Pacte is a “social science laboratory”. Its members are invested in the construction of common languages and transversal knowledge on the transformations of our societies in their political, territorial, sociological and ecological dimensions. Resulting from laboratories specialized mainly in regional planning, geography and urban planning on the one hand, political science and sociology on the other hand, the laboratory also brings together a few economists, historians, lawyers and specialists in information and communication. It places interdisciplinarity at the heart of its practices, through the sharing and confrontation of methods, epistemologies, and common grounds.
The organization of the unit into 5 teams (Environments, Regulations, Governance, Social Justice and Cities and Territories) plays on the scales of relations between actors (from large international organizations to subordinates), but also on territorial deployments both urban and rural, taking into account the environmental issues that these processes raise.
Collective life is built at Pacte around the production of fundamental research of excellence, deployed through international thematic and disciplinary networks. The laboratory is also recognized as a dynamic player in research-action collaborations, in particular with public, associative and private institutions, in strong links with the territories in which it operates. It also intends to play a central role in the dynamics of innovation and experimentation in the social sciences, exploring both new forms of knowledge co-production and research-creation and new formats for disseminating research results. in the city.
Every five years, the laboratory is evaluated by the High Council for the Evaluation of Research and Higher Education (Hcéres). An independent administrative authority responsible for evaluating all higher education and research structures, or validating the evaluation procedures conducted by other bodies, it accompanies, advises and supports the process of improving the quality of higher education and research in France.
Overall opinion on the unit (excerpt from the 2019-2020 evaluation):
"Pacte is a dynamic and united unit. Managed in a collegial manner, it produces research of exceptional quality: its productions are original and at the same time fit into local and international dynamics. The unit positions itself efficiently and intelligently in the different types of research funding, at different scales Its members manage to find a balance between the national dissemination of their work and publications of international scope The researchers of the unit work with diversified partners at different scales, showing great agility. After a few turbulent years, and thanks to management based on transparency and trust, the unit has arrived at a balanced situation. Its members today seem to be evolving in a climate of benevolence and respect, based on clear and stabilized procedures The unit is involved in training through research, from master's to doctorate; it offers remarkable support to its doctoral students. The project aims to take advantage of the balance achieved. It is distinguished at the same time by an innovative reflection on the diversification of research supports and on the promotion of scientific work outside the academic world.