Institution of CSH


A social science centre engaged in major issues facing contemporary India and South Asia in an era of globalization

The Centre de Sciences Humaines (CSH, UMIFRE n°20) is part of a network of research units of the National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS) and the French Ministry of European and Foreign Affairs (MEAE). Along with the Institut Français de Pondicherry (IFP:, it forms the Unité de Service et de Recherche (USR) Savoirs et Mondes Indiens (no. 3330). The CSH is a multidisciplinary research unit that covers all disciplines of the social sciences and humanities. The centre originates in 1980 when the French Archaeological Delegation in Afghanistan moved from Kabul to Delhi, following the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. The CSH itself was officially created in 1990. It initially conducted research on history and Indo-Persian culture. In 1995, the CSH became a centre more largely devoted to the study of contemporary social and economic dynamics in India and South Asia. In 2007, it was put under the joint management of CNRS and MEAE and became an UMIFRE integrated in the USR n°3330 with IFP.

Objectives and Missions

The objective of the CSH is to produce and spread around high quality research on all aspects of social sciences and humanities that are relevant for the Indian and South Asian region. The CSH contributes to this research production and diffusion process through its full-time researchers (assigned to CSH either by the French MEAE and CNRS or by Indian institutions), the doctoral students who spend part of their doctoral time in the centre and the colleagues from all over the world that the CSH welcomes on short term contracts.  While the research themes covered at CSH depend to a large extent upon the research agendas of the researchers, the centre has historically been visible in international relations, women political participation, inequality and poverty, growth and development, migrations, urban management, social mobility, castes and international law, to mention just a few.