Academia is often compared to an « ivory tower ». Like all stereotyes, this metaphor does not do justice to all researchers in the social sciences and humanities, but it does have a kernel of truth. What is encouraged, praised, rewarded in the academic world, are research publications of classical and standardised format: articles in scholarly journals that only target – due to the medium, the imposed structure and the vocabulary – a very restricted public of scientists and experts.
Personally, I have always considered that it was coherent to try and share ideas generated by academic research with a larger public. Especially if this research has something to say about the society we live in. The opportunities to do so in the public space – round-tables, public debates, interviews – remain somewhat imited. Consequently, short formats, such as blogposts, or media columns – provide helpful tools for disseminating ideas in an accessible manner.
Initially trained in literature, linguistics and pedagogy, I developed in the course of my professional career a keen interest in social psychology and intercultural communication, followed by a passion for European politics and international relations. At the age of 41 I obtained a doctorate in sociology. Since then, I have been trying not to imprison my view of the world within the prism of a single academic discipline. Neither within the vocabulary of one single culture – which explains why this site contains texts in French, English, and German.
The « THE EUROPEAN NOTEPAD » blog
Welcome to the « European Notepad »! This blog brings together a large variety of dissemination pieces – editorials, columns, op-ed articles or simple blogposts – that have been drafted, published and shared over roughly a decade. Depending on their initial target public, they are written in French, English, or German.
What the large majority among them has in common is their size – these are short pieces, dedicated to one single issue or point of view – and their origin; they are all directly or indirectly grounded in academic research, often in an interdisciplinary approach and an international perspective. Their objective was to make ideas easily accessible, outside the often sterile formats of scientific journals.
By consequence, they are structured around the three themes that have been my passion as social sciences researcher: the multifaceted process of European integration, the evolution of French society and its reflect in France’s political life, and of course the strange, inexhaustible, and multidimensional phenomenon of football, which has so many things to say about the society we live in (not to mention the one we would like to live in).
A warm thank you to ESSCA School of Management, which allowed me, thanks to this individual blog, to make an inventory of all these dissemination activities and to clean up the archives. But these are not dead archives, this blog is being updated regularly.
Have fun browsing through its boxes!