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


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Contact details

Address :

57, rue Pierre Taittinger
BP 30 - 51571 REIMS Cedex

Secretariat :

Stéphanie OUHIBI

Website :

in progress


The Law and Territory Research Centre is a research unit based at the Maison des Sciences humaines of the University of Reims Champagne-Ardenne (URCA).

Headed by Professor Arnaud COUTANT since 2023, it is made up of 34 university researchers, all from the URCA, and practitioners, all specialising in the analysis of public institutions and procedures. The centre was once again positively evaluated by the HCERES in 2022.

Researchers regularly publish books, articles and reports on these issues. Some members are editors of collections published by Bruylant, L'Harmattan and Mare & Martin. The CRDT organises citizens' conferences, study days, seminars and symposia with university researchers, professionals and elected representatives, and publishes the proceedings. It hosts the Wine & Law Programme of the Jean Monnet Chair.

The CRDT is a founding member of two major research networks: the GIS GRALE (Groupement de Recherches sur l'Administration Locale en Europe) and the GIP GRIDAUH (Groupement de Recherche sur les Institutions et le Droit de l'Aménagement, de l'Urbanisme et de l'Habitat), for which it writes annual reports, and is part of the GRAM, a CNRS research group led by Sciences Po Paris. It participates in seminars, colloquia and research with the 3 groups.

Scientific field(s)

  • Public Law
  • Political Science


The CRDT has 10 PR, including 1 emeritus, 20 MC including 9 HDR, 1 IGR HDR, 1 TECH, all of whom are permanent staff at URCA. The CRDT also hosts 1 contract MC, 2 MAST and 34 PhD students.

Key words

  • Decentralisation
  • State reform
  • Town and country planning
  • Sustainable development
  • Civil service
  • Public finance
  • Cultural policy
  • Wine law
  • Comparative law
  • International

Research topics

The Centre de Recherche Droit & Territoire is a research unit (host team EA 3312) comprising 35 teacher-researchers, research engineers and a secretary, as well as around fifty doctoral students in public law and political science. Initially focused on decentralisation and its various aspects in France, the centre evolved in 2017 to include, alongside its main historical focus, legal and political issues in connection with new themes (wine law in particular, in connection with the creation of a vine and wine institute in Reims) and broader perspectives (health, safety, environment).

Research activities are structured into three areas.

Area 1: Local public action (institutions, policies, regulations)

Research into local public action, a long-standing theme of the centre, aims to shed light on local public institutions and policies, the mechanisms and legal developments that run through them and those to come, taking into account specific French features, in a European context, and current legislation and regulations. In this first area, work is carried out on an in-depth study of French decentralisation and territorial organisation, with its changes, primarily from the point of view of local authorities, but also in relation to the State and its own transformations. Local institutions are studied, leading to research into decentralised and devolved organisation, in particular the affirmation of inter-municipality and the relationship with the municipal question, but also the challenges of regionalisation and the proliferation of special statutes. The human and financial resources made available to local structures and the regulation and operation of public procurement are also the subject of in-depth study. Particular attention is also paid to the theme of local democracy, in France and in a comparative approach. A second category of analysis focuses on local public policies and the partnerships that underpin them, in the areas of safety, health, culture and heritage, economic and social development and the environment. In this respect, local planning regulations, sustainable development and policies to protect the climate and combat climate change are among the priorities for the coming years. Finally, all of these issues, both institutional and material, must be studied in the light of the theme of territorial differentiation, both in terms of its modalities and its limits, but also in terms of the consequences that can be expected from it, concerning the general organisation of the State. Local public action is thus the subject of research that provides an understanding of the French 2 way of working and its recent changes, as well as projects and their medium-term consequences.

Area 2: Wine heritage and public policies (legal environment for wine, regulations and specific features of the state, public policies for wine)

Dedicated to a theme rooted in the Champagne region, this second area will enable research to be carried out in France and abroad on the legal environment for wine, the various regulations and their consequences, and the specific characteristics of each state. This second area provides an opportunity to work on wine regulations in general, at both national and European level. The studies also highlight the legal specificities of this product (appellation of origin/brands/IGP). The work in this area also provides an opportunity to analyse public policy in the wine sector and its impact. More specifically, the question of wine heritage and its link with the implementation of public policies can be approached in a static or dynamic manner. In the first hypothesis, winegrowing heritage is understood as capital (economic, cultural, even social) with a territorial anchorage, while public policies intervene in order to manage, protect and promote this heritage. In the case of a dynamic approach, wine heritage is an object of regulation, an aggregate of interests, confronted with other objectives with which it must be reconciled. Without denying the first logic, it is above all the second that should be favoured, making it possible to structure several issues: the resilience of the wine sector in the face of climate change and sustainable development; identity politics and their link with designations of origin, 'alternative' oenological practices, the problems of urbanisation and the protection of wine-growing landscapes ; demographic change and public policies on immigration, the status of seasonal workers and the transfer of winegrowing businesses; and, of course, the restrictions placed on the wine industry for public health reasons and the regulation of e-commerce in wine (which is part of the 'deterritorialisation' of the wine sector). Dynamics are possible with the first axis. This second area is also an opportunity for publicists, privatists, economists and politicians to work together, while also opening up research to comparative and foreign studies.

Area 3: Rights and freedoms (state institutions, justice and security, individual rights)

More open in its logic, this third area welcomes work on major legal concepts or policies in order to understand their multiple dimensions and potential developments. The rationale behind this third area is to encourage conceptual research into the functioning of the State, the rights of individuals and the legal framework. The first category includes work on the institutional organisation of the State, both in terms of political institutions and types of regime. Major policies and their legal backgrounds fall into a second category, through research on justice, security, health and the environment. Finally, a third field of research has been opened up to study the rights of individuals from three distinct perspectives: the social sphere (gender and gender equality), technological developments (open data, protection of personal data, dematerialisation of administrative procedures) and the international dimension (law of international institutions, migration law).

What we do

The CRDT organises study days, seminars and conferences with university researchers, professionals and elected representatives, and publishes the proceedings, as well as citizens' conferences in Reims.

It also takes part in local and regional studies, national, European and international research projects, expert reports and parliamentary hearings.

It also hosts doctoral students and researchers specialising in these research themes.

Research facilities

  • Computer facilities
  • GIS GRALE web server hosted at URCA
  • Documentation on public institutions


  • The Federation of Local Public Enterprises (FEPL),
  • The European Association of Territorial State Representatives (AERTE),
  • The Department of Public Economics and Regional Development at the Faculty of Economics, Matej Bel University, Banska Bystrica, Slovakia,
  • The Centre de recherche sur le développement territorial (CRDT), which brings together researchers from 6 Quebec universities.
  • Attached doctoral school(s)


The CRDT is a member of the GIS GRALE (Groupement de Recherche sur l'Administration Locale en Europe) and participates in writing columns in the Annuaire Droit et Gestion des Collectivités Territoriales (Le Moniteur, then PUG since 2023). He is also a member of the GIP GRIDAUH (Groupement de Recherche sur les Institutions et le Droit de l'Aménagement, de l'Urbanisme et de l'Habitat) and writes the "Aménagement du territoire" column in the Annuaire français du droit de l'aménagement, de l'urbanisme et de l'habitat (Le Moniteur).

Outstanding publications

Examples of joint work

- Roselyne Allemand and Nadine Dantonel-Cor, la contractualisation de l'action publique locale. Des collectivités locales libres ou sous contraintes, ed. L'Harmattan, coll. Grale, 2018.

- Arnaud Coutant, ed, Prohibitions, Ed. Mare et Martin, 2018, 220 p.

- Olivier Dupéron, dir, Actes 1 et 2 de la décentralisation. Les transferts de compétences de l'État vers les collectivités territoriales. 40 ans de déplacement des politiques publiques, L'Harmattan, coll. du GRALE, 2023.

- Franck Durand, "La loi du 11 février 2005 pour l'égalité des droits et des chances, la participation et la citoyenneté des personnes handicapées : 15 ans de progrès réels et d'espoirs déçus", Actes du Colloque organisé par le CRDT de Reims le 11 février 2020, published under the direction of Franck Durand, Colloques de l'IFDJ collection, 2021, 222 p.

- Théodore Georgopoulos, LA VIGNE ET LE VIN. Transformation des filières et des acteurs, with Aloïs Kanyinda, Emmanuelle Leclercq, Aurélie Melin, Aurélie Ringeval-Deluze, Ariel Sévilla, Yves Tesson, Benoît Verdier (Collectif de recherche Univigne), La vigne et le vin. Transformation des filières et des acteurs, L'Harmattan, 2020, 312 p

- A collective handbook (Les grands arrêts du droit vitivinicole) featuring 27 specialists (including 5 CRDT teacher-researchers) is updated regularly.

- A thematic journal: La Revue du Droit du Vin et des Spiritueux (2 issues per year)

Jus Vini, the Journal of Wine and Spirits Law, is a peer-reviewed legal journal which publishes two issues a year (June and December), in French or English, of high-level scientific studies promoting legal doctrine and interdisciplinary dialogue on wine and spirits. Published by Mare et Martin

Examples of individual work

- Jean-Michel Bricault, "L'expérimentation territoriale récente d'un droit de dérogation reconnu au préfet" in "La différenciation territoriale. L'adaptation du droit à la diversité des territoires : réalités et perspectives", Ed. L'Harmattan, Coll. Grale, 2020, p. 209-241.

- Arnaud Coutant, "La Société française de tempérance, une déclinaison inattendue de la logique prohibitionniste", Jus Vini, 2023, 2.

- Denis Jouve, "Le rôle du droit des aides d'Etat pour sortir de la crise", Revue Française de Finances Publiques, November 2020, no. 152, pp. 47-55.

- Serge Pugeault, "Conseil d'Etat : un peu de lumière sur des " portes étroites ", AJDA 2018, p. 2097.

- Manon-Nour Tannous, "Le jeu des puissances régionales et internationales dans le conflit syrien", L'état du monde 2021, Bertrand Badie and Dominique Vidal (dir.), 2020, La Découverte, p. 193-199.

- Line Touzeau-Mouflard, "Les archives de l'Élysée", Pouvoirs, no. 180, January 2022, pp. 99-109.

- Céline Vintzel, "Droit et politique parlementaires comparés" (chapter 7), in O. Rozenberg and E. Thiers (eds.), Traité d'études parlementaires, Brussels, Bruylant, 2018, p. 193-218.

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  • Vice-doyenne de l'UFR Droit et Science Politique - Directrice adjointe du CRDT

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  • Directeur adjoint, référent intégrité scientifique

  • Phone 03 26 91 88 07

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