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Masters of Science and Technology

Le département HSS  proposant les enseignements suivants aux étudiantes et étudiants des Masters of Sciences and Technology de l'École polytechnique.


HFC552 - Aspects of comparative commercial law


Aspects of comparative commercial law

The aim of this course is to examine one or more areas of commercial law from a comparative perspective, that students can recognise comparative law issues when they arise in commercial law and are able to analyse those issues using the conceptual tools of comparative law. Based on a comparative analysis this course will  include aspects of corporate laws in civil and common law countries, international buisiness transactions, disputes resolution as well as the contract laws of different countries.


HFC555 - Economic Sociology



The course is an introduction to economic sociology. As a subfield that has grown extraordinarily over the past thirty years, economic sociology has proposed a sociological investigation of economic phenomena. It first seeks to critique the analytical assumptions and epistemology commonly shared within mainstream economics. But it also offers sociologically grounded of economic phenomena. It ultimately searches to formulate alternative accounts of economic behavior and economic processes. Economic sociology therefore claims that rational action hypothesis does not offer accurately represent individual economic actions, not more than perfect competition provides an understanding of concrete market mechanisms.



HFC556 & HFC 566 - Introduction to French Politics


The French political system and French politics in foreign affairs.

The purpose of this course is to make you familiar with the recent history of France, the French political system and the French position in international affairs. Our method to acquaint you with it, is to link analyses about France within a large point of view about the evolution of western democracies and also to link academic analysis with the day-to-day of current affairs.


HFC564 - Sociology of energy transitions: innovation, socio-technical change and controversies in the energy sector


Under the banner of "energy transition", energy-related stakes and issues stand high on the media and public policy agenda. But when it comes to the implementation of this transition,many debates and controversies arise. For instance, renewable energy production contributes to global challenges for the energy-climate issue, but can give rise to acute conflicts around local projects, which some researchers have characterized as "green on green" controversies (Warrenet al., 2005). More broadly, energy issues engage a wealth of different actors and sectors, far beyond the technical developments.

This seminar will enable students to consider energy issues with a sociological stance, resting on the contributions of Science and Technology Studies (STS), a branch of sociology and history devoted to the study of science and technology issues, as well as insights from opinion sociology and public policy analysis centred on energy issues.


HFC567 - corporate sustainability: how ethics & responsibility are driving investment & performance




HFC569 - Philosophy of Science Fiction



In science fiction movies and texts, the explanation scene is a gender stereotype. This scene may be serious or funny, but it has invariably a strategic position : it’s the moment when the reader or the spectator has precisely to move on from science to fiction. Even in Countdown (Altman, 1967), a film that its director defines as « science fiction without fiction », this scene does exist and this movement does happen. A first way to figure out  how science fiction literature and cinema make us think  will be to study these scenes in the masterpieces that have marked the history of science fiction : Frankenstein (Shelley, 1818), Journey to the Center of the Earth (Verne, 1864), The Time Machine (Wells, 1895), 1984 (Orwell, 1949), 2001. A Space Odyssey (Kubrick, 1968), Brazil (Gilliam, 1985), Matrix (Wachowski, 1999). It will be an opportunity to test the Deleuze’s idea that philosophy can be written as science fiction on « the extreme edge between our knowledge and our ignorance, where they pass within each other » (Difference and Repetition, 1968). But science fiction makes us think far beyond what it explains. How ? By dealing with everyday problems but in an extraordinary way. Consider for instance marital and filial relationships in Maybe (Klapish, 1999), environment but also handicap in Avatar (Cameron, 2009), justice in Minority Report (Spielberg, 2002) memory in The Jetty (Marquer, 1962). This second way to read and watch science fiction will allow us to question the more implicit and critical understanding of the world we live in which science fiction can offer.


HFC550 - science and technology studies