Institut Montaigne

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Founded in 2000, Institut Montaigne is a nonprofit, transpartisan think tank based in Paris, France. Institut Montaigne’s mission is to propose practical public policy recommendations to improve social cohesion, competitiveness and public spending in a variety of policy fields,[1][2] its work is based on international benchmarks and collaborations between experts from the French business community, academia, civil society and government.


Institut Montaigne focuses on four main policy fields:[3]

  • Social cohesion: education, higher education, employment, lifelong learning
  • Public policy: pension, justice, healthcare, environment, European issues
  • Competitiveness: firms, energy, transports, SMB, digital economy, financial markets regulation
  • Public finances: taxation, local finances, public spending, local authorities.

Institut Montaigne is also involved in promoting innovative democratic platforms. In 2011, the think tank led an ambitious research program under the supervision of Gilles Kepel on the suburban cities of Clichy-sous-Bois and Montfermeil where the 2005 riots sparked; the findings were published in the book “Banlieue de la République”.[4] This work was later completed by “Passion française”, a political essay based on a series of interviews conducted in the cities of Roubaix and Marseille to meet candidates of foreign origin who ran for the 2012 legislative elections.[5]

Institut Montaigne feeds the public debate by providing accurate data and assessment tools[citation needed]. During the 2012 presidential campaign, Institut Montaigne forecasted the budgetary impact of the main candidates’ programs.[6] A similar initiative was undertaken during the 2014 municipal campaign in France’s 10 largest cities,[7] as well as for the 2015 regional campaign.[8] During the 2017 presidential campaign, on top of quantitative analyses, it evaluated over 120 electoral program promises and proposals.[9]

Institut Montaigne also developed the first serious game dedicated to public finances, allowing players to understand how budgetary and macroeconomic policies impact the French public deficit and the national debt.[10]

Institut organizes political forums to which citizens are invited to draft new policies. For instance, in 2012, Institut Montaigne held a citizen’s conference on the French healthcare system.[11] A representative panel of 25 participants was informed of the functioning of the healthcare system, its challenges and its issues. After a series of workshops, the panel released a report in which it stated its main policy proposals.


Institut Montaigne expresses concrete policy proposals to enhance both competitiveness and social cohesion; the ideas are conveyed through four types of publications:

  • Reports, which is the work produced by dedicated taskforces
  • Studies, produced by one or a group of experts
  • Policy briefs, which react to current policy issues
  • Books and collective works, which provide an in-depth analysis of a specific issue.

Recent publications (in English)

  • A New Strategy for France in a New Arab World (August 2017)
  • Syria: to End a Never-Ending War (June 2017)
  • What Role for Cars in Tomorrow’s World? (June 2017)
  • The Europe We Need (March 2017)
  • The Circular Economy: Reconciling Economic Growth with the Environment (November 2016)
  • A French Islam Is Possible (September 2016)
  • Rebuilding France’s National Security (September 2016)
  • Religious Discrimination in Access to Employment: a Reality (October 2015)
  • Big Data and the Internet of Things: Making France a Leader in the Digital Revolution (April 2015)


Board of directors[edit]

  • Henri de Castries, President and former CEO of AXA
  • Claude Bébéar, Founder and Honorary President
  • David Azéma, Vice President and partner at Perella Weinberg Partners
  • Emmanuelle Barbara, Managing Partner, August and Debouzy
  • Nicolas Baverez, Lawyer, Partner, Gibson Dunn & Crutche
  • Marguerite Bérard-Andrieu, Chief Executive Officer in charge of the Group Finance, Strategy, Legal Affairs division and Group Company Secretary of the Groupe BPCE
  • Jean-Pierre Clamadieu, Chairman of the Executive Committee and CEO, Solvay
  • Olivier Duhamel, President of National Foundation of Political Science (Sciences Po)
  • Mireille Faugère, General Auditor
  • Christian Forestier, Former rector
  • Marwan Lahoud, Chairman of OT-Morpho’s Supervisory Board
  • Natalie Rastoin, Managing Director of Ogilvy France, President of Ogilvy One
  • René Ricol, associated Founder of Ricol Lasteyrie Corporate Finance
  • Jean-Dominique Senard, Vice-President & CEO & Managing General Partner, Michelin
  • Arnaud Vaissié, CEO of International SOS and Chairman of the French Chamber of Commerce in Great Britain
  • Philippe Wahl, Chairman of the Board of La Banque Postale.

Advisory Board[edit]

The Advisory Board provides guidance about the major social transformations; expresses its opinion about the work of the think tank; and develops partnerships and institutional relations in France and abroad.

  • Benoit d'Angelin, Partner at Ondra Parteners
  • Frank Bournois, Dean of ESCP Europe
  • Pierre Cahuc, Profesor of Economics at Ecole Polytechnique
  • Loraine Donnedieu de Vabres, Partener at Jeantet et Associés
  • Pierre Godé, Vice Chairman of LVMH
  • Michel Godet, Professor of management for the CNAM
  • Françoise Holder, Administror of Holder S.A.S. group
  • Philippe Josse, State Councilor
  • Marianne Laigneau, Member of the Council of State
  • Sophie Pedder, Paris bureau chief, The Economist
  • Hélène Rey, Professor of Economics at London Business School
  • Ezra Suleiman, board's President, Professor at Princeton University.


Institut Montaigne brings together a number of experts who provide research, policy recommendations, and analyses on a full range of public policy issues, in particular on our blogs.

  • Gilles Babinet, digital champion, contributor on digital issues
  • Nicolas Baverez, economist, lawyer, contributor on defense issues
  • Patrick Calvar, special advisor to Institut Montaigne, contributor on security issues
  • Eric Chaney, economic advisor to Institut Montaigne, contributor on economic issues
  • Michaël Cheylan, contributor on African issues
  • Ambassador Michel Duclos, special advisor to Institut Montaigne, contributor on geopolitical issues
  • Olivier Duhamel, president of Sciences Po, contributor on political and institutional issues
  • Ramon Fernandez, contributor on European issues
  • Benjamin Fremaux, senior fellow, contributor on energy and climate issues
  • Hakim El Karoui, senior fellow, contributor on French foreign policy in the MENA region and Islam in France
  • Marc Lazar, contributor on both French and European political and institutional issues
  • Bertrand Martinot, senior fellow, contributor on apprenticeship, employment, professional training issues
  • Professor Dominique Moïsi, special advisor to Institut Montaigne, contributor on geopolitical issues
  • Soli Özel, International Relations, Visiting Fellow
  • Strobe Talbott, president of the Brookings Institution from July 2002 to October 2017, Visiting Fellow at Institut Montaigne from April to May 2018
  • Jean-Paul Tran Thiet, contributor on both energy and European issues.

Permanent staff[edit]

Laurent Bigorgne has been the managing director of Institut Montaigne since 2011. 21 permanent members of staff work there.

Budget and financial resources[edit]

Institut Montaigne is a non-profit organization, depending on the French law of 1901; the annual budget of Institut Montaigne’s core is ca 4.3 million euros. More than 150 companies, of all sizes and all industries, contribute every year to its operation, each one of them representing less than 2% of the total budget. About 300 legal persons also support Institut Montaigne’s procedure, their total support represents 1% of the operating budget of Institut Montaigne.

Members (the list is current as of 18 December 2017):


  1. ^ "About us". Institut Montaigne. Retrieved 2017-12-22.
  2. ^ "Institut Montaigne -". Retrieved 2017-12-22.
  3. ^ "Publications | Institut Montaigne". Institut Montaigne. Retrieved 2017-12-22.
  4. ^ "Accueil | BANLIEUE DE LA RÉPUBLIQUE". (in French). Retrieved 2017-12-22.
  5. ^ "Passion française. Les voix des cités". Institut Montaigne. Retrieved 2017-12-22.
  6. ^ "Chiffrages | Déchiffrages 2012". Retrieved 2017-12-22.
  7. ^ "Municipales 2014 : chiffrage des programmes - Accueil". Municipales 2014. Retrieved 2017-12-22.
  8. ^ "Élections Régionales 2015 | Institut Montaigne". Élections Régionales 2015 (in French). Retrieved 2017-12-22.
  9. ^ "Institut Montaigne | Présidentielle 2017". Institut Montaigne - Présidentielle 2017 (in French). Retrieved 2017-12-22.
  10. ^ "L'atelier des finances publiques de l'Institut Montaigne". (in French). Retrieved 2017-12-22.
  11. ^ "Conférence de Citoyens | Une réflexion citoyenne sur la santé, une initiative de l'Institut Montaigne". (in French). Retrieved 2017-12-22.