| 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.
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.
Member Teams of GEMDEV
| An interdisciplinary approach
GEMDEV brings together teams and training
courses from a variety of disciplines. Since it was founded, GEMDEV
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
(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;
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
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
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
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
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.
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:
: entre dynamiques locales et mondialisations,
n°27, October 2001;
durable : enjeux, regards et perspectives,
n° 28, April 2002;
durable : quelles dynamiques ?,
n°29, November 2003.
GEMDEV also has publications:
and New Trends in Francophone Development Research”
in The European Journal of Development Research, Vol. 3, N°
2, December 1991, London, Franck Cass;
avatars de l’État en Afrique,
Paris, Karthala, December 1997;
politiques publiques et développement en Asie de l’Est,
Paris, Karthala, December 1997;
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;
: les mots et les choses,
Paris, Karthala, May 2003 (3rd edition);
européenne et les pays ACP. Un espace de coopération
Paris, Karthala, September 1999;
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,
et citadins dans la mondialisation,
Paris, Karthala, May 2003.