ULISS aims at institutionalising co-operation, collaboration and exchange between European research centres and academic bodies. This institutional linkage will be made with organisations and bodies having an uncontested reputation in the field of expertise of the GRASS: Youth, Family policy, Social Exclusion and Social Policy.
On these grounds the main objective of the ULISS programme is to initiate and sustain within GRASS, the presence of foreign researchers or students, who will take part on an individual or institutional basis, in the research programme and academic seminars developed by the research centre host. It aims at introducing a durable international presence within a French CNRS research team, in order to promote the daily interaction of researchers, teachers and students with various backgrounds and then to invite colleagues, to take into account the European dimension in their own work.
The main target of ULISS is to provide a platform where French researchers and foreign guests will learn to work together, get the measure of their differences, not only linguistic, theoretical or methodological but also in terms of professional culture. Such is. Beyond international symposiums and seminars, a daily collaboration, on the basis of scientific research and scientific activities which involve researchers from various backgrounds and cultures is undoubtedly the more secure and the more efficient means to develop sustainable cooperation.
To invite foreign researchers to stay in GRASS, to provide some training or to take part in the formation of Young researchers are for us the main means to spin a web and to build up a network of individual and institutional partnership.
However, this project cannot be confined to this single geographic area, for two reasons:
The globalisation process is on the move, at the economic level, obviously, but also at the cultural level. The European countries may be regarded as a world region in interaction and interconnection with what is called the 'world system'.
Therefore, when Europe is our main focus and our main field of interest, it would be a mistake to deprive ourselves of any opportunity to set up a comparison and/or collaboration with other world regions.
Secondly, in such a project, one should avoid reproducing the mistakes of ethnocentrism at the European level. A great deal of European phenomena can be understood only from an external perspective; numerous processes become clear only through the 'change of scenery' which was wished by Georges Balandier as a necessary and fruitful tool of investigation.
Therefore, Europe is at the heart of this project. But collaboration is going to be sought and contacts to be established with other continents or regions, for example the Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences, the University of Seoul in Korea and University of Mauritius.
Globalisation as well as Europeanisation cannot be understood only from an economic or political perspective. The processes are dependant on social and cultural factors which have to be looked into in order to obtain a complete understanding of the present changes in Western societies.
The ULISS project is therefore, resolutely interdisciplinary. But, it will be limited to a few disciplines whose perspectives can be mixed into a common project without too many difficulties. These are sociology, anthropology, ethnology, social policy sciences, contemporary history and socio- economy.
The following topics are, therefore, given to indicate some collaborative research already undertaken or in project:
Groupe de Recherche et d'Analyse du Social et de la Sociabilité
59-61 rue Pouchet
75849 Paris cedex 17
tel 33 -0- 1 40 25 12 16
fax 33 -0- 1 40 25 12 12
Jean Charles Lagree