Cette page regroupe l'ensemble des publications de Futuribles sur cette thématique (Vigie, revue, bibliographie, études, etc.)
Au moment où la perspective d'une Europe politique suscite, au choix, l'indifférence totale ou la mise en doute sarcastique, comment penser la question de l'État européen ? C'est là l'objet du nouvel essai de Jean-Marc Ferry. Il est clair, dès l'ouverture de cet ouvrage éloquent, que le philosophe prend, pour sa part, cette question très au sérieux : il voudrait voir dans le processus d'unification « l'amorce logique d'un État cosmopolitique », « la plus ferme ...
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Cet ouvrage est le résultat de l'analyse approfondie d'un aspect trop souvent ignoré de la pensée de Tocqueville, à savoir sa réflexion économique et sociale sur un thème crucial au XIXe siècle : le paupérisme. Selon Éric Keslassy, lorsqu'on étudie cet aspect de la pensée du philosophe, on constate qu'il n'était pas aussi libéral que certains le prétendent : « c'est un libéral politique qui, sur le plan économique, se positionne à égale distance du libéralisme économique ...
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L'édition 2000 du Rapport mondial sur le développement humain du PNUD est placée sous le signe des droits de l'homme, de la liberté et de la solidarité. Outre les traditionnels indicateurs de développement - toujours très complets -, on y trouvera donc une série de chapitres rappelant l'étendue de la déclaration universelle des droits de l'homme et des devoirs qui en découlent, ainsi que les combats pour la défense des libertés humaines ; et montrant le rôle de la ...
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Professeur à l'université d'Harvard, Theda Skocpol signe ici un ouvrage rappelant à la mémoire des gouvernants américains l'existence d'une classe moyenne modeste, éternelle oubliée de la politique sociale. Car si les dirigeants américains ont pris soin depuis plusieurs années de prendre des mesures sociales pour les plus pauvres, les plus jeunes, les plus vieux ou les plus malades, ils ont omis de s'intéresser à cette classe oubliée et aux travailleurs faiblement rémunérés, souligne l'auteur ...
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Dans cet ouvrage, la fameuse « commissaire-philosophe » des Renseignements généraux (RG), qui a introduit une échelle des violences urbaines (et du même coup la notion d'incivilité) au sein des services de police, expose ses convictions et relate la façon dont elles ont été progressivement acceptées par les autorités. Depuis son arrivée aux RG en 1991, et surtout depuis qu'elle a rendu publics, en 1993, à la fois son diagnostic d'une augmentation des violences urbaines en France et sa ...
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Directeur de recherche au CNRS (Centre national de la recherche scientifique), professeur à l'université Paris IV et à l'Institut d'études politiques de Paris, Cynthia Ghorra-Gobin entend ici analyser l'impact de la mondialisation à l'échelon local, en prenant l'exemple des États-Unis. Cet ouvrage clair et pédagogique (on y trouvera notamment un glossaire et une bibliographie actualisée) s'appuie sur des entretiens menés par l'auteur et sur des travaux principalement américains, et se propose pour ...
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Les futurs retraités sont-ils voués à l'indigence ? Selon cette étude du Bureau international du travail, 90 % de la population mondiale en âge de travailler ne sont pas couverts par des régimes de retraite qui peuvent leur garantir un revenu suffisant. Les auteurs de cet ouvrage pointent le doigt sur la mauvaise gestion de bon nombre des régimes en vigueur qui, selon eux, expose une grande partie de la population mondiale à la pauvreté durant la vieillesse. Même lorsque la ...
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Le troisième volume des actes du colloque de Fontevraud (tenu en 1996 autour de la question de l'environnement) porte sur la question de la gouvernance (Démocratie et politique à long terme). Plusieurs experts réfléchissent, dans un premier temps, aux nouveaux principes d'action dans le domaine de la politique gouvernementale : principe de précaution, équité intergénérationnelle et internationale, éthique, principe de responsabilité, incertitude scientifique, etc. Suivent une série de contributions sur la « gouvernance globale » : comment articuler exigences du marché et ...
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Bui Dang Ha Doan discusses the fact that spending on health is rising faster than the gross domestic product (GDP) in all industrialised countries. This phenomenon has caused considerable concern for some time and has already given rise to many plans for reform which have been implemented to varying degrees and with varying success.
Since the rise is generally the result of increases in both supply and demand (which are, therefore, obviously, mutually reinforcing), French authorities have tried to limit France's number of doctors in hope that this would bring about a fall in the quantity of medicines prescribed as well as medical facilities. This measure was expected to lead to a reduction in health spending between now and 2005, if not before.
The author shows, however, that the ageing of the population alone, and in particular the extremely rapid growth in the numbers of very old people, will automatically lead to a steep rise in health expenditures. This will occur because of the age factor (the health costs of a grandmother are five-times higher than those of her granddaughter) and also the generational factor (tomorrow's grandmothers will have higher expectations of care than those of previous generations).
In short, the author argues that any let-up in the growth of health spending as a result of rationing supply in the next ten years can only be temporary, and furthermore, this will be the case, no matter how the health system is organized.
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.
When one keeps close track of futures studies produced in America, as we do constantly at futuribles, one cannot help but be struck by the proliferation of studies that try to draw up lists
of varying length, enumerating the trends of all kinds that will (or might) have a major impact on society and lifestyles in the 21st century. These often take the form of a simple inventory of trends and megatrends that the authors either identify in the United States today or expect as a result of recent developments, especially in science and technology. The lists are extremely diverse and usually lack any rigorous analysis.
Michel Drancourt reviews here one such study by two American political scientists who, not content with the usual catalogue, have tried to analyse which factors are most likely to affect the political life of the United States in the future.
They have identified five "realities" that they think will shape American political life in the 21st century, from the emergence of the information society to the ethnic mix of the population.
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.
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.
The United States, like European countries, faces a rapid aging of its population, particularly after 2010 when the baby boomers (1946-1964) reach the age of 65. The aging process will be all the more pronounced because of increase life expectancy.
As in Europe, this phenomenon has aroused concerns for the future of pensions. Basic U.S. pensions (Federal Old Age Pension, Federal Social Assistance for the Disabled, and Welfare for Elderly Indigents - Social Security Insurance), are based upon the principle of redistribution. These are supplemented, for a more restricted number of individuals, by company pensions and by individual retirement saving plans.
Following a re-examination of demographic trends in the United States, Daniel Béland, describes the organization of its pension system and the impact that the foreseeable aging could have. Finally, he reviews the reforms contemplated as a consequence and the polemics employed by the proponents and the adversaries of redistribution.
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.
This article summarizes the main conclusions of the study on "Demographic Aging in European Union to 2050", published by the European Commission.
The authors first clarify the amplitude and time frame of demographic aging in seven European countries (Germany, Spain, France, Ireland, Italy, United Kingdom, Sweden) and in the European Union as a whole. To this end they use two indicators: the proportion of elderly in the population, and the differential rate of aging among neighboring countries.
Then they show the impact of aging alone (other factors remaining equal) on the financing of health care and pension systems. They demonstrate, for example, that if aging corresponds to the central scenario of Eurostat, financial equilibrium in the health care system could only be maintained by increasing the rate of contributions by half or by reducing the benefit by a third.
By the identical reasoning process, Gérard Calot and Jean-Paul Sardon show how impacts on the pension system might be accommodated: increasing the rate of contributions, decreasing the purchasing power of pensions relative to the net salaries of the work force, increasing the number of contributory years to qualify for a full pension, or by increasing the numbers of active contributors through higher rates of participation in the labor market or an increase in immigration.
Ce numéro de Politiques et management public constitue le premier tome d'un dossier entièrement consacré à la performance des administrations publiques et qui reprend les actes d'un colloque international dédié à cette question (tenu à Aix-en-Provence les 28-29 mai 1998). Une dizaine d'articles analysent les perspectives et les moyens relatifs à l'efficacité des administrations publiques, de manière générale mais aussi à l'aune de l'expérience de certains pays (États-Unis, pays en développement, par exemple). À ...
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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.
Public Sector Employees, Public Servants... and Others, Annie Brenot-Ouldali
While it may be common knowledge that the state is the principal employer in France, estimates of the actual number who are either public servants or otherwise paid out of the public purse (whether rightly or not) are the object of frequent controversy.
Annie Brenot-Ouldali provides us here with a very useful description of the public service world, along with estimates of the numbers who find employment in it.
She distinguishes :
- the public service itself, comprising those employed by the state, including the territories and the health care system. It represents 5.3 million employees (end of 1996);
- the social security system with a total of 332.000 employees;
- enterprises working for the public service but under different status; bringing the total up to about six and a half million employees.
At the request of the French Prime minister, the Commissaire au Plan appointed a Task Force to diagnose the situation and prospects of the French retirement system (basic retirement and complementary retirement).
Within its mandate, the Commissaire au Plan had asked each pension plan to make projections to 2040 of the dependancy ratios (contributors, receivers) and the prospects for resources and expenditures, given a common framework of demographic and macro-economic hypotheses.
Charles du Granrut, using these projections, has made a synthesis which complements the recent publication of the Task Force and which should contribute to the public debate that is now required.
The Rise of the Information Age: The American Model, Michel Catinat
Although new information and communication technologies have been developing for a while, Michel Catinat argues that the rise of the post-industrial society has been especially striking through the nineties. This decade has seen the birth of the National Information Infrastructure (NII) programs initiated by the Clinton administration to stimulate development of the information society. These have re-established American hegemony in building the infrastructure and in the use of the new technology.
Catinat describes the policies followed by the United States since 1993, examines its goals and methods, evaluates its successes and failures, and concludes with its lessons for Europe. The NII policies, which have ramified with remarkable extent and diversity, are based on three instruments: 1) an important effort in financing and enhancement of research (multi-disciplinary consortia which link research institutes with industry); 2) the informatisation of government administrative functions; and 3) the adaptation of the regulatory and legislative framework to make it more conformable to administration via numeric data (entailing some negative effects on the protection of private life).
This internal activity has been extended to the international level (the "Global Information Infrastructure) by promoting the information society via international negotiations which came out to benefit primarily American interests.
Having analyzed the successes and the failures of this ambitious policy, Catinat reviews what Europe could learn: the first lesson is the utility of having a long term vision to guide action.
Then, to implement the vision, a set of determined and cohesive policies. These exist in Europe, but are more effective in the United States because of greater participation by private actors in the marketplace and a more developed attitude toward risk-taking.
Catinat also underscores the risk that the promoters of this technology post to the legislative and regulatory processes. This is already apparent in the United States and could portend an unwillingness of dominant American interests to submit to the kinds of international protocols which Catinat believes to be indispensable.
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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France, like the other industrialized countries, confronts a rapid aging of its population and a consequent danger to the stability of its retirement system, given the principle of equalization between basic and complementary plans. The French Prime Minister asked the Commissaire au plan to explore the challenge and the possible avenues for addressing it. One of the main recommendations, in line with the Reform of 1993, is the extension of working life. This would obviously avoid an excessive degradation of the ratio between the years of contributions and those of receiving benefits.
Jacques Bichot offers a contrast between two systems: the one based on annual payment systems found in basic retirement plans, and the systems of bridging offered by complementary plans. He shows that the former, being excessively complex, rigid and unfair, should be replaced by a point system which, everything considered, is more equitable, transparent and easier to manage.
He bases his thesis on the fact that the return on contributions is unequal among ranks and that those who have been unable to have a complete career (such as women, immigrants and occasional workers) are penalized. This, he shows, has been built into a deeply opaque system of injustice and of unfair bureaucratic practices which is overruling the fundamental principles of a contributory logic.
Jacques Bichot makes a plea for a reform - towards a point system -which will eradicate the injustices of the present system, make it more adaptable to new needs and more manageable. He shows, finally, how to implement a transition between the two systems by borrowing some useful principles recently adopted by the Association générale de retraites des cadres and l'Association des régimes de retraites complémentaires (Associations of retired managers and of complementary retirements systems).
Ce dossier préparé par la revue Pouvoirs locaux de mars 1999 fait le point sur la nouvelle donne pour les administrations régionales françaises au travers de deux articles. Le premier, d'Alain Faure et Andy Smith, analyse l'impact des changements intervenus dans la politique communautaire de l'Union européenne sur l'espace politique local - réforme de la politique agricole commune et des fonds structurels, en particulier. Quels sont les critères d'éligibilité à recevoir une aide communautaire ? Comment rendre ...
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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.