Scientific Network on Globalisation and Development
Founded in November 1983, GIS-GEMDEV is a scientific interest grouping (GIS in French) attached to the Ministry of Education and Research. It now brings together about fifty doctorate courses and research teams from the various universities in the Paris region. It is an interuniversity and interdisciplinary body.

What is its area of competence? GEMDEV aims at providing a forum for doctorate courses, research centres and teams and other groups involved in analysing globalisation and studying developing countries as well as development-related ideas, realities, institutions and policies. GEMDEV brings together teachers and researchers from the various social science fields working on these issues.

Who are members of GEMDEV? Any doctorate teams or courses working within GEMDEV’s field of study are eligible to submit a request to join the GIS. They must meet GEMDEV’s statutory requirements, (belong to the Ile-de-France area, be recognised by a University, the CNRS -National Center of Scientifc Research- or the Research Ministry). The decision to admit new members is taken by the Board of Governors – made up of representatives of member teams – which meets once a year.

 See Member Teams of GEMDEV
 An interdisciplinary approach
GEMDEV brings together teams and training courses from a variety of disciplines. Since it was founded, GEMDEV has organised seminars on specific subjects (States and Development, the Future of the Third World, French Development Research, Analysis of World Systems, the Lomé Convention, the Cotonou Agreements, Town planning in the context of globalisation, etc.), and on different regions of the world (Africa, Asia, Latin America); in general these seminars initially involve small, pluridisciplinary working groups, which meet regularly over a year or longer and subsequently submit their findings to larger seminars or colloquiums (between 50 and 300 participants).

The aim of this interdisciplinary approach is to enrich specific research projects through a more in-depth study of the concepts and methods used by the various disciplines to address themes that fall under GEMDEV’s area of competence.

It is important to note that GEMDEV does not coordinate the research carried out by the member teams, but suggests that teams address cross-cutting issues that foster interface between the different disciplines present and promote in-depth reflection of everyone concerned. This approach makes it possible to take into account all the different factors involved: for example how can you discuss Dakar’s urban problems without considering the economic, political, sociological, town planning, historical and ecological aspects?

The research subjects initiated by GEMDEV are proposed by one or more members of the network, then submitted to the Executive Committee – which meets at least once a month – where the subject is discussed before being submitted to the Board of Governors and member teams who decide on its adoption and whether they will join it or not.

In 2002, 2003 and 2004, research was focused on the following subjects:
+ Information and communication technologies and development;
+ Sustainable development;
+ Globalisation.

GEMDEV also offers member research teams the possibility of submitting their findings to researchers from other disciplines.
For GEMDEV publications too, we ask people from outside the network to review them and provide comments at public meetings.
In March 2001, in partnership with the European Commission and the HCCI, GEMDEV organised an international seminar to discuss the Cotonou agreements.
And in June 2003, in partnership with the Tiers-Monde (Third World) Association, GEMDEV organised a colloquium entitled “What kind of players for what kind of development?”
In June 2004, it will organise the annual HCCI seminar on the subject “Trade and development”.

 International cooperation
Since the outset, GEMDEV has systematically sought to develop cooperation with partners working in the same areas of research, in particular with teachers and researchers from the South.

An example of this is the French-Malian university research programme entitled “Regards croisés France-Mali”, financed by the Cooperation and Cultural Department of the French Embassy in Bamako and the Department of International Cooperation and Development of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Launched in December 2000, the aim of this programme is to revisit the shared history of the two countries focusing on a number of preferential aspects, and should lead to an international colloquium in Bamako in September 2004.

In Africa GEMDEV has collaborated with CODESRIA, in Latin America with CLACSO, as well as with partners in Brazil, Mexico, North Africa and a few Asian countries.

GEMDEV is a member of the EADI (European Association of Development, Research and Training Institutes), which brings together social science researchers from every European country (including Eastern Europe). In this connection, in September 1999 GEMDEV hosted EADI’s 9th General Conference on the theme “Europe and the South in the 21st Century: challenges for renewed cooperation” the proceedings of which were published in 2002. This conference attracted more than 600 participants from all over the world (researchers, policy makers, and NGO representatives).

In March 2003, GEMDEV organised a public seminar on “Illegal migration from Africa: problems and possible solutions”.

Furthermore, GEMDEV has set up research cooperation with several partners from various European Union countries (Belgium, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, United Kingdom, etc.), for instance ECDPM in Maastricht and universities in the UK and Germany (Brighton, Bradford, Hamburg, Bonn, and Leipzig). GEMDEV also cooperates with the IUED in Geneva and the University of Neufchatel Economic Research Centre, as well as with colleagues in North America (Michigan State University, Fernand Braudel Center in the USA, and UQAM, the University of Montreal, the University of Toronto, and Laval University in Canada).

Over the years, GEMDEV has set up close working relationships with international organisations such as: the European Commission, BIT, World Bank, OECD – especially the Development Centre – the Agency for French-speaking communities, etc.

Numbering among GEMDEV’s other partners are the Ministry of Foreign Affairs – DGCID, the HCCI, the CIRAD, the IRD, and research teams in provincial universities working in the same areas of research (Bordeaux, Rennes, Reims, Lille, Dijon, Grenoble, Marseilles, etc.). GEMDEV is a member of the steering committee of the IMPACT network in the fight against poverty.

From the outset, GEMDEV has attempted to set up partnerships with other players in the development arena, including NGOs such as AITEC, CCFD, CRID and GRET.

Since 2001, working closely with the ISTED, GEMDEV has been coordinating a 3-year research programme, the PRUD (Urban Development Research Programme), within the framework of a consultative initiative of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, whose last colloquium was held in Paris in May 2004.

With the support of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, GEMDEV also launched a consensus initiative to identify development institutions, individuals and research areas in France with a view to setting up an Observatoire des recherches sur le développement en France (Guide to development research carried out in France) that would answer the question “Who is doing what?” on development issues in the social science field in France.

 Advising students and researcher
GEMDEV welcomes French and foreign students and helps them to find post-graduate courses or a laboratory where they can study for their doctorate in their area of competence. It is useful to note that any student who is enrolled in doctorate studies in an institution that is a member of GEMDEV is allowed to attend lectures in another member’s faculty and to have this course of study counted as part of their doctorate. GEMDEV also plays an advisory role to foreign researchers who are visiting France to help put them in touch with their relevant counterparts.

Since it was founded, GEMDEV has published 31 Cahiers du GEMDEV, presenting the findings of various research groups. The list of these “cahiers” is available on the Web site or on request from the Secretariat. Among the most recent titles published are:

+ Décentralisations : entre dynamiques locales et mondialisations, n°27, October 2001;
+ Développement durable : enjeux, regards et perspectives, n° 28, April 2002;
+ Développement durable : quelles dynamiques ?, n°29, November 2003.

GEMDEV also has publications:
+ “Old and New Trends in Francophone Development Research” in The European Journal of Development Research, Vol. 3, N° 2, December 1991, London, Franck Cass;
+ Les avatars de l’État en Afrique, Paris, Karthala, December 1997;
+ États, politiques publiques et développement en Asie de l’Est, Paris, Karthala, December 1997;
+ La Convention de Lomé en questions. Les relations entre les pays d’Afrique, des Caraïbes et du Pacifique (ACP) et l’Union européenne après l’an 2000, Paris, Karthala, March 1998;
+ Mondialisation : les mots et les choses, Paris, Karthala, May 2003 (3rd edition);
+ L’Union européenne et les pays ACP. Un espace de coopération à construire, Paris, Karthala, September 1999;
+ Actes de la 9e Conférence générale EADI, L’Europe et le Sud à l’aube du XXIe siècle. Enjeux et renouvellement de la coopération, Paris, Karthala, September 2002;
+ Villes et citadins dans la mondialisation, Paris, Karthala, May 2003.