The joint research unit (UMR 5112) has been part of the political science field since its inception, and is affiliated with section 40 (Politique - pouvoir - organisation) of the CNRS national committee. CEPEL is also a member of Section 36 (Sociology and Legal Sciences). The sociologists are based in the historic buildings of the Faculty of Medicine. Of the 17 teacher-researchers (7 PR and 10 MCF), 12 are attached to CNU section 04 (Political Science), 1 to section 19 (Sociology, Demography), 1 to section 20 (Ethnology), 1 to section 17 (Philosophy) and 2 to section 56.02 (Epidemiology, Prevention, Health Economics, Legal Odontology).

The Public Health sector has been gradually strengthened by spontaneous requests from hospital practitioners (1 PH in 2018, 1 MCUPH in 2019) wishing to focus their scientific work on the human and social sciences.

CEPEL's development is in line with the scientific strategies of its supervisory bodies and, even before it was awarded the MUSE I-SITE (January 1, 2017), which is coordinated by the University of Montpellier, it has adopted the themes specific to the Montpellier site (nourishment - care - protection), while retaining its historical expertise in the fields of public policy and comparatism.


CEPEL was founded in 1983 (under the leadership of Paul Alliès) as the "Centre comparatif des politiques publiques et des espaces locaux". Without changing its acronym, under the direction of Jean-Pierre Gaudin, who succeeded Paul Alliès in 1999, CEPEL became the "Centre d'Études Politiques de l'Europe Latine" (Center for Latin European Political Studies) in 2001, broadening its research themes and emphasizing its privileged relationship with the field and academic networks of southern European countries. It was then successively directed by Louis Assier-Andrieu (2002-2003), Hubert Peres (2003-2014), William Genieys, Prix d'excellence en science politique (2015-2018) and, since August 1, 2018 by Emmanuel Négrier, Bronze Medal of the CNRS 1999, (DR-CNRS). The latter leads the unit's project for the 2021-2025 five-year contract with Geneviève Zoïa (PR-UM) as deputy director. The contribution of sociologists, ethnologists, philosophers and epidemiologists (including hospital practitioners) symbolizes the unit's multidisciplinary openness. In this context, CEPEL is now the Centre d'Etudes Politiques Et sociaLes : Environnement, Santé, Territoires.

Biographies and actions taken during management mandates:

The library

The CEPEL-Science Politique library contains almost eleven thousand books on all aspects of the field, thirty-six French and foreign periodicals (American, Spanish, Italian and Portuguese-language) and over five hundred graduate works. On-site consultation is open to doctoral students, researchers and lecturers. The catalog is available on request by e-mail from our communications manager. Laptop computers can be connected to the library, and WIFI access is also available.

CEPEL is home to the political science journal Pôle Sud, created in 1994 as a tool for structuring and mobilizing a scientific community, combining the local immersion of political scientists with the concretization of a national, international and transdisciplinary network. This ambitious editorial policy has been crowned by Pôle Sud's inclusion in the two most prestigious French-language online scientific journal databases, Persée and Cairn.

For several years now, CEPEL has benefited from the generosity of eminent donors, such as Jean-Louis MISSIKA, Jean-Luc Parodi and Elias Sambar, who are keen to pass on their library holdings. We welcome all donations of books in any condition. The CEPEL library will ensure the proper conservation of the works entrusted to it, as well as the preservation of the intellectual capital.