EHESS has its origins in the Economics and Social Sciences department of the Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes (EPHE), created in 1947 under the direction of Lucien Febvre. Over the following three decades this department was highly influential in carving out a place for Social Sciences as an epistemological domain in its own right, and as a space for inter-disciplinary exchanges focusing on a common research object: human societies.
The École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales (School of Advanced Studies in the Social Sciences) is a graduate-only research institution that has a unique standing in the world of research and higher education in France. It hosts scholars from all over the world committed to the study of contemporary societies seen within broad cultural and historical contexts. It trains students up to PhD level in all disciplines of the social and human sciences (history, anthropology, sociology, economics, geography, linguistics, psychology, demography, cognitive science, political science, philosophy and mathematics).
At EHESS, the spirit of intellectual exchange asserts itself through a unique setup, in which research centers dedicated to broad cultural areas (Asia, Oceania, Russia, the Americas, etc.) collaborate with disciplinary-focused centers (anthropology, history, economics, psychology, etc.) and thematic centers (politics, religion, science, the arts and languages etc.). This framework provides a dynamic and multipronged approach to uncovering the complexities of our social worlds.
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The EHESS's textual and print resources including collections donated by individuals are housed in the institution's many libraries and documentation centers.
The Campus Cordorcet is meant to become an outstanding site near Paris where humanities and social sciences will flourish. As soon as 2020, this newly-founded "City of Humanities and Social Sciences" will be a prominent place where research is conducted, both in France and on a global scale.