School for Advanced Studies in the Social Sciences
|École des hautes études en sciences sociales|
|École pratique des hautes études, VI Section (1947–1975),
École libre des hautes études (1941-1946)
|Established||January 23, 1975|
|Location||Paris, Marseille, Toulouse, Lyon, France|
The School for Advanced Studies in the Social Sciences (French: École des hautes études en sciences sociales, EHESS) is a leading French institution for research and higher education in the social sciences (understood in a broader sense than in English, including the humanities). Its administrative status allows its selection process to be both highly selective and open-minded. EHESS has educated for decades research and political elites and its professors (known as "directeurs d'études") are famous around the world (from historians such as Braudel or Febvre and anthropologists such as Levi-Strauss to Nobel Prize Jean Tirole through Bourdieu or Derrida). EHESS is part of Paris Sciences et Lettres with elite French institutions like Ecole Normale Supérieure Ulm, Collège de France, Ecole des Mines etc. It is a founding member of both Paris School of Economics, Toulouse School of Economics and Aix Marseille School of Economics, the three French leading centers in Quantitative Economics. As a world leading institution in research and applied research EHESS has exchange programs with world leading universities such as Berkeley, Cambridge, Charles, Columbia, Humboldt, Kyoto, Lomonossov, Michigan, Oxford, Tokyo, the European Institute in Florence, etc. Also, there are many relations and exchange programs with top universities in Asia as there are world-renowned research centers on Asian Studies in EHESS.
Originally part of the École pratique des hautes études (EPHE) as its VI Section: Sciences économiques et sociales, the EHESS gained autonomy as an independent higher education institution on 23 January 1975. The creation of a dedicated branch for social science research within the EPHE found its origin in the Annales historical school and was supported by several initiatives of the Rockefeller Foundation dating back to the 1920s. After WWII, the Rockefeller Foundation invested more funds, in the aims of favorizing non-Marxist sociological studies. Thus, the VIth section was created in 1947, and Lucien Febvre took its head. Soon after its creation (1947), the VI Section, later EHESS, became one of the most influential shapers of contemporary historiography, area studies and social sciences methodology, thanks to the contribution of eminent scholars such as Fernand Braudel, Jacques Le Goff or François Furet. F. Braudel succeeded in 1956 to L. Febvre and concentrated the various study groups at its well-known emplacement on boulevard Raspail, in part by a financing from the Ford Foundation.
Today, the EHESS is one of France's prestigious Grands établissements. It functions as a research, teaching, and degree-granting institution. It offers advanced students high-level programs intended to lead to research careers. Students are admitted on the relevance of their research project and undertake at the EHESS master programs and doctoral studies. The main areas of specialization include: history, literary theory, linguistics, philosophy, philology, sociology, anthropology, economics, cognitive science, demographics, geography, archaeology, psychology, law, and mathematics, although the institution's focus is on interdisciplinary research within these fields. The EHESS currently hosts more than 80 research centers (among which several joint research units with the CNRS) and 22 doctoral programs, 13 of which in partnership with other French Universities and Grandes écoles.
Influence from the Annales School
Lucien Febvre and Fernand Braudel were members of the École des Annales, the dominant school of historical analysis in France during the interwar period. However, this school of thought was contested by the growing importance of the social sciences and the beginning of structuralism. Under pressure from Claude Lévi-Strauss, in particular, they integrated new contributions from the fields of sociology and ethnography to event-based historical analysis, a concept put forward the Annales school, to advocate for the concept of "a nearly imperceptible passage of history". They were reproached, along with the structuralists, for ignoring politics and the individual's influence over his fate during a period in which the colonial wars of emancipation were taking place.
The work of Braudel, Le Roy Ladurie and other historians working under their influence greatly affected the research and official teaching of history in France beginning in the 1960s. The work of Jean-Marie Pesez renewed interest in the issue of methodology in medieval archeology and created the idea of "material culture".
During the 1970s, EHESS became the center of New History under the influence of Jacques Le Goff and Pierre Nora. During this period, a generation of ethnologists working under the ideas of Georges Balandier and Marc Augé were critical of the French colonial tradition and applied modern sociological concepts to third world countries.
In the early period of the VIth section of EPHE, EHESS attracted economists at the margin of French universities, such as Jean Fourastié, and important scholars working on "Third World" economies in a Marxist approach such as Charles Bettelheim. During the 1970s, EHESS was a pioneer in French academia in introducing US-style economics based on formal models and econometrics, by welcoming in its faculty Louis-André Gérard-Varet, Jean-Jacques Laffont, François Bourguignon, Roger Guesnerie (among others), who were at the origins of the three main economics programs in France, respectively in Marseille, Toulouse and Paris.
Among the research institutes and teams hosted at EHESS:
- Centre Alexandre-KOYRE/Centre de recherche en histoire des sciences et des techniques (CAK-CRHST)
- Centre d'Analyse et d'Intervention sociologique (CADIS)
- Centre d'Analyse et de Mathématique Sociales (CAMS)
- Centre d'études sur la Chine moderne et contemporaine (CECMC)
- Centre d'études des normes juridiques (CENJ)
- Centre d'étude des mouvements sociaux (CEMS)
- Centre de Recherche et de Documentation sur l'Océanie (CREDO)
- Centre de sociologie européenne (CSE)
- Groupe d'Anthropologie Historique de l'Occident Médiéval (GAHOM)
- Institut Jean Nicod  (IJN)
- Laboratoire de sciences cognitives et psycholinguistique  (LSCP)
- Centre de recherches politiques Raymond Aron 
- École libre des hautes études
- The New School for Social Research
- Paris Universitas
- Category:École des hautes études en sciences sociales alumni
- Category:École des hautes études en sciences sociales faculty
References and notes
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to École des hautes études en sciences sociales.|
- École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales - official site
- EHESS's history (in French)
- List of EHESS research centers (in French)
- Bertrand Chavaux - EHESS : les sciences sociales françaises sous perfusion de la CIA