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The spatial diffusion of geography: A bibliometric analysis of ECTQG conferences (1978-2013)

Sylvain Cuyala

Résumés

Ce travail analyse le développement et la diffusion de la géographie théorique et quantitative européenne francophone, à partir de l’hypothèse que ce mouvement se développe en trois moments (émergence, amplification et diversification). Deux corpus sont utilisés : premièrement, les listes de présentations aux Colloques européens de Géographie Théorique et Quantitative sur la période 1978-2013, deuxièmement, un ensemble de 55 entretiens semi-directifs de géographes appartenant au mouvement théorique et quantitatif. Nous analysons conjointement la fréquence des présentations et les réseaux spatiaux de collaborations basés sur l’affiliation institutionnelle des auteurs. Les principaux résultats montrent un passage de collaborations intra-laboratoires à l’émergence de collaborations inter-sites, qui deviennent plus tard internationales.

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Introduction

1This article is part of a research that aims at understanding and characterizing the development and the diffusion of French-speaking European theoretical and quantitative geography (Cuyala, 2014). French-speaking European TQG has never been studied before. Historians of geography, some of whom were stakeholders or supporters of the movement (such as Claval, 1998; Pumain and Robic, 2002; Orain, 2009), analyzed the birth and the diffusion of the movement in France only. However, their studies did not take into consideration a French-speaking European dimension but rather often referred to the Anglo-American origins and to ‘conveyors’ of the movement having lived in the United-States and Canada. This article therefore aims at studying the development of TQG and the spatial configuration of this scientific movement within a European framework that includes French-speaking research institutions in France, Belgium, Switzerland and Luxembourg. This choice limits the extent of the investigation and ensures a linguistic coherence in the bodies of data used. It also allows us to verify the hypothesis that the diffusion of the movement was spawned by foreign influences. The diachronic dimension is privileged in order to analyze first in a qualitative then in a quantitative way the construction of scientific networks, without going into the details of the epistemological content of the sources.

2This study, while building on the General theory of a scientific movement articulated by the sociologists S. Frickel and N. Gross (2005), offers a spatialization of the social networks of scientists found in the History of the Present Moment (Bédarida, 2001). It contributes to the expanding movement of the geography of science which saw the publication of, on one hand, two programmatic articles in the journals L’Espace Géographique (Besse, 2010) and Mappemonde (Eckert, Baron, 2013) and, on the other hand, numerous fruitful studies (Matthiessen, Winkel Schwarz, Find, 2002; Livingstone, 1995, 2003; Besse, 2004; Cauvin, 2007; Jacob, 2007; Ponds, Van Oort, Frenken, 2007; Livingstone, Withers, 2011; Clerc, 2013; Robic, 2013; Eckert, Baron, Jégou, 2013; Maisonobe, 2013; Cuyala, Commenges, 2014; Cuyala, 2014). Spatializing the movement allows us to highlight the particular characteristics of its organization and consequently to better comprehend its dynamic.

3Stakeholders of a scientific movement need places and means through which they are able to express themselves freely and especially to share their ideas and collaborate: research laboratories, trainings, research programs but also seminars and journals. For many of the interviewed stakeholders, European colloquia of theoretical and quantitative geography (ecTQG) are important places of exchange and visibility of the French-speaking European theoretical and quantitative movement, even if they deal with a very specific subject. Although the movement appeared at the end of the 1960s in France, the first ecTQG was organized ten year later, in 1978. They emerged after the emergence of the movement (Cuyala, 2015) and, because they reflect a specific stage of the development of a scientific movement (expansion followed by diversification) focused on Europe and even beyond, ecTQG are very interesting to study. The first took place in Strasbourg in 1978 on the initiative of Sylvie Rimbert who was then President of the Commission of Theoretical and Quantitative Geography (founded in 1975) of the French National Geography Committee.

  • 1 The programs, proceedings and lists of participants of the seminars in Besançon can be found in Les (...)

4According to S. Rimbert, the first ecTQG was created in order to “share theoretical and quantitative geography, to make it visible to others and to create contacts between different European nations” (Rimbert, interview, 29/09/2011). Its organization was facilitated by previous contacts that had been made between French-speaking European geographers as early as the first seminars in Besançon (1972) on “Data processing in geography” and “The application of mathematical methods to geography”1 and the 1976 Geopoint conference in Geneva. The Geopoint seminars, which were launched by Swiss geographers, such as C. Raffestin and J.-B. Racine, and French geographers of the Dupont Group in particular, provided the chance for geographers of various nationalities to exchange. French geographers from Strasbourg, such as S. Rimbert, Germans from Karlsruhe, such as A. Kilchenmann, and the British lecturer S. Gregory took part in these seminars. These researchers from various backgrounds came up with the idea of a colloquium at a European level. They yearned for the creation of a more formal European event dealing with quantitative geography. D. Unwin (1999) reminded the audience of this during his speech at the 11th colloquium in Durham (United Kingdom).

535 years after the first colloquium in Strasbourg, this event carries on and, as the graph below shows, the overall number of participants has increased over the years (figure 1). The number of papers presented rose from around twenty during the first two seminars to almost 140 during the last two (Athens, 2011 and Dourdan, 2013). These colloquia have been hosted in very diverse locations, which illustrates the rotating aspect of this event at a European level (figure 2).

Figure 1 – The evolution of the number of communications presented during ecTQGs (1978 – 2013)

Figure 1 – The evolution of the number of communications presented during ecTQGs (1978 – 2013)

Sources: Lists of ecTQG abstracts
Design: S. Cuyala and F. Delisle, 2014

  • 2 However, even if this periodization is global and concerns the movement as a whole, it seems more j (...)

6By studying the lists of contributors, we were able to analyze in a qualitative and quantitative way the communication networks of co-authors in order to characterize the development of French-speaking European TQG. Our theory is that there are three phases in the history of this movement: its emergence, its expansion and its diversification.2

7A second hypothesis is that ecTQGs are also a place where increasingly complex networks of collaboration have been able to form between geographers as well as with researchers from other disciplines; this leads us to reflect on the potential links (and their strength) between the stakeholders of the movement and other disciplines such as mathematics, computer science and economy.

8The coherence of the study area we selected, which is French-speaking Europe, will also be questioned through the examination of collaborations (or the absence of collaborations) between researchers from France, Switzerland, Luxembourg and Belgium.

Figure 2 – The itinerary of a European scientific place of expression: European colloquia on theoretical and quantitative geography from 1978 to 2013.

Figure 2 – The itinerary of a European scientific place of expression: European colloquia on theoretical and quantitative geography from 1978 to 2013.

Sources: List of ecTQG abstracts (1978 – 2013). Authors: Sylvain Cuyala, François Delisle, 2014.

9After having exposed the sources and the work methodology used, we will analyze the evolution of the number and of the proportion of communications made by French-speaking Europeans in the colloquia. We will then focus on the authors of the communications by spatializing them and their links to other stakeholders according to their institutional affiliation in order to characterize the diffusion of the French-speaking European theoretical and quantitative movement.

Materials and methods for the analysis

10For a long period of time, the guideline that was given to participants of the European colloquia was to provide a long paper abstract of 4 or 5 pages. These abstracts were gathered in a brochure that was distributed to the participants at the beginning of the seminar. The lists of communications of the most recent colloquia can be downloaded on their websites. The paper abstracts of all colloquia can be consulted (D. Pumain’s archives), except for those of Cambridge (1980), Rostock (1997) and Strasbourg (1978) for which only the lists of participants exist. These documents include the abstract (in most cases), the title of the communication, the name of the author, their university and laboratory of affiliation as well as their country; details on their nationality, discipline and age are not specified. The information found in the different ecQTG brochures was completed with a body of interviews done with 55 stakeholders of the French-speaking European QTG and with a few external persons who were asked to give their opinion on this movement.

Using lists of presentations to map networks

11The number and proportion of presentations done by French-speaking participants from France, Belgium, Switzerland and Luxembourg in each colloquium give us indications on the frequency of French-speaking European communications (figure 3). We consider a presentation to be French-speaking European when at least one of its signatories is affiliated to a French-speaking European institution and lives/works in a French-speaking area. In this sense, French-speaking Europeans who live outside of this linguistic space are viewed as foreigners.

  • 3 The document elaborated by Beauguitte (2009) provides a clear introduction to these softwares.

12In order to spatialize and interpret the structure of the movement, we have chosen to represent communication networks and their configurations with a square matrix in which rows and columns symbolize the authors of the communications; each cell of the chart indicates the number of communications in common. Since the size of the sample (less than 200 authors) is limited, we were able to use the softwares Ucinet and Netdraw3 to elaborate the maps presented in this article.

13On a more formal level, we mapped for each colloquium the location of authors of communications and their potential links with co-authors. The maps therefore represent French-speaking European authors, French-speaking but non-European authors who have had contact with them, as well as their direct links (colleagues from a same university or co-contributors in the same seminar). We postulate that there is a very strong proximity, whether direct or indirect, between these individuals and the French-speaking European system. The researchers and lecturers concerned are geographers, mathematicians, statisticians or specialists in other disciplines (demography, economy and even physics). The peer network is probably under-estimated: different, distinct papers may have concerned the same program, contract or research process, without there being any direct links between authors. Moreover, certain authors, who collaborated with other researchers to produce a paper, do not always mention the names of the co-signatories. Co-signature policies vary from one country to another, within a country from one laboratory to another and even from one colleague to another. However, according to the interviews we undertook, it seems that Belgian researchers were the most incited to publish as a group, and so earlier than everyone else. Some laboratories prefer that their doctoral students produce communications on their own, whereas others favor a thesis supervisor and doctoral student collaboration; these choices depend on both subjective and administrative practices but can lead to a compromise. Furthermore, numerous methodologists give a hand to thematic researchers for the elaboration of their presentation but are not always cited as signatories. Finally, communications may be omitted from the general abstract or others mentioned without its author actually presenting it during the colloquium. All in all, although we cannot establish in an exhaustive fashion the network of researchers linked to theoretical and quantitative geography through the study of ecTQGs, the latter provides solid indications on its structuration. Despite these difficulties, studying these lists help us visualize the development of theoretical and quantitative geography clusters and the interactions between them.

  • 4 Some authors, such as Pierre Frankhauser, had another profession at first but later became geograph (...)
  • 5 This does not presuppose the native language of the author.

14We have elaborated the maps for eight ecTQGs in order to underpin our demonstration in the most effective way possible. We have chosen not to map two consecutive seminars if they display a similar structuration; nevertheless all colloquia are mentioned in this article. In the different maps presented (figures 4, 5 and 7 to 11), the peaks represent authors (stakeholders of the social system). The colors used for the peaks vary according to whether the author has produced a communication on its own (in blue) or with others (in red). The lines indicate the existence of at least one communication in common (relational variable) (Lazega, 1998). Their color depends on the nature of the co-signature: internal collaboration between authors of a same laboratory or city (in blue), or external collaboration between authors from different laboratories or cities (in green). A distinction in disciplinary affiliation is made between “geographer or related individual” and “non-geographer”. The first category includes authors who have studied geography (undergraduates and graduates) and who are working for a laboratory or a geography department at the time of their communication4, but also computer engineers, mathematicians or statisticians (rather methodologists) recruited in geography institutions (university departments, research laboratories) and who have carried out research in the field of geography (the content of the publication or journal in which they publish). The second category is comprised of the other authors (economists, doctors, physicians and others) who are rather thematicians; their names are indicated in italics in the graph. Finally, the different sub-groups have been manually arranged in the graph in order to respect the location of the authors’ cities. The linguistic environment in which authors work is also notified. For instance, in the case of Belgium, the French-speaking and Dutch-speaking5 entities have been distinguished.

15We must finally note that further work on the lists of participants would have been useful and necessary to better identify the individuals present at the colloquia and consequently the effective interactions between them during the event; unfortunately, no copy was kept.

The interpretations made from the discourse of ecTQG stakeholders

16A body of interviews of stakeholders of the scientific movement under study was used to complete the previous source. By adding the interviews to the formal and institutional information provided by the lists of communications, we were able to enrich the analysis with contextual elements.

17These individual interviews were carried out in the context of a more general investigation aiming at shedding light on the emergence and the development of French-speaking European theoretical and quantitative geography beyond the only study of ecTQGs. They contain a certain number of questions on ecTQGs as well as on the networks of the participants (what decisive encounters? What special relationships?).

  • 6 However, it is with deep regret that a few of them have passed away: Hubert Beguin (Louvain-la-Neuv (...)
  • 7 One of the witnesses we met declared: “I don’t understand that some people write about our common h (...)

18Because a scientific movement has vague and changing boundaries, it is difficult to determine exactly which stakeholders are part of the disciplinary field. Nevertheless, studying the different sources (Répertoire des géographes français, Intergeo Bulletin, Espace Géographique and the lists of communications of the ecTQGs) has enabled us to reach an estimation of 250 stakeholders who were very implicated in the movement between 1960 and 2013. Our sample represents a coverage rate of over 20%. To increase the representativeness of the sample, we have divided it into categories according to various criteria in order to stay as truthful as possible to the diversity of the profiles of French-speaking European QTG stakeholders6. The diversity of surveyed stakeholders gives us a relatively exhaustive overview of the stories and conceptions and consequently allows us to cover as many aspects of the movement as possible. It represents a great wealth of experiences, backgrounds and accounts that fuel our comprehension of the history of European TQG. The material collected during the interviews is especially interesting as the protagonists of the movement feel they possess knowledge that needs to be shared and that can bring legitimacy to the history forged with their help7.

19Ultimately, it appeared necessary to combine the two sources (the lists of communications and the interviews) to understand the development and the diffusion of the theoretical and quantitative movement from a spatial point of view and through the diversity of approaches stemming from the movement.

A general trend towards the development of theoretical and quantitative geography

20According to the lists of participants, only German, Austrian, British and French participants were present at the first ecTQG in 1978. As D. Unwin (1999) indicated, each delegation could only present 15 persons (Germans and Austrians were combined into one delegation). That year, French, German and English were the three official languages of the colloquium. French was therefore an important component of the ecTQG since the beginning. This fact is significant especially since the number of quantitative specialists from these countries was very uneven at the time. According to D. Unwin (1999) and the information collected from the pioneers of the movement, England already had over a hundred geographers who had adopted theoretical and quantitative geography at the time, compared to only 40 in France and 20 in Germany.

A rising number of communications made by French-speaking European geographers

  • 8 During the same period, the number of French geographers significantly rose too whereas that of oth (...)

21Figure 3 represents the number of communications in European colloquia, having risen from a dozen in 1978 to over 60 in 2013, based on a logarithmic scale that allows comparisons to be made between variation rates, from one year to another and from one country to another, directly illustrated by the slope of the curves. The significant but irregular increase of the number of communications by French-speaking European stakeholders is mainly due to the number of presentations made by French geographers8. However, since 2005 and the Tomar colloquium, the rise is regular and the number of communications by French geographers has tripled over the course of eight years, raising from 20 or so to over 60 in 2013. This gives us a first indication on the development of French TQG at an international level. On the contrary, the number of Belgian communications has remained relatively stable, inferior to 10. Up until the 1990’s, French-speaking Swiss geographers presented only one or two papers in each colloquium; in the 1990’s and onward, they started to take more part in the colloquia with a peak in 2007 when they organized their first European seminar in Montreux. This had a strong local impact, unlike in Belgium and its Spa conference in 1995.

Figure 3 – The evolution of the number of communications made by French-speaking European participants in ecTQGs (1978 – 2013)

Figure 3 – The evolution of the number of communications made by French-speaking European participants in ecTQGs (1978 – 2013)

Sources: Lists of communications during ecTQGs, 1978-2011. Author: Sylvain Cuyala, 2013.

22It must be noted that the proportion of communications made by geographers from France, Switzerland, Belgium and Luxembourg in the total number of communications expanded in parallel.

23We can also observe the recent appearance of presentations by geographers from Luxembourg (2009, 2011 and 2013) whose proportion keeps on increasing. The small ratio of communications by French-speaking researchers during the colloquia in Tomar in 2005 and in Athens in 2011 is mainly due to the considerable presence of local geographers, more numerous than the others years.

24However, this increase can seem paradoxical when considering the fact that English has become the official language of the European seminars. The use of English underlines the organizers’ will to open the annual seminar to the largest number of nationalities possible and to favor the internationalization of the movement; yet this did not slow down the scale of French participation.

How to explain the increase of communications made by French-speaking researchers during ecTQGs?

25Various elements can explain the growing presence of French-speaking European researchers in the European colloquia. What the interviewed stakeholders answered regarding this matter gives us feedback to make a certain number of explanatory assumptions.

26Numerous interviewees amongst French academicians declared taking a big interest for European geography in general. They particularly underlined the importance of European colloquia as the occasion to debate and interact at a European level. The seminars are a place for scientific expression but also a place for formal and informal exchanges that lead to the creation of short- or medium-term relationships or that allows existing ties to be maintained. It is also a place where numerous initiatives were triggered: the creation of the European journal Cybergeo in 1996 following the Spa seminar of 1995, the commitment to the ESPON programme since 2002, the launch of GDRE S4 (Spatial Simulation for the Social Sciences) in 2006 that gathers over 150 members today (including a minority of non-French-speaking stakeholders) or even the creation in 2011 of a European Master’s degree in geographical modelling in Athens.

27Amongst the persons surveyed, Denise Pumain or Cécile Tannier asserted that European colloquia provide an easier and more diversified access to international cooperation for French-speaking Europeans compared to English-language journals or seminars dominated by Anglo-American research agendas. However, English-speaking authors are perhaps more inclined to communicate in other seminars, such as D. Unwin suggested in an email exchange (4/03/2011), in particular because of the stress created by the implementation of impact factors. A frequent remark was also made in favor of European colloquia as events of a reasonable size, in comparison to seminars that benefit from institutional support, such as the seminars organized by the European Regional Science Association (ERSA), the Association of American geographers (AAG) and the British Royal Geographical Society (RGS) that some do not hesitate to qualify as High Masses of geography. Their statements are corroborated by the exploitation of the brochures of the successive seminars. During a ecTQG, which always lasts three days, there are only three series of communications presented simultaneously and the number of participants ranges from 50 to 120 (Athens in 2011 was an exception with almost 150 participants). In comparison, at a European level, the seminar organized by the ERSA in 2010 in Jönköping (Sweden) gathered over 1000 participants. At a more global scale, the AAG seminar that took place in New York in 2012 had 80 sessions in parallel each day for a total of 2500 participants and the seminar that was organized in Los Angeles in 2013 gathered 7000 participants, including 3000 foreigners.

28From a strictly institutional point of view, François Durand-Dastès reminded us that during the “Bardonecchia or Chantilly seminars was mentioned the possibility of establishing a sort of bureau, but [that] they did not go deep into the subject” (interview, 17/03/2010). Moreover, during the seminar in Cambridge, some French geographers intervened in the name of the TQG committee within the CNFG (French National Geography Committee). Numerous participants would have been reluctant to hear the intervention of an institution considered by many as elitist and reactionary. These examples confirm the choice and certainly the desire of participants to organize the colloquium without institutional support. Even if meetings between geographers that have adopted quantitative geography have been done on a regular basis since the 1970s, especially in France (training sessions, meetings of the Dupont group or even seminars in Besançon), they have generally not required institutional support or the creation of an ad hoc formal institution. However, the CNRS has regularly funded ecTQGs (support for the organization of seminars in France, individual support to finance participation).

  • 9 Further investigation on the lists of participants would have been necessary to better identify the (...)

29The fact that these meetings continue to be organized despite difficult financial conditions is proof that a “dynamic group” exists and that there is an “important demand” (Pumain, interview, 20/02/2011). Amongst other arguments, some French-speaking European academicians who participate in the European colloquia said that there are significant collaborations between the researchers of these countries. Others asserted that a stable group of Belgian and French geographers continue to be invested in theoretical and quantitative geography whereas in other countries the number of geographers implicated has declined. This continuous investment has been effective since Sweden, the United Kingdom and the United States exported TQG for the first time in the 1970s. The analysis of the lists of contributors and of the paper abstracts, two sources that will not be presented in this article9, seems to reveal discrepancies in the diffusion of theoretical and quantitative geography in Europe. A possible explanation for the persistence and increase of the French presence would be the freedom of research in the country that results from the permanent position of researchers and lecturers, contrarily to Germany where this movement, whose stakeholders were less numerous in the beginning, has gradually declined. The development of the movement was rather stable in French-speaking Europe and especially in France, but this was not the case in the Netherlands: its geographers increasingly participated in the European colloquia before withdrawing to attend more international seminars, as their presence in English-speaking and American publications demonstrates. Finally, the fact that the movement appeared earlier in France than in Spain or Portugal can explain the differences between them. These two countries emerged much later. The quantitative analysis of the number and of the proportion of communications by French-speaking stakeholders therefore corroborates a general tendency to develop and diffuse of theoretical and quantitative geography in French-speaking Europe.

A three-phase development of the movement

  • 10 However, even if this periodization is global and concerns the movement as a whole, it seems more j (...)

30As we mentioned above, the lists of contributors give us the possibility of analyzing in a qualitative and quantitative manner the networks of communication co-authors in order to characterize the development of French-speaking European TQG. Our theory is that this movement occurred in three phases: emergence, expansion and diversification10.

The emergence of the movement (1970’s)

  • 11 We must underline the fact that although M. Chesnais had been recruited in Caen, he carried out mos (...)
  • 12 The latter are the founding fathers of the Dupont group created in 1972 and were accompanied by C.- (...)

31The study of European colloquia does not allow us to actually confirm the existence of the initial phase of emergence because the first seminar dates back to 1978 (Strasbourg), organized at the initiative of geographers like Sylvie Rimbert, the president of the French National Geography Committee, who promoted this new approach into the French institutional field. The information available about this initial colloquium revealed that French geographers either came in small groups or on their own and that they were mainly from eastern France. The majority of the French delegation was composed of teaching assistants or researchers. Amongst the professors or thesis supervisors present could be found the main geographers who had facilitated the introduction of TQG in France. This was the case in host city Strasbourg where four geographers were present: H. Reymond (born in 1930) who had just arrived from North America, already a Doctor and who belonged to a founding generation, S. Rimbert (born in 1927), a thesis supervisor who had also visited North America, and two teaching assistants. The second most important group was composed of three young female teaching assistants from Paris: D. Pumain, V. Rey and T. Saint-Julien. They were in their thirties and did not occupy high-ranked positions in their universities. These three women later formed the P.A.R.I.S. team. The other contributors were there on their own: Y. Guermond from Rouen and M. Chesnais from Caen11, J.-C. Wieber from Besançon and other participants from South-eastern France (P. Dumolard, A. Douguedroit, A. Dauphiné, H. Chamussy, M. Le Berre, F. Auriac and M. Vigouroux) who were mainly assistants at the time12.

32Two years later, in 1980, another colloquium was held in Cambridge. The report of the seminar was published in AREA (1981) by a collective of British authors who had been present there, as well as a book with some of the proceedings and texts added after the event (Bennett, 1981). Although French-speaking European participants were less numerous, those from South-eastern France were greatly active: many members of the Dupont group were there with a desire to share the theoretical and quantitative progress made in physical geography (Bennett, 1981). For instance, A. Douguedroit and F. Durand-Dastès participated in the panel on physical geography models. M. Chesnais, A. Dauphiné and even J.-L. Mercier (from Strasbourg and who was not in the Dupont group) attended workshops on physical geography.

33Symbolically, these meetings meant the acknowledgement of a French influence in European TQG, as testified by the following statement on the contribution by F. Auriac and F. Durand-Dastès regarding the systems: “an exceptionally stimulating paper which restated the traditional French holistic approach of physical, social and economic interlinkages in place, but added the more novel development that this uniqueness of development of place in space and time should be best viewed through a systems network” (Bennett et al. 1981).

34The Augsbourg seminar in 1982 was the first for which the complete list of communications with the names of the contributors is available. It is difficult to compare it to previous colloquia because the type of information is not the same (a simple list of participants for the Strasbourg conference, a report of communications for Cambridge and a list of communications for Augsbourg). There were two collective communications (figure 4): one by J.-C. Wieber’s laboratory in Besançon, the other by Y. Guermond’s laboratory in Rouen, both of them present at the Strasbourg colloquium. Mathematicians such as J.-P. Massonie (Besançon) and P. Langlois (Rouen) co-signed with geographers. They largely contributed to the development of these two clusters according to their testimonies. P. Langlois stated:

“I sometimes presented two or three communications in one seminar. There were more than one author for each of these communications, geographers, mathematicians, computer engineers like Lannuzel and myself. I was never completely devoted to theoretical and quantitative geography. I was open to all the approaches that were suggested to me.” (Langlois, interview, 18/01/2012)

35The Dupont group was only represented by A. Douguedroit but, according to the list under study, others were present without having presented a paper. The simultaneous presence of human and physical geography experts (mainly climatologists) is typical of a sub-disciplinary field that overlooks the traditional divisions of the discipline. In 1982, researchers from Besançon and Rouen gathered with other collaborators; this epitomizes the way these two places of TQG implemented strong cross-site collaborations. French geographers were not the only ones present in Augsburg, as Jean-Pierre Grimmeau from Brussels, who had completed a PhD in 1978, was also invited.

Figure 4 – French-speaking European contributors during the ecTQG in Augsbourg (Germany, 1982)

Figure 4 – French-speaking European contributors during the ecTQG in Augsbourg (Germany, 1982)

Sources: List of communications during the ecTQG inAugsbourg, 1982. Design: Sylvain Cuyala and François Delisle, 2013.

The expansion of the movement (1980-1990’s)

  • 13 For the Advancement of Research on Spatial Interaction

36The movement started expanding at the time of Veldhoven colloquium in 1985 (near Eindhoven in the Netherlands) with a significant increase of French-speaking European communications. There were many Belgian participants as the host-city was not far: H. Beguin, a pioneer and leading figure of Belgian TQG, and Jacques Thisse, an economist who, as many witnesses confirm, greatly influenced H. Beguin in his vision of geography and in the use of mathematical methods. The collaboration between these two researchers led very early on to interdisciplinarity. There were many members of the Dupont group in the French delegation; they presented eight different papers, published in a special edition of the Brouillons Dupont dedicated to “French contributions in Eindhoven. 4th European Colloquium of Theoretical and Quantitative Geography, September 9-13 1986” in which a total number of eleven French papers were provided. Finally, some doctoral students preparing their thesis used the opportunity for the first time to present their work in a European colloquium. This was the case of L. Sanders, a student of F. Durand-Dastès, both members of the P.A.R.I.S.13 “Young team”, officially acknowledged by the CNRS a year before, in 1984.

  • 14 C. Grasland made a report of this entitled “Places of geography. The 5th European Colloquium of The (...)
  • 15 H. Beguin made the opening speech in Bardonecchia in which he made a critical review of the central (...)
  • 16 J.-C. Thill later worked in the United States.

37The colloquium in Bardonecchia in 1987 demonstrated the emergence of international collaborations to a degree never seen before during previous seminars (figure 5)14. Young quantitative specialists, after having been trained on quantitative methods and new space theories, tried to develop the movement and consequently elaborated collaborations during colloquia and other events. It is accounted for in the interviews that the Louvain-la-Neuve cluster was greatly open to international collaborations thanks to H. Beguin15, which can be illustrated by the communication done in common by Jean-Claude Thill, a Belgian geographer, and an American academician16 at Bardonecchia. Similarly, French academicians interacted with Germans and Italians. L. Sanders and D. Pumain maintained in their interviews that these interactions were the result of previous contacts that were made during meetings such as the San Miniato International Summer School in 1982 on “Transformations in space and time” organized by Daniel A. Griffith. Key French-speaking stakeholders of TQG participated in this summer school: L. Sanders, D. Pumain and B. Marchand. There they met with English, German and Italian researchers. These summer schools and the collaborations they generated expose a double process: emergence and diffusion.

38Meetings were later organized in Germany to produce a book that applied synergetic methods to interregional migrations (Weidlich, Haag, 1988), which justifies the partnership during the Bardonecchia colloquium between D. Pumain, G. Haag and P. Frankhauser. The latter, a physician by training, prepared a second doctoral thesis in France on the fractality of urban structures (1993) under the supervision of D. Pumain; he joined the ThéMA laboratory in Besançon in 1993, six months after the Bardonecchia seminar. Finally, we must note that, in Bardonecchia, the majority of the papers were presented by researchers from the North-eastern part of the French-speaking European area.

39The communications presented in 1989 during the Chantilly colloquium (the second European seminar to be hosted in France) manifested the consolidation of relationships between French and German quantitative specialists. Moreover, a photograph taken during this particular seminar shows the significant presence of French-speaking geographers (figure 6).

Figure 5: French-speaking European contributors during the ecTQG in Bardonecchia (Italy, 1987).

Figure 5: French-speaking European contributors during the ecTQG in Bardonecchia (Italy, 1987).

Source: List of communications of the Bardonecchia ecTQG, 1987. Design: Sylvain Cuyala and François Delisle, 2013.

  • 17 C. Cauvin and H. Reymond were not physically present in Chantilly but they were implicated in the p (...)
  • 18 They appear on the group photo, from left to right: C. Grasland, M. Baron, N. Cattan and C. Rozenbl (...)

40The Strasbourg cluster was particularly dynamic (C. Weber, M. Pruvot, S. Rimbert, C. Cauvin and H. Reymond17). Many researchers from the French National Institute of Demographic Studies (INED) also presented papers during this seminar, such as the demographer Daniel Courgeau. Numerous Parisian PhD students participated in the organization of the colloquium, proof that a new generation was emerging, precociously accustomed to this international environment18. However, not many of them actually co-signed a paper, as they were at an early stage of their thesis (for example, N. Cattan and C. Rozenblat finished their thesis in 1992). The lack of continuity between this new wave of geographers and the previous generations can be explained by the fact that French universities stopped recruiting geographers between 1972 and 1981; some stakeholders of TQG believe this hindered the expansion of the movement. The Chantilly colloquium was marked, according to some participants, by a festive atmosphere and a strong sense of cohesion around TQG.

Figure 6: Group photograph of some of the participants to the Chantilly ecTQG (1989)

Figure 6: Group photograph of some of the participants to the Chantilly ecTQG (1989)

Source: illustration of P. Haggett’s book “The Geographer’s Art” (1995). Design: S. Cuyala, 2013.

  • 19 It is made up of its founders, T. Saint-Julien and D. Pumain, associated to the new generation repr (...)

41The development of French-speaking TQG continued during the early 1990’s with the appearance in Stockholm of young PhD students and Doctors from the Master of Advanced Studies in ‘Theoretical and Epistemological Analysis in Geography’ presided by P. Pinchemel and F. Durand-Dastès. This course was launched in 1985 in Paris and contributed to the expansion of the movement (figure 7). The presence of a young Belgian PhD student, Jean-Michel Decroly, is proof that this phenomenon was broader. He and Claude Grasland, two disciples of the initial stakeholders of the movement, inaugurated French-Belgian partnerships during European colloquia. Clusters which had already contributed to previous seminars were present in Stockholm: Strasbourg, Louvain-la-Neuve with H. Beguin, Besançon and Paris. This illustrates the vitality of the clusters and the specific geographical location of the movement north of the study area. A key feature of the Parisian group is that it was mainly composed of women19, as we previously specified in the study of co-signed articles on TQG in Espace Géographique.

Figure 7: French-speaking European contributors during the ecTQG in Stockholm (Sweden, 1991).

Figure 7: French-speaking European contributors during the ecTQG in Stockholm (Sweden, 1991).

Source: List of communications of the Stockholm ecTQG, 1991. Design: Sylvain Cuyala and François Delisle, 2013.

42The organization of the colloquium in Hungary (Budapest, 1993) was marked by fewer communications made by French-speaking researchers, who were less visible, probably because of the high cost of transportation (low cost airline companies did not exist at the time). P. Frankhauser had gone to Besançon and created links between the P.A.R.I.S. and the ThéMA teams. Direct collaborations between the French clusters of TQG had been rare since the first European colloquium. Statisticians such as Hélène Mathian were co-authors, this being a frequent characteristic of the sub-field. Belgium was well represented, without any links with France this time. Finally, the young generation representative of the expansion phase of the movement was increasingly present with, for instance, C. Weber (Strasbourg) or C. Voiron-Canicio (Nice).

43The Spa colloquium (Belgium) in 1995 substantially resembled the one in Budapest, apart for a greater number of communications, perhaps due to the geographical proximity. Collaborations between France and Germany were confirmed and revived international communications. The local effect with the seminar being hosted in Belgium was not prominent, the number of Belgian communications being stable. Belgian researchers were very implicated in European seminars, especially Hubert Beguin and Isabelle Thomas, irrespective of their location and of the capacities of Belgian universities. Moreover, the Rouen cluster remarkably grew with six communications made by eight different contributors (a lot more than during previous seminars), including mathematician P. Langlois, who played a key role as a methodologist.

44The colloquium in Durham in 1999 marked the transition between the expansion and the diversification phases. The total number of communications further increased and some groups had flourished enough to send a big delegation. The group from Rouen presented six communications with twelve contributors, foreboding the forthcoming colloquium they organized in Saint-Valéry-en-Caux in 2001. More generally, French-speaking researchers greatly communicated with foreign colleagues, which verifies the fact that the network of collaborations was developing internationally.

The diversification of the movement (2000’s to nowadays)

45According to the study of European colloquia, the first phase of development of the movement lasted until the end of the 1990’s and was characterized by an increase in numbers, by a few collaborations and by a generational renewal. Even if the clusters that existed in 2011 had been there since the beginning for the most part, the diversification of the places of French-speaking European TQG started during this period and continued until nowadays.

46Geographers from Rouen and Paris played a key role during the colloquium in Saint-Valéry-en-Caux (2001); the proximity of the location probably explains the high number of communications (figure 8). This confirms the effect of proximity on a scientific event, even if it possible that this effect was reinforced by the high motivation of the Rouen group (led by Y. Guermond). Collaborations between France and Belgium existed, especially between Louvain-la-Neuve, Besançon and Dijon. Other original clusters were present, such as Nice or Strasbourg, whereas others appeared for the first time, like the group from Montpellier led by C. Rozenblat, with few links between the members of the Dupont group in South-eastern France.

  • 20 Both are members of the Dupont group.

47The Lucca colloquium demonstrated strong partnerships between the original clusters of TQG (Strasbourg and Besançon in France, Louvain-la-Neuve in Belgium) (figure 9). A real web of French-Belgian collaborations existed, which included not only French-speaking European authors but also Dutch-speaking authors from Antwerp and Brussels and many ‘non-geographers’, such as Flemish economists. These collaborations, associated to the ones made during previous seminars, imply that a French-speaking European interdisciplinary space was constituted. Morever, distant links like the ones between Montpellier and Metz, via C. Rozenblat and S. De Ruffray, can be explained by the shared affiliation of authors in other networks20.

Figure 8: French-speaking European contributors during the ecTQG in Saint-Valéry-en-Caux (France, 2001).

Figure 8: French-speaking European contributors during the ecTQG in Saint-Valéry-en-Caux (France, 2001).

Source: List of communications of the Saint-Valéry-en-Caux ecTQG, 2001. Design: Sylvain Cuyala and François Delisle, 2013.

  • 21 C. Cauvin asserts that links between Strasbourg, Vietnam and Iran were made through a Vietnamese do (...)

48In Tomar (Portugal, 2005), the novelty was that communications were made between French geographers and academicians from countries with which cooperation was rare in European seminars: Canada, Vietnam and Russia. This reflects the international recruitment of doctoral students21, yet it seems difficult to analyze these interactions as distal international collaborations in the same way as the one between P. Frankhauser and I. Thomas who worked on issues in common.

Figure 9: French-speaking European contributors during the ecTQG in Lucca (Italy, 2003).

Figure 9: French-speaking European contributors during the ecTQG in Lucca (Italy, 2003).

Source: List of communications of the Lucca ecTQG, 2003. Design: Sylvain Cuyala and François Delisle, 2013.

49It nevertheless illustrates, on one hand, the influence of TQG outside Europe and, on the other hand, the reinforcement of internal networks. Multidisciplinary thesis co-directions also appeared with Michel Granet (geophysics) or D. Courgeau (demography). The nature of the links therefore diversified.

50The 2007 colloquium in Montreux was marked by a very strong local effect: Swiss researchers were much more present than during previous European seminars. The collaborations between different French sub-groups were strengthened, especially between Bordeaux, Montpellier, Besançon and Paris. Moreover, links with foreign countries diversified: France-Belgium-Switzerland-Australia, Switzerland-Russia and France-Italy. In Ireland in 2009, the most significant communication network included links between academicians from Louvain-la-Neuve, Paris, Besançon and Dijon (figure 10). We must underline the important presence of computer engineers (Gilles Vuidel from the ThéMA laboratory in Besançon) and of economists (Jean Cavailhès from the ThéMA laboratory in Dijon).

  • 22 As G. Caruso explained in an interview, there are currently two clusters in France. The first is ma (...)
  • 23 In the case of Pau for example, C. Cauvin underlines the diffusion from Strasbourg with D. Badariot (...)

51The 2011 colloquium in Athens showed a certain continuity in comparison to previous seminars and therefore the further diversification of locations and collaborations (figure 11). What is striking about this seminar is that doctoral students came in numbers, which illustrates a substantial French-speaking European TQG renewal. Many of them were from the Parisian cluster but they made individual contributions. The recent emergence of presentations from Luxembourg was also confirmed22. Contributors from the South-western part of the study area only appeared later on and were mainly migrants, as pioneers of the movement told us23.

52During the European colloquium organized in Dourdan in 2013, the previous tendencies continued to intensify: that of a growing number of French-speaking European geographers that felt the need to present their work on their own or in a group as well as that of numerous collaborations between French-speaking European clusters.

53Firstly, a large number of French-speaking European places were represented in Dourdan with many participants. The previous graph, which shows the progression of the number of communications made by French-speaking European researchers during the colloquia, allowed us to observe the significant escalation of French geographers. This session in Dourdan reveals that this is due to the fact that there were many geographers from the Paris region where the colloquium took place. Numerous doctoral students were present, as well as authors from developing clusters in the Paris region, from the Laboratoire Ville Mobilité Transport (LVMT) in the new city of Marne-la-Vallée for instance. Some of these researchers had graduated from the Ecole polytechnique and were not geographers. Moreover, there were various collaborations between geographers and computer engineers or statisticians working in the Paris region.

Figure 10: French-speaking European contributors during the ecTQG in Maynooth (Ireland, 2009).

Figure 10: French-speaking European contributors during the ecTQG in Maynooth (Ireland, 2009).

Source: List of communications of the Maynooth ecTQG, 2009. Design: Sylvain Cuyala and François Delisle, 2013.

Figure 11: French-speaking European contributors during the ecTQG in Athens (Greece, 2011).

Figure 11: French-speaking European contributors during the ecTQG in Athens (Greece, 2011).

Source: List of communications of the Athens ecTQG, 2011. Design: Sylvain Cuyala and François Delisle, 2013.

54Secondly, this edition corroborated the recent development of some clusters such as Luxembourg and Aix-en-Provence, whose co-signatories were essentially geographers (lecturers and PhD students) who nevertheless interacted with specialists of other disciplines. This is the case of Marion Borderon, a doctoral student in geography of health under the supervision of S. Oliveau, who collaborated in Dourdan with V. Machault, an epidemiologist from Toulouse. Concerning the Luxembourg cluster, three doctoral students supervised by G. Caruso and trained in very different places, co-signed papers in Dourdan: M. Glaesener, trained in Nancy, M. Schindler, who studied in Munich and who then obtained a Master’s degree in Luxembourg, and C. Medard, who studied geomatics in Vancouver. Some places appear to be clusters of TQG but are actually mainly made up of ‘non-geographers’, such as Grenoble where authors work in the computer laboratory of the Maison Jean Kuntzmann, with the exception of Paule-Annick Davoine.

55Thirdly, no geographer was from the western part of France, except for a few researchers from Toulouse where D. Eckert had developed a cluster. Bordeaux was represented by G. Mélançon but he was a computer engineer, not a geographer. In Dourdan, he worked with C. Rozenblat, a geographer from Lausanne. C. Rozenblat too represents the interdisciplinary and international dimension of French-speaking European theoretical and quantitative geography: not only did she work with this computer engineer from Bordeaux, she also cooperated with N. Contractor from Evanston, who worked in the field of science of communication, particularly in social network modelling, and with foreign physicians such as S. Havlin (Ramat Gan) and A. Garas (Salonika) or other computer engineers like M. Tomassini or F. Zaidi from Lausanne. She said she had met these scientists with whom she shared methodological ideas “by chance”, during events like the European colloquium on complex systems.

56Finally, this colloquium in Dourdan shows very well the perpetuation of the making of a European space of scientific cooperation, with multiple links between Rouen, Paris, Strasbourg, Besançon, Toulouse, Aix-en-Provence, Lyon, Louvain-la-Neuve and even Luxembourg. With this seminar, the tendencies identified during the previous events were verified: the number of participants from each cluster continued to grow and the relationships between researchers, whether they were between geographers or between geographers and methodologists, technicians or thematicians, increased as well.

The quantitative analysis of co-communication networks

57In addition to this analysis, it is possible to measure the coordination between the stakeholders of the movement thanks to the data available, by using connectivity indexes called beta index and gamma index in the table below; they provide a certain number of information on the network (number of sub-networks, number of affiliated places, number of authors, number of links between authors and rate of cross-site links) according to a ten-year frequency (1982, 1991, 2001 and 2011) (figure 12).

Figure 12: Structural evolution of the ecTQG network (1982 – 2011)

  • 24 The beta index corresponds to the ratio between the number of links and the number of peaks.
  • 25 The gamma index is equal to the ratio between the number of links observed and the maximum number o (...)

Dates

Number of related components

Number of places

Number of authors

Number of links

Rate of external links (%)

Beta index24

Gamma index25

1982

6

5

17

42

0

2,47

0,077

1991

16

8

26

14

6

0,54

0,043

2001

37

16

71

59

24

0,83

0,024

2011

37

15

87

84

43

0,97

0,022

Sources: Lists of communications of the ecTQG in Augsbourg (1982), in Stockholm (1991), in Saint-Valéry-en-Caux (2001) and in Athens, 2011. Author: Sylvain Cuyala, 2014.

  • 26 This tendency is understood here as the ratio between the number of external links and the total nu (...)

58If we examine colloquia according to a 10-year frequency, we can note a steady rise of the number of sub-networks (related components) between 1982 and 2001, which then stabilized. This increase concerns the whole period (1982-2011) as regards to the number of contributors (multiplied by 5) and to the number of links between them (multiplied by 3.2). The tendency to communicate with researchers outside one’s city of institutional affiliation26 went from 0% in 1982 to 43% in 2011, gradually increasing over the years, which shows the progression of the links between the clusters of the theoretical and quantitative movement. This progression is due in part to young researchers leaving their university of origin and moving around during their career, disseminating the theoretical and quantitative movement as they go along.

59Besides the significant rise of papers presented by French-speaking European geographers since the end of the 1990’s, an important diversification of the places of TQG took place. The number of places/cities represented tripled between 1982 and 2011 as the chart above on the structural evolution of the network of ecTQG (1982 – 2011) displays. In 2013 in Dourdan, even if this tendency continued, French-speaking Belgian, Luxembourgish and Swiss geographers all came from one particular city each, respectively Louvain-la-Neuve, Luxembourg and Lausanne. These sub-groups were generally concentrated in the north-west part of a Nantes-Montpellier diagonal which, by definition, includes Belgium, Luxembourg and Switzerland. As we have seen with the analysis of research themes in the Répertoire des géographes, this spatialization is specific and does not concern all geographers. In the maps elaborated, we observe a void in the western part of French-speaking Europe. What can we make of the study of ecTQG since 1978?

60The theory that the development of the diffusion of French-speaking European theoretical and quantitative geography occurred in three phases was not entirely verified, as the study of ecTQG exposed an exponential growth without any significant inherent disruption. The presumed third phase is indeed the magnification of the second phase with a more solid development of international collaborations. Nevertheless, the interviews revealed that the first phase did indeed end in the late 1970’s and early 1980’s and that the second phase continued until the end of the 1990’s, probably because French universities stopped recruiting geographers in the 1980’s. This considerably stalled the diffusion of theoretical and quantitative geography, as many surveyed French quantitative specialists explained. Other than the significant increase of presentations made by French-speaking European geographers after the late 1990’s, the places of TQG diversified greatly. The number of places/cities represented went from 8 in 1991 to 16 in 2011 and to over 20 during the last two colloquia.

  • 27 Concerning Pau for instance, C. Cauvin underlines the diffusion that was brought from Strasbourg wi (...)

61However, these sub-groups largely stayed located above the North-east diagonal that goes from Nantes to Montpellier and they did not concern the majority of the universities where geography was taught. Some French universities have never really adopted theoretical and quantitative geography. The contributors from South-western France only started going to the colloquia recently and they are mainly “migrants” as the pioneers of the movement stated27. This spatial distribution of the TQG clusters can partly be explained by the obstacles that hampered the diffusion of the movement: some stakeholders believe there are remaining bastions of opposition to theoretical and quantitative geography, such as tropical geography in Bordeaux or the advocates of B. Kayser in Toulouse.

62Moreover, the number of paper co-authors increased over the whole period, especially towards the end, even if numerous Parisian doctoral students presented their work on their own in the last seminar. This tendency is partly the result of the growing collective nature of research, due to its organization in laboratories, its increasing technical level and its interdisciplinary progress. This is particularly the case for French-speaking European theoretical and quantitative geography, for which the contribution of methodologists is often required, as well as that of thematicians. The methods of spatial analysis, databases and geographic information systems are also liable of further encouraging international comparisons.

63Finally, our analysis highlighted the way papers presented by French-speaking European researchers were increasingly embedded in international collaborations that included links with Italy and more distant countries supported by joint thesis supervision but also that a focus was placed on common issues rather than on distal obligations. This observation made by H. Reymond was validated by our qualitative study of the networks of collaborations that increasingly corresponded to thematic or methodological proximities rather than to spatial proximities. This was especially the case during the last phase. The exchanges that emanated from the European colloquia may have led to the appearance and to the development of national and international collaborations. We must however note that, considering the large size of the Anglo-American community of quantitative researchers over the whole period of study, the number of joint papers between French-speaking Europeans and British researchers (with the exception of the duo Thill-Rushton in 1987) was very low during the thirty years of European colloquia.

Conclusion

64The establishment of networks of ecTQG participants allowed us to observe a stable development and diffusion of French-speaking European theoretical and quantitative geography. With the testimonies of the stakeholders, we were able to divide this development into three phases (emergence, expansion and diversification) and to mainly confine it to the north-western part of our study area. The first phase, which corresponds to the emergence of the movement, was characterized by the activism of a few individuals who were relatively isolated or who started forming small groups in a limited number of places. These pioneers were learning quantitative methods, did not have students yet and were only teaching assistants. Without being homogeneous, the following years saw the expansion of the movement. Theoretical and quantitative geography became legitimate and was permanently established in French-speaking Europe. This was manifested by the progressive formation of clusters and the training of PhD students. Although the first international collaborations were made, facilitated by a common language in the case of French-speaking researchers, the main network that was constituted was a national one. Finally, during the third phase, the development of theoretical and quantitative geography became even more considerable, with more numerous doctoral students who formed networks step by step. The expansion was also produced by the diversification of the places of TQG in French-speaking Europe. With the help of the Internet and of telecommunications more generally, this third phase saw the increase of international and multidisciplinary cooperation. Geographical proximity became less important, as research on scientific activities also confirmed (Howells, 1995; Bougrain, 1999). Furthermore, it was mainly common research themes that spawned collaborations. As exposed by numerous authors, the transmission of knowledge was highly influenced by the information and communication technologies (Brousseau, Rallet, 1999; Flichy, Quéré, 2000; Brousseau, Curien, 2001).

65From a methodological point of view, this study is based on two very different sources: a consistent source linked to a specific event and a corpus of interviews of stakeholders of the movement. With these two sources, we were able to define and identify the investment and the collaborations between French-speaking Europeans during ecTQGs. Nevertheless, they do not suffice to determine the precise history of these collaborations; they are only one research perspective amongst others. Still, they reveal the increasing desire for senior researchers and for PhD students to attend an event which is decades old. EcTQGs were specific scientific events; they are an essential component of the diffusion of theoretical and quantitative geography in French-speaking Europe.

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Notes

1 The programs, proceedings and lists of participants of the seminars in Besançon can be found in Les Cahiers de Géographie de Besançon.

2 However, even if this periodization is global and concerns the movement as a whole, it seems more judicious to consider ecTQGs as a manifestation of the movement amongst others, with its own temporality.

3 The document elaborated by Beauguitte (2009) provides a clear introduction to these softwares.

4 Some authors, such as Pierre Frankhauser, had another profession at first but later became geographers.

5 This does not presuppose the native language of the author.

6 However, it is with deep regret that a few of them have passed away: Hubert Beguin (Louvain-la-Neuve), Jean-Claude Wieber and Jean-Philippe Massonie (Besançon), René Grosso (Avignon), Jean-Luc Bonnefoy (Aix-en-Provence) or Michel Vigouroux (Montpellier), amongst others.

7 One of the witnesses we met declared: “I don’t understand that some people write about our common history without coming to meet us!” (Roger Brunet, interview, 5/04/2012)

8 During the same period, the number of French geographers significantly rose too whereas that of other French-speaking geographers stagnated.

9 Further investigation on the lists of participants would have been necessary to better identify the researchers present and consequently the actual interactions between them; however, not many copies were kept.

10 However, even if this periodization is global and concerns the movement as a whole, it seems more judicious to consider ecTQGs as a manifestation of the movement amongst others, with its own temporality.

11 We must underline the fact that although M. Chesnais had been recruited in Caen, he carried out most of his scientific work in Montpellier and with the Dupont group.

12 The latter are the founding fathers of the Dupont group created in 1972 and were accompanied by C.-P. Péguy, who greatly supported the movement and was one of the principal reformists of French climatology.

13 For the Advancement of Research on Spatial Interaction

14 C. Grasland made a report of this entitled “Places of geography. The 5th European Colloquium of Theoretical and Quantitative Geography (Bardonecchia, September 1987” published in Espace Géographique (1987).

15 H. Beguin made the opening speech in Bardonecchia in which he made a critical review of the central place theory. This shows the importance of his status within the theoretical and quantitative movement.

16 J.-C. Thill later worked in the United States.

17 C. Cauvin and H. Reymond were not physically present in Chantilly but they were implicated in the preparation of the Strasbourg presentations.

18 They appear on the group photo, from left to right: C. Grasland, M. Baron, N. Cattan and C. Rozenblat.

19 It is made up of its founders, T. Saint-Julien and D. Pumain, associated to the new generation represented by M. Baron and N. Cattan. Numerous interviewees insisted on this element.

20 Both are members of the Dupont group.

21 C. Cauvin asserts that links between Strasbourg, Vietnam and Iran were made through a Vietnamese doctoral student (Tran Dong) and an Iranian doctoral student (Azadée Kalhori).

22 As G. Caruso explained in an interview, there are currently two clusters in France. The first is made up of researchers from CEPS, some of who are from Strasbourg. The second spawned from the creation of a Master’s degree in geography followed by a doctoral school in the Luxembourg University; G. Caruso was recruited there, although he is from Louvain-la-Neuve. He is in charge of training international doctoral students in TQG and is very active in the new European Master’s degree entitled “Geographical Modelling” launched by C. Grasland in 2012.

23 In the case of Pau for example, C. Cauvin underlines the diffusion from Strasbourg with D. Badariotti, who later went back to Strasbourg, or even from Besançon with A. Banos who is today a member of the UMR Géographie-cités in Paris. A.M. Meyer in Bordeaux is another example of this temporary diffusion (see C. Cauvin’s work in the Journal for the history of the CNRS published in 2007).

24 The beta index corresponds to the ratio between the number of links and the number of peaks.

25 The gamma index is equal to the ratio between the number of links observed and the maximum number of potential links by taking into account the non-planar nature of this graph (Garrison, Marble, 1961).

26 This tendency is understood here as the ratio between the number of external links and the total number of links.

27 Concerning Pau for instance, C. Cauvin underlines the diffusion that was brought from Strasbourg with D. Badariotti, who then went back to Strasbourg, or from Besançon with A. Banos who is now part of the UMR Géographie-cité in Paris. A.M. Meyer who works in Bordeaux is another example of this kind of temporary diffusion (see C. Cauvin’s work in La Revue pour l’Histoire du CNRS [2007]).

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Table des illustrations

Titre Figure 1 – The evolution of the number of communications presented during ecTQGs (1978 – 2013)
Crédits Sources: Lists of ecTQG abstracts Design: S. Cuyala and F. Delisle, 2014
URL http://journals.openedition.org/cybergeo/docannexe/image/27671/img-1.png
Fichier image/png, 49k
Titre Figure 2 – The itinerary of a European scientific place of expression: European colloquia on theoretical and quantitative geography from 1978 to 2013.
Crédits Sources: List of ecTQG abstracts (1978 – 2013). Authors: Sylvain Cuyala, François Delisle, 2014.
URL http://journals.openedition.org/cybergeo/docannexe/image/27671/img-2.png
Fichier image/png, 289k
Titre Figure 3 – The evolution of the number of communications made by French-speaking European participants in ecTQGs (1978 – 2013)
Crédits Sources: Lists of communications during ecTQGs, 1978-2011. Author: Sylvain Cuyala, 2013.
URL http://journals.openedition.org/cybergeo/docannexe/image/27671/img-3.png
Fichier image/png, 138k
Titre Figure 4 – French-speaking European contributors during the ecTQG in Augsbourg (Germany, 1982)
Crédits Sources: List of communications during the ecTQG inAugsbourg, 1982. Design: Sylvain Cuyala and François Delisle, 2013.
URL http://journals.openedition.org/cybergeo/docannexe/image/27671/img-4.png
Fichier image/png, 165k
Titre Figure 5: French-speaking European contributors during the ecTQG in Bardonecchia (Italy, 1987).
Crédits Source: List of communications of the Bardonecchia ecTQG, 1987. Design: Sylvain Cuyala and François Delisle, 2013.
URL http://journals.openedition.org/cybergeo/docannexe/image/27671/img-5.png
Fichier image/png, 179k
Titre Figure 6: Group photograph of some of the participants to the Chantilly ecTQG (1989)
Crédits Source: illustration of P. Haggett’s book “The Geographer’s Art” (1995). Design: S. Cuyala, 2013.
URL http://journals.openedition.org/cybergeo/docannexe/image/27671/img-6.png
Fichier image/png, 559k
Titre Figure 7: French-speaking European contributors during the ecTQG in Stockholm (Sweden, 1991).
Crédits Source: List of communications of the Stockholm ecTQG, 1991. Design: Sylvain Cuyala and François Delisle, 2013.
URL http://journals.openedition.org/cybergeo/docannexe/image/27671/img-7.png
Fichier image/png, 164k
Titre Figure 8: French-speaking European contributors during the ecTQG in Saint-Valéry-en-Caux (France, 2001).
Crédits Source: List of communications of the Saint-Valéry-en-Caux ecTQG, 2001. Design: Sylvain Cuyala and François Delisle, 2013.
URL http://journals.openedition.org/cybergeo/docannexe/image/27671/img-8.png
Fichier image/png, 277k
Titre Figure 9: French-speaking European contributors during the ecTQG in Lucca (Italy, 2003).
Crédits Source: List of communications of the Lucca ecTQG, 2003. Design: Sylvain Cuyala and François Delisle, 2013.
URL http://journals.openedition.org/cybergeo/docannexe/image/27671/img-9.png
Fichier image/png, 254k
Titre Figure 10: French-speaking European contributors during the ecTQG in Maynooth (Ireland, 2009).
Crédits Source: List of communications of the Maynooth ecTQG, 2009. Design: Sylvain Cuyala and François Delisle, 2013.
URL http://journals.openedition.org/cybergeo/docannexe/image/27671/img-10.png
Fichier image/png, 208k
Titre Figure 11: French-speaking European contributors during the ecTQG in Athens (Greece, 2011).
Crédits Source: List of communications of the Athens ecTQG, 2011. Design: Sylvain Cuyala and François Delisle, 2013.
URL http://journals.openedition.org/cybergeo/docannexe/image/27671/img-11.png
Fichier image/png, 394k
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Référence électronique

Sylvain Cuyala, « The spatial diffusion of geography: A bibliometric analysis of ECTQG conferences (1978-2013) », Cybergeo : European Journal of Geography [En ligne], Epistémologie, Histoire de la Géographie, Didactique, document 783, mis en ligne le 15 juin 2016, consulté le 11 décembre 2017. URL : http://journals.openedition.org/cybergeo/27671 ; DOI : 10.4000/cybergeo.27671

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