School for Advanced Studies in the Social Sciences

The School for Advanced Studies in the Social Sciences (French: École des hautes études en sciences sociales; EHESS) is a graduate grande école and grand établissement in Paris focused on academic research in the social sciences. It is regarded as one of the most prestigious institutions of graduate education in France.[2][3] The school awards Master and PhD degrees alone and conjointly with the grandes écoles École normale supérieure, École polytechnique, and École pratique des hautes études.

The School for Advanced Studies in the Social Sciences
École des hautes études en sciences sociales
Other names
Former names
École pratique des hautes études, VI Section (1947–1975),
École libre des hautes études (1941–1946)
TypeGrand établissement
Established23 January 1975; 49 years ago (23 January 1975)
Budget€60 million[1]
PresidentRomain Huret
Academic staff
Administrative staff

Originally a department of the École pratique des hautes études, created in 1868 with the purpose of training academic researchers, the EHESS became an independent institution in 1975.[4][5] Today its research covers social sciences, humanities, and applied mathematics. Degrees and research in economics and finance are awarded through the Paris School of Economics.

The EHESS, in common with other grandes écoles, is a small school with very strict entry criteria, and admits students through a rigorous selection process based on applicants' research projects. Scholars in training are subsequently free to choose their own curriculum amongst the School's fields of research. The école has a small student-faculty ratio; 830 researchers for 3,000 students (27.6%).

Most of the School's faculty belong to other institutions, mostly within the French National Centre for Scientific Research and schools affiliated with PSL University.[6] The School is notable for its work connected to amongst others sociologist Pierre Bourdieu, philosopher Jacques Derrida, as well as economist Thomas Piketty.[7][8]

History edit

École pratique des hautes études edit

Originally part of the École pratique des hautes études (EPHE) as its VI Section: Sciences économiques et sociales, the EHESS gained autonomy as an independent higher education institution on 23 January 1975. The creation of a dedicated branch for social science research within the EPHE was catalyzed by the Annales historical school and was supported by several academic initiatives of the Rockefeller Foundation, dating to the 1920s. After WWII, the Rockefeller Foundation invested more funds in French institutions, seeking to encourage non-Marxist sociological studies.

The VIth section was created in 1947, and Lucien Febvre took its head. Soon after its creation (1947), the VI Section, later EHESS, became one of the most influential shapers of contemporary historiography, area studies and social sciences methodology, thanks to the contribution of eminent scholars such as Fernand Braudel, Jacques Le Goff and François Furet. F. Braudel succeeded L. Febvre in 1956. He concentrated the various study groups at the well-known building on boulevard Raspail (area of allée Claude-Cahun-Marcel-Moore), in part by financing from the Ford Foundation.[9]

Independent institution edit

Today, the EHESS is one of France's Grands établissements. It functions as a research, teaching, and degree-granting institution. It offers advanced students high-level programs intended to lead to research careers. Students are admitted on the relevance of their research project and undertake at the EHESS master programs and doctoral studies. The main areas of specialization include: history, literary theory, linguistics, philosophy, philology, sociology, anthropology, economics, cognitive science, demographics, geography, archaeology, psychology, law, and mathematics. The institution's focus is on interdisciplinary research within these fields. The EHESS has more than 40 research centers (among which are several joint research units with the CNRS) and 22 doctoral programs, 13 of which are in partnership with other French Universities and Grandes écoles.[10]

PSL Research University edit

The school is a constituent college of the federal PSL Research University. Other institutions include the College de France, the École Normale Supérieure, the École pratique des hautes études, Chimie ParisTech, ESPCI ParisTech, the École des mines, and Paris Dauphine University.

Research edit

History edit

Influence from the Annales School edit

Lucien Febvre and Fernand Braudel were members of the École des Annales, the dominant school of historical analysis in France during the interwar period. However, this school of thought was contested by the growing importance of the social sciences and the beginning of structuralism. Under pressure from Claude Lévi-Strauss, in particular, they integrated new contributions from the fields of sociology and ethnography to event-based historical analysis, a concept put forward by the Annales school, to advocate for the concept of "a nearly imperceptible passage of history". They were reproached, along with the structuralists, for ignoring politics and the individual's influence over his fate during a period in which the colonial wars of liberation were taking place.[citation needed]

The work of Braudel, Le Roy Ladurie and other historians working under their influence greatly affected the research and official teaching of history in France beginning in the 1960s. The work of Jean-Marie Pesez renewed interest in the issue of methodology in medieval archeology and created the idea of "material culture".[citation needed] François Hartog, who serves as the director of the school's ancient and modern historiography department, is also noted for proposing that the problems of modern time schema are not entirely caused by an imperialist past.[11] He is also known for challenging the Eurocentric reflection of history and the present.[12]

New History edit

During the 1970s, EHESS became the center of New History under the influence of Jacques Le Goff and Pierre Nora. During this period, a generation of ethnologists working under the ideas of Georges Balandier and Marc Augé were critical of the French colonial tradition and applied modern sociological concepts to third world countries.

New Polish School of Holocaust Scholarship edit

In 2019, held the New Polish School of Holocaust Scholarship conference. The conference was disrupted by Polish nationalists.[13][14][15] EHESS President, Christophe Prochasson, said he could not recall such a violent disturbance at any scientific conference.[16] Minister Frédérique Vidal condemned Polish authorities.[17][18]

Sociology edit

Pierre Bourdieu, Luc Boltanski, Alain Touraine, Jean-Claude Passeron have all been associated with EHESS.

Economics edit

EHESS has always been a central place for economic debate in Europe. In France this debate is also enabled by the proximity of the researchers in Paris with national economic institutions: In this sense EHESS's advisors who have been drawn from economic professors have enjoyed a large media audience (one notable example was Jean Fourastié). The diversity of viewpoints has been a priority, and liberal and Marxist economists have had the chance to debate in EHESS. Since the 1970s and 1980s EHESS has focused on quantitative economics, with classes led by well-known professors such as Louis-André Gérard-Varet, Jean-Jacques Laffont, François Bourguignon and Roger Guesnerie. They initiated not only the Paris School of Economics but the Toulouse School of Economics and Grequam (Aix-Marseille).

Domestic and foreign networks edit

Affiliations edit

The school is a founding member of the Paris School of Economics, Toulouse School of Economics, and Aix-Marseille School of Economics, the three French leading centers in Quantitative Economics. Since 2014 it is an associated member of the Paris Research University (PSL).

International partnerships edit

EHESS has exchange programs with universities such as Oxford and Cambridge in the United Kingdom; Columbia, Yale, University of California, and University of Michigan in the United States; Heidelberg in Germany; Tokyo and Kyoto in Japan; Peking University in China; and the European University Institute in Florence, Italy. It also has exchange programs with universities in Asia and the Middle-East, and holds research centers on Asian Studies and Islamic Studies.

Notable alumni edit

Notable faculty edit

Past and present faculty (including EPHE's VI Section):

See also edit

References edit

  1. ^ a b "EHESS : l'École". Archived from the original on 5 June 2008. Retrieved 19 June 2008.
  2. ^ "Comprendre les sociétés humaines".
  3. ^ "The Ecole des hautes études en sciences sociales | Columbia | HILI".
  4. ^ "Décret n° 2005-1444 du 24 novembre 2005 relatif à l'Ecole pratique des hautes études". (in French). 24 November 2005. Archived from the original on 23 April 2023. Retrieved 15 June 2023.
  5. ^ "Décret n° 2019-1130 du 5 novembre 2019 portant création de l'Université Paris sciences et lettres (Université PSL) et approbation de ses statuts". (in French). 5 November 2019. Archived from the original on 6 December 2022. Retrieved 15 June 2023.
  6. ^ Sociales, Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences (7 December 2015). "Partenaires". EHESS.
  7. ^ Sociales, Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences (2 March 2016). "History". EHESS. Retrieved 3 May 2022.
  8. ^ Sociales, Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences (21 February 2017). "Thomas Piketty". EHESS (in French). Retrieved 3 May 2022.
  9. ^ Sociales, Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences (19 December 2018). "L'histoire de l'École". EHESS.
  10. ^ Sociales, Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences (25 November 2015). "Les unités et centres de recherche". EHESS.
  11. ^ Lorenz, Chris; Bevernage, Berber (2013). Breaking Up Time: Negotiating the Borders Between Present, Past and Future. Gottingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht. p. 209. ISBN 978-3-525-31046-5.
  12. ^ Diawara, Mamadou; Lategan, Bernard C.; Rüsen, Jörn (2010). Historical Memory in Africa: Dealing with the Past, Reaching for the Future in an Intercultural Context. Berghahn Books. p. 88. ISBN 978-1-84545-652-8.
  13. ^ Par Danielle Delmaire, « Chahut lors d’un colloque sur la Shoah en Pologne », Tsafon [En ligne], 77 | 2019, mis en ligne le 09 septembre 2019, consulté le 15 décembre 2019. URL : [1] ; DOI : 10.4000/tsafon.2049
  14. ^ [2] Conflits contemporains dans la culture polonaise, un diagnostic : entretien avec Agnieszka Żuk, 3ᵉ partie
  15. ^ [3], Comprendre la relation des Polonais à la Shoah, Sylvain Boulouque, 25 novembre 2019
  16. ^ [4] Un colloque sur l’histoire de la Shoah perturbé par des nationalistes polonais, Le Monde
  17. ^ [5] La Pologne minimise les incidents lors d’un colloque sur la Shoah à Paris, Le Monde
  18. ^ [6], Behr Valentin, Entre histoire et propagande. Les contributions de l’Institut polonais de la mémoire nationale à la mise en récit de la Seconde Guerre mondiale, Allemagne d'aujourd'hui

External links edit

48°51′0.86″N 2°19′36.33″E / 48.8502389°N 2.3267583°E / 48.8502389; 2.3267583