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Looking for territories

En quête de territoire(s)

Third conference of the International College of Territorial Sciences (CIST2016)

Troisième colloque du Collège international des sciences du territoire (CIST2016)

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Published on Tuesday, April 28, 2015


The first two CIST conferences –Founding Territorial Sciences, in 2011, and Frontiers and Boundaries of Territorial Sciences, in 2014– addressed a number of theoretical and practical issues in the territorial sciences. The third edition of the conference, to be held in 2016, will continue this tradition by examining the expectations of citizens, inhabitants, and public and private bodies with respect to territories.



The first two CIST conferences –Founding Territorial Sciences, in 2011, and Frontiers and Boundaries of Territorial Sciences, in 2014– addressed a number of theoretical and practical issues in the territorial sciences. The third edition of the conference, to be held in 2016, will continue this tradition by examining the expectations of citizens, inhabitants, and public and private bodies with respect to territories.

Understand and act territorially…

Much more information is needed in order to understand the types of territories individuals and groups are looking for and the expectations they have of these territories. The objective of the third CIST conference is to examine actors’ demands for territorial actions and for the creation of territories. Numerous factors influence the territorialization process, including mass movements, reactions to globalization, budgetary austerity, the creation of new solidarities, the search for specificity, identity-related actions, adaptation to risks, environmental imperatives, positioning with respect to neighboring territories, reorganization of powers, geopolitical pressures and economic constraints. One of the CIST’s aims is to provide interfaces in which the opinions and expertise of actors who organize, administer, develop and run territories can be brought together with the work of researchers in the territorial sciences. Strengthening this dialogue and improving links between research and development, between research and training (initial and continuing), and between research and public debate will pave the way for innovative action-research partnerships.

The demand for territories…

The drivers and expectations of the demand for territories, whether political, geopolitical, economic or cultural, remain poorly understood. Of what social demands are territories the expression? Who is making these demands? The CIST provides a forum in which this emerging, action-based field can more closely examine the expectations of citizens, residents, users, deciders and experts, that is, all the actors involved in a territory. What do they expect from the services, functions and representations that territories make possible? What kinds of new territories are they hoping for? This question arises at all levels and for every category of actor from individuals, in terms of their practices and identities, to collective bodies, social groups and intermediaries, etc. It encompasses current territorial reforms and the public demand for territories by addressing the reorganization of public actions by state and local authorities. It also calls for reflection about the relations between the different territorial actors and the contradictions arising from the ways in which these demands are expressed and pursued.

The social and political co-construction of territories…

Territories are useful because they meet needs and expectations. To a large extent, they are inherited and contingent on recent history. Consequently, they are continuously sought after, created, transmitted, criticized and deconstructed. By whom, how and for what types of goal? Because they require the actors involved to divide up space and networks, because they are the expression of power relationships and obligations, because they arouse shared or disputed representations and practices, territories have to be co-constructed. Consequently, they transform space, society and powers, and call into question segregations, frontiers, communitarianism, the effects of liberalism, enticements to sustainability and metropolitan concentrations, etc. One of the main aims of the territorial sciences is to improve understanding of a process which leads to territorialized practices and objects that have both social and political consequences. The third CIST conference will examine the epistemological and practical issues surrounding this co-construction, which occurs in certain territorial forms and institutions and in many territories.

The CIST conference will investigate the various theoretical and practical registers of the demands, expectations and desire for territories.

Objectives of the 3rd CIST conference

  • Contribute to the production of new knowledge and improve understanding of the expectations generated or expressed by territories.
  • Continue the CIST’s reflection on the foundations of the “territorial sciences”.
  • Further the critical analysis of processes, measures and postures relating to “the expectations of territories” and/or “demands for territories”.
  • Provide a forum for presenting action-research studies examining the nature of territorial issues in today’s world. This part of the conference will involve both academics and territorial actors wishing to contribute to the CIST. Participation will be on the basis of partnerships set up within operational programs run by CIST’s researchers and research teams.

Special sessions

S1: Territorial reforms

Current territorial reforms are questioning the role, place and function of territories in social, cultural, economic and political change in France, in Europe and throughout the world. Essential markers include the on-going transformations in societies within the Maghreb (e.g., Tunisia, Morocco). What led to this demand for new territories? What do these expectations of territories mean for public action?

S2: Territorial equalities and inequalities

Has the egalitarian injunction, as the territorial counterpart to the fight against social inequality, led to new demands for territories? What are the ethical and political, practical and theoretical, and programmatic foundations of this aspiration for territories as vectors of equality? Is there a contradiction between territorial equality and the relations between territories and larger entities?

S3: Information and demands for territories

How can new information relating to demands for territories be collected? What are the objectives of these territorial studies? How should this information be analyzed? How can big data, wikis, intelligent cities, participatory mapping, and geomarketing, etc. contribute to territorial studies? What can be done with local information systems created for political, commercial or law enforcement purposes? What are the qualitative and quantitative methodological problems that have to be solved so observations and analyses of demands for territories contribute to furthering the territorial sciences?

S4: Critical approaches to territorialized demands

What does the existence of “demands for territories” mean? How is the legitimization of territories formulated differently today? To what extent does this “search for territories” force the territorial sciences to consider the relations between democracy and territories? What are the power relationships that underlie and legitimize some territories but not others? Is there a hierarchy of legitimization of specifically territorial action?

Themed sessions

Papers may be submitted on the general topics covered by the CIST conference; however, each paper must address issues relating to one or more of these topics (for full text see French version).

  • T1: Actions and territorializations
  • T2: Agricultures, territories and sustainable development
  • T3: Biodiversity and territories
  • T4: Local territorial information
  • T5: Media and territories
  • T6: Mobilities, identities and territories
  • T7: Regionalizations in the world
  • T8: Risks and territories
  • T9: Territories and health

Call for actors’ experiences

Round tables, forums, workshops, exhibitions, stands, targeted seminars, work-in-progress meetings, filmed interviews, territorial geomatics show, etc.

Territorial actors who would like to present their experiences and meet with CIST researchers are invited to contact the organization committee in order to discuss the most suitable format for their contribution.

A two-part event

Scientific papers

The two-day conference (March 17 & 18, 2016) will include both themed and special sessions. Papers, which must be short (maximum 15,000 characters), will be presented in the most appropriate session.

CIST’s objective is to combine expertise from the specialist fields of its team members (geography, development, urban planning, economics, sociology, demography, anthropology, history, political science, law, management science, communication and information sciences, environmental science, life sciences, health, and computer science, etc.) in order to build inter-disciplinary or multi-disciplinary responses.

Given CIST’s increasingly international outlook, authors are asked to submit papers on strongly or weakly territorialized countries other than France, on societies with a long-standing or emerging territorial heritage and on specifically territorial economies in cultural and political contexts with different territorialities.

Debates and discussions with the actors who make territories

This conference will also be open to actors outside the scientific community, who will be encouraged to attend the conference and contribute to discussions. These actors include public bodies directly involved in reorganizing territories, organizations involved in developing new territories, private enterprises that supply certain needs of territories, bodies that orchestrate relations and work to find solutions, groups representing private interests, and actors who define existing demands and identify new needs.

Organization of the conference

Paper submission

Proposals should be no more than 15,000 signs (see model CIST2016-modele_communication.doc).

Presentations will be either during themed or special sessions, during the two-day conference, March 17 & 18, 2016.

Deadline for proposals September first, 2015 directly online on dedicated site cist2016.sciencesconf.org

Paper selection

Short scientific papers submitted for the conference will go through a two-stage review process before being accepted, with or without modification. Papers accepted at the end of the review process will be presented during the two types of session described above. Proceedings will be issued at the beginning of the conference. Presentations will be brief in order to leave sufficient time for debate. Following the conference, and depending on agreements reached with partner journals and publishers, authors may be asked to present a complete version of their paper for publication.

Organizing committee

Conference  Romain Lajarge, CIST deputy director

  • Claude Grasland, CIST director
  • France Guérin-Pace, CIST deputy director
  • Jean-Yves Moisseron, CIST deputy director
  • Pierre Beckouche, CIST SC president
  • Evelyne Mesclier, CIST SC vice-president
  • Michel Bussi, SC ; Alain Dubresson, SC
  • Richard Raymond, SC
  • Emmanuel Dupont, CGET
  • Gégoire Feyt (PACTE, Grenoble)
  • Jean-Marc Vincent (LIG, Grenoble)
  • Nadia Behtani, CIST financial manager
  • Marion Gentilhomme, CIST communication officer
  • Hugues Pecout, CIST geomatics engineer

Conference scientific committee

  • Cédric Audebert
  • Pierre Beckouche (SC president)
  • Michel Bussi
  • Roberto Camagni
  • Christian Du Tertre
  • Alain Dubresson
  • Shelley Feldmann
  • Marie-Christine Fourny
  • Jérôme Gensel
  • Odile Hoffman
  • Eva Lelièvre
  • Evelyne Mesclier (SC vice-president)
  • Marc-Urbain Proux
  • Richard Raymond
  • Anne Ruas
  • Aldomar Ruckert
  • Lena Sanders
  • Christian Schulz
  • Julie Vallée
  • Jean-Marc Vincent


  • Tuesday, September 01, 2015


  • territoire, interdisciplinarité, recherche-action, acteur, demande, réforme territoriale, gouvernance, pouvoir, égalité


  • Marion Gentilhomme
    courriel : marion [dot] gentilhomme [at] univ-paris1 [dot] fr

Information source

  • Marion Gentilhomme
    courriel : marion [dot] gentilhomme [at] univ-paris1 [dot] fr


CC0-1.0 This announcement is licensed under the terms of Creative Commons CC0 1.0 Universal.

To cite this announcement

« Looking for territories », Call for papers, Calenda, Published on Tuesday, April 28, 2015, https://doi.org/10.58079/sjp

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