Centre of Research on Law and Territory (CRDT) - EA 3312


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Team presentation

The Center of Research on Law and Territory (CRDT EA 3312), nationally and internationally known (once again well assessed by the National Evaluation Committee, graded A by the Ministry in 2012 and Pole of Excellence by the Montaigne Institute in 2008, member of european and international networks), has been working on local, national, european, international and comparative public institutions and procedures for 40 years.


26 researchers (6 Prof. and 20 lecturers), 2 technical staff and 34 PhD candidates

Key words

Decentralization, deconcentration, State reform, land planning, environment, sustainable development, public commercial law, territorial public service, public finances, taxation, heritage, cultural policies, wine law, comparative law, Europe, International, human rights

Research topics

Axis 1: Institutional territories in motion (responsible: Mathieu Soula, professor of law history)

Several themes prevail and structure this line of research for the next contract : the evolution of the territorial state, in connection with public transformation and on the basis of renewed principles of de-concentration, highlighted in particular by the new de-concentration charter adopted by the decree of May 7, 2015 in connection with the previous theme and also in connection with the evolution of territorial reforms, the key issue of regionalization in every aspect.

Axis 2: Challenges and transformations of territorial public action (responsible: Arnaud Coutant, lecturer in Public Law, HDR)

Out of the legal sphere stricto sensu, the methods and experiences in local activity, the emergence of the new networks, the strong implication of actors involved in territories and the implementation of models and theories resulting from the political science for public action analysis, justify the establishment of a series of particular studies, crossed with legal and financial approaches.

Axis 3: The new law and political science territories: national, comparative and international approaches (responsible: Camille Froidevaux-Metterie, professor of Political Science)

The influence and lessons learned from foreign models, in Europe and around the world, must be studied, according to several disciplinary approaches, in an experimental logic and in relation with the theoretical models resulting from the legal and political sciences, the report to the EU and developments in Europe: a study of EU law and policies in relation to their effects on territories and their modeling; study of the principle of subsidiarity, in all its diversity today and as a structuring element of the relations between levels of government in France and in Europe.


The CRDT hosts Public Law Master degrees, on:

  • Local Authorities and Cultural Organizations,
  • Local Development Business Law,
  • Public Law and Civil Service,
  • European integration and neighbourhood policies,
  • Public and private Administrators in Africa,
  • Wine and Law,

and welcome Ph.D. students and specialized professors on these themes.


The Center of Research on Law and Territory has signed cooperative agreements with:

  • the Federation of local public enterprises (LPEs),
  • the European Association of State territorial representatives (EASTR),
  • the International Institute of Administrative Sciences (IIAS),
  • the Department of Legal Studies of Naples Frederico II University, Italy,
  • the Department of public economy and regional development, Facujlty of Economics, Matej Bel Branska Bystrica in Slovakia
  • the Center of Research on Territoritorial development(CRDT) consisting of researchers from 6 universities in Quebec


Computer equipment: National observatory web server on decentralization, documentation on local governance and land planning issues (including more than 2000 publications and reviews


The CRDT is a founding member of the GIS GRALE CNRS on Local Authorities in Europe and of the GIP GRIDAUH on institutions, town planning and housing. It has also signed several national and international collaboration agreements and organise many conferences at the local, regional, national and international levels.

Organizational chart