About us


IACCHOS is the UCLouvain’s research institute which joins together 10 research centres in the social sciences. It has more than 230 members, including over 60 academics and 150 PhD students.

The Institute's scientific objective is extensive and is characterized by a variety of scientific approaches, notably those of the following core disciplines: sociology, anthropology, demography, history, didactics, developmental sciences, educational sciences and occupational sciences. In addition to these disciplines, there are also numerous interactions with law, economics, psychology, philosophy, as well as architecture and urban planning, thus providing a real forum for interdisciplinary research on the issue of social change.

This gives rise to many objects of study, ranging from symbolic systems to economic practices in all their diversity, changes in socialization and individualization patterns to population dynamics (fertility, mortality, etc.), analysis of bodily practices to those aimed at investing space, modes of knowledge production (in particular on social networks) to globalization processes, including resistance to the latter at the local level.

In essence, it is a matter of developing a non-reductionist analysis of social change by highlighting the historical depth of contemporary phenomena.

Our guiding principle: pluralistic research

In the following pages, you will become acquainted with the synthesis of the work carried out since 2012 by the Institute for the Analysis of Change in Contemporary and Historical Societies (IACS - IACCHOS in French), regarding modes of production, dissemination and valorization of academic research, particularly in the field of the social sciences. In a climate of increasing competitiveness for resources and of making scientific data available to the general public, this document, the result of a collective and long-term process advocates for a deliberately pluralistic approach to research, in every sense of the word, with the implications that this entails for the quality of research in the long term, the well-being of all personnel, and the organization of work.

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Our Rules of Governance

A confederal structure, where the research centres are viewed as the real “manufacturing” places of research and that it is the Institute’s responsibility to support and promote their activities; a collegial decision-making process, conducted by the Institute's board of directors, which meets once a month and is made up of the heads of all the research centres, representatives of scientific staff and the Institute's coordinator; a centralized and transversal offer of services, which supports the research centres in areas that they do not have the means to develop on their own, namely: logistical support for research, editorial support, journal management, organization of events, and management of major research contracts; shared rules, particularly in budgetary matters (two-thirds of the operating costs are repaid back to the centres), support for the publication and translation activities of researchers, with an emphasis on interdisciplinary and inter-centre synergies, etc.); and finally, specific activities, such as welcome and support sessions for young researchers, the organization of a bi-annual colloquium, and the continuation of a cycle of "major conferences" in conjunction with student associations.

Our Activity Report

When our institute was created in 2009-2010, UCLouvain was at a turning point. The University had embarked on a vast reform, known as the Development Plan, which planned to 'distinguish' teaching and research activities in order to better 'coordinate' them. The Faculties have been in existence for several centuries, the Institutes have no history, although they can draw on a long history of research in a number of fields. Everything has to be invented: the future of research will be a matter of determination, shared will and collective commitment. In the case of the Institute for the Analysis of Change in History and Contemporary Societies (IACCHOS), this wager is in some ways redoubled by the state of the social sciences in Louvain-la-Neuve. Demography, history, sociology, anthropology, didactics, development sciences, labour sciences, education sciences, family and sexual sciences... The disciplines exist, they often have a "strong personality", but are not used to working together. We must remember this when we look back at the road we have travelled.

Activity Report 2018-2019