic life in Geneva and elsewhere. The schedule is busy, but the tasks are diversified. No two days are alike!

What does the Public Policy major bring to your PhD program?

I realized the quality of the training I received in the Public Policy major when I started my thesis.
The diversity of the courses, which allow you to learn about the main debates in the discipline, and the quality of the texts given to read in the framework of the master's program help you to build up a broad and specialized knowledge of political science and the field of public policy. This is a huge time saver at the beginning of the PhD.
Beyond the thesis, all the courses I took during the two years of the master's program are useful to me today.
During a PhD, there are multiple activities that require you to go outside your field of specialization. For example, teaching and discussing the work of one's colleagues require a broader knowledge of political science than just the expertise one builds around one's subject. Finally, methodological training is very useful. In this context, courses in quantitative methods are a real advantage of the training, since they are often a mandatory prerequisite for doing a doctorate abroad.

Why would you recommend this master?

It is an excellent program for pursuing a PhD, but not only.
From the beginning of the first year, the emphasis is on learning the plurality of methods for collecting and analyzing data and on building a solid, coherent and feasible research design for the dissertation in the second year.
Many professions other than that of researcher that can be accessed after this master's degree require the ability to work with data, i.e. to identify their availability, select them according to objective criteria, and develop relevant indicators to analyze them and give them meaning.
The conditions of study at Sciences Po are excellent.
The resources are vast and immediately available thanks to the work of the librarians. Also, the supervision of the public policy major is provided by a team of professors involved in the Master's program. Their benevolence and availability help to build one's research subject and one's academic career.
The teachers are open to discussion. Most of them are affiliated to the Centre for European Studies and Comparative Politics, a laboratory that is very much part of the academic fabric and where students are encouraged to attend scientific events.
Finally, the atmosphere with the other students was very good and friendly. We regularly discussed our respective work and often went out together!

Would you have any advice for a student who wants to go for a PhD?

Having only recently started my PhD, I certainly do not have the necessary hindsight to give the best advice, but I think it is essential to be really passionate about your topic and your field of study. You must be passionate enough about your subject to be able to devote yourself to it (almost) every day for several years.
I think that one should also be careful not to constantly take refuge in activities related to the thesis (teaching, administrative activities, ...) to keep enough time for research. Also, contrary to common belief, doing a PhD does not necessarily mean spending your days alone.
Finally, I think it is important to find out about doctoral programs that do not lock students into their subject. It is also important to make sure of the quality of PhD candidates’ supervision, the support after PhD defense, or the opportunities of insertion in research projects for example, which are modalities that vary according to the universities. For this, I would advise to discuss with a possible future supervisor and possible future colleagues.

Learn more

=> See all the Graduates' Portraits

[ January 2023 ]


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A New World Order

Conference & Workshops, on January 25th - 26th
with Paul Romer, Nobel Laureate in Economic Science, 2018 and many high-level speakers: researchers, policy makers, diplomats ...
  • Actualité Sciences PoActualité Sciences Po

After recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic, the world plunged into one of its darkest moments in modern history unveiling some fundamental challenges within the political, economic, and social tissues of our society. The war has demonstrated multiple faults of the existing systems of governance, on both the national and international levels.

The Sciences Po – The Boris Mints Institute (BMI) and the international School of Social Sciences at Tel Aviv University conference aims to explore facets of this frightening reality to see if we can come up with some strategic responses to these global challenges with a number of outstanding speakers.

Click here to view the full program

You can register separately for each event: Conference on 25th, Workshops morning 26th, Workshops afternoon 26th.

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"Combining good sense and passion..."

Interview with Marion Fontaine, Director of doctoral studies in History
  • Marion Fontaine, Full Professor at Sciences Po Marion Fontaine, Full Professor at Sciences Po

Are you interested in enrolling in a PhD in history? Besides being a flagship discipline of the Sciences Po Undergraduate College, history is one of the university’s core research areas. What kind of historical research is being undertaken at Sciences Po? How do you decide on a PhD subject within the discipline? Get advice and answers from Marion Fontaine, a Professor of History the Sciences Po Centre for History and the university’s Director of Doctoral Studies in History.

Can you tell us more about your background?

I studied history at the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales (EHESS) in Paris, defending my PhD thesis there in 2006. My thesis explored the connections between sport (specifically football), political identity and social identity within coal mining communities, from their heyday to crisis point and their eventual decline.

I didn’t originally intend to go into historical research. Like many, I was more interested in a career in journalism or publishing. But seeing how history and the social sciences work in practice, experiencing the joys of fieldwork and archival research, as well as a few chance encounters and intellectual bonds formed along the way, all helped convince me to continue on this path.

After my PhD, I spent some time teaching in secondary schools, before being offered my first lectureship at the University of Avignon. I thoroughly enjoyed those years in the south of France, during which time I also got to chance to discover new fields, including several that I explored as part of my work as a delegate of the Institut Universitaire de France (IUF), a research agency within the French Ministry of Higher Education. I also got to experience another crucial element of careers in academia: the work of directing a research institute (the Norbert Elias Centre, an interdisciplinary research centre in the social sciences).

After earning my habilitation in 2021, I applied for a professorship that was opening up at Sciences Po. The university was already home to several close colleagues of mine, whom I felt shared certain intellectual affinities that would help us to undertake a collective project.

What research are you currently undertaking at the Sciences Po Centre for History?  What inspired your interest in these areas?

I often say, half-jokingly, that what the fields I work in primarily have in common is that they are all in the midst of collapse, or in a period of deep crisis. Of course, that isn’t the case for football! But the rest of my research, which looks at the history of labouring communities and twentieth-century industrial societies, together with the history of socialism in the broadest sense, fits that definition relatively well. Mining, coal, the “working class”, socialism... These are all words and concepts that can seem very far removed from our twenty-first-century concerns. Ultimately, however, they all continue to cast their shadows into the present day and it is precisely that conviction which guides me in my research. Furthermore, what also feeds into my research are the profound theoretical shifts that have occurred in recent decades (within social history, environmental history, issues of identity), which shed new light on all these different areas.

A particularly crucial part of my work at the Centre for History at the moment is a major international project entitled "Deindustrialisation and the Politics of Our Time, DEPOT". This project brings together researchers from six countries across Europe and North America. It aims to study forms of contemporary deindustrialisation from a firmly transnational and comparative perspective, which is often lacking in other approaches to these phenomena. It also aims to consider deindustrialisation from the perspective of its political effects (e.g. marginalisation, the crisis of collective action and, in certain cases, the rise of nationalism). The events of recent years make us think that this research might not only be intellectually rich, but could help to shed light on several major debates within the public sphere.

Last September, you were appointed Director of Doctoral Studies in History. What do you find interesting about assisting students?

It’s more than interesting, it’s totally fascinating work! Unsurprisingly, and like all of my predecessors, what I enjoy most about the role is the direct contact I have with students. It’s very gratifying to support them and to see them blossoming into fully fledged researchers, or else taking  what they have learned through their research to embark on new paths.

With Master’s students, the role involves working with all colleagues at the Centre for History to support them in their first proper experience of historical research, and to assist them in defining their dissertation topic. It’s an important time for them and for us. It’s also an opportunity for them to work out whether they want to continue on to further research or to use what they’ve learnt during their Master’s in other avenues, for example in the cultural sector, the media, the civil service or in business. The Master’s in History equips students with a wealth of different skills and opens up very varied pathways.

Meanwhile, at PhD level, students also bring me a considerable amount: through their research topics, their questions, the initiatives they develop etc. It really is a two-way street.

What, in your view, are the keys to a successful PhD? 

First and foremost, it’s about choosing a subject that is both sufficiently ambitious and sufficiently realistic (particularly in terms of archival access), and a good thesis supervisor. These are two vital elements for succeeding in your PhD, and  candidates need to think very carefully about them in advance.  

There are also academic keys, of course: being organised; having an interest in archives and writing, without which nothing is possible; enjoying debates too. At PhD level, you know longer study history as a stable academic entity; rather, you make history, keeping in mind the shifts and critiques common to all scientific disciplines.

There are also other important keys. The PhD in History at Sciences Po is not the solitary exercise it may be presented as. On the contrary, it has a profoundly collaborative dimension: through discussions within the Centre for History, through the contact you have with other researchers, through your participation in seminars and symposia etc. Those are crucial factors that candidates really need to take into account. At the same time, the PhD is also a chance to gain greater intellectual autonomy and to begin forging your own path as a researcher. That can’t happen without a degree of uncertainty and doubt at certain points. Candidates just have to remind themselves that it’s very normal to have doubts and that their supervisors and the wider doctoral studies team are right there with them during these periods!

With regards to the Centre for History, why are PhD students integrated into the research centre? What is the advantage for them?

We don’t view doctoral candidates as students so much as researchers in the making. It’s therefore totally normal and legitimate that they are fully integrated into the Centre for History. It gives them access to numerous centre resources (shared offices, administrative support etc.). Even more importantly, it allows them to meet and work directly with one another, within seminars, at events we organise, both with other researchers at the centre and with its countless guest researchers. There is a very diverse pool of backgrounds, methods and contacts, which is highly beneficial for PhD candidates.

What advice would you give students interested in doing a PhD in history?

Besides the things I already mentioned above – choosing a subject and a thesis supervisor – I think the most crucial thing, in the current context, is to be able to combine good sense and passion. Academia these days is increasingly diverse, international and competitive, which is not to say that it’s inaccessible! All that means you have to be realistic, relatively flexible and accept that your plans may come to evolve over the course of your PhD (that’s the sensible part). At the same time, research is a profession of passion: you should only embark on it if it’s really what you want to do (the Master’s is generally a good test of that). If that genuinely is the case, then read (a lot), explore, don’t be afraid to seek out new avenues and ask new questions and, above all, don’t lose sight of the intellectual pleasure in what you are doing. You’ll see that research is a wonderful career!

Learn more

=> About Marion Fontaine and the Centre d'histoire de Sciences Po

=> About the Master's degree and the PhD in History

Photo : Marion Fontaine - Credits : Alexis Lecomte

[ January 2023 ]



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"Believe in yourself and don’t be discouraged! "

Nicolas GHIO, PHD, Graduate of the Master’s in Economics
  • Nicolas GHIO | PHD, Graduate of the Master’s in EconomicsNicolas GHIO | PHD, Graduate of the Master’s in Economics

Can you tell us about your academic background?

I applied to Sciences Po after earning my Baccalaureate diploma in a small public high school in the south of France. At the end of my Bachelor’s degree, I decided to continue my studies with a Master's in Economics at the Sciences Po School of Research. After three years of working as a research assistant, I enrolled in the doctoral programme in September 2022. 

What inspired your interest in economics?

My background is a bit unusual. When I was in high school, I would often read printed newspapers because I felt I needed to get a better understanding of how society functions. As soon as I discovered Economics and Social Sciences (SES) as a subject in high school, I knew I wanted to be an economist. It was a discipline that corresponded to all the questions I was asking myself, as well as providing a means of answering them. I have always hated sub-optimal situations because I feel that, collectively, we should be able to find better solutions, and that is precisely what economists seek to do. 

What were the different stages in building your academic and career plans?

It was my SES teacher in high school who first gave me the good advice of applying to Sciences Po, with the eventual aim of going on to the Master's in Economics. The other courses I was able to take as an undergraduate at Sciences Po, in sociology and history for example, also fed into my interest in the social sciences more broadly. Once I had begun the Master’s in Economics, my passion for research and teaching grew. I particularly enjoyed the experience of writing my master’s thesis, with the help of my master’s supervisor who has since become my PhD supervisor. 

What made you decide to enrol in a PhD?

At the start of the Master’s, I wasn’t really sure I wanted to go on to a PhD. I was more interested in applying economic findings than in researching those findings. Nonetheless, the training I gained over the two years of the programme equipped me with a very firm foundation. After graduating, I decided to continue in academia, particularly in order to gain more experience and a better understanding of research tools. I worked as a research assistant for several academics, first at UC Berkeley in California and then at the Paris School of Economics. After three years, I finally felt ready to work on my own projects and begin a PhD. It felt like the logical next step in my academic career. 

Do you have any advice for students hoping to enroll in a PhD?

Believe in yourself and don’t be discouraged. Lots of students, and I was one of them, struggle with impostor syndrome, or think they're not good enough because they don't understand everything right from the beginning. There’s no shame in taking your time, pausing your studies and gaining experience because, both during your PhD and afterwards, you will always continue to learn. It’s not grades that determine whether you can be a researcher, but rather creativity and the ability to come up with good ideas. A PhD is a long journey, with many ups and downs. You have to think about it calmly, when you’re ready and without rushing into anything. I would also stress the fact that research is a collective and human experience. We have to present our projects in seminars and work with other researchers, so we can’t have doubts about collaborating, discussing our topic and asking for help. That’s why, in my view, your relationship with your PhD supervisor is so essential.

Learn more

=> See all the Graduates' Portraits


[ January 2023 ]

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Best wishes for the new year!

  • Happy New Year 2023! © ShutterstockHappy New Year 2023! © Shutterstock

The whole team of the School of Research wishes you all the best
for the New Year 2023! 

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Discover the new issue of Cogito!

  • Cogito | Research MagazineCogito | Research Magazine

In this issue, Cogito addresses structural issues: from secularism to the evaluation of public policies, and including economic, educational and gender inequalities, the manipulation of history, the governance of behavior, and peace politics. The issue also includes case studies of green school campuses, Down’s syndrome screening, and data journalism. A highlight is the profile of Alexander Prokhanov, whose thinking permeates Putin’s imperial ambitions.

Enjoy the read!

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Masters & PHDs

Applications for 2023 are open!
  • Crédit photo : TierneyMJ / ShutterstockCrédit photo : TierneyMJ / Shutterstock


The procedure of admission for 2023 has just opened. You can apply from now on for the following programmes:

>>Application deadlines:


Candidates who already hold a Master's degree or equivalent and who wish to enter a PhD programme at thesis level, regardless of their previous studies (international or French), should apply directly online.

Doctoral programmes in Economics, History, Political Science and Sociology:

Applications starting 13th of October 2022

To be eligible for assessment, your application must be complete and submitted before:

    • 10 January 2023 at 11:59pm (Paris time),for an admission result mid-March 2023
    • 17 May 2023 at 11:59pm (Paris time),for an admission result mid-July 2023

Doctoral programme in Law:

Only one admission session this year for the Doctoral programme in Law (*)

Applications starting 13th of October 2022

To be eligible for assessment, your application must be complete and submitted before:

    • 14 March 2023 at 11:59pm (Paris time) for an admission result on 15th of April 2023

(*) This year, there will be only ONE admission session for the Law doctoral programme with results communicated on the 15th of April 2023. Contact: Professor Dina Waked, Head of the Law Doctoral Programme

Contact us

For any information about our formations, do not hesitate to contact the academic advisors.

Please also feel free to contact our student association: The School of Research Association (SORA)

Find out more about the School of Research:

Replay Campus France Live

Pierre François, Dean of the School of Research and students answered all your questions. The discussions were held in English.

Watch the replay (14/12/2021)

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Happy Holidays !

Office closure
  • Happy Holidays!Happy Holidays!

The whole team at the School of Research would like to wish you a happy holidays and end to the year!

The School of Research will be closed during holidays, from Monday morning, December 19, 2022 to Monday morning, January 2, 2023. 

Saint-Guillaume Library, Saint-Thomas Library and the Research Library will be closed from Friday 23rd of December (from 6pm) to the 1st of January 2023

Anticipate your needs and take advantage of our holiday loan from 14th of December. You will have until the 18th of January to return your documents

Library: dates of all services closure. More information


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Course Registration

Spring Semester - 5 and 6 January 2023
  • Actualité Sciences PoActualité Sciences Po

Dear Students,Your course registration for the spring semester will be held on Thursday, January 5 for M1 students and Friday, January 6 for M2 students.

Please remember that online course registration is mandatory (cf. Academic rules and regulations) and that each one of you is responsible for ensuring that you register for the appropriate courses as required by your degree programme.

To ensure you are ready on the day, please remind yourselves of the registration process and by consult our registration guide.

First of all, we advise you to register for the Common Academic Training courses. A programme and schedule for these courses can be found on this page.

To help streamline your registration, all course times are indicated on your respective module lists. 

Please, do not hesitate to contact your Administrative Officers (PDF).

Thursday, January 5, 2023 from 2:05 p.m. to 4:05 p.m. - M1 Students - S2

See your course offering:

  • Sociology:  Spring semester
    NB: mandatory pre-entry on 16 and 17 January 2023 from 9am to 6pm for students who opt to attend the "Group Survey" methodological training

Friday, January 6, 2023 from 2:05 p.m. to 4:05 p.m. - M2 Students - S4

See your course offering:


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Times Higher Education Ranking: Sciences Po places 39th in the world for the social sciences

  •  Times Higher Education Times Higher Education

Le Times Higher Education (THE), qui dresse chaque année un classement mondial des universités très suivi par les acteurs du secteur, vient de publier son palmarès thématique. Sciences Po se hisse cette année dans le top 40 des meilleures universités mondiales en sciences sociales. Positionnée cette année au 39ème rang, Sciences Po réalise une avancée de 11 places par rapport à l’an passé. En deux ans, Sciences Po a progressé de 29 places dans ce classement. Cette performance est liée à l'activité de recherche et à l'internationalisation de Sciences Po.

La progression de Sciences Po, cette année, est particulièrement notable en matière d’activités de recherche (+ 8 points) et d'enseignement (+ 4 points). Par ailleurs, Sciences Po maintient sa position en matière de “citations”, un critère qui mesure l'influence de notre recherche au niveau mondial. C’est le point fort de Sciences Po dans ce classement. De son côté, l'indicateur “profil international”, qui mesure l'attractivité de l'institution pour les étudiants et pour les académiques, se maintient à un niveau élevé.

Sciences Po est désormais mieux classé que Southern California University, California, San Diego University, King’s College of London et McGill University.

En France, Sciences Po passe de la 2ème à la 1ère place de ce classement, devant Paris Sciences et Lettres (PSL), université qui regroupe parmi les meilleures institutions françaises en sciences sociales (École normale supérieure, École pratique des hautes études, Université Dauphine).

En savoir plus sur le site de Times Higher Education

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CIVICA Doctoral Research Groups

  • CIVICA Doctoral Research GroupsCIVICA Doctoral Research Groups

The purpose of this initiative is to foster collaboration and knowledge exchange between early career researchers, with a view of advancing original and rigorous research on issues of interest at a European level.

The initiative is aimed at doctoral and postdoctoral researchers across the CIVICA alliance, so that they can share ideas and expertise that can expand their understanding of the issues they are researching.

The goal is to facilitate the dialogue between PhD/postdoc researchers working on similar subjects but approaching these topics from different disciplinary or methodological angles.

The themes selected connect to the key areas of research identified as a priority by the CIVICA alliance:

  • Sustainable development and urban transformations
  • European integration
  • Mobility and migration
  • Comparative research focusing on European countries

If you have any questions, contact Fiona Gogescu, PhD researcher and CIVICA Ambassador at LSE, at

Interested in applying to be part of one or more of these research groups? Visit the CIVICA website to learn more about this initiative and to fill out this form.


Civica Website

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International Organisations Career Day

Saturday 10 December 2022
  • Actualité Sciences PoActualité Sciences Po

Sciences Po's employability survey shows that International Organisations are one of the key targets for many Sciences Po graduate students. They work in a variety of positions: analysts, specialized consultants, advocacy managers, project managers, foreign affairs specialists, policy advisors, program managers, lawyers, and journalists...

For one day, HR representatives of various IOs are invited on campus to meet with students and alumni to discover their future career paths. You will learn the competencies and skills needed to work with them, as well as tips and guidance to stand out in their recruitment process.

See the programme

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to the Six New Members of the Permanent Faculty!
  • (Credits: Thomas Arrivé-Sciences Po/Alexis Lecomte/Antonio Lopez)(Credits: Thomas Arrivé-Sciences Po/Alexis Lecomte/Antonio Lopez)

This year, the same number of women and men are joining the permanent faculty. It’s a first. Although they are less numerous than the years before - a long term effect of the pandemic - their profiles are a tribute to the diversity and quality of our hiring policy.

They come from Brazil, Sweden, Austria, Spain or France, to bring their own spin on our research and teaching about major challenges such as the environment, inequalities, conflicts, campaign promises and the behaviour of economic actors.Discover their bios!

Discover the bios of Gabriel Feltran, Isabelle Guinaudeau, Lucas Chancel, Chiara Ruffa, Franz Ostrizek and Clara Santamaria !

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Save the date! Dual Degree presentation and Q&A

Webinar on Monday, November 28th 10am London time, 11am Paris time
  • Sciences Po / King’s College London | Graduate dual degreeSciences Po / King’s College London | Graduate dual degree

Meet our team and let us answer your questions!

The webinar will take place on Monday, November 28th at 10am London time11am Paris time. We will send you a Zoom link shortly before.

If you are interested in our Graduate dual degree in Global and International History, you can sign up here for our online presentation and Q&A.

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CIVICA: the Call for European Student Assembly 2023 Applications is Open!

  • Actualité Sciences PoActualité Sciences Po

Apply to join the next European Student Assembly in spring 2023 in Strasbourg. 200+ students will discuss current issues and produce a collection of recommendations on 10 pressing topics (incl. democracy, the future of EU higher education, sustainable energy and cities, mental health and digital transition).

The European Student Assembly (ESA) is a grassroots project that gathers each year more than 200 students from most European University Alliances (EUA) to debate current issues, draft political recommendations for the future of Europe and advocate them among stakeholders and decision makers. One of the flagship projects of the European Universities Community (EUC), the ESA is entirely designed and implemented by a steering committee composed of students and academic and non academic staff members from different higher education institutions.

Deadline: 4 December 2022, 23:59 (UTC+1)



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In November, participate in the Open Access Month!

and the Webinars series about thesis
  • Open Access MonthOpen Access Month

This year, Sciences Po Library meets you to understand your research methods, your difficulties and your needs in terms of services. Through five newsletters and interviews (researchers, doctoral students, archivist), we offer you to re-discover our solutions of services for research and open science at Sciences Po Library.

To receive our newsletters, sign up here.

In parallel, the Research library invites you to follow a cycle of three webinars on the thesis exercise : on Zoom, at lunchtime and during one hour, explore a new theme with our subject librarians (Only in French).

If you want, you can follow webinars on your laptop in the training room of the Research library.

For any questions, contact us:

 => Open Access Month: look at the detailed program

=> Webinars series about thesis: Wednesday 2, 16 and 30 November


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The Great Experiment: How to Make Diverse Democracies Work

A "Rendez-vous de la recherche", October 25, 7 p.m. - Watch the replay
  • Actualité Sciences PoActualité Sciences Po

What are the challenges modern democracies face?

Watch this captivating discussion "The Great Experiment: How to Make Diverse Democracies Work" with :

Yascha Mounk is a political scientist, Associate Professor of the Practice of International Affairs at Johns Hopkins University's School of Advanced International Studies. His book is considered a major contribution to reflection on democracies and the dangers they incur. Drawing on history, social psychology, and comparative politics, Mounk examines how diverse societies have long suffered from the ills of domination, fragmentation, or structured anarchy.  Despite all the dangers,  Yasha Mounk's message is not pessimistic, showing us that the past can offer crucial insights for how to do better.

Janie Pélabay is Research Fellow at the Sciences Po’s Center of Political Research (CEVIPOF). She investigates the challenges posed by pluralism to liberal democracy, and contemporary debates on state neutrality, multiculturalism, identity politics and patriotism.

Annabelle Lever is Research Fellow at the Sciences Po’s Center of Political Research (CEVIPOF). She conducts research on democratic theory, contemporary political theory, ethics and public policy, on security, privacy and intellectual property.

and Sergei Guriev, Provost and Professor of Economics, Sciences Po.

=> Watch the replay

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Julian Vierlinger, Class of 2020

PhD researcher at the European University Institute (EUI) | Graduate from the Political Science Master's degree, Programme in Political Theory
  • Julian Vierlinger | Graduate from the Political Science Master's degree Julian Vierlinger | Graduate from the Political Science Master's degree

Can you tell us about your academic background?

My studies at Sciences Po began in Menton, on the university’s Middle East-Mediterranean Campus. My time on the campus was very formative, and confirmed by my ambition of studying political and social shifts in the Middle East. For my third year abroad, I chose to do an academic exchange with the American University of Beirut so as to gain a deeper knowledge of the region, both as a student and a junior researcher at the "Asfari Institute for Civil Society and Citizenship" . While there, I worked on a research project exploring the social dynamics surrounding Syrian migration to Lebanon.
I became fascinated by issues like corruption, anti-corruption and people’s movements for “clean government”. So after that I chose to continue my research by enrolling in the Master in Political Sciences at the School of Research, with a master’s thesis looking at “The Politics of Corruption: Lebanon’s Quest for Public Institutions”, brilliantly supervised by Astrid von Busekist and Stèphane Lacroix. I was honoured to present this thesis at the 2021 Conference of the International Political Science Association (IPSA).
I am now completing a PhD at the European University Institute in Florence, supervised by Professor Miriam Golden. For that, I am blending different research methods to study dynamics surrounding corruption, clientelism and programmatic contestation in Lebanon. In parallel to my research, I teach political theory on the Menton Campus and work on various research projects, from Stanford University to the WZB Berlin Social Science Center.

What are your memories of Sciences Po?

Sciences Po taught me to think, work and, above all, to keep an open mind and seek answers in fields that are not, strictly speaking, my own. In other words, Sciences Po taught me to be intellectually courageous and curious.
Of course, those aren’t my only memories. I loved being immersed in the multitude of activities that students at Sciences Po can get involved in: from rugby to fencing, music to dance, cookery courses to gardening. I’ve always had trouble focusing on a single pastime; I always want to try everything. At Sciences Po, I was able to…
My most cherished memories are of the friends I made, many of whom are still in my life today. It might be cliché, but at Sciences Po, I discovered a family and a sense of belonging.

Why did you choose to enrol in a PhD?

You should never ask PhD candidates why they chose to do a PhD! For the good of their mental health…
Joking aside, my decision to enrol in doctoral study was the result of an awareness that I have not yet found all the answers I was looking for. I don’t know if I want to become a researcher, or if I will move into different work in future, but I do know that for my current research, I still need to think, dig, investigate. Perhaps that is what Weber called “science as vocation”. If, in my case, that vocation turns out to be temporary, so be it; but for the moment, I know that I need to continue on this path.


Julian Vierlinger was our honorary graduate at the Graduation Ceremony for the Class of 2020 (postponed due to the Covid-19 pandemic) on 16 September 2022. Read his speech

Learn more

=> See all the Graduates' Portraits


[ October 2022 ]


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Theme for Open Access Week 2022: Open for Climate Justice

  •  Open Access Week 2022: Open for Climate Justice Open Access Week 2022: Open for Climate Justice

“Open for Climate Justice” is the theme for this year’s International Open Access Week (October 24-30).

Climate Justice is an explicit acknowledgement that the climate crisis has far-reaching effects, and the impacts are “not be[ing] borne equally or fairly, between rich and poor, women and men, and older and younger generations,” as the UN notes. These power imbalances also affect communities’ abilities to produce, disseminate, and use knowledge around the climate crisis. Openness can create pathways to more equitable knowledge sharing and serve as a means to address the inequities that shape the impacts of climate change and our response to them.

This year’s focus on Climate Justice seeks to encourage connection and collaboration among the climate movement and the international open community. Sharing knowledge is a human right, and tackling the climate crisis requires the rapid exchange of knowledge across geographic, economic, and disciplinary boundaries.

International Open Access Week is a time to coordinate across communities to make openness the default for research and to ensure that equity is at the center of this work. Selected by the Open Access Week Advisory Committee, this year’s theme is an opportunity to join together, take action, and raise awareness around how open enables climate justice. Open Access Week 2022 will be held from October 24th through the 30th; however, anyone is encouraged to host discussions and take action around “Open for Climate Justice” whenever is most suitable during the year and to adapt the theme and activities to their local context.

For more information about International Open Access Week, please visit The official twitter hashtag for the week is #OAWeek.

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Passing of Bruno Latour

Tribute Evening on October 20, 2022 at 7:15 pm at Sciences Po
  • Bruno Latour (crédits : Sciences Po)Bruno Latour (crédits : Sciences Po)

Discover the tribute paid by Laurence Bertrand Dorléac, President of the FNSP and Mathias Vicherat, Director of Sciences Po, on the occasion of the announcement of the passing of Bruno Latour, Emeritus University Professor at Sciences Po, former Scientific Director, founder of the Medialab and of the Master of Experimentation in Political Arts (SPEAP), on 9 October 2022, in his seventy fifth year. 

Read the tribute

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What purpose do our programmes serve?

Replay > Conference by Pierre François, Dean of the School of Research
  • Pierre François, Dean of the School of Research | Conférence 16/09/2022Pierre François, Dean of the School of Research | Conférence 16/09/2022

As part of the Sciences Po's 150-year Anniversary Festival, the Dean of the School of Research, Pierre François, spoke on 16 September on the theme: "The utility of humanities and social science research in the 21st century".

=> VWatch the Replay (in French)

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Speech by our honorary graduate, Julian VIERLINGER

2020 Graduation Ceremony (postponed due to the Covid-19 pandemic)
  • Julian VIERLINGER | Graduation Ceremony 2020 - Friday 16 september 2022Julian VIERLINGER | Graduation Ceremony 2020 - Friday 16 september 2022

The Graduation Ceremony for the Class of 2020 (postponed due to the Covid-19 pandemic) took place as part of the Sciences Po's 150th Anniversary Festival, on Friday 16 September 2022.

We were delighted to hear from Julian Vierlinger, a graduate of the Master's in Political Science, Political Theory track, in a speech to all students of the School of Research's Class of 2020. Many thanks and congratulations to Julian.

Julian is currently a PhD student in political science at the European University Institute (EUI). His thesis on the topic of "Demanding Statehood from the Tribe: Corruption and Political Contestation in Lebanon and Iraq" is supervised by Miriam A. Golden a full professor at the EUI.


Dear friends, dear colleagues,

Good afternoon – and thank you for granting me the honour of addressing you here, today.

I was asked to talk about how Sciences Po has accompanied me on my professional path – and well, the first answer is, it never left my side!

    • After my undergraduate years in beautiful Menton, Sciences Po sent me off to study and work in Beirut, but then called me back for the masters at the school of research.
    • After my masters, Sciences Po sent me off to the European University Institute to pursue my doctoral degree, but called me back to teach – once again, in Menton.
    • And today, two years after thinking that my time as a student on the Paris campus was doomed to conclude in plague and isolation, I am called back to speak to you.

Sciences Po never leaves your side, and it keeps calling back – but the beautiful thing about this institution is that everytime it does call for you, it has something new and exciting to offer – such as, today, this beautiful new campus. And as I can see, I am not the only one to answer the call.

But of course, the question goes further than that: to be accompanied is just another, or perhaps the correct way, to refer to being taught. So what did Sciences Po teach me?

Well, it taught me many things — for example, how to ever put a bit too much on my agenda, and how to continuously underestimate how much time a task at hands really takes; – we may refer to these things as “professional courage”. Sciences Po also taught me perseverence, diligence, ambition – and French! But most of all, it taught me to be what we could refer to as a “curious generalist”. What do I mean by that?

Being a curious generalist means, in essence, daring to look for answers to your questions in realms outside your “field”.

    • You are a student of political theory, but you want to learn statistics, macro-economics, and psychoanalysis? Do it!
    • You write your thesis on the history of the term “corruption”, but you want to go to Lebanon to talk to protestors and revolutionaries? Do it!
    • You do research on democracy, but think joining the Red Cross can teach you something about citizenship? Do it!

Being a curious generalist means to have the courage to think broadly, to venture beyond familiar horizons, to really dare to learn. And as paradoxical as this may seem, in our world of increasing specialization, I believe this to be a valuable asset!

We live in a world of narrow interests — both in (broadly speaking) “academic”, as well as political and economic terms. We are incentivized to dig deep and hard in our respective field – without distractions, without looking left and right, no regard for losses.

But yet, we live in a world of transversal problems: economic injustice, discrimination, climate catastrophe, corruption, democratic backlash, war – the problems we face cut across fields, so we must expand our vision.

To be clear, there is nothing wrong with specialization per se – it is the course of the collective project of science; If my PhD is teaching me anything, it would be the pleasure of knowing absolutely everything about nothing at all. But non the less, I believe we need to ensure that “fields” – academic, economic, political – communicate better within ourselves, between themselves, and with the wider citizenry. I believe this enlarged vision to be nothing less but the vocation of the “political sciences”; or at least, that is the vocation I found, or that I was taught, at Sciences Po.

Now, I am almost at the end of my time, so I will conclude by two points.

First, I would like to qualify what I said before. I may have learnt to be a convinced “curious generalist” – but I also learnt something else during my time at Sciences Po – namely, humility in front of the greatness of my peers: Dear fellow graduates of 2020 – we all might look at the world differently, we might have different approaches to its problems, and we may all have taken different lessons from our time at Sciences Po. And that is good. Looking at you today, I know I treaded with giants. I know that with your capacity, your conviction, your fervour, you will be able to overcome whatever challenge life throws at you. Looking at you today, I know that our generation will be able to suggest solutions to the world’s many problems, and injustices. Looking at you, and looking at the world, I can quote Condorcet in saying “not all is well, but all will … be well”.

Second, and finally, I wish to express my heartfelt thanks – to my esteemed professors, to my thesis supervisors Stéphane Lacroix and Astrid Von Busekist, to the administration of Sciences Po, to my colleagues, to my friends. If I am here now, it is because of you. Thank you for your company these past years – and may we always come back when called upon.

Julian VIERLINGER, Graduate of Honour | Graduation Ceremony - 16/09/22

[ October 2022 ]

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Globinar 3.0 - Recitals: Foundations, Fictions and Translations

Globinar Series by Le Cercle des Humanités Politiques / The Political Humanities Circle | Upcoming sessions
  • Globinar 3.0 - Récitals : Fondements, Fictions et TraductionsGlobinar 3.0 - Récitals : Fondements, Fictions et Traductions

Upcoming sessions:

20 October 05:00 pm

Foundations and Transgressions
In this session we discuss the parallel counternarratives of law, mythology and feminist epistemology to mitigate the embellished story of the journey to political modernity.
by Frédéric Gros, Helena Alviar, Clotilde Leguil, Teemu Ruskola, and Alexane Guérin

10 November 2022, 05:00 pm

Creative Freedom and Freedom of Expression - debating fiction and art in a courtroom
A l’interférence entre liberté de création et régulation de la liberté d’expression, on s’interrogera sur les catégories interprétatives mobilisées quand une fiction ou une œuvre d’art passe en procès, d’hier à aujourd’hui.
by Anna Arzoumanov, Thibault Boulvain, and Denis Ramond

23 November 2022, 05:00 pm

Counterfactuals and Thought Experiments - the ironic Twist
Thought experiments and counterfactuals stand very close to fiction and require strong imaginative skills on part of those who both write and use them. As such, they are a “distanced mode of thinking” that might come with an ironic twist.
by Gloria Origgi, Ned Lebow, and Vincent Forray

8 December 2022, 05:00 pm

More information will follow


The notion of "Humanities" bears the traces of a bygone academic pedigree: it evokes a set of compartmentalized disciplines focused on the study of the classics – belles lettres, philosophy or history – as opposed to science (social or hard).

These boundaries between disciplines no longer make sense in the face of the urgency of the humanistic and ecological transition. The humanities as we envision them are rooted in the sharing of critical knowledge and building bridges between disciplines, but also between humans, nature and artwork.

This imperative of humanity is necessarily political. Modernity has built the "splendid otherness of nature" on the privileges of race, gender or class. We now must imagine a new ethic, reinvent the meaning of the common good, rethink our place in the city and on a planet that includes non-human beings.

How can we do this? By promoting the idea of politics as a sensitive experience that can be shared across cultures and places; by engaging the academic community as a whole in a reflection without borders on the major issues of the contemporary world that future generations will have to face (the impact of new technologies, the degradation of the environment, new forms of wealth production, contemporary violence, the return of religion, urbanization, migration, etc).

How can we do this? Not by producing positive truths, dry expertise, but by appealing to the imagination. Through the art of fiction, images and stories that expose an embodied humanity struggling with political anxiety, the vicissitudes of power, and the defence of human values.

How can we do this? Through a specific mode of reflection and pedagogy: we are convinced that our critical approach requires the confrontation of ideas across places, languages and cultures: only decentring and distrust towards preconceived ideas has the heuristic and innovative potential we seek. The power of conviction, the plastic intensity, the stylistic density of a work is often more likely to stimulate the imagination of our students, but also to worry them and – perhaps, it is our hope – to incite them to engage as citizens.

The Circle will thus be based on a dual pedagogical and research axis. The dialogue between all the social sciences present at Sciences Po, supported by the pedagogical cooperation and innovation of its representatives, will ensure that knowledge circulates without going round in circles. We are counting on the double benefit of student participation and dialogue with our colleagues in other disciplines. The collective intergenerational and interdisciplinary research thus conceived is a constantly renewed trajectory, made of back and forth, modest and reflexive: re-searching means returning to the starting point to better leave. We also aspire to be comparative, multilingual and pluricultural.

The teaching component will include the steps of an innovative scientific transdisciplinary pathway. Co-taught courses will be given in different languages, on the different campuses of the Collège universitaire, respecting their cultural areas of reference, which is one of the major assets of Sciences Po in its pursuit of multiplicity. The challenge is to play with the difference in origins and horizons, the cultural scripts that sometimes confine us, and to confront the necessary but enriching epistemological diversity. The student of tomorrow is not a cultural relativist, but rather will master the pluriversity of perspectives. The transmission of top-down knowledge is ideally followed by the mobilization of performative methodologies borrowed from the arts and new technologies.

The scientific part of our project is divided into multiple programs, some of which will be hosted by the Maison des Arts.  Doctoral students, the young researchers who will be called upon to give substance to the Humanities in the city, are particularly targeted but also solicited. Under the acronym of the new Political Humanities, and co-organized by professors and researches in Political Theory, Law, and History alike, an ambitious annual transdisciplinary Globinar will take place in 2022/2023.

Under the name RECITALS, it reflects the importance of both the narrative and performative aspects of knowledge. Delivered in English and French, and to be accompanied by multilingual podcasts to reach a wide international audience, the theme of the conference will be "Foundations, Fictions and Translations", which allow different disciplinary perspectives to intersect in an open conversation on the ethical, aesthetic, political, ecological and genealogical dimensions of our plural humanities.

At the end of the year, the academic community will gather around the "Circular Readings" - a recital event that will allow all our students, doctoral students and teaching-researchers to close and reopen, in a final but impermanent act, the various scientific, dialogical, literary, performative and, above all, human experiences that have been undertaken throughout the academic year. 

by Professors Horatia Muir Watt, Helena Alviar García, Astrid von BusekistAriel Colonomos, Vincent Forray, Frédérique Leichter-Flack, and Frédéric Gros.

For more information about the first session, registration and readings, please click on this link

Please visit the RECITALS website

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Careers Fair

Friday 30th September and 5th & 6th October 2022
  • Careers Fair Careers Fair

Every year, the Sciences Po Career Fair gathers recruiters, students and graduates, in a unique opportunity to meet and explore job and internship opportunities.

The Career fair is a unique opportunity for students to:

  • Get information on a wide range of companies, their values, the opportunities they offer, and their recruitment process for jobs and internships
  • Find an internship, a first job, a graduate programme…
  • Develop their career project
  • Network
  • Practice job interviews.

Important : As the Fair will be held online, recruiters and students or graduates located outside of France will have the unique opportunity to take part in it.

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