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1It is with great sadness that APAD informs you of the tragic loss of Mathieu Hilgers. A young researcher-professor at the Université libre de Bruxelles, Mathieu had been a member of the APAD Board since June 2013, and directed the APAD series for Karthala Editions. Following the loss of Hadiza Moussa in July 2014, we must once again pay homage to a colleague, a friend and a member of the Board whom we have lost. In this issue, Pierre-Joseph Laurent and Jacinthe Mazzocchetti remind us Mathieu’s contributions to political anthropology.

May the earth rest lightly upon him!

Qualitative rigor and social sciences

  • 1 The director of this journal is the same who directed a “dissertation” in astrology by Elisabeth Te (...)

2In late 2014, two young sociologists submitted a bogus article with no empirical basis to Societies, a journal recognised by the CNRS. Using all of the key-words which are à la mode for this journal, the manuscript was accepted without any requested modifications by the Scientific Committee. The two authors then unveiled that it was a hoax, explaining that their intention had been to denounce this largely speculative and autoreferential1 - in short, unscientific - school of “sociology”.

3Much more than a farce, this trap was meant as a destructive instrument of critique, which has shown once again the difference between such intellectual speculations and the ethics of social science research which, as we know, rely on advanced studies and on a permanent, rigorous back-and-forth between theory and the field. It also shows, unfortunately, that the mere existence of a scientific committee does not guarantee the quality of the articles published in a journal insofar as its members are content to approve texts which employ the rhetoric of the school of thought which they represent.

  • 2 Olivier de Sardan J.-P., 2008, La rigueur du qualitatif: Les contraintes empiriques de l'interpréta (...)

4Since its creation, APAD has promoted and demanded “qualitative rigor” (La rigueur du qualitatif)2, which is the only way of producing serious knowledge on the social world. Far from the simplicity of rhetoric and approximation, it requires advanced empirical analysis, solid arguments, and clear language that is not drowning in jargon and empty wording. Formalising a scientific committee when the Bulletin became a journal confirmed what had been a long-standing practice for APAD. Affaires such as these serve to reassure us in our convinctions and in our insistence on quality.

A first varia issue, a mini-feature

5Anthropologie & développement is the only bilingual journal dedicated to social change and to development. A peer-reviewed journal, it is recognised by AERES in France and by CAMES in Francophone Africa. The same procedures will be initiated with the corresponding Anglophone institutions. Anthropologie & développement will thrive on the quality of the articles that will be published within its pages. Send your submissions to ! English texts are especially encouraged.

6The current issue, n° 42, is Anthropologie & développement’s first “varia” issue. By coincidence two of the accepted submissions, using two different approaches, deal with the same experience: polder rehabilitation in the Prey Nup district of Cambodia. The Editorial Board asked Jean-Pierre Jacob to put the two texts into perspective, thus constituting a mini-feature on the trajectory of development projects and on what the sociology of translation can offer to the social anthropology of development.

Improved communication with our readers: a new website and new e-mail addresses

7Created nearly ten years ago, APAD’s website had become obsolete and difficult to update. In mid-April, we launched our new website ( Completely redone and fully bilingual, with a new, fresh layout, it offers up-to-date information on the life of the association. We hope you like it ! Thanks to a new online payment system, you can now order issue of the journal and pay your dues online. Take advantage of it to pay your 2015 dues!

8Our e-mail addresses have also changed and we have resumed management of the member mailing list, which will avoid any future updating issues such as those experienced over the last few months: “contact”, “revue”, “colloque”; various addresses “” are now functional. Please take note of them and delete the former address,, from your contacts.

Conference and GA in Cotonou from 17th to 20th 2015

9In partnership with LADYD (Laboratory for Analysis of Dynamic Development, Faculty of Agronomy of the University of Abomey Calavi), LASDEL (Laboratory for Studies and Research on Social Dynamics and Local Development), the Université d’Abomey-Calavi and the ANR “APPI” project team, our next conference will be held from 17th to 20th November in Cotonou (Benin), dedicated to the theme of “the fabrication of public action in countries 'under an aid regime’”. You will find the call for papers in this issue, and all of the necessary information on the APAD website (​en/​call-for-papers/​).

10As always, the General Assembly will take place during the conference, allowing us to share in the goings-on of the association and to renew the Board. See you soon in Cotonou!

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1 The director of this journal is the same who directed a “dissertation” in astrology by Elisabeth Teyssier, an astrologist. For more on the hoax, see:;

2 Olivier de Sardan J.-P., 2008, La rigueur du qualitatif: Les contraintes empiriques de l'interprétation socio-anthropologique, Coll. Anthropologie prospective Bruxelles, Academia-Bruylant.

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Pour citer cet article

Référence papier

Philippe Lavigne Delville, « Editorial »Anthropologie & développement, 42-43 | 2015, 9-12.

Référence électronique

Philippe Lavigne Delville, « Editorial »Anthropologie & développement [En ligne], 42-43 | 2015, mis en ligne le 01 décembre 2016, consulté le 23 avril 2024. URL : ; DOI :

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Philippe Lavigne Delville

President of APAD

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