PASSAGES is a research unit that joins 5 institutions: the CNRS, the Bordeaux university, the Bordeaux Montaigne university (whose topics are mainly in humanities), the school of architecture and planning of Bordeaux and the University of Pau. There are currently 200 people working at the UMR PASSAGES: 105 of them are permanent researchers, 20 are engineers and technicians and the remaining 80 are contractual staff, mainly PhD students and post-docs. These people work in three sites: two in Bordeaux, and one in Pau. In Pau, there are 30 permanent and 30 contractual staff.

The laboratory is composed of researchers from social science of space, such as geography, planning, sociology and architecture. We work on the many ways global changes affect the interactions between societies and the spaces they inhabit. For example, since the 90’s, we have followed the emergence of environmental topics, and how such topics play a part in shaping the relations between societies and their environments, in shaping governance at every scale and, from an epistemological point of view, how these topics are changing us as social sciences.

The laboratory has three sub-topics: “Translation”, which tries to grasp the way stakeholders and citizens develop their own representations of current spatial dynamics;  “Mediation”, which focuses on the circulation of knowledge; “Transitions”, which studies the transition trajectories towards more sustainable systems and the obstacles policy makers, companies, etc., encounter in this process. The researchers of the laboratory mainly adopt qualitative methods, based on semi structured interviews.

There is a long tradition, in the laboratory, of working with three kinds of actors:

  • We work with populations, to understand how they face changes and we try empower them in this process;
  • We also work with companies. They want us to help them framing their strategies of responses to global changes, and they are especially interested in the way we understand how human societies work and change;
  • And of course we also work with policy makers. We have, in particular, close partnerships with local authorities who are now in charge of translating into practice energy and environment transitions.

In parallel, we continue to develop fundamental research, such as an epistemology of environmental governance, the studying of modernity transformations, etc. 

Dernière mise à jour le 05.02.2018