Cette page regroupe l'ensemble des publications de Futuribles sur cette thématique (Vigie, revue, bibliographie, études, etc.)
Pour expliquer son titre Pascal Gauchon rappelle le chant du siècle dernier « Catholiques et français toujours ». Pour les catholiques de l'époque, il s'agissait de concilier la foi en une Église universelle (ce que signifie précisément catholique) et une réalité nationale particulièrement prégnante à l'époque. Son objectif est de s'interroger sur le sort de l'État-nation France qui s'est mué en « modèle français » au fur et à mesure qu'il perdait de sa puissance dans les ...
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S'inscrivant résolument en faux contre les préjugés culturalistes, prompts à interpréter les conflits identitaires comme des chocs de cultures, immanentes, figées sur elles-mêmes et étrangères à la modernité, cet ouvrage propose une remise en perspective critique du débat sur les identités en politique. René Otayek conteste en particulier la primauté qui a été constamment accordée, dans les études françaises sur l'identité, à la nation, qui « irait dans le sens de l'histoire », au détriment de l'ethnie, délégitimée ...
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In this short exercise in intuitive futurology, Jean Saint-Geours highlights three basic trends in global change.
The first relates to the phenomenon of globalization that is especially obvious in the spheres of the environment, finance and economics. In view of their growing interdependence, the author also stresses the systemic risks involved and, consequently, the need for further regulation.
Alongside these aspects, he argues that the spirit of competition and conquest that "encourages initiative, effort and invention", should be accompanied by new collective demands for greater cooperation and control.
Finally, insofar as globalization carries with it a risk of homogenization, it is hardly surprising that there should be a revival of particularisms (such as insistence on religious or cultural identities) which in turn will require moves towards a new trade-off between globalization and diversity.
The authors examine the relations between generations and argue, in essence, that the transfers between younger and older groups, both public and private, that are increasingly discussed quite appropriately in the context of how pensions are to be financed in future, cannot be properly understood without taking into account family relationships and structures.
They show that the debate on the future of pensions often focuses too narrowly on two players : the market and the state (and on two systems : redistribution and capitalization). They emphasize the need to consider financial flows within the family group, which can differ enormously depending upon the family's resources, the numbers and preferences of each generation.
After discussing the key arguments put forward in support of capitalization and of redistribution, they stress the crucial role of the family and how this role can change as the number of generations rises and resources are increasingly switched within and between generations. The authors illustrate their thesis with data available for France, but it is clearly also applicable to any country with an ageing population.
The text reproduced here forms the introduction and conclusion of a book by Guy Aznar La Fin des années chômage. La stratégie de l'emploi pluriel. In addition to its main purpose - to describe a strategy that will provide jobs for all within five years and reduce unemployment - the book is a plea against the prevailing fatalism in France and in Europe and in favour of creating a desirable future. This is the basic message - readers can judge for themselves - of the extracts we have chosen to publish.
The book is neither a novel nor a literary exercise. According to Guy Aznar, unemployment is such an integral part of our society that we no longer dare to imagine an alternative. He, however, takes the opposite position and builds a scenario in which "the 5 million people who are currently sidelined from the French social game are able to join in". The author does not pretend to have discovered the one and only magic solution. On the contrary, he is indignant about the tendency to be obsessed with a single approach, and instead he takes a range of existing European proposals and combines them in a comprehensive strategy in favour of "multifaceted employment" (l'emploi pluriel).
This approach would involve work as both employee and freelance, regular and itinerant, putting together a package consisting of a variety of work patterns, simultaneously or successively, alternating with other activities for different periods and hours per day. Nevertheless, it is not a plea for total deregulation, but rather for a new social contract.
Every year, the international organizations such as the United Nations, OECD and the European Commission publish reports that
- although they do not specifically include forecasts - constitute valuable reference works and mines of information for those interested in the state of the world and the main trends for change.
Three reports about global economic and social development are particularly authoritative. Two are produced by the World Bank: the World Development Report (the 1999 edition will appear shortly) and a document entitled
Global Economic Prospects and the Developing Countries. They are supplemented by two other useful World Bank publications, World Development Indicators and the World Bank Atlas, which provide key statistical data.
The third report is produced by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) under the title Human Development Report; the 1999 edition came out before the summer.
Michel Beaud reviews here the 1999 editions that have appeared so far (not, obviously, the World Bank report that is not yet published).
The reports show, above all, that despite some improvements, the Asian financial crisis - quite apart from the upheavals that it caused - has brought about a slowing of growth and that, overall, inequalities (especially between North and South) have worsened.
Michel Beaud stresses that while the World Bank remains faithful to its free market stance, it cannot overlook the increase in systemic risks. A minimum of public intervention appears to be indispensable if the fine motives of the international organizations are not to become no more than pious hopes.
Beside the Hespel-Thierry Report (cf. Futuribles n°245, pp.31-44), two other reports on the helping professions were published in France in 1998. They are issued by the Council on Economic Analysis (Conseil d'Analyse Économique) attached to the Office of the Prime Minister.
Gilbert Cette compares the three reports which, although they agree on many observations, sometimes come to different recommendations.
Véronique Hespel and Michel Thierry present their synopsis of a report commissioned by the French Government on services provided to individuals (care of young children, aid to the elderly or handicapped).
Starting with a diagnosis of the existing system, they underscore its complexity and poor performance. As is often the case in matters of social policy over time, new measures have been added incrementally, with a consequent multiplication of administrative bodies. The result is a costly maze which, although it created jobs, was not adapted to needs and in the end was not manageable.
Asked to make proposals for improving the efficiency of the system without destroying jobs or compromising the balance of public finances, the authors came up with several recommendations inspired by a three-part preoccupation:
- to rationalize and impose uniformity on the melange of services,
- to restructure assistance by targeting the most needy households, and
- to put in place a policy of professionalization in the helping services.
Precise measures are proposed. They are succinctly described in the second part of the article published here.
Dans une Europe marquée par un niveau de chômage élevé, où des groupes de population restent durablement exclus de l'accès au monde du travail, des questions de fond resurgissent régulièrement dans le débat public. Faut-il découpler complètement droit au travail et droit au revenu d'existence, pour permettre aux personnes privées d'emploi d'avoir au moins des revenus décents ? Les différentes variantes de « l'allocation universelle » sont-elles pertinentes pour combattre la grande pauvreté ? Comment rendre le droit au ...
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The future of pensions, mainly based on the principle of redistribution, provokes legitimate concern in European countries, due not only to the aging of the population but also to the evolving socio-economic context. While we may be unable to predict how the latter will evolve in the next decades, some trends are worrisome : globalization of the economy, for example, and its corollary of international competitiveness, forces entreprises, to be more cost-competitive and to minimize their contributions to social programs, including the unemployment problem.
In such a context, it is not difficult for some to raise the spectre of failure of the redistributive pension system and the spectre of intergenerational warfare, while others promote the merits of capitalization. To set capitalization and pay-as-you-go in opposition is nevertheless a false debate, according to Giovanni Tamburi. These two techniques of financing are more complementary than opposing. In fact, many European countries have made highly opportune reforms and are evolving toward a mixed system.
The author describes these reforms and shows how elements of capitalization can be introduced into the systems of pay-as-you-go (investing part of the contributions into saving funds) and concludes by describing the costs and modalities of financing pensions. He stresses that pay-as-you-go systems jeopardize job creation.
Economist Friedrich List (1789-1846) was contemporaneous with the birth of railways, German uncertainties before Bismarck, and the rise of the United States.
He dreamed of a unified or " common " market within the German market, based on the new possibilities of transportation and protection from external competition (the Zollverein). This would permit new enterprises some time to grow strong enough to face foreign ones.
He was often described as a national-protectionist, a thesis accepted by Emmanuel Todd, who introduces this republication of List by Gallimard. In reality, he was a liberal, although a realistic one. Before facing the outside world, the basics have to be reinforced.
List lived in several countries, where he tried to influence decision makers. He wrote everywhere in the language of his host country. " Free trade is profitable to individuals and the States ". However, during the development phase, protectionism is vital. Regardless of the brilliance of his analyses, List was unsuccessful in efforts to influence the course of enterprises which he helped to launch in the States and later in Germany.
He found his most stiking illustrations in the United States, which he visited to observe the construction of railways. His "National System of Political Economy", written in 1841, was very much studied in the United States. Conceived and written primarily in Paris, it sheds light on the current European debate. We provide three excerpts in this issue. One is on the necessity of strengthening industries before facing cosmopolitan competition. Another is a plea for confederation of peoples in order to secure a perpetual peace. It took Europe a hundred years of suicidal war before it would seriously listen to a message that the world at large is still not ready to accept, despite the United Nations. In the third excerpt, List identified the rational behind the success of America, which was already visible in his times.
As we have stressed many times in Futuribles when discussing French economic growth, the employment response has been weak compared with other industrialized countries. Arnaud Gérardin demonstrates here that the situation is gradually getting better. In the '70s, it took an increase of at least 2.6 % in GDP to generate growth in employment. This figure fell to 2.2 % in the '80s and should come close to 1.2 % in the '90s.
The author goes on to describe the factors which have contributed to this improvement and to identify their respective influence :
- the first element is development within the sector of tertiary activities, which is important because apparent labor productivity there is generally weaker than in industry ;
- the increase in part-time work, especially since 1992, should be a second factor ;
- the development of short-term employment contracts is a third element ;
- last, the reduction of social expenditures within the framework of the quinquennial law, coupled with a moderate increase in wages, has probably contributed to the general amelioration.
Arnaud Gérardin translates the contributions into percentages : 10 % for the internal changes within the sectors of the economy, 20 % for the development of part time work, 20 to 30 % for the development of short term contractual work, and 20 to 30 % for the policy aimed at reducing social expenditures.
It is nevertheless important to note that with the number of employees and job seekers increasing in average by 140,000 per year (that means 1 % of private sector employment), the growth rate required to stabilize unemployment is greater than the rate which can keep employment constant. If about 1.2 % is sufficient today to stabilize employment, it would take 2.2 % growth to keep unemployment at a constant share of the work force.
Exclusion: From Blindness to Clairvoyance, Xavier Godinot
This text by Xavier Godinot is not future-oriented, although poverty does seem to be on the rise, even if the means to eradicate it quickly may be conceivable (dixit Muhammad Yunus). The more worrisome element is an invariance in attitudes toward the phenomenon.
Xavier Godinot starts with a series of facts which have been kept hidden for a long time. They reveal that richer countries which are held up as models of humans' rights, entire populations have been exterminated, deported, sterilized or interned. He gives some examples to illustrate and denounce the denial and hiding, both individual and collective, which are the core subject of this article.
He attempts to understand and explain the sources of our blindness to social phenomena which bother us and our tendency to hide them. This possibly unconscious behavior calls for a deliberate attitude of vigilance to the feelings and processes of social exclusion, the instinctive urge to eliminate individuals or entire populations which for some reason do not fit our norms, frighten us, and are therefore rejected.
The same discomfort we feel in the presence of personal handicaps feeds our attitudes toward victims of social inequalities, and Godinot warns us against the progressive but irreversible processes of exclusion. Beyond a call to human charity, he underlines the constant danger of an apartheid and the essential role of solidarity in development.
Working Time in the Public Service. A Synthesis of the Report Presented by the Commission on Working Time, Jacques Roché
The French government has made reduction of working hours one of its essential priorities in the fight against unemployment. A first law was passed in June 1998, stipulating that by the first of January 2002 the legal working week will be reduced to 35 hours from 39 hours.
But the main employer in France is the state (with 2.2 million employees); the public and para-public sectors together employ between 4 and 6 million (see the article by Annie Brenot-Ouldali). One of the unanswered questions is how the reduction of working hours will affect the quality of service of the public sector, which is already notorious for its relaxed attitude to working time.
The ministry responsible for reform and decentralization of the public service appointed Jacques Roché to head an interdepartmental inquiry on the topic. His mandate was 1) to conduct a comprehensive survey on regulations and practices pertaining to working time and overtime in the public service; and 2) to explore the ways to organize work to improve the quality of service with a working week of 35 hours. The published text is a synthesis of the report presented by the interdepartmental commission.
It starts with an analysis of the situation, which stresses the difficulty of giving a precise estimate of the time spent at work due to the different situations and conditions of work. It provides us nevertheless with useful information about hours of work per week.
The second part summarizes the Commission's proposals. It stresses especially the need to couple reduction with reorganization of working time and with a modernization of the public service, which Jacques Roché says should be undertaken to improve working conditions.
À l'occasion du colloque de Cerisy organisé autour du thème « Prospective et gouvernance » du 4 au 10 juin 1999, Repères prospectifs a tenu à introduire le débat en sortant un dossier spécial sur la question. C'est ainsi qu'une série d'articles sont réunis autour de la problématique de l'État, de ses marges de manœuvre décisionnelles, de la démocratie à l'échelle nationale et locale... et du rôle de la prospective dans ces différents domaines à l ...
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Professeur à la Sorbonne, enseignant l'histoire de l'Amérique du Nord à l'Université de Paris I, André Kaspi admet que les États-Unis fascinent et irritent en même temps, mais il voudrait que les Français comprennent mieux la dernière superpuissance de ce siècle. Il nous convie donc à une visite guidée, passant en revue la puissance militaire sans égale mais bridée par le souci de ne pas risquer la vie des combattants, la diplomatie hésitante mais pragmatique, qui donne ...
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Peut-on appréhender la richesse des sociétés uniquement à partir de l'évolution du taux de croissance de leur PIB (produit intérieur brut) comme nous incline à le faire une certaine conception extensive de la science économique ? Ou bien, en d'autres termes, utilité économique et utilité sociale convergent-elles ou, au contraire, divergent-elles ? Telles sont les questions dérangeantes que pose Dominique Méda dans son dernier ouvrage. Après avoir pointé les imperfections et les incohérences d'une mesure purement comptable du PIB ...
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En quinze chapitres écrits par des « plumes plongées dans diverses encres » (histoire, sociologie, économie,..) et trois regards pluriels sont décrits les éléments du puzzle asiatique et des secousses qui l'ont brouillé. Premier apport d'une approche originale : l'éclatement d'une Asie que « ni la géographie, ni les langues, ni les cultures, ni les religions, ni la colonisation » ne rassemblent véritablement et que l'éloignement a pu amener à considérer comme un pôle (mondial de développement), « angle de l ...
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David C. Korten développe l'argument déjà présenté dans son précédent livre When Corporation Rule the World où il comparait la « tyrannie du marché » à un cancer infestant la planète, rendant les institutions démocratiques impuissantes et transformant la vie de chacun en une quête insatiable d'argent. Dans The Post Corporate World, il précise que c'est le capitalisme qui est une maladie à éliminer des marchés. Une maladie incontrôlée, incurable. Il cite des chiffres alarmants qui montrent que les ...
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Avec l'effondrement du communisme, on assiste, depuis la fin des années 1980, au " retour des nations ". C'est que le fait national est aujourd'hui omniprésent et ne se limite pas, d'ailleurs, à I'éclatement de l'Empire soviétique. Des tentations nationales, ou nationalistes, se font jour en Inde, en Chine, sur le continent africain et, à un moindre degré, dans les démocraties occidentales. Dans ces conditions, le livre de Gil Delannoi vient à point nommé pour éclaircir ...
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Ce livre a pour but de répondre à la question suivante : comment se fait-il que l'emploi dans le commerce de détail se situe à un niveau beaucoup plus élevé dans des pays comme le Japon ou les États-Unis qu'en France ? Pour analyser cette interrogation majeure, l'ouvrage se livre à une comparaison internationale des systèmes d'emploi assez proche de l’analyse sociétale prônée par Maurice F. Sellier et J.J Silvestre (Politique d'éducation et organisation industrielle ...
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Ce chapitre est extrait du Rapport Vigie 2016 de Futuribles International, qui propose un panorama structuré des connaissances et des incertitudes des experts que l'association a mobilisés pour explorer les évolutions des 15 à 35 prochaines années sur 11 thématiques.