Pacte is a social sciences research centre. Its members are committed to building common languages and horizontal knowledge on the changes underway in society, and their political, territorial, sociological and ecological implications. Having originally coalesced around teams (or research units) specializing mainly in geography, town planning and territorial development, on the one hand, political science and sociology on the other, Pacte now also fields several economists, historians, and specialists in information and communication sciences. Interdisciplinarity is central to its practice, through sharing and confronting methods, epistemologies and common fieldwork.

Organized as five teams (Environments, Regulations, Governance, Social Justice, Cities and Territories), the centre focuses on relations between actors (from large international bodies to local entities), but also on territorial deployment, urban and rural, with allowance for the environmental issues such processes raise.

Collective life at Pacte centres on producing top-grade research, carried out through international networks addressing various topics and disciplines. The laboratory has gained recognition in collaborative research-action, involving public, non-governmental and private bodies, closely linked to the relevant territory. Pacte is keen to play a pivotal role in dynamics nurturing innovation and experimentation in the social sciences, exploring new ways of knowledge co-production and research-creation, as well as innovative channels for disseminating its research results in the city.