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  • Research fields

    The Loire Valley MSH’s scientific policy is based on the logic of transversal scientific programmes or, more specifically, research programmes based on the activities of the researchers working for the teams involved.

    The MSH steering committee defined five thematic directions for the 2018-2022 contractual period based on each team’s specific scientific characteristics and skills:

    The aim is to develop network relations in these research fields in the Centre Val de Loire Region and within the framework of the National Houses of Human Sciences Network. Part of the Loire Valley MSH’s activities involves providing innovative digital services for researchers.

    There are varied actions in all of these research themes such as responses to calls for proposals, seminars, conferences, publications, etc.

    All of these activities are supported by services provided by the Loire Valley MSH.

    Cities and urban studies


    This research field involves many laboratories in various forms and its main subject is study of urban research as a field of research and the modalities for structuring it within the humanities and social sciences.

    Currency and finance

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    In both Orléans and Tours, there is an exceptional concentration of currency and finance specialists – several historians work on Greek, Roman, Gallic and medieval currencies; several economists have specialized in financial history, the evolution of financial systems and intermediaries, and the regulation thereof… The Currency and finance section of the Loire Valley MSH is a meeting point for researchers from teams in Tours and Orléans who are working on these themes.

    Environmental Humanities: nature as both an actor and an interlocutor



    This research axis uses different approaches to work around a central subject – nature as an actor with intrinsic value (among other things) that is therefore not solely based on utilitarian or anthropocentric criteria (Larrère & Larrère, 2015). Nature and all its components defined by itself, for itself (Milton 2003) and also as an interlocutor and part of a multifaceted relationship. This leads us to use the expression “biosocial complex” borrowed from John Baird Callicott (Callicott 2013) rather than “human/nature interaction. We consider ourselves part of the logic of the ecology of reconciliation” (Miller, 2006).

    Changes to norms

    The “Changes to norms” research section questions the profound transformations of legal norms and, more broadly, social norms in our hyper-normed societies. Our approach is to identify, observe, diagnose, analyse, think about and recreate our representations of law and normativity in the light of our work and the work of our era’s great intellectuals.

    Models, modelling, simulation

    The structuring themes of this research axis are modelling, models and simulation

    Modelling is driven by the expectations of theories which aim to account for the states and dynamics of complex or heterogeneous systems based on a representation (models). As a scientific tool for the representation of an observed reality, this requires abstraction and simplification which contribute to the understanding of its properties. It enables researchers to test hypotheses by simulating scenarios constructed on the basis of premises to produce knowledge about the observed phenomenon.