2023-2024 / SOCI0760-1

Complex approaches to mediation and intermediation


24h Th

Number of credits

 Master in management (120 ECTS)5 crédits 
 Master in engineering of conflict prevention and management3 crédits 
 Master in human resources management (120 ECTS)4 crédits 
 Master in labour sciences (120 ECTS)3 crédits 
 Extra courses intended for exchange students (Erasmus, ...) (Faculty of social sciences)3 crédits 
 Master in psychology (120 ECTS)3 crédits 


Julie Gérard

Language(s) of instruction

French language

Organisation and examination

Teaching in the first semester, review in January


Schedule online

Units courses prerequisite and corequisite

Prerequisite or corequisite units are presented within each program

Learning unit contents

The "Complex Approach to Mediation and Intermediation" course is designed as an introduction to thinking about and understanding the complexity of social phenomena. Complexity being often defined, in sociology, in reference to the evolution of our societies, the course will aim at helping students to understand the complexity of social phenomena. - The course will aim to help students develop a critical watch posture that will allow them to understand social issues and to grasp the nature of societal changes and to observe their emerging evolutions.

Based on the premise that complex thinking about social phenomena goes hand in hand with a critical approach to them, the course will focus on understanding the plurality of modes of coordination and justification of actions. It will be based on the presentation of analytical grids from the economics of conventions and illustrative cases concerning activities of daily or professional life, notably implementing the principles of justice or grammar of agreement, justifying the action of mediation/intermediation in presence.

To do this, the course was structured in four parts:

  • Introduction to Edgar Morin's complex thinking and analysis of several texts (Simmel, Castel, Scieur, etc.) illustrating the issues of complexity and conflict in the social sciences.
  • Introduction to pragmatic sociology and the economics of conventions (Boltanski, Thévenot, Eymard-Duvernay, Dupuy, etc.).
  • A short detour to the sociology of translation and its contributions.
  • Presentation of different analysis grids, notably implementing the principles of justice or the grammar of agreement, justifying the action of mediation/intermediation in order to understand the complexity of social phenomena.

Learning outcomes of the learning unit

In this perspective, the student will be led to :

  • discover the contribution of social sciences and sociology to describe the complexity of social phenomena and more particularly when they involve conflict situations, based on different applications and scientific texts.
  • to allow students to build a minimal "base" of sociological knowledge that can be transposed to any conflict situation,
  • to analyze and deepen, in groups of 2, a conflict situation from daily or professional life, with the help of theoretical and methodological tools specific to the social sciences.

Prerequisite knowledge and skills


Planned learning activities and teaching methods

Lecture and group work.
The course is resolutely participative and is nourished by the students' opinions, reflections and observations.
It is organized around methodological and theoretical frameworks as well as scientific readings at home and moments of discussion and exchange in order to help students carry out their group work.

Mode of delivery (face to face, distance learning, hybrid learning)

Blended learning

Additional information:

The teaching mode is:

  • hybrid (face-to-face and distance learning depending on the conditions related to the health crisis) via the Ultra platform tools,
  • resolutely participative and dynamic around practical cases,
  • based on group work.

Recommended or required readings

Course content (PowerPoint, videos, texts, etc.) available on Ultra.


Exam(s) in session

Any session

- Remote

written exam

Written work / report

Additional information:

Exam(s) in session

Any session

- Remote

written exam

Written work / report

Additional information:

The sociology course on "Complex approaches to mediation and intermediation" will be assessed on the basis of a group work assignment.

This work will involve analyzing a conflict situation, from private or professional life, using one of the analysis grids seen in the course (free choice) and, secondly, answering a cross-cutting reflection question on the course.

This work should also put into perspective the concepts and themes seen during the course.

The work (6 A4 pages - 4.5 for the case and 1.5 for the transversal question - excluding bibliography, table of contents and appendices) must be handed in by the first day of the session on Ultra (formerly eCampus).
Evaluation criteria:

  • Clarity of the presentation,
  • the mastery of the concepts of the course and of the analysis grid used,
  • the reflexivity of the students,
  • the work of argumentation and justification and,
  • the relation with the other achievements of the course.
A cross-cutting question will be added to the case study.

The evaluation methods are identical in the 1st and 2nd sessions.

Work placement(s)


Organisational remarks and main changes to the course

First class on 19/09/23.

Organization of 6 lessons of 3 hours.


Julie GERARD (julie.gerard@uliege.be)

Université de Liège (CRIS) - Faculté des Sciences Sociales
Sociologie des organisations et de l'intervention
Place des Orateurs, 3 (Bât. B31 - Quartier Agora)
4000 Liège - Bureau 1.97

Association of one or more MOOCs