École Libre des Sciences Politiques


École Libre des Sciences Politiques

École Libre des Sciences Politiques (English: Private School of Political Studies), often referred to as the École des Sciences Politiques or simply Sciences Po (pronounced see-ahns po) was created in Paris in February 1872 by a group of European intellectuals, politicians and businessmen, which included Hippolyte Taine, Ernest Renan, Albert Sorel, Pierre Paul Leroy-Beaulieu, François Guizot, and led by Émile Boutmy.

General information

Following the defeat in the 1870 war, the demise of Napoleon III, and the Paris Commune, these men sought to introduce new teaching reforms in order to renew the training of French politicians. Politically and economically, people feared that France's international stature was waning due to inadequate teaching of its politicians and diplomatic corps. Thus, the Sciences Po developed a humanistic and pragmatic teaching program. It departed from the French higher education system of its time by emphasizing the scientific and objective study of the social sciences from a pragmatic and practical point of view.

The instructors at the Sciences Po included not only famous academics, but also practicians: Ministers, High civil servants at the Banque de France, members of the Conseil d'État. The chief mission of the school was the training of the next generation of the political and diplomatic elite in France and, arguably, the French-speaking world. New matters such as international relations, international law, comparative government, and compared constitutional history were introduced. Sport was also compulsory, and an important emphasis was put on the study of contemporary foreign societies.

For 70 years, the institution, located on Rue Saint-Guillaume in the Left Bank of Paris, raised generations of politicians, government officials, French (and foreign) business executives, diplomats, and economic advisers equipped with a solid base of cultural knowledge and introduced them to the central dilemmas of contemporary international life.

Educational Reforms of 1945

On 9 October 1945, General Charles de Gaulle nationalized the "Ecole Libre des Sciences Politiques". The school was split into two entities: the Fondation Nationale des Sciences Politiques (English: National Foundation of Political Studies) and the Institut d'Etudes Politiques de Paris (English: Paris Institute of Political Studies). Both of these institutions exist today, and represent the research and teaching prestige of the "Ecole Libre des Sciences Politiques". Both the foundation and the institute are the direct descendants of that school, and are collectively referred to as the Sciences Po.

Charles de Gaulle used the "Ecole Libre des Sciences Politiques" as the template for creating an entire system of institutes of political studies in France, referred to as "Institut d'études politiques" or "IEP". Aside from Paris Institute of Political Studies, there are eight other institutes across France. They are located in Aix-en-Provence, Bordeaux, Grenoble, Lille, Lyon, Rennes, Strasbourg and Toulouse, and their vocation is the study and research of contemporary social sciences.

tudents

*Eric Wollencott Barnes
*Frank Johnson Goodnow
*Ma Jianzhong
*Grayson L. Kirk
*Samuel Eliot Morison
*Pierre Drieu La Rochelle
*António Nobre

References

* [http://www-iep.u-strasbg.fr/history.htm Brief History of IEP]


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