Social sciences of contemporary changes (CHANGES)

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In the Anthropocene era, unprecedented climatic, economic, technical and social changes are striking the world. To understand and explain these changes using the tools of social science, 11 research units in Bordeaux have joined forces to form the 'Social sciences of contemporary changes' department, or CHANGES.

The CHANGES department came into being subsequent to the eagerness of research units in social sciences to pool their energy and expertise on the Bordeaux campus.

The department covers a broad interdisciplinary scope within the field of human and social sciences, combining disciplinary approaches in development, anthropology,  architecture, demography, social security and labour law, epistemology, geography, history, history of science, history of law, landscape, philosophy, political science, economics, educational sciences, sociology and urban planning.

The scientific objective of the CHANGES department is to meet the challenge of analysing contemporary changes in all fields, including in other sciences.

The historical context that motivates the focus on issues of change is that of an entanglement of the 'natural', 'technical' and 'political' dimensions, increased risks and uncertainties in the governance of things and individuals, the extension of  interdependencies, 'butterfly effects' and solidarities between all scale levels.

The social sciences meet those challenges with comparative and investigative methods and concepts that allow for a better understanding of how the reality in which we live is constructed, instituted, governed and transformed by the relationships between the different players.


  • Laurette Grall

    Administrative & Finance Manager

  • Sonia Castrale-Bela

    Management Assistant

    +33 (0)5 56 84 29 12

  • Romane Gracia

    Science Outreach Coordinator

  • Émilie Marchès

    Communications Manager


The CHANGES scientific outreach project is, above all, based on a policy of internal calls for projects, designed to encourage the creation of original research projects or collaborative networking, aimed at human and social sciences actively contributing to major IdEx Bordeaux projects as well as to regional, national and European calls for research projects and joint efforts with other scientific fields.

That scientific outreach is broken down into 4 areas of focus:

  • Area 1: Governance of changes and/or their consequences
  • Area 2: Innovations: products and results of change
  • Area 3: Actors of change: promotion, transformation and resistance
  • Area 4: Interdisciplinary methodology for social science analysis of change

The CHANGES department is a stakeholder in three Societal Innovation Centres (CIS):

  • Forum Urbain
  • VIA Inno, the technological intelligence platform
  • Crisalidh, the Resource Centre for Social Innovation through Local Action and Initiatives for Human Development

It is associated with the following Major Research Programmes (GPRs) and Impulsion Research Networks (RRI):

Major Research Programmes:

Impulsion Research Networks:


Key figures

  • 12

    research units

    incl. 5 joint research units, 900 members incl. 470 administrative, research & teaching staff and 430 doctoral students

  • 7

    scientific institutes

    for the co-supervision of the research units

  • 16


    covering the entire field of human & social sciences

Organisation and partners

Departmental units

Unités en rattachement principal

Unités en rattachement secondaire

Unités associées


Conseil de composante

Il est composé de 28 membres issus des conseils de laboratoires des 6 unités à rattachement principal, dont 15 enseignants-chercheurs et chercheurs, 4 personnels BIATSS/ITA, 6 doctorant.e.s et post-doctorant.e.s et 3 personnalités extérieures.

Comités des directeurs

Il est composé des membres des équipes de direction des unités du département.

Conseil scientifique

Il est composé de 4 membres

  • Michèle Lamont, professeur de sociologie, Harvard University, docteur Honoris Causa de l’université de Bordeaux
  • Bernard Debarbieux, professeur de géographie, Université de Genève, doyen de la Faculté des sciences de la société
  • Catherine Larrère, professeur émérite de philosophie, Université Paris 1 - Panthéon Sorbonne
  • Giovanni Dosi, professeur d’économie à la Sant’Anna School of Advanced Studies de Pise
Localisation associée :

Site Pessac Bureau N109
Avenue Léon Duguit
33608 PESSAC


Change, stakeholder, public action, international comparison, democracy, interdependencies, market, migration, norm, law, inequality, social justice, institution, globalisation, governance, controversies, social conflict, political conflict, gender, risk, health, knowledge, science, territories, socio-ecological transition, labour, cities, vulnerabilities