About

Director: François Foret

Deputy Director: Frédéric Louault

 

The Cevipol (Centre d'Etude de la Vie Politique) is a research center of the Philosophy and Social Sciences Department of the Université libre de Bruxelles. It specializes in political sociology and comparative politics.  Research within the Cevipol focuses on political life, institutions, actors, and the norms and resources of democratic systems. The processes of action, mobilisation, and legitimation are examined with both qualitative and quantitative methods, from a contemporary perspective that takes into account the long view.  While consistently opening fresh empirical debates, the Cevipol updates traditional themes of political science: the distribution of power and resources among social groups, the different forms of authority, elite recruitment, conflicts between interests, identity or memory, and the weight of norms and values.

Four thematic axes structure the intellectual identity of the Cevipol

- Parties, elections, and representation

- European integration: redefining communities, sovereignties, and values in conflict

- Identities, societies, powers in comparison. A qualitative approach of political systems

- Sport and politics

The Cevipol is also defined by its geographical areas of expertise

Its main scientific specialisation is on the European continent. Its researchers provide an in-depth analysis of the institutional, social, economic, ideological, identity, and cultural dynamics that have shaped European political development in modern and contemporary history.

European politics is studied in its national, transnational, and supranational dimensions.

The Cevipol enjoys a long-standing and broadly acknowledged reputation for excellence in the field of Belgian politics. France and the United Kingdom are also important fields of investigation, along with Spain, the Netherlands, Italy, and Germany.

Another fundamental axis of development of the Cevipol has been the study of Central and Eastern Europe before and after the EU enlargements. Romania first of all, but Poland, Hungary, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, and Albania have been the subject of in-depth research.

Russia, the Caucasus (Abkhazia, Armenia, Chechnya), and the post-Soviet area more broadly, are other strong fields of expertise within our team.

The EU as a political system and an arena of interactions is an essential part of understanding current European realities.

The Cevipol produces research on other parts of the world as well, to contribute to the understanding of their endogenous dynamics but also to develop comparisons with Europe.  North America mobilises many of our scholars, particularly the United States and Canada.  Similarly, South America is a topic of research, with a particular focus on Brazil and the Andes. Finally, comparative or thematic research increasingly leads academics to take into consideration Asia (specifically China and Japan), the Middle-East, and Africa.