Jacinthe Bessière, Olfa Boughamoura, Driss Boumeggouti, Didier Busca, Geoffrey Carrère, Patrick Chaskiel, Camille Dumat, Mohamed El Halabi El Kayal, Matthieu Grossetête, Rémi Maitre, Julien Milanesi, Renaud Nougarol, Natalia Pacheco Cruz, Nicolas Piluso, Anna Rouadjia, Assmae Slaoui Benani Dakhama, Liliane Sochacki, Aude Sturma, Marie-Gabrielle Suraud, Benjamin Thicoïpé, Aurélie Tourail, Violène Sibertin-Blanc, Vincent Vlès, François Vellas, Wenfei Wang, Marie-Christine Zélem

Associate members:  Steve Joncoux, Mathieu Lemaitre, Sidy Tounkara, Pierre Torrente

Partners: Sylvia Becerra, Steve Hagimont


Marie-Christine ZélemJulien Milanesi –


Ecological transitions, Environmental justice , Socio-technical innovations , Public action , Markets, Energy transitions , Touristic transitions , Sustainable agriculture

Examples of research

MARKETGMFISH “The contested construction of GM Salmon Market : which regulations in transatlantic trade?”

This project aims to combine the contributions of law and economic sociology to study the very contested construction of the market for AquAdvantage® Salmon in the United States , and its current impact on GMO regulation in Europe.

Funding LabEx SMS

Sandrine Barrey, Scientific director

The ecological aging of materials

The study focuses on the effect of REACH regulation in aviation through the study of the abandonment of chromium VI. The research highlights the paradoxical nature of an environmental regulation. We can hereby identify a tension between, on the one hand, the stability and inertia required by aviation certification, involving the use of well- proven materials, and, on the other hand, the application of REACH that places technological performance within the requirements of environmental and health protection, leading to the replacement of materials.

Funding RTRA / Stae Foundation consortium Vima

Scientific director Patrick Chaskiel

Network – Agriville.

The research aims to analyse the implementation conditions of the ecological transition in the Midi-Pyrénées territory through the dynamics of urban agriculture. A multidisciplinary and participatory platform, « Research and Teaching », is developed to promote synergies between the different actors involved (elected representatives, associations, researchers, citizens, gardeners… ). This is to observe the increased capacity of stakeholders to make concerted socio-scientific projects, the involvement of civil society regarding the many challenges of sustainable urban agriculture (healthy eating, short food chains, social ties, awareness of environment, renewal of agricultural issues, etc.).

Scientific directors Camille Dumat and Liliane Sochaki

From technological risk prevention plans to technological risks

A study conducted on technological risk prevention plans highlights the tension between regulations and the control of technological risks. Disputes related to the implementation of these plans under the French Bachelot law of 2003 have led to a movement that replaces the figure of the environmentalist by that of the resident. The environmental protest aimed toward risk reduction at source has been replaced by the residents’ questioning of the financial conditions for applying regulations.

Funding FonCSI

Scientific director Marie-Gabrielle Suraud

Impacts of conservation measures of large natural sites

In times of touristic transition, the management of listed sites of great reputation seeks to combine protection (general prohibition against changing the look of the place) and promotion (vital to the tourist economy), in an often constrained context (local pressure to urbanize or equip the site, some actors protesting against the protection, agricultural decline and spontaneous growth of vegetation significantly modifying the appearance of sites, etc.). The search for a better relationship between the management of fluxes, their impacts and the necessary openness to the public is gradually everywhere. The research program aims to update and supplement the knowledge on the subject by questioning the application, in terms of governance, of the concept of « carrying capacity » in managing large natural heritage sites.

Funding PUCA (Ministères de l’Ecologie, du Développement Durable et de l’Energie – Logement et Egalité des Territoires)

Scientific director Vincent Vlès

SMART’ISLE « Territorial Strategy of energy resilience in the territory of the Island of Yeu ».

The research aims to analyze the conditions of the implementation of the ecological transition on an extremely energetically-dependent insular territory: the Ile d’Yeu . We observe the civil society’s increased ability for involvement in climate and energy issues, knowing that the island is both subject to the deployment of « smart » meters and to the installation of an offshore wind farm; two policies that tend to divide the local territory.

Funding ERDF, SYDEV, Mines de Nantes

Scientific director Marie-Christine Zélem

Presentation of our research

The emergence of the theme of ecological transition represents a new stage in the growing importance of environmental issues (environmental-health) since the 1970s. After the remodelling of economic development operated by the practice of sustainable development, the ecological transition is as a (re)structuring factor of socio-economic activities.

The ecological theme is an issue and a challenge involving – and requiring the consideration of – multiple dimensions, a policy of inter-sciences cooperation is favoured.

Our researches are organized around the following themes:

Towards a “fair” ecological transition?

Our work is concerned with territorialized public action (protection of water resources, energy autonomy, waste management, etc.), their development and implementation in contexts of tension between uses (agriculture and drinking water, in particular) or between techno-economic models (centralized or decentralized energy management, for example). Our research questions more broadly the processes of questioning that allow actors to think about environmental problems and their resolution.

Towards an ecological transition of innovation?

The rise of environmental themes has resulted in a questioning of production methods, materials and products, expressing a « politicization of production. »

The issue of the commodification of nature operated by the economic actors, the evolution of the questioning of scientific research (the renewal of the relationship between the sphere of research and civil society, and the role and place of research in the management and control of emerging risks), regulation and its effects on risks are all projects treated in this research theme.

Towards an energy transition?

The challenges of transition being as technical and economic as political and socio-cultural, it is a question of establishing the terms of a new contract with the environment: public authorities, economic actors and civil society are invited to take action together, respecting the principles of an environmental justice that now generates debate, particularly through the National Strategy for Low Carbon (SNBC) and the multi-years Plans of Energy which serve as a roadmap for the France until 2024

We analyze new forms of governance and multi-stakeholder organization, the conditions that shape an energy transition at two speeds which contributes to widening social inequalities; we examine support tools for change (building industry, waste and transport).

Towards a touristic transition?

In the new societal context of transition of the social sphere of the production and consumption of global tourism, the idea of redesigning the modern tourist development model is gradually taking hold, although the rhetoric of the anticipation that could bring it forward seems little mobilized. The team examines the territorial tensions between tourism and environmental issues, public appropriation in its sociocultural and economic recomposition and the new questions that acutely arise on the future place and role of tourism in major key destinations (Egypt, Tunisia , Morocco, Syria, Mesopotamia)

update january 2016