ARAPT – Analyse des recompositions de l’action publique territoriale

Selected for CIST 2019-2023 quinquennial contract, this exploratory project is planned to last 3 years.

This project aims to rely on the network set up by the CIST to contribute to the multidisciplinary structuring of research on the study of the recomposition of territorial public action by 2021 in France and in Europe.

For more than a quarter of a century, territorial frameworks for public action have undergone major changes, both in France and at European level. This territorial reform, which has become almost permanent, raises questions about the effectiveness, clarity and, beyond that, the legitimacy of the new governance arrangements that are regularly introduced. In this context, the project leaders have led and coordinated various research activities on the recomposition of territorial public action (see bibliography below). The objective of this new project is to extend and deepen the work already undertaken, to widen and consolidate the network of researchers involved in this field in an open and multidisciplinary framework consistent with the objectives of the CIST (Law, Political Sciences, History, Geography, Planning, etc.). The objective is not only to continue the work of identifying and categorising the permanent and observable transformations underway in territorial governance at different levels (local, regional, state, macro-regional, etc.), but also to understand how socio-political perceptions and representations interact with these changes. It will be a question of testing various theoretical hypotheses (the emergence of an unbalanced multi-level governance, the disconnection between the reference horizons of populations and the effective functioning of this governance, the development of a European model of neoliberalisation of territorial frameworks, etc.), as far as the possibilities allowed by the actions undertaken are concerned.

This exploratory project is structured around 2 thematic sub-projects and 2 transversal sub-projects.

Thematic SP 1. The construction of new territorial architectures and resulting public actions

Sylvia Calmes-Brunet

In a context where the scope of public action seems to be undergoing major changes, the work of identifying and describing new territorial forms (networks, attributions, functioning) and measuring the resulting restructuring of public policies (transfers, cooperation, resistance, struggles) will have to be continued. Comparative analysis on an international scale should make it possible to identify possible convergences and divergences between the forms of territorial organisation observable in the different state contexts (number of levels, distribution of roles, norms and games between actors at different levels). As for the inter-scale comparison, it should allow to evaluate the dynamics of rescheduling (rescaling) and the redistribution of competences and powers between the various institutional levels. The aim will be to test the hypothesis of the affirmation of a multi-level governance model, particularly within the European Union and in its neighbourhood: to what extent do recent or ongoing reforms (justice, hospitals, universities, railway sector, cultural and environmental fields, fight against terrorism, etc.) reflect the implementation of a ubiquitous and homogeneous institutional model or, on the contrary, do they correspond to heterogeneous processes dependent on distinct state particularities? Answering these questions will make it possible to better characterise the extent and factors responsible for the transformations under way.

Thematic SP 2. The perception of the recomposition of new territorial architectures

Claude Grasland

This sub-project aims to continue the studies on the perceptions of the transformation of the perimeters in progress.
The first part of the project will assess the extent to which the new territorial architectures are known, appropriate and accepted by the concerned populations. In particular, the objective will be to deepen the hypothesis according to which the perception of the new scalar articulations would be unequally perceived according to the different socio-spatial categories (in particular the EPCI-Regions-European Union triplet for France). This questioning should make it possible to assess the compatibility of current territorial changes with democratic functioning, taking into account the diversity of contemporary political situations. The work will also focus on the continuation of the study of the perception of macro-regionalisms within the European Union and in its neighbourhood. The preferred method will be based on questionnaire surveys, interviews and the analysis of press reports or official documents.
A second exploratory section will focus on the way in which the current recomposition of institutional territories reinterrogates the classical models and norms of territorial organisation (statism, federalism, inter-territorialism, localism, regionalism, etc.). This will involve identifying how territorial ideas and ideologies, whether old or recent, are invested by the various actors to legitimise or criticise current achievements or to propose improvements.

Transversal SP 1. The new French regions

Arnaud Brennetot

This transversal SP proposes a comparative analysis of the forms of governance and modes of public action implemented after the reform of the map of French regions (2014) and the regional section of the NOTRe law (2015). This will involve setting up an observation network with the support of the CIST research teams but also of public actors (CGET, ARF, etc.). Through the creation of a reading grid tested on different target regions (in connection with an exploratory work in progress in Normandy), the aim will be to analyse the geopolitical tensions arising from mergers but also to identify the forms of cooperation and territorial organisation in gestation, whether they emanate from regional councils, decentralised State administrations or the socio-economic sphere. The resulting picture should make it possible to take stock of recent regional reforms and to carry out comparative analyses of the resulting public policies. The results of these analyses may be presented in various forms (participation in the 2020 conference of the Thematic SP 1, in the 5th conference of the CIST, publication of scientific articles and newsletters for the general public, etc.).

Transversal SP 2. Europe: a territory for public action

Lydia Lebon

Faced with the rise of populism and mistrust of the European institutions, this second transversal axis will aim to identify the recomposition of the European territory as a political reference horizon. It will involve carrying out two complementary actions. The first will consist in organising a special session on the place of the European citizen in the face of the recomposition of territorial public action: to what extent does he/she participates in this construction of new territorial architectures (actor or subject) and what perception does he/she have of this enlarged horizon? The second action will aim to organise a study day in Bordeaux (second half of 2019) on the way in which political ideas and ideologies have invested Europe, in order to update the diversity of the geoethical forms associated with it, but also to question the place of these ideas in the construction of territorial policies implemented by the European institutions.


Indicative Bibliography

  • Brennetot A., 2018, « A step further towards a neoliberal regionalism: Creating larger regions in contemporary France », European urban and regional studies, 25(2), p. 171-186.
  • Calmes-Brunet S., à paraître 2018, « La recomposition intercommunale, entre tentative de rationalisation et cause de désorganisation », collectif, Le territoire, PURH, JuriS-Seine.
  • Lebon L., 2015, La territorialité et l’Union européenne, Approches de droit public, Bruxelles, Bruylant.
  • Lebon L, à paraître 2018, « Les territoires numériques et l’Union européenne », in P. Icard (dir.), L’Union européenne au défi de ses frontières
  • Lebon L, à paraître 2018, « Territoire(s) et Union européenne : quelle(s) territorialité(s) ? », in L. Potvin-Solis (dir.), journée Jean Monnet sur « Les implications territoriales de l’appartenance à l’Union européenne ».
  • Fédéralisme, décentralisation et régionalisation de l’Europe : Perspectives comparatives, L’Epitoge-Lextenso, L’Unité du droit, février 2017, 2 vol. (suite à l’organisation du colloque international pluridisciplinaire « Fédéralisme, Décentralisation et Régionalisation de l’Europe : Perspectives comparatives » (Université de Rouen, 5&6 novembre 2015)
  • Projets CMCU : « Atlas socio-économique de la Tunisie » (2007-2009), « Complexités et enjeux des mailles territoriales. Approches franco-tunisiennes par les mesures » (2012-2015), organisation d’un colloque international « Maillages territoriaux, démocratie et élections » (Monastir, janvier 2016)
  • Projet « Transformations territoriales de l’action publique en Haute-Normandie » (GRR CSN, 2012-2013) et organisation de la journée d’étude « Recomposition intercommunale en Haute-Normandie et en France. Entre légitimation et appropriation » (Université de Rouen, 4 octobre 2013)
  • Animation du réseau de recherche « La Normandie en débat ». Publication de bulletins et organisation du colloque « Régions et territoires. À propos de la réforme territoriale » (11-15 juin 2015)
  • Enquête GlocalMap obtenue par le CIST auprès du DIME-SHS de Sciences Po (2017-2019)
  • Animation de deux sessions dans le cadre du 4e colloque du CIST (Rouen, 22-24 mars 2018) : La prolifération des territoires. Efficacité de l’ingénierie territoriale vs légitimité politique (S. Calmes-Brunet, Y. Richard) ; La territorialité et l’Union européenne. Représentation et perception des territoires au sein de l’Union européenne (S. Calmes-Brunet, L. Lebon).

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