The Center for Economic, Legal, and Social Studies and Documentation (CEDEJ) was created in 1968 thanks to an agreement between France and Egypt. The center is the heir of the French School of Law in Cairo (1890-1956), whose library it partly preserved. CEDEJ is a multidisciplinary research center working on contemporary Egypt from within the humanities and social science (political science, law, economics, geography, sociology, anthropology, contemporary history, etc.).
CEDEJ is a member of the UMIFRE system, a global network of French research institutes spanning five continents, with an emphasis on the Mediterranean and Western Asia (see a map of the UMIFRE network). CEDEJ is funded by both the French Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs and the French National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS). CEDEJ is attached to the Cultural Service of the French embassy in Egypt and it has a branch in Khartoum, CEDEJ-K.
CEDEJ gives priority to field research, and its programs are:
- Cities, mobilities, environment (Pascal Menoret)
- Governance and public policies (Mehdi Labzaé)
- Digital humanities (Hala Bayoumi)
CEDEJ is open to Egyptian and international researchers and students who can access its library, its research seminars, working groups, and conferences, and may publish their work in the ESMA journal, previously Égypte Monde arabe. CEDEJ published around 300 books and booklets since its creation. It also has a library of more than 36,000 volumes, with an online catalog, a map library, and various documentary funds.