Prof. Dr. Jacques Lévy

Associate Fellow of the Kolleg Research Group (Max Weber Centre for Advanced Cultural and Social Studies)

Prof. Dr. Jacques Lévy

Personal information

Jacques Lévy is a geographer, an urbanist, and a social scientist.

He is the director of the Spatial Intelligence chair, at the Université Polytechnique Hauts-de-France. He is a member of the Chôros research rhizome. In 2018, he has been awarded the Vautrin-Lud international prize [‘Nobel prize’] in Geography.

Education, Positions, and Activities

  • He has been a student–fellow at the École normale supérieure de Cachan (1971-1975).
  • He has obtained the Agrégation of Geography (1974) and a Doctorat d’État (1993). Formerly, he has been researcher at the French CNRS, then professor at the Paris Institut d’études politiques (Sciences Po) and at Rheims University.
  • He has been full professor at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Lausanne (EPFL) and the director of Chôros Laboratory (2004-2017).
  • He has been invited professor in various universities: UCLA (Los Angeles), NYU (New York), USP (São Paulo), L’Orientale (Naples), Macquarie (Sydney), Bergamo (Università degli Studi), Liège and the Reclus Chair in Mexico City.
  • He has been a fellow of the Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin and of the Max Weber Kolleg (Erfurt).
  • He has been invited as a keynote speaker in many congresses and conferences throughout the World.
  • He is the co-editor of EspacesTemps.net, a bilingual free-access journal of social science.
  • He has been a scientific advisor at the French Ministry of Research (Direction de la Recherche, 2000-2003), where he has promoted space as an interdisciplinary, transversal approach to social theory.
  • He is a member (2020-2025) of the French Conseil d’évaluation de l’école.
  • ​​​​​​​He is the scientific advisor of Pouvoirs Locaux journal. He has been a member of the scientific committees of Geopolitics and Political Geography journals.
  • He has numerous collaborations with newspapers and radio and TV channels in France and Switzerland.
  • He has been nominated at the international Grand Prix de l’Urbanisme (Paris, 2017).

Research topics

His major concerns are social theory of space, political geography, spatial justice, urbanity, globalisation, cartography, and the epistemology of social sciences. He has completed numerous research projects, including theoretical reflections, field studies on metropolises worldwide, and practical urban and territorial projects. He is working on the introduction of non-verbal, namely audio-visual languages, in all dimensions of academic research. He has been the director of a manifesto scientific film, Urbanity/ies (2013), of a nine-film series, Thinking Places (2015).

Publications

He has published in French, English, Italian, German, Spanish, Portuguese, Russian and Hungarian. Among his over 800 publications, the following ones can be particularly noted:

  • Révolutions, fin et suite (with Patrick Garcia & Marie-Flore Mattei, EspacesTemps/Centre Georges Pompidou, 1991);
  • Géographies du politique (ed., Presses de Sciences Po/EspacesTemps, 1991);
  • Le monde : espaces et systèmes (with Marie-Françoise Durand & Denis Retaillé, Presses de Sciences Po/Dalloz, 1992 ;
  • 2nd edition 1993), L’espace légitime (Presses de la FNSP, 1994);
  • Egogéographies (L’Harmattan, 1995); Le monde pour Cité (Hachette, 1996);
  • ‘Nouvelles géographies’ (Le Débat journal, special issue Nov. 1996);
  • Europe : une géographie (Hachette, 1997 ; new edition 2011);
  • Mondialisation : les mots et les choses (with the ‘Mondialisation’ group, Karthala, 1999);
  • Le tournant géographique (Belin, 1999);
  • Logiques de l’espace, esprit des lieux (Belin, 2000, co-ed. Michel Lussault);
  • Repenser le territoire : un dictionnaire critique (L’Aube, 2000, with Serge Wachter et al.);
  • From Geopolitics to Global Politics (ed., Frank Cass, Londres, 2001);
  • Dictionnaire de la géographie et de l’espace des sociétés (Belin, 2003, co-ed. with Michel Lussault, new edition 2013);
  • La carte, enjeu contemporain (La Documentation Photographique, 2004, with Patrick Poncet & Emmanuelle Tricoire);
  • Les sens du mouvement (Belin, 2005, co-ed. with Sylvain Allemand & François Ascher);
  • ‘Eine geographische Wende’ (Geographische Zeitschrift journal, special issue, 2005);
  • Penser l’espace pour lire la vieillesse (Puf, 2006, with Pierre Brunel, Claudine Attias-Donfut, & Jean Morval);
  • Milton Santos, philosophe du mondial, citoyen du local (PPUR, 2007);
  • L’invention du Monde (ed., Presses de Sciences Po, 2008);
  • The City (Ashgate, 2008);
  • Échelles de l’habiter (ed., Puca, 2008);
  • Our Inhabited Space (ed., FNRS, 2009);
  • Le sfide cartografiche (co-ed with Emanuela Casti, Il Lavoro Editoriale, 2010);
  • Globalization of Urbanity (coed., with Josep Acebillo & Chrisitan Schmid, iCUP, 2013);
  • Réinventer la France (Fayard, 2013);
  • Mondialisation : consommateur ou acteur ? (with Jacques Cossart and Lucas Léger, Le Muscadier, 2013);
  • ‘Topographie/Topologie’ (Réseaux journal special issue, 2016),  with Dominique Boullier;  
  • A Cartographic Turn: Mapping and the Spatial Challenge in Social Sciences (ed., EPFL-Press/Routledge, 2016);
  • Atlas politique de la France, (ed., Autrement, 2017), Théorie de la justice spatiale (with Jean-Nicolas Fauchille and Ana Póvoas, Odile Jacob, 2018), Carte d’identités (ed. with Yann Calbérac, Michel Lussault and Olivier Lazzarotti, Hermann, 2019), Le pays des Européens (with Sylvain Kahn, Odile Jacob, 2019), L’humanité : un commencement (Odile Jacob, 2021)

 

Teaching

  • He has provided various courses, mainly at the Master or Doctorate level on social theory, space, urbanity, globalisation.
  • He has supervised or is supervising more than 20 PhD students and 10 post-docs, and dozens of Master projects in Geography and Urbanism.
  • He has designed, produced and released a mooc, Exploring Humans’ Spaces (edX, 2015, French version 2016).
  • He has been co-director of EPFL’s Collège des Humanités (2008-2011) et director of the Architecture and Sciences of the City doctoral programme (2008-2015).

 

Research Grants, A Selection

  • Our Inhabited Space. (FNS, PNR 54, 2005-2009), L’espace urbain à l’épreuve de la mobilité individuelle (FNS, Division 1, 2007-2009) ;
  • Territoires et réseaux de l’espace neuchâtelois (Canton de Neuchâtel, 2007) ;
  • L’intime exposé. L’espace public à l’épreuve de la sexualité (FNS, Division 1, 2007-2012) ;
  • Marche et transports publics dans l’espace francilien (RATP, 2008) ;
  • L’état des controverses sur le développement urbain durable (Puca, 2008-2009) ;
  • La transformation de l’architecture des institutions territoriales du Canton de Neuchâtel, recherche-action, (Canton de Neuchâtel, 2008-2009) ;
  • S3F, Swiss Spatial Sciences Framework (EPF Board, 2008-2009) ;
  • Citétram, Conception intégrée du tramway de Tours et de son insertion urbaine (Communauté d’agglomération, Tours, 2009) ;
  • USUM, Urban Systems, Urban Models, projet en coopération EPFL-ETHZ-USI with Josep Acebillo et Christian Schmid (Swiss Universities Conference, 2009-2012 ) ;
  • Cartographie de l’espace universitaire suisse (CRUS, 2009) ;
  • Cosmographies. Sources et ressources pour une cartographie contemporaine (FNS, Division 1, 2011-2014) ;
  • Genève et le Monde. Les enjeux du développement de la Genève internationale (Fondation pour Genève, 2011-2013) ;
  • La justice spatiale comme pragmatique. Une approche expérimentale de réagencement de la carte hospitalière (FNS, Division 1) ;
  • Proxémités. Une approche géographique multiscalaire de la régulation des distances interpersonnelles dans l’espace public (FNS, Division 1, 2011-2015) ;
  • PostCarWorld. A Trans-Disciplinary Multi-Dimensional Stimulation. (FNS, Sinergia, 2013-2016) ;
  • Justice spatiale. Une enquête auprès des Français (Ceget, 2015-2016) ; Questionner le diagnostic territorial (Puca, 2017-2018) ;
  • Europe 2019 : le territoire d’une société politique (Fondation Jean Jaurès, 2019) ;
  • De l’espace pour l’école de la réussite (Rectorat de Reims, 2019-2020), Terre, terroir, territoire (Commission nationale du débat public, 2020), Qualité urbaine et qualité sociale à Genève (État de Genève, 2020-2021)