The Passions of Identity Between Europe and the Mediterranean IMéRA/Sciences Po Aix

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Sciences Po Aix is an educational and research institution that is part of the network of grandes écoles of political science. Since Sciences Po Aix was founded in 1956 as a public higher education institution, it has been committed to providing training to the highest standard and developing the analysis and decision-making skills of future executives in the private and public sectors. The school’s history has been marked by prestigious teachers and alumni who have risen to the highest positions nationally and internationally. It supports numerous cooperation projects with other scientific institutions in the region, first and foremost with Aix-Marseille University. The two institutions have recently created, in partnership with the CNRS, a brand new research unit, the Centre Méditerranéen de Sociologie, de Science politique et d'Histoire (MESOPOLHIS UMR 7064). In addition, thanks to a partnership agreement, some of Sciences Po Aix's professors and researchers carry out their research activities at the Aix-Marseille School of Economics (AMSE) and the International, Comparative and European Rights laboratory (DICE, UMR 7318). Sciences Po Aix is also a founding member of the A*Midex Initiative of Excellence and of the Institute of Advanced Studies of Aix-Marseille University (IMéRA). This multidisciplinary scientific potential, which is in tune with the changes in the contemporary world, constantly feeds Sciences Po Aix's training programs, through experiments in pedagogical innovation (RSO and BWS programs), partnership chairs and meetings where the latest scientific advances are highlighted: the Sciences Po Aix dans la Cité lecture-debate series and the Franco-German Forum on the Mediterranean (organized with IMéRA, CFAP and the Konrad-Adenauer Foundation).

Two major reasons led to the creation of the Albert O. Hirschman chair at IMERA in Marseille. The first is an act of recognition, given the historic role that Albert Hirschman had in Marseille between 1940-41. He was indeed the deputy of Varian Fry, who headed the American Rescue Committee. This made it possible to save hundreds of personalities who needed to be exfiltrated and to leave Europe in the face of Nazism, from Marseille. The second reason that presided over the birth of this Hirschman chair is the eminent scientific role that it embodies. A Senior Fellow at the Princeton Institute for Advanced Study, Hirschman is a world scientific authority in his field and an original thinker in the field of social science. He notably wrote The Passions and the Interests and this is why it was decided to orient this chair around the passions of identity, between Europe and the Mediterranean.

Hirschman is the embodiment of open and fully interdisciplinary thought. He invites us, based on his historical experience and his civic commitment, to the duty of vigilance in the face of the rise of identity passions between Europe and the Mediterranean. Through his career as an economist and researcher in social sciences, and in particular in his two masterpieces: Exit, Voice, and Loyalty and The Passions and the Interests, he laid the foundations for a close link between the economy and politics. Albert Hirschman reminds us that economics and social sciences are as concerned with the search for laws as with the search for meaning.

The research themes, within the framework of the relations between Europe and the Mediterranean, are:

  • Studies of collective passions
  • Studies of national and identity movements
  • Studies of social and political behaviour
  • Studies of protest mobilizations
  • Studies of mobility, migration and their societal impacts
  • Studies of politico-religious movements, particularly those centred on Islam
  • Studies of political forms, in particular democratic fragilities
  • Cross-disciplinary studies

and more.


  • Deadline : 17 October 2022 at 1:00 pm (french time)
  • Duration of residences: 5 months
  • Residence periods: 4  Sept 2023 to 4 Feb 2024 (5 months - Semester 1)


The Albert Hirschman IMéRA Chair is open to researchers with proven scientific excellence in one of the research areas related to political economy and the social sciences of politics. To be eligible, candidates should:

  • Hold a doctorate or PhD;
  • Not have resided in France for more than 12 months in the three years preceding the call for applications.
  • Have an employment contract (permanent or not) in a foreign university or research institution during the residency.

Remuneration and Accommodation

The chairholder will receive a 3,000 euro fixed monthly allowance during their stay.

They will also benefit from paid travel expenses and free accommodation on IMéRA premises.

Selection Criteria

The criteria for evaluating applications include, without limitation:

  • Researcher’s scientific excellence as per the highest international standards in the field;
  • Scientific quality of the project, in particular its cross-disciplinary facet, crucial for the researcher's integration into IMéRA’s collective creation dynamics;
  • Researcher's ability to carry out prospective reflection;
  • Researcher’s international recognition.


Online applications must include the following supporting documents:

  • A duly completed application form (mandatory fields);
  • All the following files (to download):
  1. A curriculum vitae including a list of publications
  2. A presentation of the project (maximum 5 pages) followed by a selective bibliography (compulsory for researchers)
  3. A letter of support from an Aix-Marseille University researcher or associate/assistant professor OR a letter of motivation clearly explaining the interest for the candidate to interact with Aix-Marseille University’s laboratories and to lead a project from Aix-Marseille.
Date de candidature
5 months
Humanités : Anthropologie & Ethnologie, Histoire, Philosophie, théologie et religion
Sciences sociales : Démographie, Droit, Economie, Géographie, Gestion et administration publique, Relations internationales, Science politique, Sociologie