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Projects and Events of the Research Centre

Section #en-cours


The Bentham Centre, conscious that utilitarianism is one of the major currents of modern thought, offers a forum for reflection on the aspects and developments of this issue in the various fields of knowledge. Drawing on cross-disciplinary and multidisciplinary research, the Bentham Centre seeks to raise awareness of the thought of Jeremy Bentham, one of the most significant philosophers in the history of utilitarianism.

Based on the most recent scientific editions of Bentham's manuscripts, the workshops will provide an insight into the presuppositions, roots, contexts and effects of the utilitarian mode of thought, while measuring its limits and identifying the objections to which it is exposed. Situated at the crossroads of a vast international network, the Bentham Centre brings together multiple perspectives and methodologies in fields as varied as practical ethics, legal theory, philosophy of language, intellectual history, economics and English studies.

The Law and Economics Policy Institute (LEPI), created in 2019, is one of Sciences Po's interdisciplinary "Souffleries" and brings together researchers from the Law School and the Economics Department to explore the relationship between law and economics regarding contemporary social issues.

The Legal Humanities working group is one of Sciences Po's interdisciplinary "Souffleries" and conducts studies on the law from the various humanities disciplines with the aim to examine its formation and operation in terms of its social, cultural and political effects. It brings together researchers from the School of Law, the Centre for History, the Centre for Political Research at Sciences Po, and the Research Group on the Legal Humanities at the universities of Sherbrooke, Laval, Concordia, Québec à Montréal (UQAM) and McGill.

Funded by the McCourt Institute, this research project examines the rule of law and normativity in the digital environment, in particular the defense of fundamental rights and democratic values in the digital age, the governance and regulation of the internet, its technologies and players, and issues of inequality in the context of AI and the massive use of data.

Resulting from the PILAGG research programme initiated in 2011 by Horatia Muir-Watt on the role of private international law in global governance and contemporary issues, the GLOBINAR seminars are one of the Law School's central collective research spaces, which examine various contemporary issues of globalisation, its crises and transitions, from a critical and interdisciplinary perspective.

Jurisprudences of climate: climate change and the legal tradition

This project engages in reflection on the potentiality of legal traditions to offer strategic resources for addressing the climate crisis, traditions being understood as much in terms of techniques (fictions, facilitating narratives, etc) as concepts, and as not being being exclusively Euro-American, and strategies as being as much those of adjudication as of other venues, discourses, or spatialities in which law might figure. We do not expect the outcome to be a celebration of law, and for some of our contributors the diagnosis might be one of structural limitation or foreclosure, but we are interested in whatever critical reflection on laws, legalities, and conflictualities might be able to unearth or invent.

The SAB COLBENTHAM project takes as its starting point the writings in which Bentham challenged the colonial policies of the great powers of his time. While he called for the emancipation of the colonies, certain colonial arrangements, particularly those with a imprisonmental dimension, did not seem inappropriate in a national context. Beyond its practical proposals, the project also questions, in the field of legal theory, Bentham's desire to lay the foundations of a "universal jurisprudence" that would promote legal reform in all the states to which he addressed codification projects. To what extent is this a factor of communicability between legal cultures or, conversely, the instrument of a Western intellectual domination that appears as globalised localism? The project therefore examines Bentham's place in the context of the British Empire, on the one hand, and from the point of view of the universalisation of a particular legal epistemology, contested by decolonial approaches, on the other.

The development of the artificial intelligence (AI) sector internationally has created a range of training and education needs, two of which this project addresses. The first is overcoming the shortage of experts in algorithmic fairness in AI, who have the skills to identify and deal with bias and discrimination in AI. The second is the effective integration of an intersectional approach to understanding and addressing bias, equity, discrimination and equality in AI to prevent the emergence of invisible minority groups who would suffer systematic disadvantage due to AI. DiversiF-AI-R aims to develop a pioneering EU-wide approach to addressing intersectional equity in AI based on use cases of data and models that originate from or have been deployed in Europe, as well as through the use of innovative tools, structuring them in a practical way.

Considering the pressing democratic regression worldwide - particularly worrying in Latin American countries such as Peru, Brazil, Colombia and Chile – and in order for the current regimes to resist the emerging populist attacks, the general objective of DEMOS (Ataques a la DEmocracia y populisMOS : nuevo programa académico para el fortalecimiento de las instituciones en América Latina) is to train experts involved in the strengthening of democratic institutions of the Rule of Law in Latin America; as well as "trainers" for the development of civic education and democratic culture.

Despite its focus on the creation of higher education curricula, special attention will be paid to the training of journalists, political and social actors, and officials of the various branches of government, since the separation of powers, and in particular judicial independence and the correct placement of constitutional justice, are essential pillars for the survival of the democratic state.

DEMOS is an Erasmus+ project funded by the European Commission and endorsed by - among others - all the Ministries of Justice of the partner Latin American universities (Brazil, Peru, Colombia and Chile) the Centro de Estudios del Tribunal Constitucional de Perú and various associations of constitutionalists.

Section #events


Initiated in 2011, the Intensive Doctoral Week (IDW) is a co-organised initiative led by Sciences Po Law School and the Law and Political Science Doctoral School of Paris Nanterre University.

RECITALS focuses on the feasibility of a 'diplomatic methodology' across disciplines to enrich the production of knowledge about law, involving researchers from different disciplines and cultures and addressing the difficulties (and richness) of a dialogue on similar objects of concern between disciplinary perspectives with different epistemologies.

The Law School's scientific community, namely its professors, invited professors, and PhD candidates, is regularly found gathered at the doctoral program's seminars. The seminars allow members to present their work in progress, test new ideas, and discuss their recent publications. Because they reflect their participants' diverse fields of research, themes, and theses, the seminars offer an excellent opportunity to discover and encounter, exchange and discuss and contribute to the establishment of a small intellectual community, ambitious and dynamic, wherein exist varied research approaches and methods. Open to the public and students, the seminars take place in either French or English. All attendees have the opportunity to speak, without troubling the solemnity of the highest intellectual demands.

The workshops are hosted by Professors Raphaële Xenidis and Alain Pottage.

Sciences Po Law School’s Law and Tech group, under the umbrella of the project entitled ‘Towards a New Digital Rule of Law’ and led by Professor Séverine Dusollier, explores a variety of legal issues that emerge in contemporary digital worlds. From the legal governance of the Internet to new modes of law-making in global digital governance, or questions of how new technologies, with the law, interact with and reshape societies.

Through its seminars, the Bentham Centre has initiated a reflection on the genesis of the distinction between substantive law and processual law. Theorised by Bentham in the context of English law through the opposition between 'substantive law' and 'adjective law', this distinction was quickly abandoned in English legal culture. Conversely, this distinction permeates the study of law in Spanish-speaking America, where 'derecho substantivo' and 'derecho adjetivo' structure legal dogma. In the context of the SAB PROCBENTHAM project, the Bentham Centre has explored the transcontinental, transcultural and translinguistic circulation of this way of conceiving the ontology of legal phenomena.

The Humanités Juridiques working group conducts studies on the law from an interdisciplinary and critical perspective. It encourages work on the law from the perspective of the various humanities disciplines. The group's research aims to examine the law in terms of its formation and operation, as well as its social, cultural and political effects, using the many approaches offered by the humanities, from literature to philosophy, anthropology, history, psychoanalysis, aesthetics, the arts and, more recently, the sensitive and synaesthetic dimensions of the law. The working group's activities aim to introduce these studies to the French-speaking world, to renew them and to link them to a reflection on the teaching of law.

Doctoral candidates are members of the academic community of the Law School. They are encouraged to be involved in the collective life of the School and take part in the organization of some of its event.

PhD Program Events

Section #anciens

Previous projects

This project, carried out in collaboration with Valérie-Laure Benabou (Paris Saclay), is a collaborative, interdisciplinary examination of the phenomenon of 'pairing' a creation with a subject, whether individual or collective, by considering the processes of connection and identification that may or may not occur between them, while at the same time questioning the concept of author and authorship that underpins or justifies this attributive link. How can people think of themselves, claim to be and be recognised legally and socially as the authors of the products of their own work and/or the work of others, by and beyond the tools of intellectual property, whose individualistic and exclusivist model is a source of selection, discrimination and even invisibilisation? A dozen seminars discussed the practices and norms of attribution in various creative sectors, and a final hackathon experimented with new ways of recognising authors.

The INCLUSIVE project, which is funded by an ERC Grant, challenges our conception of property rights, which is traditionally based on exclusivity. Noting the emergence of shared and collective use of material and intellectual resources, INCLUSIVE puts a radical twist on our conception of property by introducing the notion of 'inclusivity' into the legal toolbox. Through the study of new forms of housing (participative housing, community-land trusts or tenancy in rem), free licences, online collaborative creations, the public domain in copyright law or collective gardens, and their difficulties in responding to the dogma of the individualistic and exclusive proprietary model, the project has developed a new narrative and a theory of inclusive property, which introduces into proprietary pluralism modes of enjoyment of goods, both tangible and intangible, based on sharing, inclusion, belonging to a community, the desire to preserve and regenerate the resource and access to it.

Taking as its starting point the Venezuelan migration crisis and its consequences in terms of human mobility, REMOVE, funded by the European Union's ERASMUS+ programme, brings together Latin American (Peruvian, Ecuadorian and Colombian universities) and European partners, with the aim of developing new content (in particular training schools and diploma models) relating to migration law. Using an intercultural and multidisciplinary approach, this content is designed to meet the local training needs of administrative staff and civil society players.

By setting up an innovative academic programme in social, political and legal sciences in Latin American partner universities, the OPT-IN project, funded by the European Union's ERASMUS+ programme, has the overall aim of developing a transnational and intercultural culture in the countries of the Andean Community, in order to strengthen political integration between the Andean countries and Europe, with the emphasis on peace and the defence of nature.

In particular, the project aims to build an innovative professional profile of transnational and intercultural operator (OPT-IN) in Latin American LLM programmes, combining comparative, multidisciplinary and intercultural skills, and to set up a master's degree with a new teaching methodology enabling the study of subjects that are not organically included in currently established master's degrees.

FOLIE (Forms of Life and Legal Integration in Europe) is a research project that aims to provide a richer understanding and deeper critique of the European Union project by exploring the relationship between forms of life and European Union law. 

The aim of FOLIE is to address the role of EU law in social relations and practices relating to migration, families, markets, territory, nations and other formations of social life in Europe. To this purpose, FOLIE uses the conceptual metaphor of 'forms of life' to capture the way in which European Union law is embedded in a diversity of social practices that delimit and shape life in Europe.

European Banking Union: Its impact on the EU and its Member States, and on Accountability standards.

The aim of this project is to analyse the consequences of the creation of the European Banking Union (EBU) within the European Union.

Three representative Member States of the Eurozone - Germany, France and Italy - are being examined as part of this project, and two States that have not (yet) adopted the single currency - Bulgaria and Sweden - are being used as points of comparison. In addition to these case studies, this project also analyses the consequences of the creation of the EBU at European level and from a multi-level perspective, in order to determine whether accountability is sufficiently guaranteed or whether, on the contrary, certain shortcomings exist.

LEGAG/EDGAM (Legal Epistemology and Global Algorythmic Governance) focuses on the implications of big data for the way we think about law (and how we put it into practice).

While attention in the legal field has focused on important substantive issues such as privacy, there has been a failure to reflect on the influence of algorithmic construction on our conceptions of normativity and the prejudices or biases it engenders. This project therefore aims to address the algorithmic turn in law by constructing an epistemological critique of legal knowledge based on and relating to Big Data.


The interdisciplinary PROCBENTHAM project aims to understand certain aspects of the emergence of a specific branch of law designed to regulate the activity of jurisdictional application of the law. The intellectual construction of this corpus is based on a dichotomy between the 'substantive' norms that courts apply to disputes and the norms that determine their own operation. However, the perception of the singularity of this body of norms sometimes proves problematic.

PROCBENTHAM proposes to tackle this question in a global, genealogical, comparative and transcultural way. It intends to understand, over the relatively long history of legal concepts, how the very concept of a specific body of procedural law came into being, in what contexts, how it has circulated between legal cultures, under what terminological denominations it has been expressed, and as a function of what local legal or political issues, it has taken root, declined or been surpassed by different conceptualisations of the organisation of the legal order.

Blindspot in International Law: a critical approach to global value chains

This collective research project on law and Global Value Chains examined the transformation of notions of responsibility and causality in the context of the climate crisis. The project highlights the 'blind spots' of law on a global scale and proposes a study aimed at constructing a critical theory of Global Value Chains, which are international production processes that constitute the dominant form of contemporary global capitalism. The project aims to identify the structural causes of the global injustice produced by Global Value Chains through five specific case studies on pressing contemporary issues such as modern slavery, environmental destruction, gender discrimination, land grabbing and the abuse of cultural life forms. The aim is to raise public awareness of the problematic nature of Global Value Chains and their major social effects, while developing new intellectual tools to enrich public debate on contemporary issues.


The REGALIEN project (Responsibility of Governments, Accountability and Legitimacy in European Nations) was initiated in response to the widespread strengthening of executive power in Europe. Its aim is to understand this development through the particular prism of changes in the forms of accountability of executive power and their impact, at both national and European Union level, around a major question: Is there a shared culture of accountability at European level?