Bernard CONTE is involved in two research centers:
The Centre d'Etudes d'Afrique Noire, (Center of black africa studies), at the Institut d'Etudes Politiques (Political Studies Institute) at Bordeaux (France);
The Centre d'Economie du Developpement (Center of development economics), at the University Montesquieu-Bordeaux IV.
His main research topics are:
New information and communication technologies (ICTs) and the development process in the South regions. ICT's and particularly Internet are considered by International Institutions (World Bank, UNDP, ECA…) as a panacea for the development process of South regions. The aim of this research project is to test that hypothesis. The analysis will follow three main stages: first, the study of ICT's penetration in the South; second, the analysis of ICT's use and third, the impacts on the development process will be considered. In its conclusions, the project will carry out answers about the issue: are ICT's able to accelerate the development process in the South or are they a new form of imperialism. Actually, this project is at its first stage.
Economic, political and social dimensions of the development process in Cote d'Ivoire. Cote d'Ivoire became a rent seeking society under the presidency of Felix Houphouet-Boigny. After 30 years of stability, this country entered a crisis which gradually worsened in ethnics and religious conflicts. The trajectory of this country is studied since the early 80's.
Regional integration process in Sub-Saharan Africa is a large issue. Despite of more than two hundred agreements, the regional integration process seems to be a failure. What are the explanations of this failure? The very reasons are mainly correlated with the political, social and cultural domestic context. Moreover, international relations must be considered. This research is implemented since the end of the 70's, with special highlight on West Africa regional integration attempts (ECOWAS and WAEMU).
Relations EU-ACP and mainly EU-African countries. The results of the four Lome Conventions are not very significant. For example, the share of African countries in EU imports slept down during the agreements. Stabex and Sysmin systems did not work efficiently. EU could not avoid the waste in the use of its aid. Is the new Convention of Cotonou able to correct the previous failures and to accelerate the development process of the South?
Structural adjustment programs: implementation, policies and results, mainly in french speaking countries members of the franc zone.