Patrick Le Galès, CNRS Research Director at the Centre for European Studies and Comparative Politics at Sciences Po (CEE), Dean of the École Urbaine and Fellow of the British Academy, has just been awarded the prestigious CNRS silver medal.
Uhis distinction underlines the quality of his research in political science and sociology, but also the commitment of a man who took an active part in the creation of the CEE, which has now become a reference laboratory of social sciences in Europe, and three years ago created the Urban School of Sciences Po.
t is part of this generation of social scientists who, in the 1980s, saw the limits of country-oriented research; he engaged in comparisons to think about the dynamics of European societies of cities (with Olivier Borraz, Marco Oberti) and then of the major world metropolises.
His thesis compares urban economic development policies in France and Great Britain, highlighting the role of the new left-wing middle-class elites. He then goes on to compare local economic governance and the limits of territorialisation in Great Britain, France and Italy and develops new research on European cities ("The Return of European Cities"), urban policies against poverty in Mantes-la-Jolie or the policies of regions in Europe. He is then interested in metropolisation, in the movement that makes cities and regions actors of European governance, but that widens the gap between neighbourhoods and territories in crisis and the dynamics of regional capitals.
Still on governance issues, he is now leading a new research program "WHIG: What is governed and not governed in large metropolis" with Tommaso Vitale. Conceived to take place over 10 years and aimed at understanding the limits of political regulation and governance in large metropolises around the world: Greater Paris, Greater London, Mexico City and São Paulo, this research does not neglect the dark side of governance - corruption, clientelism, non-decision-making, exclusion. In fact, large metropolises have become major political players on climate change, transport, social mobility, infrastructure or inequalities, but governance failures are obvious. In addition, the Urban School's "Cities and Digital" chair programme contributes to analysing the production and processing of all kinds of data with the aim of fostering democratic participation, streamlining public policies or increasing surveillance.