The Centre d’Etude de la Vie Politique (Cevipol) is a research unit of the Faculté de Philosophie et sciences sociales of the Université libre de Bruxelles. It specialises in political sociology and comparative politics. Its research mainly focuses on politics, institutions, rules, and resources in representative democracies, as well as collective action, mobilisation, and legitimation processes. Both quantitative and qualitative methods are applied to contemporary issues rooted in longitudinal perspectives. Other crucial issues at the core of Cevipol’s researches are the distribution of power between social groups, elite recruitment, conflicts of interest, identities, or memory, and the weight of norms and values.
Four research axes structure the intellectual identity of the Cevipol:
- Parties, Elections, and representation
- European integration: community building and conflicting values
- Sports and politics
- Identities, memory, mobilisations
The Cevipol also defines itself by its geographical areas of expertise.
The main scientific expertise of the Cevipol covers the European continent. Researchers at the Cevipol develop in-depth analyses of institutional, social, economic, ideological, identity, or cultural processes that have structured the development of the European continent in modern history.
Europe is analysed in its national, transnational, and supranational dimensions. The Cevipol has a long established expertise in the analysis of Belgian politics. France, Germany, and the United Kingdom also constitute privileged areas of study, as well as Spain, the Netherlands, Italy, or Germany.
Another fundamental area of expertise of the Cevipol is Central and Eastern Europe. Romania, but also Poland, Hungary, Czech Republic, or Albania, have all been at the core of in-depth investigations.
Russia, Caucasus (Abkhazia, Armenia, Chechnya), and more generally the whole post-soviet area are also areas of expertise of our team.
The European Union as a political system and a geographical area of interactions is an essential part of our understanding of European realities.
The Cevipol also produces research on other parts of the world, either as area studies or in comparison with Europe. The American continent mobilises a lot of researchers, with a specific attention to the United States and Canada. South America has also become an area of expertise, with a special focus on Brazil and Mexico.
Finally, comparative research is also increasingly conducted on Asia, with a focus on Japan and China, on the Middle East, with a special focus on Israel, or on the African continent.
Director: François Foret
Adjunct Director: Frédéric Louault