The ESPOL research centre, ESPOL-LAB, is composed of a team of faculty members who actively contribute to the development of knowledge in political science. In their research they analyse public decision-making processes and contemporary transformations in the political sphere. . Questioning the boundaries of politics and the relationship between politics and society is at the heart of ESPOL-LAB’s scientific project. What is the scope of the political decisions? What are its origins? To what extent do policies still refer to the regulation of society?
The apparent fragility of the contemporary state, in conjunction with the fragmentation of identities, growing globalisation of economies, and the emergence of new forms of violence highlight the difficulty of organising social relations and meaningful societal life. Yet, while the modern state may no longer be seen as the exclusive framework within which common rules are developed and transformed, it nevertheless retains an unparalleled appeal and ability to guide and organise society.
In this context, ESPOL-LAB aims to help inform political decision-making processes, their normative underpinnings and the constraints they face, also including their continuously transforming relations to territory and violence. Our research team is composed of specialists in various political science fields, such as public policies, international relations, comparative politics, history of political ideas, and political theory.
Research at ESPOL-LAB focuses on changes in contemporary societies and political dynamics within multilevel settings. It is organised around three major research strands:
1) The quality of democracy,
2) Regulations and governance, and
3) Reconfigurations of the international.
Europe constitutes a cross-cutting dimensions of research at ESPOL which is present in each of the three axes.
The ESPOL-LAB team consists of 13 faculty members that make the political and its transformation their central research subject: 10 Associate professors, a Professor (HDR), an Academic advisor, and a Post-doctoral researcher. ESPOL-LAB is headed by Sabine Weiland (Director) and Thierry Chopin (Deputy Director).
ESPOL-LAB is member of the ECPR (European Consortium for Political Research), the principal political science research network in Europe. The ESPOL-LAB team supports the Revue Internationale de Politique Comparée.