Cette page regroupe l'ensemble des publications de Futuribles sur cette thématique (Vigie, revue, bibliographie, études, etc.)
L'affrontement idéologique bipolaire qui prévalait pendant la Guerre froide avait relégué la question nationale à l'arrière-plan. Avec la chute du mur de Berlin, la scène mondiale change du tout au tout : éclatement de l'Union Soviétique, réunification allemande, affrontements en Yougoslavie et dans le Caucase, montée des régionalismes en Écosse ou au Pays basque, on ne parle plus que du réveil des nations, souvent interprété comme un insupportable archaïsme. À l'opposé de cette vision réductrice, Alain Dieckhoff ...
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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.
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.
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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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.
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.
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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L'emploi, la santé et le vieillissement sont des problèmes d'aujourd'hui qui doivent déterminer les politiques sociales de demain. Au cours des vingt prochaines années, la génération prospère du baby boom va atteindre l'âge de la retraite, dans une population comptant moins d'actifs et davantage de personnes dépendantes. Dans bon nombre des pays de l'OCDE, environ un foyer sur cinq ne perçoit pas de revenus tirés d'un emploi et l'allongement de l'espérance ...
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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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Cet ouvrage d'un volume réduit est un véritable précis de la construction européenne avec une idée force : la construction politique a pris du retard sur la construction économique. La première partie, historique, suit le cheminement de l'idée européenne depuis le début du siècle, après une évocation concise de ce qui a précédé. Les filiations idéologiques sont analysées, les différentes réalisations sont retracées. Toutes les péripéties : CED, CECA, Traités, sont suivies avec précision. L'ambiguïté gaullienne à l'égard ...
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Les élections européennes du 13 juin dernier ont marqué une forte poussée de l'abstention (53 %) et un éclatement des votes, en particulier à droite. Loin d'être surprenants, ces résultats prolongent en fait ceux des régionales de 1998. L'analyse du vote du 15 mars 1998 que nous propose le centre d'étude de la vie politique française (CEVIPOF) dans le cadre de ses « chroniques électorales » vient à point nommé pour mieux comprendre l'actualité politique. Tout comme les ...
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Les baby boomers, nés entre 1946 et 1964, constituent la génération la plus nombreuse de l'histoire des États-Unis. En 2020, 76 millions d'américains auront atteint 70 ans, et exigeront de lourdes dépenses de santé (20 à 25 % du PIB selon les auteurs). Cette évolution démographique inéluctable représente un véritable défi à la politique sociale. Le choc qui pourrait en résulter, si rien n'est fait pour le prévenir, serait comparable à l'impact des chocs pétroliers des années ...
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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.