Research in Social and Political Sciences
Research carried on in the Faculty of Social and Political Sciences focuses on theoretical and empirical issues of relevance for both fundamentals and applications. The work involves multiple partners, both local and international.
In their different projects, the researchers are interested in the study of the complexity and challenges of contemporary life, in their historical, sociological, political, cultural, anthropological and psychological aspects. They rely on a variety of disciplinary perspectives and paradigms to make significant contributions to the improvement of the psychological, social, cultural, political and environmental quality of life.
Social Sciences are mainly represented by sociology, anthropology and social policy. Areas of research interest are cross-disciplinary and include culture and communication, identity and social relations, life paths, gender studies, anthropology of health, economic development, social protection and inequality, as well as education and learning.
Research in Sport Sciences is carried on in three areas: humanities, social sciences, and life and health sciences. In the humanities area, research focuses on the dynamics of organisation, disorganisation and reorganisation of psychological activity in the fields of sports and artistic endeavour, with the aim of achieving the best level of performance while preserving the practitioners' integrity. Research in social sciences focuses on globalisation processes in sports and, in particular, on their consequences for the migration of sportspeople. Other projects focus on careers in sports and their ethical dimensions, with particular regard to doping or eating disorders. A historical perspective is developed concerning how theories and practices of physical activities arise and spread. Research in social sciences also normally covers the management and governance of sports and Olympic organisations. In the field of life sciences, reflection concerns, in particular, the optimisation of the effects of sports practice on physical skills and cardiovascular, neuromuscular and neurophysiological functions. They cover not only ordinary physical practice in sports but also sporting performance at the highest level.
Research in Psychological Sciences is carried on in all the major areas of the discipline (psychology of counselling and career guidance, cognitive psychology, social psychology, health psychology, developmental psychology, clinical psychology, etc.) with a particular interest in applied aspects. The areas of research, viewed from a variety of epistemological and methodological perspectives, are extremely diverse and include, among others, learning processes, interpersonal and intergroup relations, identity, educational and healthcare situations, normal and atypical development throughout life, or psychopathology.
Research in Political Science is structured around several specialised units working on the analysis of governance and public action, collective action, globalisation, the history of political and economic thought or local political life. The Institute of Political, Historical and International Studies is strongly engaged in several projects with the support of the most important research funding agencies, at national and international level. It also houses a major documentation centre devoted to political life in Switzerland as a whole, but with a particular emphasis on the French-speaking region.
The Faculty of Social and Political Sciences, in partnership with the University of Geneva, is currently the seat of a national centre of competence in research, LIVES, examining vulnerabilities in life paths.