1<sup>st</sup> EMES International PhD Summer School. Corsica (France)

1st EMES International PhD Summer School. Corsica (France)

Social enterprises, third sector, social economy, solidarity-based economy. Empirical realities and theoretical debates

The event gathered thirty-seven PhD students from 21 countries and ten faculty members.


EMES European Research Network (EMES)

The EMES European Research Network (EMES, www.emes.net) includes established university research centers and individual researchers whose goal is to gradually build up a European corpus of theoretical and empirical knowledge, pluralistic in disciplines and methodology, around “third sector” issues. EMES studies socio-economic entities that are designated differently depending on the national context, including, amongst others: the social economy, the civil and solidarity-based economy (“économie solidaire”), the non-profit sector, voluntary organizations and social enterprises. Far from tackling these organizations as isolated entities, EMES studies them as they interact with other institutions, private or public, across various activity sectors, and with the various public policies in place. EMES has published the results of its research projects in the form of major books and as part of the EMES Working Papers Series.

CINEFOGO – Network of Excellence

CINEFOGO (Civil Society and New Forms of Governance in Europe – the Making of European Citizenship; see www.cinefogo.org) aims to enhance the understanding of social and democratic processes in Europe. It seeks to provide and coordinate knowledge about civil society, citizenship and social protection, nourish a public debate on governance, civic participation and social cohesion in Europe and in its relation to the surrounding countries. CINEFOGO, which includes more than 40 European universities and research institutions, is supported by the Sixth EU Framework Programme.


A variety of approaches to the field of study loosely referred to as the “third sector” exist across most European countries and around the world. Regardless of the approach used – non-profit studies, social economy, solidarity-based economy, social enterprise etc. – the academic recognition of this field is being mirrored by the existence or creation of a number of specialized university programs and research centres that attract an increasing number of young researchers. In a similar vein, numerous Ph.D. and Masters theses being prepared on topics related to this extensive field are currently found in traditional university schools such as political science, sociology, economics, anthropology etc., as well as in business schools.

Nevertheless, specific doctoral training programs for young scholars in the third sector, addressing theoretical and hands-on research issues, do not abound, and the existing programs favour either a sociopolitical or a non-profit perspective.

n this context, the international summer school on “Social enterprises, third sector, social economy, solidarity-based economy: Empirical and theoretical debates” aims to complete and widen the offer available to future scholars by providing them with important analytical frameworks. The summer school, which will avoid narrow disciplinary focuses, aims to strengthen the training of graduate students by means of in-depth and varied theoretical lectures, debates, workshops and presentations. Some key professors – also members of the EMES and/or Cinefogo networks – will present both traditional and non-traditional disciplinary approaches to this field of study as part of the theoretical corpus of the summer school. Most of these well-known professors manage research centres covering a wide spectrum of research themes, and this will represent a major strength for the participating doctoral students. Specifically, Ph.D. students will have an opportunity to directly interact with and receive immediate input from these experienced scholars and thus advance their own research.

From a contents standpoint, the specificity of this summer school can be articulated through:

  • An innovative cross-analysis of the major theoretical trends in the field (social economy and solidarity-based economy, and NPO theories), with an eye on providing new analytical tools to undertake research in the sector;
  • A solid and pioneering experience in research related to social enterprise and social entrepreneurship, with an eye on creating a dialogue with other conceptions.


  • Theoretical lectures: These sessions, which will mainly be held in the mornings, will provide in-depth syntheses of the major theoretical and analytical trends around key concepts and from a variety of disciplines.
  • Thematic workshops: These workshops will be held in the afternoon; they are designed to provide an opportunity for participants to present their ongoing research projects and to receive direct feedback and advice from their peers and professors.
  • Methodological sessions: This session format includes a lecture by an expert on methodology for third sector research as well as space for sharing “methodological challenges” faced by the participants.

General information

PARTICIPANTS: Researchers and students formally registered in a doctoral program and students at the initial stage of their Ph.D. research at the time of the doctoral summer school.

COST: Thanks to the support of private and public donors, the organizers have been able to secure a registration fee for the doctoral summer school of only 50 € per participant (accommodation and most meals during the duration of the event are included). Travel costs from and to Corsica are not included in the registration fee.

GRANTS AND SUBSIDIES: We strongly advise that students contact their university department and/or any local, regional or national research council or foundation that may provide funds to cover travel costs. This International summer school will be held immediately before the EMES-ISTR international conference in Barcelona (Spain), which represents a cost-efficient synergy for those students interested in participating in both of these complementary events. The Barcelona conference will also include a Professional Development Workshop for Ph.D. students, as well as poster sessions.

LANGUAGE: Both English and French will be the working languages of this international summer school. However, students will be placed in sessions according to their language skills and preferences.

Academic committee

An academic and organizing committee has been put together; it includes members from the EMES and Cinefogo networks and from the Pasquale Paoli University.

  1. Jacques Defourny,  Center for Social Economy, HEC-University of Liege, Belgium
  2. Lars Hulgård, Roskilde University, Denmark
  3. Jean-Louis Laville, LISE/CNAM, France
  4. Roger Spear, Roskilde University, Denmark

Organizing committee

  1. Laurent Fraisse, Centre de recherche et d’information sur la démocratie et l’autonomie, CRIDA (France)
  2. Rocío Nogales, EMES European Research Network
  3. Xavier Peraldi, Pasquale Paoli University (Corsica, France)


The Corsica international summer school takes place in two different venues in Corsica: the CCAS in Porticcio (southern part of the island, in the Ajaccio gulf, from 3-4 July) and the campus of the Pasquale Paoli University of Corsica, in Corte (5-7 July).

What are you interested in?