The Centre for Social Sciences Studies on African, American and Asian Worlds (CESSMA) is a Joint Research Unit under the supervision of Paris Diderot University, the French Institute for Research on Development (IRD) and the Institut National des Langues et Civilisations Orientales (INALCO).
CESSMA’s work is multidisciplinary (history, geography, anthropology, economics, sociology, urban studies and demography) and it is located on the Paris Rive Gauche campus (13th arrondissement of Paris).
In January 2018, CESSMA comprised 55 members:
- 18 IRD researchers
- 33 lecturers or professors of Paris Diderot University and INALCO.
- 1 post-doctoral student
- 3 technical and support personnel
- The unit hosts 80 international doctoral students and researchers.
The Unit’s scientific focus is on the analysis of the historical and spatial configurations of the development and globalisation processes, at a time when globalisation is accelerating and reshaping all our societies. This question is set within the framework of Africa, America and Asia, and addresses the specific features of these contemporary processes in the Global South, examined within their economic, social, political and cultural dimensions, shaped by history in their different locations. The project emphasises the interaction between globalisation processes in history or today, and the differentiation, convergence and reshaping of identities. The project is particularly interested in the analysis of interdependences arising from globalisation and reshaping the relationship between Global North and Global South, and also exchanges and circulation within the Global South. In order to do this, the centre bases itself resolutely on a multi-scale approach to these processes, from local to national.
The Unit’s research is structured around four strands: Norms, Movement and Stakeholders; Production, Policies and Practices of the City; Work, Finance and Globalisation; Construction and Use of Knowledge. From January 2019, CESSMA will be organised around four core themes: Spatiality, Domination and Violence; Cities of the Global South: Power, Citizenship and Making the Metropolis; Changes in Work, Solidarity, Gender and Finance; Knowledge: Stakeholders, Power, Territory.
Research and training
The Unit can host several Master’s degrees: History of the Worlds with Paris Diderot, Geography of Emerging and Developing Countries with Paris Diderot and Paris 1, Chinese Studies with Paris Diderot and Languages, Literatures, Regional and International Civilisations with INALCO. It also supervises doctoral students enrolled at the Doctoral School for Economics, Space, Societies and Civilisations of Paris Diderot and at the Doctoral School of INALCO.