Chair of European philosophy

This project ended in 2018 but reflection is continuing within the TEN-Europa Chair held by Arnauld Leclerc.

Developing theoretical reflection and encouraging an exchange on European issues – such is the mission of the Chair of European Philosophy at the University of Nantes. Under the direction of its holder, Jean-Marc Ferry, it aims to promote a better understanding of the European project, its challenges, its founding principles and its difficulties. The Chair of European Philosophy was founded in 2011 by the University of Nantes, the Regional Council of Pays de la Loire and Nantes-Métropole, and has been part of the Alliance Europa project since its launch in 2015. Its aim was to ensure academic visibility and transdisciplinary collaboration about Europe. Beyond its research mission, the Chair has animated public spaces at local, national and international level by gathering civil society actors, and has also provided support for the Europeanization of training within the University of Nantes. It is therefore a place for reflection and debate for researchers, students and the general public.

Jean-Marc Ferry’s personal website:

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Chair Holder

Jean-Marc Ferry

Philosopher, University Professor

Jean-Marc Ferry has held the Chair of Philosophy of Europe at the University of Nantes at the Maison des Sciences de l’Homme de Nantes since its foundation in 2011. He is Honorary Professor of Political Science and Moral Philosophy at the Université libre de Bruxelles, Doctor honoris causa of the University of Lausanne (2000) and of the Université Saint-Louis de Bruxelles (2017), and a former scholarship holder of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation (Bonn). He is a member, among others, of the Jean Monnet Foundation, the Spinelli Group for Europe, and the European Observatory of University Policies. Jean-Marc Ferry is Commander of the Order of Leopold and Grand Officer of the Order of Leopold II (Belgium), Gold Medal of the Academy of Agriculture of Paris. In 1995, the French Academy awarded him the Prix La Bruyère for the body of his work. His work has been awarded twice by the Institut de France: La Bruyère Prize of the French Academy, in Philosophy, Morality, Sociology, “for the body of his work” (1995); Louis Marin Prize of the Academy of Moral and Political Sciences, for his book The Question of the European State (2001).

To date, he has published some thirty books, some two hundred and fifty journal articles, chapters in collective works, interviews and expert reports, many of which deal with European issues.

He directs the Humanities collection at Éditions du Cerf (Paris) and the collection La Pensée élargie at Éditions Le Bord de l’Eau. He co-directs with Nathalie Zaccaï-Reyners the Philosophy and Society collection at the Éditions de l’Université Libre de Bruxelles and, with Alain Renaut, the Applied Philosophy collection at the Presses Universitaires de Paris Sorbonne. His latest work is entitled La Raison et la foi. Une philosophie de la religion. Among his most important works are Les Puissances de l’expérience (1991), Philosophie de la communication (1994), L’Ethique reconstructive (1996), La Question de l’Etat européen (2000), De la Civilisation (2001), Valeurs et normes (2002), La Question de l’Histoire (2002), Les Grammaires de l’intelligence (2004), Europe, la voie kantienne (2005), La Religion réflexive (2010), La République crépusculaire (2010), La Raison et la foi (2016).

He is also a promoter of the concept of Universal Allowance.

Read Jean-Marc Ferry’s resume


Arnauld Leclerc



Professor of political science at the University of Nantes and director of the Maison des Sciences de l'Homme Ange-Guépin from 2015 to 2020. Holder of the “Telos, Ethos, Nomos Europa” Jean Monnet Chair. Coordinator of Alliance Europa's Axis 1 "Governing Europe in a globalised world".

A member of the Law and Social Change Laboratory (CNRS/University Joint Research Unit n°6297), Arnauld Leclerc is a specialist in political theory applied to Europe. He directs the Master 2 in Political Science of Europe and created in 2011 an original selective bachelor’s degree dedicated to the multidisciplinary study of Europe. All the classes he teaches relate to European studies, contributing to the vitality of this field and to the debates on European issues through his regular participation in public debates and the organisation of numerous scientific and extra-academic events. He is the president of Euradio, a radio school specialising in European issues, welcoming students from all over Europe every year and broadcasting in several languages.

He is the coordinator of the Chair of European Philosophy project held by philosopher Jean-Marc Ferry, and the author of several collective works including Les intellectuels et le pouvoir. Déclinaisons et mutations (Presses Universitaires de Rennes, 2012), Conclusion : La citoyenneté européenne en temps de crise and L’Europe : crise et critique (Presses de l’Université de Paris-Sorbonne, 2016, 2017) and Du mot au concept. La démocratie comme intellectualisation de la dispute sociale (2017), L’Europe face au défi des religions: construire un espace public par-delà la sécularisation (2017). His research themes are the the philosophy of Europe, the theory of democracy and the philosophy of the university.

See the page of the “Télos Ethos Nomos Europa” Chair.

Tristan Storme

Tristan Storme

Lecturer in political science at the University of Nantes. Member of the Centre for Political Theory, Université libre de Bruxelles.

Tristan Storme studied at the ULB in Brussels. He is a specialist in political theory applied to Europe. His work focuses in particular on the articulation of the political and the religious in Europe, on the reuse of concepts from Carl Schmitt by many intellectuals in the debate on Europe. He is the author of Carl Schmitt et le marcionisme. L’impossibilité théologico-politique d’un œcuménisme judéo-chrétien, published by Éditions du Cerf in 2008 and L’actualité du Tractatus de Spinoza et la question théologico-politique, co-directed with Quentin Landenne in 2014.

See his publications (FR content)

Daniela Heimpel

Daniela Heimpel

PhD student in political science at the University of Nantes and the University of Montreal, Canada.

At the Law and Social Change Laboratory of the Doctoral School of Law, Economics-Management, Societies, Territories, Daniela Heimpel is preparing a thesis entitled “Teaching Europe? Challenges, potential and limits of an education for European citizenship” under the co-supervision of Arnauld Leclerc and Jean-Marc Ferry for the University of Nantes and Magdalena Dembinska for the University of Montreal (scholarship from the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung, Germany).

Since 2015, Daniela Heimpel has been part of the team of the Chair of European Philosophy, where she was an assistant before becoming an associate for her research on European citizenship and the functioning of the European public space. Since September 2017, she is a visiting student at the European University Institute, Department of Political and Social Sciences, Italy, under the supervision of Professor Rainer Bauböck.


The Chair organized international colloquia dedicated to each year’s key notion. In 2015-2016, the focus was on "Public/private: towards a new sharing in Europe". The following year, the theme of the conference was "Europe. Questioning public/private sharing" and it took place on Thursday 23 and Friday 24 March 2017 at the Maison des Sciences de l'Homme in Nantes.

To discover the previous themes, see the archive.

The Chair also organized the Grand Seminar (Kolloquium). This was a series of monthly conferences aimed at delving deeper into a specific theme, inviting researchers to present their interpretation and submitting it to in-depth discussion by an informed and interested public. "Europe. Why bother?" was the title of the 2017-2018 Grand Seminar. Each session was devoted to the discussion of a text, in the presence of two speakers: an established researcher presented one of his works, and a doctoral student, post-doctoral student or young doctor commented and launched the debate with the public.

For all the activities, please consult on our French website (content in French) :

- Seminar programme 2018

- The videos of the conference "Europe. Public - private sharing in question" March 23-24, 2017

- Videos of the seminars of the 2017-2018 cycle

- Archives


The Chair of European Philosophy is a project on a European scale, and throughout its activity since 2011, the Chair has endeavoured to develop its international dimension and interdisciplinarity and to build partnerships with other political and intellectual actors specializing in European issues. Thus, through regular conferences, symposia, and seminars, the repeated external interventions of Professors Arnauld Leclerc and Jean-Marc Ferry, and the invitation of numerous speakers from a wide variety of backgrounds, the Chair has acquired, over these few years of activity, significant academic visibility and recognition.

Round-table discussions, seminars, and conference-debates, at the invitation of various associations or political and social actors more generally, have thus provided an opportunity to promote research and enriching exchanges with local, national and international civil, political and administrative society.