The origin of social development

Social development is one of the greatest challenges faced by modern societies. The changes resulting from social development require collaboration between all social actors, in addition to political engagement. 

The Centre de recherche sur les politiques et le développement social (Research Centre on Policies and Social Development), directed by Éric Montpetit from Université de Montréal, brings together researchers in political science and sociology to address a common question: how does policy generate social development? 

Their research revolves around two axes: first, the social risks and political challenges they pose in terms of orientations, interventions and impact; and secondly, the process of social development, i.e. the issues of coordination, conflict and legitimacy in the relationships between state and society. The Centre is concerned with two facets of social development, both the material aspect (material and legal conditions, etc.) and the procedures and mechanisms involved (civic engagement, representation, consultation, participation). 

The Centre's activities also include work on social investment, involving the documentation of the changes to the paradigm of public action in Europe and Latin America; production mechanisms and poverty regulation, providing a better understanding of the persistence of poverty in spite of public efforts and social struggles to reduce it; the role of interest groups and political actors in the political process; and finally, ethics in politics. 

Through its annual conferences, seminars and round tables, the Centre has become a meeting place for researchers and students. Since 2009, the group is in charge of the editing and production of, a digital publication that received more than 300,000 visitors over the past year. This website provides direct, immediate and free access to pertinent information on the main social policies in industrialized countries, their evolution, and their evaluation by the group's researchers.


Centre de recherche sur les politiques et le développement social


Éric Montpetit, Université de Montréal

Regular members

  • Nicole F. Bernier, Université de Montréal 
  • Gérard Boismenu, Université de Montréal 
  • Pascale Dufour, Université de Montréal 
  • Martial Foucault, Université de Montréal 
  • Jane Jenson (Moore), Université de Montréal 
  • Denis Saint-Martin, Université de Montréal 
  • Deena White, Université de Montréal