Alain Beltran est directeur de recherche au CNRS, Sirice UMR 8138

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Europe as a product of material civilisation: Europe of flows

Head: Alain Beltran

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The European Union defines itself as a space of “free flows for people, goods, services and capital. But these flows are structured by various networks and modes (material as well as institutionnal), they overlap and cross national, regional and world flows. Europe therefore needs to be apprehended as a series of space configurations coming from ancient and steel activ dynamics of diconstruction- re-composition. And these dynamics as well as the successive produced structurations and their interconnections need to be analysed.

Therefore the pole objective is to approach flows through their material forms, their governance’s mode, but also the knowledge and the risks which they generate.

Researchers are concentrating on three important sectors and their interfaces. They are studing how energies and raw materials circulate, the mobility of merchants, goods, consumers and citizens, as well as how the communication networks has shaped European space.

Energy is analyzed as a determinant of successive spaces of the material civilisation and the forms of the social life (to think, work move, communicate, consume). The successive models and their transitions are thus studied in their overall effects, in particular political, because of the tensions which at all the times the management of always rare energy resources induces. The debates around the acceptability of the various forms of energy, of the social acceptance of the risk and a necessary energy transition are the subjet to a special attention.

The approach to mobility relates to flows of people and goods as supports of the markets by analyzing them from a real economy point of view as well as from an institutional and political management point of wiev. It allows an interest in the game of the actors taking part in the structuring of economic spaces, whether they are private public authorities or actors . It also allows a questioning of the ways and means of the European economic space setting up by a prolonged long time European economy-world. These European dynamics are under thorough analysis through the mobile users (citizens, consumers, intermediaries) but also the logistics and intermodal coordination issue.

The communication supports flows of all nature which innervate European space, by shaping contours and modes of insertion in the world. The networks are thus apprehended like structuring elements of space through the study of their cartography, of the life styles they determine and their modes of governance. Currently develop analyses on internationalism/ technocratic Europeanism are mobilized jointly with a special attention to certain themes such as European data processing; publicity; governance of the networks and the standards; users and customers between markets and geopolitics.

Membres du pôle

  • Alain Beltran, directeur de recherche, CNRS
  • Yves Bouvier, maître de conférences en histoire contemporaine, Paris-Sorbonne
  • Mathieu Flonneau, maître de conférences en histoire contemporaine, Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne
  • Pascal Griset, professeur d’histoire contemporaine, Paris-Sorbonne
  • Léonard Laborie, chargé de recherche, CNRS

Ce pôle est financé spécifiquement par Sirice (UMR 8138 Panthéon-Sorbonne, Paris-Sorbonne, CNRS), dans le cadre du Labex EHNE.