The Center

Strengthening Franco-German research

The Max Planck Sciences Po Center on Coping with Instability in Market Societies (MaxPo) is a Franco-German research center which was jointly founded in 2012 by the Max Planck Society and Sciences Po at the initiative of the Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies (MPIfG) in Cologne. The Center's research investigates how individuals, organizations, and nation-states are coping with the new forms of economic and social instability that have developed in Western societies as a result of policy shifts, the expansion of markets, technological advances, and cultural changes. Located at Sciences Po Paris and cooperating closely with the MPIfG, the Center aims to contribute substantially to the social sciences in Europe and to enrich academic and political dialogue between France and Germany.

MaxPo was jointly established by Sciences Po Paris and the Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies (MPIfG) in Cologne in 2012. The Center provides an institutional footing for the MPIfG in France and links Sciences Po to the social sciences in Germany, giving them both more visibility as leading research institutions in Europe. The Center fosters cooperation between France and Germany in the social sciences by promoting the exchange of researchers and building a joint research program. Research workshops, a visitors’ program, and connections to social science institutions both within and beyond Europe reinforce the Center's international orientation.

France and Germany have outstanding research traditions in the social sciences. Close cooperation between the best of German and French social science is key to developing a robust capacity for original research in Europe. The Center thus contributes to the further realization of the European Research Area.

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  • Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies

    The Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies (MPIfG) conducts advanced basic research on the governance of modern societies. It aims to develop an empirically based theory of the social and political foundations of modern economies by investigating the interrelation between economic, social and political action. Using primarily an institutional approach, it examines how markets and business organizations are embedded in historical, institutional, political and cultural frameworks, how they develop, and how their social contexts change over time. The institute seeks to build a bridge between theory and policy and to contribute to political debate on major challenges facing modern societies.

    The MPIfG is one of the institutes of the Max Planck Society, which is one of the largest non-university research organizations in Germany. Some eighty percent of the Society's funds are provided publicly by federal and regional governments. The rest comes from donations, project funding and self-generated income.

    The MPIfG considers international cooperation to be the most promising organizational form of comparative research. Many visiting researchers make valuable contributions to its research program. The MPIfG is part of a worldwide network of research institutions and researchers working in the social sciences. It cooperates closely with several research institutes abroad.

  • Sciences Po

    Sciences Po Paris is a fully-fledged, self-governing research university specialised in the social-economic sciences and the humanities. Sciences Po is the leading research university in the social sciences in France with 60 full-time professors, around 200 researchers, 80 foreign professors invited each year and 300 academic partnerships with universities around the world. Sciences Po is home to a doctoral school offering 7 graduate programmes.

    Based on a multi-disciplinary approach, Sciences Po associates and combines skills and know-how from the different social sciences – in particular economy, history, political science and sociology and the humanities.

    Sciences Po is one of the French institutions of higher education and research that has early developed a genuine international scientific integration policy. Indeed, international expansion is not limited to student mobility and academic, it is also structured around research programs or doctoral built and animated with universities or research centers of high caliber in the world. This position and these gains exclude the fact that scientific work conducted at Sciences Po would be trapped in the narrow framework of national debates, even if the subjects have local or regional peculiarities.

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