An international, interdisciplinary research network

The REBUS Research Network is an international, interdisciplinary network of around thirty researchers, consisting of university professors, some researchers, and PhD students. It was founded in 2018 to strengthen the links between the research centers of the Université Paris Cité, formed from the merger of the Université Paris Descartes, the Université Paris Diderot, and the Institut de Physique du Globe de Paris.

The network aims to engage in multidisciplinary research in collaboration with foreign colleagues to understand the links between changes in the process of globalization and the reorganization of companies.

The network’s interest is in analyzing changes in the globalization process and the reorganization of firms. In the last two decades, the organization of firms and their integration into regional, national, and global networks has undergone profound changes due to various factors such as regional competition, the development of global supply chain networks, new social movements, automation of production and services, digitalization of information systems, changes in international trade regulations, and rapid environmental degradation, pandemics, global health risks, and associated policy and regulatory changes.

The consequences of these changes are uncertain, and the public debate is beginning to question growth and the endangerment of democratic institutions. The future of the global corporate boom is also being questioned in the light of these changes, as their strategies and structures are under stress, which could destabilize the productive and commercial networks in which they are embedded. In this emerging business environment, companies of all sizes and structures may face a fundamental challenge to their growth and survival. While these companies play a fundamental role in job creation, production, and innovation, the regions in which they are located may also be affected.

This challenge has led a multidisciplinary and international group of researchers from the University of Paris and other academic institutions in France and from institutions in other states to carry out a project aimed at exploring the determinants and implications of changes in global trade activities through cases in various regions and countries. The project involves economists, geographers, lawyers, sociologists, and management specialists, including PhD students and integrating Master’s students, from a network of universities and research laboratories, including three UPC laboratories: the Centre for Business Law and Management (CEDAG), the Centre for Social Science Studies on African, American and Asian Worlds (CESSMA), and the Social Dynamics and Recomposition of Spaces Laboratory (LADYSS).

A Timely Topic

Crises, Globalization, and the Reorganization of Economic Activities

In today’s global context of uncertainty, various crises - economic, geopolitical, technological, environmental, and sanitary - have led to an important research issue. The analysis of business networks’ reorganization and the adaptation of economic activities is both theoretical and practical, contributing to the debate on the future of the socio-economic world, the evolution of territories, and the legal frameworks.

The research network aims to analyze the adaptation of economic systems to the evolution of globalization through the study of “global production networks” (GPN) reorganization processes. This research objective involves understanding the local and regional networks in which companies are integrated and examining the many ways in which they comply with externally initiated norms and regulations at regional, national, and global levels.

GPNs structure economic production in the primary, manufacturing, and service sectors, making a diverse set of firms the focus of the research, along with a large number of economic actors present at different scales and playing a role in local dynamics. The research places particular emphasis on small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), including start-ups and cooperatives, whose contribution in terms of research generation and employment is essential.

Four main research axes

• Axis 1: “Analyzing the restructuring of business networks” (Coordinators Ph. Cadène, P. Grouiez) • Axis 2: “Thinking about legal evolution and compliance (including CSR)” (Coordinators G. Bourdeaux, P. Koleva) • Axis 3: “Analyzing formal and informal financing” (Coordinators G. Bourdeaux, P. Koleva, P. Ould-Ahmed) • Axis 4: “Searching for alternatives” (Coordinators Th. Lamarche, I. Milbert)