Student Experience : Representing Youth at the Women's Forum 2022

Discover the testimony of 6 students of the Certificate in Gender Equality and Public Policy
  • The six students at the Women's Forum 2022 ©Violette ToyeThe six students at the Women's Forum 2022 ©Violette Toye

At the end of November 2022, 6 students in the Master's programme at Sciences Po (School of Public Affairs and Paris School of International Affairs), all enrolled in the Gender Equality and Public Policy Certificate, participated as Youth Ambassadors in the Women's Forum for the Economy and Society. They tell us about this incredible experience. 

YOU HAVE BEEN SELECTED TO PARTICIPATE AS A YOUTH AMBASSADOR IN THE WOMEN'S FORUM FOR THE ECONOMY AND SOCIETY GLOBAL MEETING 2022. COULD YOU TELL US MORE ABOUT THIS EVENT?

The Women's Forum for the Economy and Society Global Meeting 2022 is an international event that brings together leaders, professionals from various sectors (from the private and public sectors) and students. It aims to "transform the power of women's voices into forward-thinking economic and political initiatives for societal change". This year, the 17th edition of the Global Meeting, whose central theme was "Time to Act", focused on three issues: climate, peace and health.  

WHAT IS THE MISSION OF A YOUTH AMBASSADOR? 

The Youth Ambassador mission responds to a desire to include youth in the resolution of current crises, including in the framework of the Women's Forum. In concrete terms, we were invited to take part in a workshop the day before the Forum. The aim of the workshop was to have us work on our area of competence - one of the three themes of the Forum - alongside activists, researchers and specialists in the field. The workshop also allowed us to work on certain soft skills, such as public speaking, to give us tools for success in our professional lives. The objective was therefore twofold: to allow us to explore questions that we could discuss directly with the speakers at the Women's Forum, and to give us the keys to assert ourselves in the professional world while supporting our convictions.

AT SCIENCES PO, YOU ARE STUDENTS OF THE CERTIFICATE ON GENDER EQUALITY AND PUBLIC POLICY. WERE THE LECTURES YOU TOOK AS PART OF THIS CERTIFICATE USEFUL IN THE CONTEXT OF THIS FORUM?  

Yes, many of the lectures and discussions echoed the courses we had taken as part of the certificate. In particular, the teaching we had received previously gave us a better understanding of the different biases and issues to be taken into account when talking about equality. Many of the lectures we were lucky enough to attend concretised a theoretical teaching we had received. In addition, the teaching of the certificate focuses on the public setting. However, the difficulties that women face in getting into, staying in and being credible in positions of power are the same in private companies. The Forum therefore allowed us to put the achievements of the Certificate into perspective.

IF YOU COULD REMEMBER ONE THING FROM YOUR EXPERIENCE AS A YOUTH AMBASSADOR AT THE WOMEN'S FORUM GLOBAL MEETING 2022, WHAT WOULD IT BE?

Julia: Enriching encounters with women from all walks of life, who act with determination to participate in collectively resolving the major crises of our time! 

Marianne: Beyond the content of the speeches, I really remember the great caring and availability of the women and men present - their ability to listen, their enthusiasm and even the desire of some to take us under their wing, to push us to pursue our projects!

Meyya-tia: The opportunity to listen to, meet and discuss with inspiring women - and one meeting that particularly stood out for me was the discussion I had with the climate journalist Mélissa Godin, an enriching, inspiring and motivating discussion! 

Alexandra: That there is progress to be made in all spheres, both public and private and on all continents, and that it is only through unity that the equality we aspire to will be achieved.

Emilie: As far as women's rights are concerned, current events are a constant source of heat and cold: progress is often accompanied by a new obstacle. This forum was an opportunity to listen to and meet inspiring men and women who carry a beautiful message of hope for the future. 

Testimony of : Emilie Dufour, Julia Fertil, Alexandra Girard, Ellen Löfgren, Marianne Mignot Ogliastri and Meyya-tia Ramandraivonona. 

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Global Youth's Priorities, a Feature by the Youngest Member of Y20 2022

Toàn Oswald, an undergraduate student, took part in the official consultation forum for youth from all G20 members states and institutions
  • Toàn Oswald and other young members of Y20 2022 ©Ardy FerdiansyahToàn Oswald and other young members of Y20 2022 ©Ardy Ferdiansyah

Toàn Oswald is an undergraduate student at Sciences Po's College, on Le Havre campus (Minor Asia-Pacific), and at the National University of Singapore's Honors College. He is one of the four members of the French delegation to Y20 Indonesia 2022,  the official consultation forum for youth from all G20 members states and institutions. He is the youngest delegate of more than a hundred young participants. Particularly interested in education and transition to employment, especially through the cooperation of public and private actors on a global scale, he wrote the preamble to the communiqué and chaired two working groups within the "Youth Employment" section. He shares his experience with Sciences Po in the following op-ed as well as during Dean Balme’s "The G3: EU-US-China relations" class, reminding how Y20 proposals, as strong as they are, need to be heard and taken into account by leaders.

Towards a polarized multilateralism?

The 21st century is witnessing a profound evolution of the world order: the global South is gaining power economically and politically, China is gaining influence and leading many international institutions (WTO, IMF, WHO, FAO...) and regional institutions (ASEAN, BRICS...), the countries that met in 1955 in Bandung remain non-aligned but are choosing to invest more in multilateral partnerships... The world order is no longer centered around the United States, Europe and China. Ideology is no longer the cement of relations between states: strategic interests prevail. For example, since Indonesia needs Chinese FDI and China needs Indonesian nickel, the two states cooperate economically, without implying any form of military or political cooperation.

Multilateralism changes: the world order is becoming regionalized, made up of increasingly autonomous powers. This is reflected in the number of thematic international organizations and summits: the COP only deals with climate change, ASEAN does not go beyond economic cooperation... Polylateralism is also on the rise, as many non-governmental actors seem to bear a growingly central role in diplomacy.

G20 as a crossroads

G20’s situation is what policymakers are looking for. As a meeting of the world's nineteen most powerful states and the European Union, the summit brings together 85% of the world's economy and population in informal meetings, which leaders value for the quick and effective decisions they can make. The commitments adopted by consensus by the leaders during the G20 are not legally binding and can be transposed into frameworks requiring their application later, upon reflection (UN General Assembly and Security Council for example).

Y20, an ambitious little brother

G20, like the G7, entrusts part of its reflections to "engagement groups". These are meetings hosted by civil society organizations with the support of the country chairing the G20. The main engagement groups are the B20 ("Business 20"), the T20 ("Think 20") and the Y20 ("Youth 20"). Y20 meets annually during a week-long summit prior to the G20’s actual summit to produce a communiqué outlining youth recommendations on issues identified by the Presidency.

The Y20 2022 Summit was held on 17 to 24 July 2022 in Jakarta and Bandung, Indonesia. Delegations from each member country, composed of four young people between 18 and 30 years old, and observers (ASEAN, Spain, World Bank...) worked around four main themes: Sustainable and Livable Planet, Youth Employment, Diversity and Inclusion and Digital Transformation, between which delegates were divided.

The Y20 2022 communiqué highlights the primary desire to achieve a major transition of our societies towards more responsible and environmentally friendly models, through the establishment of ambitious, legally binding targets, the achievement of which is financed by the States and the private sector. Access to employment and education requires improvements in the quality of education, access to school for all, employment opportunities, and social protection for all workers. Progress must be made through improved public-private partnerships. Delegates also reaffirmed their commitment to a digital transition that democratizes access to the Internet for all, identifying it as a tool for global governance and development.

Y20’s proposals may seem simpler than Y7’s (Y20’s equivalent to G7). This difference reflects an evolution in the respective roles of the G20 and G7, with the G20 taking on the role that the G7 had yesterday. Whereas G8 in 1997 brought together the world's largest economies, G7 is now a regional forum. Both G7 and Y7 can therefore go deeper in what they recommend or engage for, but only the most developed Western states have the means to get involved in such action. G20, on the other hand, brings together all the main state actors of the planet. Y20 benefits from this, increasing its legitimacy and representativeness.

Words are meant to be heard

G20 is rooted in the decline of the universalism in which Europe has believed for so long, and in the growing polarisation of the world order. Y20, who gains legitimacy from being truly representative, brings together young people from countries that have become central to the world economy and governance, and allows for the emphasis on the existence of a "global youth".

Two limits remain: on the one hand, the representativeness of the young delegates within each country. Are the four delegates always the most representative of the youth of their country, given their respective education, social background, political sensibilities? On the other hand, the promotion of the communiqués, however realistic and ambitious they may be. The recommendations of the youth have value only when they are taken into account. It is therefore fundamental for the Y20 to assert its ideas, strengthened by its legitimacy, to those who have the power to make them legally binding: heads of state and parliaments.

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The Journey Of Three Sciences Po’s Students At The COP 27 In Egypt

As youth ambassadors of the Global Alliance on Climate Change, Garance Breuil, Naman Kapoor and Arimiyaw Saasi took part of the COP 27 in Sharm el-Sheikh in November 2022. Interview.
  • GAUC students day at the COP 27. (credits: DR)GAUC students day at the COP 27. (credits: DR)

Sciences Po is a leading social sciences international university, as such, the school sent a delegation of nine persons to the Conference of the Parties of the UNFCC 27 (COP 27) that took place at Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt from 6 to 18 November 2022. Some researchers, as Carola Kloeck or Charlotte Halpern, were part of the delegation but also students, as youth ambassadors of the Global Alliance on Climate Change (GAUC), of which Sciences Po is a founding member. Three of these students – Garance Breuil, Naman Kapoor and Arimiyaw Saasi – relate this one of a kind experience.

In which context were you present at the COP 27 in November 2022? What did you learn and gain from this experience? 

Garance Breuil: I graduated from the Master Governing the Ecological Transition in European Cities of Sciences Po's Urban School and I had the opportunity to be part of the "Climate x" programme 2022 of the GAUC. Being selected as a youth ambassador of the GAUC gave me the chance to be at the COP 27, thanks to the project Brace for impact I have developed. We were indeed invited to present our projects to NGO, leaders and stakeholders. As young people, we have to be involved as it is our future that is at stake. I learned the importance of gathering all countries for action in one single place, so negotiations can be done face to face. This COP has to be a success, we have six years to deviate from our track and not go over 2.5 degrees of global warming. Actions will speak louder than words.

Naman Kapoor: After months of training during the Climate X program by GAUC and creating our final project online, the Global Youth Ambassadors part of GAUC’s Youth Delegation to COP 27 finally had a chance to meet. What comes from the experience is learning, friends and truth. The most important lesson was that we cannot let the status quo remain unchanged, especially when it comes to a potential existential threat. As much as I have gained from this experience, I have realised that we have time to solve this problem but we don’t have time to procrastinate. Nevertheless, meeting youth from around the world with sincere passion towards solving these challenges strengthens my optimism that together we can rise to the challenges and opportunities of our times, and jointly create the net-zero future for all!

Arimiyaw Saasi: I am a graduate of the Master in Environmental Policy from Science Po’s Paris School of International Affairs (PSIA) and a GAUC Youth Ambassador. I often describe myself as an enthusiast of climate change and it has always been my dream to participate and learn more about the negotiation process of the COP. Since Glasgow, cataclysmic climate events have occurred more rapidly than scientist’s grimmest warning. The opportunity to participate in COP 27 helped me to expand my knowledge in climate negotiations, to advocate for youth engagement and to collaborate with fellow activists.  As a participant of  the GAUC climate summit week hosted by China Pavilion, I co-planned and moderated panel discussions on multiple topics. We, as GAUC youth delegates, also made a press statement on youth engagement in climate decision-making and implementation.

How can young students like yourselves take action on a major issue such as environmental transformation? Has your education at Sciences Po empowered you to act for change?

Garance Breuil: As students of Sciences Po, we first acquire knowledge about the stakes of climate change, in order to be ready for action. For instance, I have acquired knowledge about cities strategies for mitigation and adaptation, green mobility, circular economy, green building and many other topics. I could then apply what I learned to real life situations : when I worked as junior project manager for a real estate company, I gave insights and ideas about car sharing that spread to other departments after I convinced them of the gain it would allow. This fresh knowledge we can bring leads to more innovation. I feel the young generation is determined to refuse the status quo, which is necessary to lead for change.

Naman Kapoor: I tend to look at the problem of climate change as a multi-faceted one and attribute this habit to the Transdisciplinary Approaches to Inequalities course I chose in my first year as an undergraduate at Sciences Po. At COP 27, I had the opportunity to meet the leading minds working to solve this problem. I suggested they find ways to make the insights from their work easier for everybody to understand, particularly those that don’t have the bandwidth to understand climate change, emissions, or COP. It's hard to care about climate change when someone cannot provide the basic needs for their family. I also observed the disparity in consequences wherein the poor that contribute the least to the problem are the real victims of this problem. 

My responsibility as a person with the privilege of a world-class education and as a citizen of the world is to take charge and find solutions for climate change. Through my education at Sciences Po’s Undergraduate College, the training that I have received during GAUC’s “Climate x” programme and experiences from COP 27, I am confident that I am equipped with the tools and knowledge to advocate and take action to change the status quo. 

Arimiyaw Saasi: I believe that my academic training gave me the right tools to successfully participate in the COP 27. The design of my master’s programme allowed me to specialise in environment and sustainability with my academic training covering critical areas including climate and biodiversity finance, sustainable development, demand-side energy policies, and climate geopolitics in the net-zero context. As part of my grad studies, I also gained experience through an internship in the private sector where I worked in corporate decarbonisation strategies, environment business incubation and business development. My generation has inherited a planet beleaguered with a “trilemma” including biodiversity loss, climate change and geopolitical crisis, which underlines the urgency to prioritize sustainability. This trilemma requires that young people strongly collaborate to offer lasting solutions in order to make the world a better place, for us and the generations after us.

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Become Team Leader of the January 2023 Welcome Programme!

  • Student with a Sciences Po T-Shirt ©Caroline MaufroidStudent with a Sciences Po T-Shirt ©Caroline Maufroid

The Student Exchanges team recruits a group of Team Leaders from among Sciences Po students to welcome exchange students taking part in the Welcome Programme.

Do you want to share your experience and help newcomers discover Sciences Po and Paris? Join the team of Team leaders, we need you!

The role of the Team Leaders will be to contribute to the good atmosphere, to manage the organization of the week and finally to provide exchange students with the information necessary for a successful arrival and stay at Sciences Po.

Information and application on your Sciences Po account (vacation area).

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The Future of Europe: a CIVICA Multicampus Course

Video focus on a Multicampus Course that will spark a truly European debate between students and instructors from across the Alliance.
  • A multicampus course of Sciences Po and Hertie School with CIVICA ©Thomas ArrivéA multicampus course of Sciences Po and Hertie School with CIVICA ©Thomas Arrivé

Sciences Po is one of the founding members and coordinator of CIVICA, the European University of Social Sciences which is to collaborate on education and research in social sciences. One of the key initiatives of the alliance is the Multicampus Cours organised between seven of the partner universities for their European students.

The Multicampus Course “The Future of Europe” is organised and delivered by instructors from across the Alliance. As its name suggests, its objective is to examine four major challenges facing the future of Europe: globalisation and post-globalisation, innovation and digitalisation, democratisation, and the green transition.

In this video, Arancha González, Dean of the Paris School of International Affairs (Sciences Po) and Cornelia Woll, Dean of Hertie School in Berlin, discuss their approach for the first module of the course on globalisation.

The course innovates in mixing lectures by professors, local adaptations, and group work in the form of capstone projects responding to policy challenges. These capstone projects are an excellent opportunity for students to apply their knowledge to a real-life, practical challenge, guided by supervisors. The best capstone projects can even win a prize.

The Multicampus Course will spark a truly European debate between students and instructors from across the Alliance, in the true spirit of CIVICA.

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Louise Bosetti, from the School of Research to the United Nations

A 2008 graduate, she recounts the academic and professional path which led her to Haiti, where she now works for the United Nations
  • Louise Bosetti (credits: Louise Bosetti)Louise Bosetti (credits: Louise Bosetti)

Louise Bosetti, a 2008 Alumna of the School of Research (Master's in Political Science), shares her story of how a change in academic path can sometimes reorientate a career and change a life. She is now working as Disarmament, Demobilisation and Reintegration Officer at the United Nations Integrated Office in Haiti (BINUH).

Can you tell us about your academic background? How did your interest in political science begin?

I entered Sciences Po in 2006 as a Master's student, after three years of preparatory classes at the Lycée Henri IV ("B/L" stream, i.e. literature and social sciences) and an equivalency in History obtained at Paris-Sorbonne University.

I must admit that at the time I was not very sure of my choice of Master's degree, I was coming from a programme where I had been prepared for other universities and hadn’t been made aware of the options available to me at Sciences Po. However, having developed a taste for research during my years of preparatory classes, I decided to pursue a Master's in Comparative Politics, which incorporated elements of the Sciences Po core curriculum and specific courses from the School of Research. As for the choice of the Latin America specialisation, this was born from a lifelong interest in the region, due to my Spanish-speaking roots and my linguistic proximity to the region, and from a particularly striking context at the turn of the millennium in this part of the world. Indeed, the political and social developments that have marked the subcontinent since the turn of the 21st century particularly sharpened my interest in a region that had long aroused my curiosity

What did your years of study at the Sciences Po School of Research bring you? What memories do you have of your school, your class, your teachers?

Without hesitation a great open-mindedness and an incredibly international outlook. I still remember my year group, which was mostly comprised of Latin American students, and it was of exceptional richness!

The flexibility of the research Master's degree also allowed me to develop my intellectual independence and discover a region that was unknown to me until then. At the time, the second year of the Master's degree was devoted to research work for the dissertation. Even though I was a little anxious in the beginning, it turned out to be a very formative and enriching experience. I ended up spending over two months in San Salvador, with another classmate, and this taught me to develop not only my research skills but also my ability to adapt in such a different and, at the time, quite volatile security context.

More than 14 years later, I am very happy to be back in this region which I discovered thanks to Sciences Po and the School of Research

Which teacher or teaching had the greatest impact on you

It’s difficult to choose! However, I have a very vivid memory of Bertrand Badie's lectures on what was then called “the global space”. The clarity of his arguments gave me interpretation methods that continue to enlighten me today and help me to read and understand current events and contemporary world history. At the School of Research, I was particularly marked by Yves Surel’s public policy courses; he became my thesis supervisor and supervised me during my doctoral studies, before I ended up deciding to opt for another path. Finally, the kindness of Oliver Dabène, then director of the Latin America specialisation, and his deep knowledge of the region also had a great impact on me and made my time at the Graduate School extremely formative, both academically and personally.

What is your current role?

I’m currently working with the United Nations Integrated Office in Haiti (BINUH) in Port-au-Prince, in the section that deals with Disarmament, Demobilisation and Reintegration and Community Violence Reduction. I’ve been working with the United Nations for over 10 years, starting in 2011 as a Junior Associate Expert at the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) in Vienna, Austria. Since then, I’ve had the opportunity to work with various United Nations entities in Japan, Colombia and, more recently, Haiti.

What were the main stages in planning your career path?

To be quite honest, my career path has been somewhat fluid and full of twists and turns, not always carefully planned!

After having first tried the academic path by registering for a PhD at the Sciences Po School of Research in 2008 straight after my Master's degree, I gradually realised that this was not my path, at least not at that time. I still felt too young to be able to fully contribute to the academic debate and I felt the need to gain professional experience outside the academic field to be able to contribute further upstream. That’s how I decided to leave the School of Research’s doctoral programme at the end of 2010. I’m mentioning this here because you don't often hear about people who decide to drop out of their PhDs and the opportunities that can also come from changing direction mid-career. It’s an important message that I want to communicate to the readers of this interview! Even though, at the time, it could have been perceived as a failure (giving up my scholarship, leaving the doctoral programme), I’m convinced that it was the right decision and that it allowed me to find my way in a field in which I have felt really fulfilled for over 10 years!

It was then by chance, when I was seeking to gain further international experience, that I came across the call from the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs for the recruitment of Junior Professional Officers (JPO) in different United Nations agencies. It was through this programme that I joined the research department of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) in Vienna, Austria. After three years at UNODC, I applied for a position as a Research Associate at the Centre for Policy Research), which had just been created within the United Nations University. At the time I knew nothing about this organisation, but the prospect of joining a team from its inception and contributing to the development of its strategic vision appealed to me. That's how I spent two and a half years in Tokyo!

After more than five years working at various UN headquarters, I sought to gain field experience in peace missions. I was placed on a roster for this type of position after a competitive process, and I ended up joining the United Nations Verification Mission in Colombia shortly after the signing of the peace agreement between the government and the former FARC-EP guerrillas. This experience was an important turning point in my career. I rediscovered a love of being in the field and the true meaning of UN work. I felt the impact of the values of this organisation, and the confidence that it could generate, especially with the ex-combatants who handed their weapons over to us.

What did your training and education contribute to the position you hold today?

Nearly 14 years after completing my Master's degree in Comparative Politics/Latin America specialisation at Sciences Po, here I am working in Haiti with the United Nations: I believe that the contribution that my training and education has made speaks for itself! It was in answering these questions that I realised just how much my training and education has guided and helped me throughout my career.

During my Master's degree at Sciences Po, I began to take an interest in issues of crime and governance in the countries of the Latin American region, and particularly in Central America. At the time, I did my dissertation research on anti-gang policies in El Salvador (the gangs are called maras and/or pandillas), and today I am in Haiti working on these same issues. There is no doubt that the regional, linguistic and technical skills I gained at Sciences Po have greatly contributed to my ability to perform my duties at the United Nations.

Would you have any advice to give to a student who wants to go into the field in which you work today?

For those who want to start a career at the United Nations, I highly recommend closely following the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ recruitment calendar for the Junior Professional Officer (JPO) Programme, it really opened the doors to what I have been passionate about for more than 10 years! It allowed me to get a foot in the door of an organisation that can often seem impenetrable and inaccessible. I also recommend applying to the International Volunteers Programme, I’ve worked with many of them and it is also a good way to gain experience in the organisation and start your career at a relatively junior level.

In my case, having a regional specialisation has greatly helped me, not only at the beginning but throughout my career. Indeed, at the time of my job interview with the UNODC team more than ten years ago, they told me that they were going to start a regional report on Central America and the Caribbean, and that was why they liked my profile: I had both the necessary language skills and the knowledge of the region, due to my research work at Sciences Po. The fact of having worked on and in Latin America, particularly in the context of my research at the School of Research, also helped me to raise my profile with the United Nations Verification Mission in Colombia, and more recently, to join the United Nations Integrated Office in Haiti. 

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Louise Bosetti, from the School of Research to the United Nations

A 2008 graduate, she recounts the academic and professional path which led her to Haiti, where she now works for the United Nations

Louise Bosetti, a 2008 Alumna of the School of Research (Master's in Political Science), shares her story of how a change in academic path can sometimes reorientate a career and change a life. She is now working as Disarmament, Demobilisation and Reintegration Officer at the United Nations Integrated Office in Haiti (BINUH).

Can you tell us about your academic background? How did your interest in political science begin?

I entered Sciences Po in 2006 as a Master's student, after three years of preparatory classes at the Lycée Henri IV ("B/L" stream, i.e. literature and social sciences) and an equivalency in History obtained at Paris-Sorbonne University.

I must admit that at the time I was not very sure of my choice of Master's degree, I was coming from a programme where I had been prepared for other universities and hadn’t been made aware of the options available to me at Sciences Po. However, having developed a taste for research during my years of preparatory classes, I decided to pursue a Master's in Comparative Politics, which incorporated elements of the Sciences Po core curriculum and specific courses from the School of Research. As for the choice of the Latin America specialisation, this was born from a lifelong interest in the region, due to my Spanish-speaking roots and my linguistic proximity to the region, and from a particularly striking context at the turn of the millennium in this part of the world. Indeed, the political and social developments that have marked the subcontinent since the turn of the 21st century particularly sharpened my interest in a region that had long aroused my curiosity

What did your years of study at the Sciences Po School of Research bring you? What memories do you have of your school, your class, your teachers?

Without hesitation a great open-mindedness and an incredibly international outlook. I still remember my year group, which was mostly comprised of Latin American students, and it was of exceptional richness!

The flexibility of the research Master's degree also allowed me to develop my intellectual independence and discover a region that was unknown to me until then. At the time, the second year of the Master's degree was devoted to research work for the dissertation. Even though I was a little anxious in the beginning, it turned out to be a very formative and enriching experience. I ended up spending over two months in San Salvador, with another classmate, and this taught me to develop not only my research skills but also my ability to adapt in such a different and, at the time, quite volatile security context.

More than 14 years later, I am very happy to be back in this region which I discovered thanks to Sciences Po and the School of Research

Which teacher or teaching had the greatest impact on you

It’s difficult to choose! However, I have a very vivid memory of Bertrand Badie's lectures on what was then called “the global space”. The clarity of his arguments gave me interpretation methods that continue to enlighten me today and help me to read and understand current events and contemporary world history. At the School of Research, I was particularly marked by Yves Surel’s public policy courses; he became my thesis supervisor and supervised me during my doctoral studies, before I ended up deciding to opt for another path. Finally, the kindness of Oliver Dabène, then director of the Latin America specialisation, and his deep knowledge of the region also had a great impact on me and made my time at the Graduate School extremely formative, both academically and personally.

What is your current role?

I’m currently working with the United Nations Integrated Office in Haiti (BINUH) in Port-au-Prince, in the section that deals with Disarmament, Demobilisation and Reintegration and Community Violence Reduction. I’ve been working with the United Nations for over 10 years, starting in 2011 as a Junior Associate Expert at the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) in Vienna, Austria. Since then, I’ve had the opportunity to work with various United Nations entities in Japan, Colombia and, more recently, Haiti.

What were the main stages in planning your career path?

To be quite honest, my career path has been somewhat fluid and full of twists and turns, not always carefully planned!

After having first tried the academic path by registering for a PhD at the Sciences Po School of Research in 2008 straight after my Master's degree, I gradually realised that this was not my path, at least not at that time. I still felt too young to be able to fully contribute to the academic debate and I felt the need to gain professional experience outside the academic field to be able to contribute further upstream. That’s how I decided to leave the School of Research’s doctoral programme at the end of 2010. I’m mentioning this here because you don't often hear about people who decide to drop out of their PhDs and the opportunities that can also come from changing direction mid-career. It’s an important message that I want to communicate to the readers of this interview! Even though, at the time, it could have been perceived as a failure (giving up my scholarship, leaving the doctoral programme), I’m convinced that it was the right decision and that it allowed me to find my way in a field in which I have felt really fulfilled for over 10 years!

It was then by chance, when I was seeking to gain further international experience, that I came across the call from the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs for the recruitment of Junior Professional Officers (JPO) in different United Nations agencies. It was through this programme that I joined the research department of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) in Vienna, Austria. After three years at UNODC, I applied for a position as a Research Associate at the Centre for Policy Research), which had just been created within the United Nations University. At the time I knew nothing about this organisation, but the prospect of joining a team from its inception and contributing to the development of its strategic vision appealed to me. That's how I spent two and a half years in Tokyo!

After more than five years working at various UN headquarters, I sought to gain field experience in peace missions. I was placed on a roster for this type of position after a competitive process, and I ended up joining the United Nations Verification Mission in Colombia shortly after the signing of the peace agreement between the government and the former FARC-EP guerrillas. This experience was an important turning point in my career. I rediscovered a love of being in the field and the true meaning of UN work. I felt the impact of the values of this organisation, and the confidence that it could generate, especially with the ex-combatants who handed their weapons over to us.

What did your training and education contribute to the position you hold today?

Nearly 14 years after completing my Master's degree in Comparative Politics/Latin America specialisation at Sciences Po, here I am working in Haiti with the United Nations: I believe that the contribution that my training and education has made speaks for itself! It was in answering these questions that I realised just how much my training and education has guided and helped me throughout my career.

During my Master's degree at Sciences Po, I began to take an interest in issues of crime and governance in the countries of the Latin American region, and particularly in Central America. At the time, I did my dissertation research on anti-gang policies in El Salvador (the gangs are called maras and/or pandillas), and today I am in Haiti working on these same issues. There is no doubt that the regional, linguistic and technical skills I gained at Sciences Po have greatly contributed to my ability to perform my duties at the United Nations.

Would you have any advice to give to a student who wants to go into the field in which you work today?

For those who want to start a career at the United Nations, I highly recommend closely following the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ recruitment calendar for the Junior Professional Officer (JPO) Programme, it really opened the doors to what I have been passionate about for more than 10 years! It allowed me to get a foot in the door of an organisation that can often seem impenetrable and inaccessible. I also recommend applying to the International Volunteers Programme, I’ve worked with many of them and it is also a good way to gain experience in the organisation and start your career at a relatively junior level.

In my case, having a regional specialisation has greatly helped me, not only at the beginning but throughout my career. Indeed, at the time of my job interview with the UNODC team more than ten years ago, they told me that they were going to start a regional report on Central America and the Caribbean, and that was why they liked my profile: I had both the necessary language skills and the knowledge of the region, due to my research work at Sciences Po. The fact of having worked on and in Latin America, particularly in the context of my research at the School of Research, also helped me to raise my profile with the United Nations Verification Mission in Colombia, and more recently, to join the United Nations Integrated Office in Haiti. 

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Career Fair 2022

On 30 September 2022 at 1 place Saint-Thomas d'Aquin and on 5 et 6 October online on Seekube
  • Career Fair: 30 September, 5 and 6 October 2022Career Fair: 30 September, 5 and 6 October 2022

For its 150th anniversary, Sciences Po will be opening the doors of its new 1 Saint-Thomas campus on Friday, September 30 to employers who are looking to recruit students and young graduates for internships, apprenticeships, and first jobs. On October 5 and 6, the Career Fair will continue online on Seekube.

For our students, this fair is a unique opportunity to :

  • find out more about companies that are recruiting in a variety of sectors
  • find an internship, apprenticeship, first job...
  • practice interviewing for a job
  • develop their professional network.

Are you an employer? Find out more about the participation terms and rates (early bird rates available before July 7)

Are you a student/young graduate? We will provide more information regarding your registration, preparation and participation in the Career Fair in early September.

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Studying in Good Health at Sciences Po: Healthcare and Health Promotion Services

  • Students - 1 Saint Thomas, Paris campus ©Martin ArgyrogloStudents - 1 Saint Thomas, Paris campus ©Martin Argyroglo

Sciences Po is particularly attentive to students’ wellbeing, which is essential for both their personal fulfillment and academic success. What health and wellness services are available for Sciences Po students? Francesca Cabiddu, director of Student Services, explains.

What health and wellness services are available at Sciences Po? How does Sciences Po facilitate student access to healthcare?

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The university’s ambitious, well-funded health policy has considerably improved the health (and often social) support available to students, especially through the establishment of free health consultations on every campus. The policy has two main strands. The first is access to primary care; the second concerns the many health promotion and education activities that the university runs in collaboration with its partners. Sciences Po serves nearly 15,000 students across its seven campuses and our health system allows them to access primary care free of charge through its Health centres. Consultations are conducted by doctors who speak English, ensuring care is provided in the best possible conditions - including for international students.

Special attention is paid to psychological support. Almost all campuses provide at least three half-days of medical and/or nursing care per week (excluding university holidays), with more extensive provision in Paris and Reims given the higher student numbers. In total, around 35 health professionals are present, part-time, across all campuses.
Sciences Po also offers a broad range of care services through the Care, Health and Wellbeing workshops on all campuses, where students can learn to relax, manage stress, and understand themselves better. The workshops provide simple, practical tools, for coping with exams for example. They help students build healthy attitudes and lifestyles and deal with certain emotions (anger, fear, shame, etc.).
During the health crisis and lockdowns, wellness practices like these were essential to help achieve physical and mental relaxation and regain some balance.
In addition, there are 20 "Student Health Representatives (ERS)" across our campuses. Their mission is to organise health promotion and education activities in collaboration with the Health Centre, Sciences Po voluntary organisations, and external partners. They provide students with information and advice on topics such as sleep, addictions, nutrition, and sexual health.
 
Initiatives implemented in 2021-22 include: 
  • A breast cancer information campaign to mark Breast Cancer Awareness Month (known in France as “Octobre rose”) and a bra drive for Plus Rose la Vie, a non-profit organisation that raises awareness among women and men about breast cancer prevention.  
  •  Nutrition workshops in collaboration with the student association PAVéS: four breakfast events where the first meal of the day is provided free of charge—and therefore accessible to everyone—with advice on how to make it balanced. Topics covered over breakfast: balanced meals, nutrition, plant-based diets, food insecurity, and eating disorders. 
  •  Mental Health Week in partnership with the student association Stimuli: a poster campaign and a conference with the participation of La maison perchée, a non-profit that supports young adults living with a mental disorder, etc.
  • Sexual Health Info Day: an information booth and the opportunity to get tested, in collaboration with the non-profit CheckPoint.

​The role of the Student Health Reps is also to provide clear, comprehensive information on the health services available at the Sciences Po Health Centre and partner health facilities. Their work is supervised by staff from Student Services and one of the Sciences Po doctors.

Is there urgent support available for students most in need?

Access to the Health Centre is free of charge and with a team of 35 professionals across the different campuses, students can get the care they need fast. The Health Centre’s practitioners draw on a large, diverse network of health professionals, and work closely with the Sciences Po Student Welfare and Support Office.

Sophrology, relaxation, singing... What do the wellbeing services involve?

The Health Centre workshops help students with everyday stress management from a preventive approach, as well as having a therapeutic and/or symptomatic treatment dimension. They are organised around semi-closed groups to facilitate productive process-based work.

How has Sciences Po responded to the latest issues related to student health, such as SGBV, Covid, and disability inclusion?

Academic success and graduate employability are key issues and presuppose a fulfilling student life and overall wellbeing (physical and psychological health, social life, etc.). Since the health crisis began, these issues have become all the more pressing. For several years now, Sciences Po has adopted a policy in support of student success that aims to provide the best possible study conditions through reliable, adaptable and responsive financial, social and health support services and resources. This enabled an effective response during the crisis. The support is local and personalised, which allows us to take account of the everyday demands of student life and provide a response to the difficulties that any student may face, wherever they live, in France or abroad.
During the pandemic, doctors were particularly attentive to feedback from the ground and took charge when necessary. Several awareness, screening, and vaccination campaigns were organised on and off campus. Free masks and self-tests were distributed so that students could protect themselves and others.
 
Regarding sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV), the specific measures that Sciences Po has taken are not new. A sexual harassment monitoring unit was set up in 2015 and since autumn 2021, a new system has been put in place to provide a tailored response for survivors and to raise awareness of SGBV prevention throughout the university community.
The system includes:
  • a listening, support, and reporting service
  • systematic internal investigations following each report, so that the facts can be established independently and as thoroughly and incontrovertibly as possible
  • the implementation of a coherent and comprehensive SGBV awareness plan for the entire Sciences Po community, complemented by a range of in-depth training for certain groups identified on the basis of their roles, in order to promote a culture of care and respect in all situations
  • the implementation of prevention and control measures for situations identified as most at risk, particularly in relation to student life and cyberbullying.

Finally, with regard to disability and accessibility, Sciences Po instituted an equal opportunity policy 20 years ago which ensures that all talented students can access our programmes. The Sciences Po Accessible programme is central to this policy. It is a strong, responsible commitment that opens Sciences Po’s doors to students with disabilities and supports them throughout their studies, from admission to their entry into the workforce.

The Sciences Po Editorial Team

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Meet Zina Akrout, Laureate of the 2020 Max Lazard Award

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  • Zina Akrout / Copyright Zina AkroutZina Akrout / Copyright Zina Akrout

Zina Akrout is a graduate student in the Master’s of Public Policy at the School of Public Affairs and has been awarded the Max Lazard Prize (FR) to carry out her project “Berbers of Tunisia”. Interview on her journey so far, distinctive for her unbounded curiosity and in its strong international dimension.

You completed your undergraduate studies in the dual degree between Sciences Po and UCL. Can you tell us why you chose this programme and what was your experience?

Zina Akrout: I chose the dual degree between Sciences Po and UCL firstly for the curriculum, which requires students to major in a humanities discipline and a European language (French, German, Spanish or Italian depending on the student's background, abilities and choice), which are studied intensively throughout the four years of the degree at both universities. I was highly looking forward to this dual experience and learning from different perspectives. I was also able to tailor the degree based on my personal choices and interests. I chose to spend the first two years on Sciences Po’s Menton campus to be able to study MENA-related courses in addition to Italian (*as of 2020, Italian is no longer offered in Menton) with a specialisation in International Law... I also very much enjoyed going from Sciences Po’s multidisciplinary way of teaching to the more Anglo-Saxon approach at UCL. There, I took Public Policy courses and was able to take specific classes in disciplines such as Urban Politics and Political Geography and also language courses at the same level as Modern Languages students. Overall, the programme was a wonderful experience not only academically speaking but also on a personal level as both settings led me to meet people I can call friends for life and offered great extracurricular opportunities and support.

You took an exchange semester at Bocconi University during your Master's in Public Policy at Sciences Po. Due to the sanitary crisis, your experience abroad was quite different than expected. Can you tell us how the exchange was carried out? How did the experience nonetheless complement your Master's studies overall?

ZA: I chose to spend the final semester of my Master's at the School of Public Affairs on an academic exchange at the Università Commerciale Luigi Bocconi in Milan, Italy. It was indeed an odd time to be in academic exchange and especially in the north of Italy, a region that was tremendously impacted by the sanitary crisis and made quite the headlines. The university closed at the end of February, just two weeks after the start of classes, and switched to online learning immediately. They were very good at adapting to the situation and managed to use online resources and digital tools to ensure the teaching could continue remotely, provided people had space, internet connectivity, and the mindset to do so! The exchange allowed me to take more management and sustainability-related classes to complement my curriculum and to see how Bocconi's "business-school" way of teaching differs from that of Sciences Po’s School of Public Affairs. I highly recommend to Master’s students in the future to consider an academic exchange during their gap year or for their last semester, as it is an enriching experience and an option that is not well known!

You recently were awarded the Max Lazard prize for a project entitled "Berbers of Tunisia". Can you tell us about it?

ZA: This project is more of a personal one: as a Franco-Tunisian citizen, I am deeply interested in Berber heritage and identity. My goal is to carry out a field research trip to learn and explore Berber heritage and identity in Tunisia. The Berber community in Tunisia is very much in the minority and has expressed concerns over the lack of official recognition of its identity and culture. I would, therefore, like to conduct a sociological survey on the Berber identity and the feelings of Tunisian citizens of Berber descent to analyse how they apprehend their culture, their integration and their potential revendications. This research would be combined with a field study to map the different existing initiatives for the protection and promotion of Berber culture in Tunisia (mainly in South East Tunisia). This topic is dear to my heart, and I am very grateful to have been awarded the Max Lazard Prize to help me realise this project.

What form will the project take? When do you plan to carry it out?

ZA: The perception and study of the Berber identity in Tunisia are very different from that of other countries in the region and hardly addressed nowadays. I hope to be able to gather enough information and knowledge for this research that could be reusable for those concerned by the matter or interested in the subject. It is mostly a personal and not a professional project, but I intend to go as far as possible in the research and reflection and hopefully bring a modest contribution to giving a voice to people who remain little heard by their government and other groups. Any cultural heritage deserves to be analysed and somehow studied. 

The project will most likely culminate into an article and a video report - depending on if the people interrogated agree to be filmed. If individuals prefer to not speak on camera, I may decide to turn this project into a photo exhibition (virtual or physical) with descriptions. 

I hope to carry out this project this summer, government measures vis à vis the sanitary crisis in France and Tunisia permitting. It also depends on the availability of individuals I hope to interview. If it is not possible this summer, I plan to carry out the field research trip next winter!

What are your plans for the future after your graduation?

ZA: At the moment I am still completing my MPP in Digital, New Technology & Public Policy at Sciences Po, and am studying Food Geography at the Sorbonne. After finishing my Master's thesis for that curriculum, I hope to start a career in food policy, and more specifically in the food-tech sector.

Interview by the Sciences Po Editorial Team.

More about the Max Lazard Award

“This grant has been active at Sciences Po since 1956 and has adapted to contextual changes and university reforms by knowing how to cultivate its fund: the thirst for intelligence and the passion for discovery…” - Gérard Wormser

We owe this philanthropic fund to Max Lazard (18765-1953). Max Lazard left his job at his family’s bank to become a volunteer social worker and write a thesis on unemployment. He assisted Albert Thomas during the first world war and later became an activist for civic and political education in Europe. It is with this open mind and the desire to confront oneself with the world, combined with sincere intellectual and personal curiosity that the jury selects laureates for this prize, awarded annually since 1956.

The laureates of this prize receive financial support up to 3,000 euros depending on the cost of their project and are offered the possibility to publish an article or dossier in the “Sens Public” journal - subject to acceptance by its scientific committee.

More information

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A Warm Welcome to the New Deans of PSIA and EAP

The pair will take up their respective positions at the beginning of March.
  • Arancha Gonzalez Laya and Philippe MartinArancha Gonzalez Laya and Philippe Martin

Paris, 18 February 2022 - Mathias Vicherat, President of Sciences Po, has appointed Arancha González Laya as Dean of the Paris School of International Affairs (PSIA) and Philippe Martin as Dean of the School of Public Affairs. These appointments were made on the basis of proposals by two Search Committees, composed of members from within and outside Sciences Po. The pair will take up their respective positions at the beginning of March.

"These two appointments open a new chapter in Sciences Po’s history. I am delighted to welcome Arancha Gonzalez Laya, whose rich political experience at the national, European and international level will take us to a new phase in PSIA’s development. Philippe Martin knows Sciences Po inside out: a distinguished economist within our permanent faculty, he has also chaired the Conseil d'Analyse Économique (CAE) since 2018. He comes to the role with a strategic vision for the School of Public Affairs that combines academic excellence with a bid to tackle new challenges in the training of future leaders."

Arancha Gonzalez Laya, the new Dean of PSIA

Ms Arancha Gonzalez Laya holds a degree in law from the University of Navarra and a Postgraduate Degree in European Law from University Carlos III of Madrid. She has been a member of PSIA’s Strategic Committee since 2017 and has extensive experience of international affairs at multilateral, European and national levels. Most recently, Gonzalez served as Spain’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, European Union and Cooperation (2020-2021); Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations and Executive Director of the International Trade Centre (2013-2020); Cabinet Director for the Director-General of the World Trade Organization, Pascal Lamy (2005-2013), and has held several senior positions within the European Commission.

In assuming her duties as Dean, Ms Gonzalez Laya will build on the achievements of Ghassan Salamé, the founding dean of PSIA (established in 2010), and Dean Enrico Letta, whom she succeeds. PSIA’s success is reflected in Sciences Po's current ranking as second in the world for "Politics and International Studies”, according to the QS World University Rankings 2021. The school owes much of its excellence to its faculty, which is composed in equal proportion of academics and professionals renowned within their field of work. As the world's largest school of international affairs, 70% of PSIA’s 1,500 students are international students, coming from over 110 countries. The school offers a choice of seven Master's degree programmes in key fields of international affairs and has established partnerships and dual degrees with leading universities around the world.

Arancha Gonzalez Laya notes: "After a long career in international affairs, I have decided to devote my passion and energy to preparing the leaders of tomorrow. I am very honored to be joining Sciences Po as the director of PSIA, which ranks second in the world among schools of politics and international studies. By investing in knowledge, skills and experience, PSIA plays a unique role in training international actors to understand and shape our complex world. I would like to thank Mathias Vicherat for putting his trust in me and I look forward to working towards a more sustainable and peaceful world with him, his faculty and the students of Sciences Po.”

Philippe Martin, new Dean of the School of Public Affairs

Philippe Martin holds degrees from Sciences Po, Paris Dauphine University and a PhD in Economics from Georgetown University, Washington DC.

Mr Martin is a Professor of Economics at Sciences Po, the Chairman of the Conseil d'Analyse Économique (CAE), the Vice-President and a Research Fellow in international macroeconomics and trade at the Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR) and the Vice-President of the Board of Directors of the FNSP. He succeeds Yann Algan as Dean of the School of Public Affairs.

Mr Martin has previously worked as an economist at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York (2001-2002), a professor at the Paris School of Economics (2000-2008) and at the Graduate Institute in Geneva, the director of Sciences Po’s Department of Economics (2008-2013) and as an economic advisor to Emmanuel Macron during his time as Minister of the Economy, Industry and Digital Affairs from 2015-2016. He was also co-editor of the journal Economic Policy from 2006 to 2011 and has served as a consultant to the Bank of France. In 2002, Mr Martin was awarded the Prize for the Best Young Economist in France.

Seven years since its founding, the Sciences Po School of Public Affairs has established itself as one of the finest programmes in public affairs on a national and international scale. The school hosts 2,100 students, 30% of whom are international, across its two Master’s programmes and eleven policy streams taught in both French and English, its national and international dual degrees, its preparatory programmes for competitive recruitment exams for the French and European civil service (76% of candidates admitted to the ENA in 2021 came from Sciences Po) and its one-year masters programmes. Today, the School of Public Affairs is working to reinvent its vision of training future decision-makers in the public sector to emphasize European integration and the challenges of digital and environmental changes.

Philippe Martin affirms: "Sciences Po is very dear to me as an institution where I have worked in a number of different capacities, and I am delighted now to be taking over the direction of the School of Public Affairs. Working in collaboration with each of the school’s communities, I want it to continue to exemplify academic excellence and to rise to the challenges of shifts in public affairs both in France and in Europe.”

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Mathias Énard Named Sciences Po’s Newest Writer-in-Residence Chair

"After all, books remain–along with fire–the only means of fighting off the shadows.” - Mathias Énard, Rue des voleurs
  • Mathias Énard @PierreMarquèsMathias Énard @PierreMarquès

As Sciences Po’s newest Writer-in-Residence Chair, Mathias Énard will teach students to master the art of fighting off shadows–not with fire, but with literature–in two creative writing workshops.

This award-winning French novelist will be following in the footsteps of other noteworthy francophone writers such as Kamel DaoudMarie DarrieussecqPatrick ChamoiseauMaylis de KerangalLouis-Philippe Dalembert, and the most recent Writer in Residence, Alice Zeniter, who will pass on the title to Énard during the Inauguration Ceremony on February 1st, 2022 in the Chapsal Ampitheatre (FR) in the presence of writer Alice Zeniter and journalist Ali Baddou.

A Great Voice of Our Time

Mathias Énard’s work, characterised by a profound interest in the Middle East and stemming from his work as a translator of Farsi and Arabic into French–as well as his many travels throughout the region–has been widely recognised for its erudite style and compelling subject matter.

He was the winner of the Candide Prize (2008) and the Inter Book Prize (2009) for Zone (FR), the High Schooler’s Goncourt Prize for Parle-leur de batailles, de rois et d'éléphants (FR) (2010), and the Goncourt Prize for his novel Boussole (FR) (2015). The entirety of his literary work was recognised in 2020 with the Ulysses Prize (FR).

Shaping the Writers of Tomorrow

As Writer-in-Residence Chair at Sciences Po’s Center for Writing and Rhetoric, Mathias Énard will continue in the tradition established by his predecessors–namely, that of helping to unlock the creativity of his students by encouraging creative expression and critical thinking skills through workshops in creative writing.

The Sciences Po Editorial Team

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Welcome to La Grenade, the Participative and Solidarity-Based Student Grocery Store!

Discover this student initiative
  • La Grenade, a student grocery store with a participatory approachLa Grenade, a student grocery store with a participatory approach

To help students encountering financial difficulties and to promote food aid, La Grenade (FR),  Sciences Po's participative and solidarity-based student grocery store, was inaugurated on December 13th in the presence of Mathias Vicherat and the Erignac family, who awarded the Prix Claude Erignac 2021 to this innovative project. We met with two members of the student team, Elsa Ingrand and Pierre Peyrelongue, to discuss. 

 In a few words, could you outline the genesis of this project?

The initial idea was to set up a participatory grocery store at Sciences Po where students can come to do their shopping, decide together which products should be available on the shelves, and run the store by signing up for shifts. The grocery store’s objective is to make quality and sustainable products available to students, thus allowing them to reclaim control over their food consumption by buying food directly at their university while simultaneously creating a space for mutual aid and community building.
 The participatory model used at the grocery store allows all products to be sold at cost price, without applying a margin, which is beneficial for both buyers and producers. We are delighted that the grocery store reached fruition a few weeks ago and can now welcome students right in the courtyard of 56 rue des Saints-Pères
 
The project was conceived of during the first lockdown. Faced with growing lines of students waiting to receive food aid, it became necessary to further our accessibility goals by including a food-aid component. This project is open to students encountering difficulties, who are identified by Sciences Po's senior management and then referred to the grocery store. These students have access to organic and local products at a lower cost (20% of the market price). We felt it was essential to build the grocery store's two components according to the same principles: access to organic products, the inclusion of beneficiaries in the decision-making process, and a spirit of friendliness. 

How did you manage to turn the initial specifications into reality? 

The initial specifications were drawn up in close collaboration with the Direction de la Vie de Campus et de l'Engagement at Sciences Po and our partners: the nonprofit Mon Epi (FR) for the participatory aspect and the Association nationale des épiceries solidaires, ANDES (FR) for the solidarity aspect. And of course with all the members of the grocery store during long brainstorming sessions on Zoom to reconcile our ecological, solidarity, and democratic goals. We would also like to thank the Crous de Paris (FR) for having supplemented the investment aid provided by Sciences Po.

La Grenade is a self-managed grocery store by, and for, students. Can you tell us how it works?

All registered students work at the grocery store for two hours per month. This can be done directly in the grocery store during opening hours, but also during deliveries or by collecting produce in organic shops for the solidarity component. We rely on open-source software developed by Mon Epi, which allows us to easily organize grocery store tasks and to support all new grocers in their duties.
Our decision-making bodies are open to all members who wish to get involved and we try to apply participation and transparency rules for all decisions regarding the grocery store's organisation.  

How is your team structured? How can students get involved in the project? 

The best way to get involved in the project is to become a member and carry out a monthly shift at the grocery. Our team operates with working groups: from product selection to activities, treasury, and the solidarity component. Each group is represented by a referent. The "products" group is a good example of how the project functions democratically: members decide together which new products should be added to the catalog. 

You have become a permanent Sciences Po nonprofit association with this project. What are your long-term goals? 

First of all, to institutionalise the grocery store within Sciences Po by making it more visible and by developing member loyalty. We would like to be able to open it to as many students as possible, and eventually move to a bigger space to have more choice and storage room. We also aim to organise events around the grocery store (conferences, workshops, screenings, tastings, etc.) to promote the topic of food at Sciences Po. Finally, we would like to carry out an impact study on our model–which is quite new in the university environment–to understand how to improve it and possibly implement it in other universities. 

At the inauguration on December 13th, you were awarded the Prix Erignac, which honors a student initiative for its commitment to republican and humanist values every year. How do you plan to put this award to use?

We are very proud to have received this award, which will allow us to accelerate the development of the solidarity component. The first project is to set up weekly fruit and vegetable baskets priced at 1€. This will be launched in January 2022! Next, we plan to buy a cargo bike to collect unsold products in the neighborhood.

Interview by the Sciences Po Editorial Team

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Toward a Gender-Sensitive Approach to Corruption: PSIA Students Co-Author a Policy Brief for the G20 Task Force

  • Mathea Bernhardt and Laura DugardinMathea Bernhardt and Laura Dugardin

When starting a Master’s level class on “Gender and Development in Theory and Practice”, most students do not imagine that they will finish the semester having their policy brief chosen to be presented at a global summit. Yet this is precisely what happened to students Mathea Bernhardt and Laura Dugardin at the Paris School of International Affairs upon completion of their class with professor and researcher Maxime Forest.

Their policy brief, “A Transformative Gender Approach to Fighting Corruption in Low- and Middle-Income Countries,” was selected from a pool of over 600 submissions to be presented at the T20 Italy Summit in Milan in the context of Think20, a group of think tanks that provide research-based policy recommendations to G20 policy makers.

In their policy brief, the two students aimed to disprove gendered myths on corruption, using Latin America and the Caribbean as their regions of focus. Their aim was to provide tangible steps towards fighting corruption using what they call a “transformative approach”, which is to say, an approach that does not hinge upon gendered stereotypes that depict women as inherently less prone to engaging in corruption. As they note in their brief, “Increasing the participation of women should not be regarded as an anti-corruption strategy, but as a fundamental right,” (Bernhardt, Dugardin, Forest p. 10).

They go on to note the ways in which policies that do not take a nuanced understanding of gender and of social structures that form gender presentation into account ultimately fail to enact substantial change when it comes to corruption. Instead, Bernhardt, Dugardin, and Forest highlight the necessity of “a shift from instrumentalizing women in the fight against corruption through the feminisation of public agencies, towards a structural and gender-sensitive approach.” It is precisely this approach that they outline in their policy brief, co-written with Professor Maxime Forest, and which influenced the reflection on corruption at the T20 conference in early October.

In the following interview with PRESAGE, Sciences Po's Gender Studies Programme, Laura Dugardin and Mathea Bernhardt discuss their experiences writing their policy brief and the opportunities that Sciences Po has afforded them.

The Sciences Po Editorial Team

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Have you heard about the Welcome Programme ?

  • Have you heard about the Welcome Programme ?Have you heard about the Welcome Programme ?

What is the Welcome Programme?

The Welcome Programme is an integration week for exchange students which will be held on the Parisian campus from 16 to 21 January 2023 and which will offer you the possibility of:

  • Learning the methodology of Sciences Po
  • Understanding French political life
  • Knowing Sciences Po and its functioning
  • Discovering Paris in the best conditions
  • Meeting other international students of more than 50 different nationalities

What are the highlights of the Welcome Programme?

  • An opening ceremony accompanied by a welcome breakfast
  • Workshops on the working methodology, in French and English, to integrate more effectively into the pedagogy of Sciences Po
  • A conference on French political life in English
  • Information sessions on housing, administrative registrations, residence cards and student associations
  • Campus visits and the library
  • Cultural activities: Museum, discovery of Paris, boat tours on La Seine, wine and cheese tasting, movie, etc.

These highlights are part of a whole and can’t be chosen independently.

How to register?

If you wish to participate in the Welcome Programme, you can register on your Sciences Po student account. The registrations are closed.

Please note that this programme is optional and costs 250 euros.

Informations and Contacts

Student Exchange Team: candidature.echange@sciencespo.fr

For further information on the Welcome Programme, please visit the Welcome Programme page and discover our video:

Grace Moore: Meet the Newest Recipient of the Michel David-Weill Scholarship

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  • Grace Moore in Sciences Po's garden  ©Thomas ArrivéGrace Moore in Sciences Po's garden ©Thomas Arrivé

An unprecedented occurrence: Cambridge’ prestigious Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)—globally recognized for their programs in hard sciences (scientific and technological research)—backed the application of Grace Moore, one of their students, for the Michel David-Weill Scholarship. Hear more from the promising recipient. 

The Michel David-Weill Scholarship: A Springboard for Involved Students

This merit scholarship—one of the scholarship programs offered by Sciences Po’s American Foundation—seeks to attract particularly promising American students to obtain their Master’s degree from Sciences Po in Paris.

In order to benefit from this prestigious award (an 80,000€ value that covers registration fees, tuition, housing, textbooks…), one must embody the values that Michel David-Weill himself held dear. As a Sciences Po alumnus and president of the Foundation in his name, Michel David-Weill considered qualities of excellence, leadership, multiculturalism, and tolerance to be points of pride. The candidates for his scholarship are thus selected based on their academic achievements and their critical thinking skills, but also an uncommon capacity to carry out projects and to engage with their community on both a local and international level.

This year, the recent graduate of MIT’s Bachelor of Science in Materials Science and Engineering, Grace Moore, is the eleventh student to join the list of recipients since the scholarship’s creation. 

An Uncommon Opportunity to Combine Science and Public Policy

This brilliant student has championed a project that makes her stand out from the crowd as it toes the line between the hard sciences—her field of expertise—and public policy. This fall, she began a Master’s program in the School of Public Affairs (with a concentration in Energy, Environment and Sustainability).

“At MIT, one of my favorite courses was Industrial Ecology, in which I had the opportunity to do a project studying plastics with the idea of producing a circular industrial approach--producing and recycling plastic—which basically closes that loop, which is talked a lot about in science and in public policy making. However, something I definitely noticed in my project and studies in engineering is that it often feels like some innovations reach this blockade where they can’t be realised--they get stuck in a sort of quagmire of policy.” 

The intersection between subject matters is what excites her in her studies. “By no means would I call myself an expert, but I certainly have a fairly broad knowledge of the scientific side of things. So getting the background in policy is important for me to then reach that niche space that I’m interested in. “

“[Studying at Sciences Po] is an incredible opportunity and the Foundation Michel David-Weill was fundamental in enabling me to take that opportunity. I couldn’t be here otherwise. I’m so grateful. ”

Sciences Po’s international standing played a large part in convincing this brilliant student to pursue her studies here. “I've had speakers in my classes so far that are very relevant in the world of environmental policy, and that sort of access to world leaders is something I was very excited about.”

Grace Moore has also noticed that she has a unique background in the classroom, “It may seem a bit odd that an engineering student has ended up here, and believe me, in classes, we introduce ourselves and I’m the only engineering student at times. But for that same reason, there is something that I can add. It feels like there is often only the policy perspective in our debates, but if you’re gonna talk about innovation, you should probably involve the people that are innovating.”

This passionate, involved, and open-minded student is one whose path we will follow with interest, as we have no doubt that she will be capable of transmitting important messages and will follow a road that will lead her to make a significant and positive impact on the planet’s future.

The Sciences Po Editorial Team

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Pedagogic innovation in the pandemic: New opportunities in hybrid teaching

Discover Gaspard Estrada’s innovative course
  • Research school hybrid course ©Malika Sadaoui / Sciences PoResearch school hybrid course ©Malika Sadaoui / Sciences Po

Enjoying a return to face-to-face classes, while harnessing the digital tools and experience gained during the pandemic: this is the pedagogic opportunity offering itself to many faculty members at the start of the new academic year. Gaspard Estrada, the Executive Director of Sciences Po’s Political Observatory of Latin America and the Caribbean (OPALC) (fr), is no newcomer to hybrid teaching. He experimented in the format last semester for his course “How to conquer, govern, and quit power: methods and practice of political communication”, a module on political communication offered to students of the Master in Advanced Global Studies at PSIA in May 2021. Estrada told us more about his dynamic course, which was enriched by the new possibilities opened up by hybrid teaching.

What were the aims of your course?

Gaspard Estrada: For several years now, I have been working on the structuring of the political consultancy market and the professional network of political consultants in Latin America, as well as their impact on issues around the quality of democracy. This work has allowed me to build up a pool of contacts in the field and, since my work is not limited to this geographic area alone, to gain a detailed understanding of the evolution of electoral campaigns around the world. I previously taught a course on electoral campaigns in Latin America at the Sciences Po Undergraduate College, which began by outlining different theoretical contributions to these issues from within sociology and political science, in order to then introduce a series of case studies.

For this course at PSIA, my aim was twofold. On the one hand, it was to set out the terms of the academic debate surrounding the internationalisation of the political consultancy market and electoral campaigns globally, while maintaining a firm focus on analysis of political communication in all its diversity (campaign communication, governmental communication, post-governmental communication). On the other hand, I also wanted to give students as many keys to understanding the world of political communication on an international level as possible, together with tools that would be useful to them in their own careers, given that these were qualified professionals enrolled on the Master in Advanced Global Studies (MAGS) at PSIA.

How did you make use of the opportunities offered by hybrid teaching to innovate in your teaching?

G.E.: This was the first course I had taught in person since the start of the pandemic. I was thrilled to be able to see students’ faces and interact with them directly! While it’s a pleasure to be back on campus, the option of inviting speakers to contribute remotely using new technologies is also a real opportunity to enrich courses, in both form and content. So I took the initiative of inviting some very high-level practitioners to share their insights with students. These included the former special advisor to British Prime Minister Tony Blair, the former Minister of Communication for Brazil, former French president François Hollande’s communication advisor, the director of qualitative research for Joe Biden’s presidential campaign, the former president of the French National Digital Council and the associate director of political research at IPSOS. Their discussions helped to give the course a genuinely comparative and international dimension. Hence why one of my students nicknamed it “the presidential advisors course”!

Were you struck by any one discussion in particular?

G.E: The aim of my course was to invite reflection on the idea of power, whether it be in an election campaign, when exercising governmental duties, as well as during a president’s departure from office. In that context, I was keen to invite speakers with divergent points of view, so as to foster discussion and enliven the debate. I was struck by a remote discussion between Benoît Thieulin, the former Dean of the School of Management and Innovation and Jessica Reiss, the former director of qualitative research for Joe Biden’s electoral campaign, concerning the role of data in structuring and leading an electoral campaign. While Jessica was arguing for the centrality of data, based on her experience as a consultant for one of the biggest political consultancy firms in the world, Benoît put forth a more nuanced view, highlighting the oversizing that can be seen in some campaigns.

More generally, would you say that this period has led you to explore new horizons in your work as a professor and teacher?

G.E.: Without a doubt. The pandemic has forced us to revise our pedagogic practices but it has also revealed new ways of teaching, particularly through use of new technologies, which are not a substitute for but a compliment to face-to-face teaching.

What feedback have you received from your students and how would you evaluate the experience?

G.E.: The feedback from my students has been excellent. First of all, they enjoyed the course’s comparative approach, which was intended to provide a counterbalance to theories that aim to demonstrate the “americanisation” of electoral campaigns around the world. The US undoubtedly plays a central role in the political communication market, at both a technical and narrative level (due, in large part, to the huge cost of campaigns in the country, as made possible by the absence of a spending cap there). However, the internationalisation of campaigns and, above all, the circulation of ideas and expertise networks, do not (or rather, no longer) only work according to a dynamic of simply “exporting” the North American model. Other countries, whether developed or emerging, such as Brazil, have created their own powerful markets for political communication, enabling them to outsource their expertise – and their consultants.

Secondly, I think the opportunity to interact with experts from across different countries and horizons, all of whom have played an important role in the politics of their country at the highest level, gave students a better understanding of the issues at stake in the course. The students at PSIA are excellent and the course will definitely be one to run again!

The Sciences Po Editorial Team

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A new mechanism to tackle Sexual and Gender-Based Violence

Find out more about the action plan
  • No More campaign - Let's end SGBV ©Sciences PoNo More campaign - Let's end SGBV ©Sciences Po

Following on from the report issued on 4 May by the commission chaired by Danièle Hervieu-Léger, Sciences Po is introducing a new system for combating Sexual and Gender-Based Violence (SGBV) from the start of the 2021 academic year. The new measures include an overhaul of the listening and support system, a reform of disciplinary procedures and increased awareness among all members of the community.

A campus-wide mechanism to support survivors

Sciences Po has implemented a campus-wide mechanism for reporting incidents and providing help and guidance.

Free of charge and open to all members of Sciences Po’s communities (students, faculty, researchers and staff), this mechanism consists of:

  • SGBV Specialist Nurses present on every campus
  • A new external listening and support service run by France Victimes
  • A SGBV Officer appointed within the institution

In addition, Sciences Po ensures that all students who have experienced SGBV receive support that is adapted to their situation specifically, including curriculum adjustments, social or financial assistance and psychological support.

> More information about the support mechanism

Systematic triggering of an independent investigation

Every report of SGBV systematically triggers an internal investigation led by a specialised structure, the Preliminary Internal Investigation Unit (CEIP), chaired by an external appointee (a magistrate of the judicial or administrative order). The role of this independent unit is to establish the facts of the incident in question. When the investigation is complete, the President of Sciences Po decides whether or not to refer the case to the relevant disciplinary body based on the CEIP’s recommendations.

> More information on the disciplinary procedure and sanctions

Building a culture of equality and respect

From September 2021, members of all Sciences Po’s communities (students, faculty and staff) will receive training courses run by the organization VSS Formation, as part of a comprehensive awareness strategy.

Prevention and control measures target high-risk situations, particularly in relation to student life:

  • Organisers of events hosted outside of Sciences Po must take every necessary precaution to protect the physical and moral integrity of participants (cf. updated Regulations on Student Life, PDF 51 Ko).
  • A prior declaration is now compulsory for all social events gathering more than 20 students.
  • All student association representatives on every campus must attend core training on SGBV, reducing risks in social settings and combatting discrimination.

An awareness-raising campaign aimed primarily at students completes this system, by firmly affirming the zero tolerance policy and the culture of respect required by Sciences Po. 

The Sciences Po Editorial Team

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The one-stop helpdesk becomes the Student Services Centre

Discover the Centre and its missions
  • Helpdesk 13 rue de l'Université ©Jean-Luc Baticle / Sciences PoHelpdesk 13 rue de l'Université ©Jean-Luc Baticle / Sciences Po

The Student Services Centre brings together in one place a large part of the services that are not linked to teaching. Formaly located at 9 rue de la Chaise on several floors, the Student Services Centre will move to the first floor of 13 rue de l'Université in August. 

The Student Services Centre is made up of 3 main divisions:

  • The registrar's and tuition fees office
  • The Scholarships and students’ support office 
  • The Specific studies and Committee for social affairs Office

The two main missions of these services are:

The Centre welcomes the entire student population thanks to:

  • a unique and modern reception area ;
  • boxes for individual face-to-face and remote interviews
  • spaces for the organisation of events and workshops for students on everyday student life issues (students' social file, residence permit, application for housing assistance, etc.).

These spaces are connected via digital tools to facilitate the procedures.

The different areas will be accessible to people with disabilities:

  • access for people with reduced mobility ;
  • a magnetic loop in the reception area for the hearing impaired.

The Health Centre is located in the immediate vicinity of the Student Services Centre in order to facilitate the student experience.

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Sciences Po, a three-star university for French as a Foreign Language

Sciences Po has obtained for the second time the Label Qualité Français langue étrangère
  • Students from the Summer School (2016) in progressStudents from the Summer School (2016) in progress

Sciences Po has obtained for the second time the Label Qualité Français langue étrangère (Quality Label for French as a Foreign Language), attaining the maximum score of three stars. Sciences Po has been attributed this label for the quality of its teaching of French as a foreign language, the professionalism and commitment of the teachers and staff, and the conditions in which the students are taught.

1700 students of 95 nationalities are following courses of French as a foreign language (FLE) 

With a student community composed of 47% internationals, Sciences Po attributes great importance to the teaching of French as a foreign language. The quality of its language teaching plays a significant role in the academic success of students and their integration into the Sciences Po community.  At Sciences Po, more than 130 teachers give FLE courses, which attract more than 1700 students of 95 nationalities each year.

Each year during the months of June and July, the Summer School receives several hundred students from more than 50 different countries. Its French language track offers six levels of study, from beginner to the most advanced.

The FLE label: a guarantee of excellence

Awarded conjointly by the Ministry of Education, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Culture, the Quality Label for French as a Foreign Language is a guarantee of excellence for institutions that promote the teaching of French abroad such as diplomatic and consular networks and the Campus France agency. 

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"Meet the services" day

Come and see us on Friday 20 January 2023, from 10am to 3.30pm
  • Meet the Services ©Caroline Maufroid / Sciences PoMeet the Services ©Caroline Maufroid / Sciences Po

Student life goes hand in hand with independence. But being independent doesn’t mean being left to your own devices.

Sciences Po offers personalised services to help students joining us in the fall semester with any issue they may encounter.

Come and meet representatives from our different services and find out how they can provide tailor-made solutions to help make your everyday life run more smoothly.

Next "Meet the Services" day: Friday 20 January 2023

Location: 27 rue Saint-Guillaume (Petit Hall), 75007, Paris

Opening hours: From 10am to 3.30pm

In-house services available to you

Meet the Services

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Autumn 2021: in-person teaching and a renewed student life

  • Start of the academic year on the Reims campus @Thomas Arrivé/Sciences PoStart of the academic year on the Reims campus @Thomas Arrivé/Sciences Po

After an unusual and eventful academic year, the start of the 2021/2022 year is intended as a "return to normal". All Sciences Po teams are working to prepare the conditions for reception and teaching in person for all students, on all campuses, with the academic year starting at the end of August and a return to the usual academic calendar, always in respect of the governmental regulations in force.

We are aware that some of our students may face health problems or have travel restrictions imposed which prevent them from joining our campuses at the beginning of the year. Accordingly, distance learning will remain available for the students concerned.

The adapted Academic Rules and Regulations will be maintained, requiring attendance of face-to-face, hybrid or distance learning courses, as appropriate.

Strengthening student experience and campus life

Sciences Po would not be itself without its dynamic campus life, which has been sorely missed! Despite the health crisis, numerous events, conferences, workshops and activities, as diverse as they were enriching, could be held in person or remotely. For the 2021/2022 academic year, our teams are working on a fuller intensified and inclusive student life programme.

The Sciences Po teams, and in particular the administrative, social and health support teams, will continue to support students affected by the situation to achieve their academic goals.

A renewed project for Sciences Po

The election of Laurence Bertrand Dorléac as Chairperson of the Fondation Nationale des Sciences Politiques, which took place on 10 May 2021, will be followed by a process of designation of the new President of the Institut d'Études Politiques.

This new team will lead a renewed plan of action for Sciences Po, a world-class university for research in the humanities and social sciences, which takes its social and ethical responsibility seriously.

How to prepare for the start of the new academic year?

Are you joining Sciences Po for the start of the 2021 academic year? In order to prepare yourself as well as possible, it is strongly advised to start any required administrative procedures and research as soon as possible, particularly concerning visa and residence permits applications.

Here are some elements to help you prepare:

Discover the message of Acting President Bénédicte Durand to the students and faculty of Sciences Po:

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The Commissions on Gender-Based Violence and on Ethics publish their conclusions

Read their conclusions
  • Entrance to 27 rue Saint-Guillaume ©Sciences PoEntrance to 27 rue Saint-Guillaume ©Sciences Po

The two commissions dedicated to the fight against gender-based and sexual violence and to fostering ethics within Sciences Po submitted the conclusions of their work to the Acting President Bénédicte Durand on Tuesday, 4 May 2021.

> Read the report of the commission on gender-based and sexual violence (fr)

> Read the report of the commission on ethics (fr)

Since the establishment of these two commissions on 17 February 2021, the chairpersons, Danièle Hervieu Léger and Catherine de Salins, as well as the various members, have worked independently with remarkable commitment to learn the lessons of the crisis experienced by Sciences Po in recent months.

In their respective reports, the commissions have drawn up a detailed analysis of the ethical mechanisms and the structures to tackle gender-based and sexual violence within the institution, and formulate concrete and ambitious recommendations in order to strengthen these mechanisms.

Bénédicte Durand expressed her gratitude to the member of the commissions and announced a provisional timetable for the implementation of these recommendations

The quality of the proposals I have received allows me to affirm the commitment I made before you to present an implementation plan as soon as possible. We will propose an approach and a timetable for implementation before the end of the current academic year. From the beginning of the next academic year, we wish to reinforce our mechanism for listening to and supporting victims, and to overhaul the disciplinary procedure.

Bénédicte Durand also expressed her willingness to engage in a similar reflection on the fight against racism, anti-Semitism, and all forms of discrimination in the institution. “Just as a stop must be put to gender-based and sexual violence, hatred of the Other, for whatever reason, must be prevented, combated, and sanctioned relentlessly at Sciences Po”.

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Gender-based and sexual violence: what are the goals of the commission?

Interview with the head of the commission, Danièle Hervieu-Léger
  • Danièle Hervieu-Léger ©DRDanièle Hervieu-Léger ©DR

On 17 February, Sciences Po's Acting President Bénédicte Durand announced the creation of a commission focusing on the fight against gender-based and sexual violence in our institution. The commission consists of twenty members, including representatives of the student, faculty and employee communities. It will submit its conclusions in early May, after two months of work. Its President, sociologist Danièle Hervieu-Léger, explains its mission and objectives. 

What are the objectives and the scope of the commission on the fight against gender-based and sexual violence? 

Danièle Hervieu-Léger: It is a dual approach. First, we have an immediate and concrete objective: to make proposals to strengthen the means already invested within Sciences Po in the fight against gender-based and sexual violence. I am talking about both the means and procedures that are offered to victims to rebuild their lives, and the awareness-raising and educating actions necessary to create a culture of dignity and respect within the institution, which will reduce the occurrence of such violence. I understand this term to mean all forms of violence: misdemeanor and criminal offenses as well as more pervasive or surreptitious forms. The commission will make concrete proposals: we will go beyond statements. But we also want to open a wider focus: the idea is to go deeper into the analysis of relational contexts that can lead to toxic situations. 

Do you have examples of these toxic situations? 

Danièle Hervieu-Léger: We are going to work on power relations that are conducive to the emergence of situations of domination. They can appear in different forms in a university context, in all communities. There can be situations of violence between students linked to risky social contexts, to festive events which are a part of student life. Violence can also appear in unequal power relationships that can develop between a doctoral student and her director, a department head and administrative staff, etc. We do not exclude any possible situation. 

How will you involve the different communities, and in particular the student community, which is very active on these issues? 

Danièle Hervieu-Léger: We are aware of the expectations of the student community: they are represented within the commission by their elected union representatives. But we will also hear from all the associations that have taken up the issue, in Paris and on the regional campuses. These hearings will give all the communities concerned the opportunity to make their voices heard: not only the students, but also the staff, who are eager to benefit from training and awareness-raising.

Will you be examining the systems set up in other universities, particularly abroad? 

Danièle Hervieu-Léger: The commission's work includes taking into account the experiences and good practices implemented in other institutions, in France and internationally. Comparison is an important tool for the work of the commission: researcher Maxime Forest will present a study on international experiences to inform us on ways of dealing with these topics. Other hearings are planned on this subject.

As a sociologist of religions, and particularly of Catholicism, you have worked on the problems of sexual violence within the Church: how will this experience and this research help you in your work?

Danièle Hervieu-Léger: Indeed, in my research fields - in Catholicism but not only - I have been confronted with questions of sexual violence and pedocriminality in the religious sphere. I have retained a fundamental point, which concerns all institutions - secular or religious: sexist and sexual violence always emerges in situations of domination and control, which must be analysed in order to understand and prevent this violence. 

You were president of the École des hautes études en sciences sociales (EHESS) from 2004 to 2009. Have you ever had to work on these issues, which nowadays span across the entire field of higher education? 

Danièle Hervieu-Léger: At the time, the topic of gender-based and sexual violence was less present. The focus was on gender equality, and I initiated a mission at EHESS to identify gender bias in the recruitment and promotion of academics. EHESS and Sciences Po are two very different institutions, but both produce knowledge in the social sciences. Their mission is to develop critical knowledge, capable of contributing - in their own way - to the transformation of our world. There are collective expectations on certain subjects and social sciences must provide the tools for understanding these expectations. The topic of gender relations is one of these crucial questions. It questions the different configurations of domination, both hierarchical, physical and symbolic, which organize the relations between men and women.

Is it the role of a university to accompany this transformation of society?

Danièle Hervieu-Léger: Yes, this is perfectly the role of a university of social sciences: it must contribute to forging the critical tools that will enable us to advance the collective understanding of these situations and their evolution. Moreover, every educational institution today has a crucial mission, which is to educate new generations in a culture other than the normalisation and the silencing of gender-based and sexual violence. If I agreed to come out of my retirement to chair this commission, it is because the stakes are very high for an institution like Sciences Po, but also for society.

Interview by Sciences Po editorial team.

About Danièle Hervieu-Léger

Sociologist Danièle Hervieu-Léger is a graduate of Sciences Po and of the faculty of Law (Paris-Assas). She holds a doctorate in sociology from EHESS and in literature and humanities from the University Paris-Descartes. She began her career at the Sociology of Religion Group of the National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS), as research fellow and then as Director from 1974 to 1992. Professor (Director of Studies) emeritus of the École des hautes études en sciences sociales (EHESS), she directed the Centre d'études interdisciplinaires des faits religieux from 1993 to 2004, before becoming its President from 2004 to 2009.

A specialist in the sociology of religion, Danièle Hervieu-Léger has devoted most of her research to the sociological description and theoretical interpretation of religious modernity in Christianity. Among her works: Le temps des moines ; clôture et hospitalité (PUF, 2017) - Le pèlerin et le converti : la religion en mouvement (Flammarion, 2001).

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Brexit: changes from the 1st January 2021

  • Brexit: changes from the 1st January 2021 ©Rawpixel.com/ShutterstockBrexit: changes from the 1st January 2021 ©Rawpixel.com/Shutterstock

The United Kingdom's exit from the European Union has resulted in many changes.   Have a look at what changes after Brexit.

This page will be updated regularly.

Last update: 22/12/2021

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