Cette page regroupe l'ensemble des publications de Futuribles sur cette thématique (Vigie, revue, bibliographie, études, etc.)
Fruit d'un séminaire de l'Association française de science politique, ce livre est une somme monumentale de 426 pages denses, écrites par une vingtaine de spécialistes reconnus, français et étrangers, sous la houlette de Pascal Perrineau, professeur de science politique à l'Institut d'études politiques de Paris et directeur du Centre d'étude de la vie politique française (Cévipof). La question centrale du livre consiste à expliquer les phénomènes de montée de l'extrême droite que l'on ...
(567 more words)
Le bandeau qui entoure la couverture indique que c'est « le livre attendu par tous les agents de l'État ». Qu'on permette à quelqu'un qui ne l'est pas de se demander si ce pamphlet sert vraiment la cause qu'il veut défendre. Il affirme et ne prouve guère. Il prône la multiplication des moyens sans jamais se préoccuper de leur financement. Il admet que sur 5,4 millions de salariés du « public » il doit bien y avoir ...
(116 more words)
Le trimestriel de la Net Économie L'Atelier consacre un dossier spécial à l'impact d'Internet sur la vie politique, dans son numéro de l'hiver 2000-2001. À la lumière des campagnes électorales qui se sont déroulées en 2000 aux États-Unis, au Canada et en Grande-Bretagne, Élisabeth Lulin a recensé l'utilisation faite par les partis et les citoyens de ce nouveau média. C'est ainsi que sont présentés tout d'abord les nouveaux instruments à la disposition des ...
(223 more words)
Les indicateurs sociaux sont, à nouveau, à l'ordre du jour. L'OCDE, organisant de manière innovante la présentation de données très diverses, tente avec ce rapport de répondre aux demandes croissantes d'information et d'analyse autour des questions sociales. Il s'est agi de produire un panorama à la fois détaillé et concis des tendances sociales et des évolutions politiques. L'exercice de production d'un tableau significatif du développement social, à l'échelle internationale, n'a rien ...
(353 more words)
Depuis une trentaine d'années, on assiste, dans les pays anglo-saxons principalement, aux revendications de groupes minoritaires pour la reconnaissance de leur identité culturelle, ainsi que pour l'obtention de droits spécifiques. À bien des égards, ces requêtes paraissent entrer en conflit avec le libéralisme politique : à la particularité qui sous-tend les droits des minorités on opposera l'universalité des droits de l'homme. La Citoyenneté multiculturelle du philosophe Will Kymlicka met précisément en question ce présupposé : le libéralisme politique ...
(285 more words)
Everyone is aware that the institutions of the EU are facing the problem of a lack of effectiveness and legitimacy which threatens to worsen as the number of member states increases (to 20, 25, 30 or even more). Will the latest intergovernmental conference to be held in Nice in December 2000 manage to find a solution to current problems, which are the same as those that its predecessor failed to resolve in 1997 in the Amsterdam Treaty?
Yves Bertoncini argues here that there are two main issues at stake: (i) the composition and work of the European Commission, and (ii) the decision-making process in the Council of Ministers. He thinks that there may be a solution which will offer an escape from the never-ending debate about the way that decisions are reached by resorting to the procedure known as "reinforced co-operations".
The author highlights first the ambiguous situation of the Commission arising from uncertainty about the status of the Commissioners -are they each representatives of their nation or do they together make up a supranational, collegial administrative body?- which then affects how many there are (the need for every member state to be represented) and their weight in the decision-making process. He points out the anomalies relating to the Commission's powers, in particular with regard to legislation, when it is not sufficiently independent of the member states; he therefore proposes ways in which reforms might increase the Commission's effectiveness and legitimacy.
In the next section, Bertoncini looks at the system of voting in the Council of Ministers and argues that it is essential to abandon the principle of unanimity, which is a major source of bottlenecks, and to discuss the current decision-making procedures and their attendant problems, given the weight of each member state and the size of majority required in each case. He shows how complicated the present system is and discusses the various solutions being considered, with the difficulties they raise.
Finally, looking forward to the possibility that the latest negotiations on this matter will fail once again, Yves Bertoncini proposes, more pragmatically, even greater use of the system of "reinforced co-operations", which would have the advantage that "it does not a priori exclude any member state but does take account of the extremely variable positions of different countries in a union with 20 or 30 members, in which it would be utterly futile to try to get them all to keep in step". In doing so, Bertoncini pleads that, as long as no entirely satisfactory overall institutional arrangements can be achieved, at least de facto shifting alliances should be allowed to develop.
The career of the prosecuting magistrate Eva Joly is both unusual and fascinating. Jean-Jacques Salomon gives a brief sketch that is full of admiration, so enthralled is he by her book Notre affaire à tous [The concern of us all].
Here is an exceptional and outstanding woman, he tells us, and not because she has emerged from the "grandes écoles", but rather from a wide range of enlightening experiences in the twists and turns of the French judicial system. She discusses the nature of corruption in France, the patterns of French legal behaviour and the way they are reported by the media (that is, when they are not hidden) and the resulting threats to democracy.
Eva Joly describes, first, the workings of the legal system on a daily basis: a workload that has doubled or tripled in 30 years, the totally inadequate resources, the idiotic practices, such as having to abandon cases, inquiries and sentencing because of delays. She was later promoted to be a member of the Interministerial Committee on Industrial Restructuring (CIRI), the Republic's "queen of institutions", in the privileged world of the Financial Inspectorate. Finally, she became a prosecuting magistrate specializing in financial matters, and at this point her description becomes even more disturbing.
The picture she paints is of prosecuting magistrates lacking resources, poorly trained, overworked, badly organized, trying to cope with the "lawless world of finance, where the absence of rules is terrifying and where the deals made between the state and public enterprises enrich whole networks, when they do not swell the secret bank accounts of the decision-makers themselves". Her description darkens further here, and is deeply troubling when it relates not to petty fraudsters but to those with power -corruption in the world of business and politics.
Yet Eva Joly is not discouraged, rather the contrary, and in the end she offers us a remarkable lesson in citizenship.
André-Yves Portnoff has just read (in the Italian version) Amartya Sen's most recent book, originally published in the United States under the title Development as Freedom. Here he discusses its main ideas, in particular:
- freedom is a universal value, not the exclusive right of Westerners; it is a factor in development and not an incidental by-product of it -and a factor that is all the more decisive, now that the economy is increasingly concerned with "intangibles", and human beings are more than ever "the only form of wealth";
- democracy and human rights go hand-in-hand with development; they can follow on afterwards but, more certainly, they are an essential prerequisite for it, e.g. the right to health, education, information, communication, etc.;
- the economic indicators are devised so that they attribute value only to those things that are dear in monetary terms and not that are dear to us (to quote Denis de Rougemont), consequently they cannot on their own take full account of the human capital which is the crucial factor in the process of development...
However, Amartya Sen's book goes much further than these general findings. As readers will see from the extracts and examples chosen by André-Yves Portnoff, Sen enunciates a real philosophy of development at the same time as he explores practical strategies.
Jean-Luc Racine sets out here a masterly account of the current transition in India, a transition that he argues will allow this enormous country, with over a billion inhabitants, to overcome its internal contradictions and become a major player in tomorrow's world.
This important transition is taking place first of all at the domestic, political level through the decline of the Congress Party and the rise of the Bharat People's Party (BJP) which champions the Hindu nationalism in spite of the increase in the number of regionalist parties.
The economic element of the transition has taken the form of a two-stage programme of limited but continuous moves towards liberalisation. This policy has required major structural reforms, but these have been carried out cautiously, with a view to re-establishing the main equilibria, and ensuring high levels of economic growth, which will be judged in the end by its capacity to promote more equitable human development.
In the second half of the article, devoted to India's foreign policy, Jean-Luc Racine first describes the policy adopted to make the country a nuclear power, and then shows how this affects India's handling of its geopolitical relations with its neighbours, especially its tense and ambiguous interactions with Pakistan and China. Lastly, he examines how New Delhi is trying to establish itself as one of the main players on the world scene while at the same time maintaining a completely new style of dialogue with Washington.
The portrait of India sketched by Jean-Luc Racine is of a giant who is gradually waking up, of a country that, stifling its internal tensions and inequalities, is at the stage of rapid take-off and is preparing to play a major role in the world of the future.
Ce numéro spécial de la revue Panoramiques engage le débat de l'introduction d'une véritable démocratie à l'intérieur de l'entreprise. Il s'ouvre par un clin d'œil : une gravure du phalanstère imaginé par Charles Fourier (la communauté de production dans sa version la plus poussée). Vient ensuite la présentation d'un modèle susceptible de faire entrer la démocratie dans l'entreprise par un autre moyen que les SCOP (sociétés coopératives de production) : la société anonyme à ...
(160 more words)
Ce numéro spécial de la revue Futures est spécialement consacré à l'étude de futurs « soutenables »; il rassemble donc toute une série d'articles susceptibles d'aider à mettre en place un avenir soutenable pour notre planète. Margaret Blunden nous livre sa réflexion sur la stabilité et l'interdépendance des systèmes (humains, naturels et institutionnels), à partir de la pensée de Geoffrey Vickers, insistant notamment sur l'importance d'instaurer une bonne gouvernance. Joyce Tait et Dick Morris analysent pour ...
(233 more words)
As the baby boom generations prepare to retire from work, the problem of the future of pensions is looming with increasing urgency. The topic has often been discussed in the pages of Futuribles, with regard to France and the other industrialized countries. The crunch time is now near in France, and many reports have been devoted to the subject over the last two decades, in increasing quantities in recent years.
Following the report of the Commissioner of the Plan on "The Future of our Pensions" and the study by the Economic and Social Council on "The Social and Demographic Outlook to 2020-2040", which we have already reviewed, a study has recently been published by a former Minister of Social Affairs, René Teulade, which has enabled the present French Prime Minister to put an end to the procrastination of many previous governments, all of whom recoiled at the challenge offered by the indispensable and unavoidable need to reform the French pension system.
Alain Parant reviews here the analysis of the future of pensions made in the "Teulade Report" and its main recommendations. He shows that, while all those who write about the subject agree on the scale of the problem, René Teulade is unusual in displaying great optimism about the outlook for economic and job growth - this optimism allows him to discount any risk of major crisis, on condition that some small adjustments are made.
Alain Parant sets out to demonstrate why he finds such optimism "irresponsible", stressing in particular the poor performance of France with regard to employment and therefore the doubts that raises about the desirability of extending the number of years that have to be worked in order to qualify for a pension. Lastly, he criticizes the absence of a real willingness to undertake reforms and emphasizes the consequent dangers.
Claude Béraud reviews two recent books on the (dis)organization and malfunctioning of the "health care" system in France: Santé: pour une révolution sans réforme by Jean de Kervasdoué is mainly concerned with the faults and operational problems in the system; in Les Habits neufs d'Hippocrate: du médecin artisan au médecin ingénieur, Claude Le Pen discusses the necessary but still barely perceptible shift in doctors' behaviour towards a rational and scientific approach to medicine.
In the course of his review, Claude Béraud stresses three key phenomena which he feels have not been adequately covered by either author: the poor performance of Western health care systems; the myth that an individual's health depends exclusively upon medical care (whereas it in fact depends on many other exogenous factors); and the lack of a well-structured health care system in France.
He then discusses the privatization of health insurance, analysing and commenting upon the authors' arguments: Claude Le Pen is in favour of privatization, Jean de Kervasdoué is against it. Finally, contrary to these two writers, who believe that rationing of treatment is inevitable, Claude Béraud argues that if there were better checks on health care expenditures, rationing could be avoided.
It is often claimed that France stands out from the rest of Europe in social policy, because in France state intervention is more important than collective bargaining; a current example would be the legislation known as the "Aubry laws" on reducing working hours.
Nevertheless, with evidence from a recent seminar organized by the Council for Economic Analysis, Gilbert Cette shows here that even in countries with a strong tradition of collective bargaining (e.g. Germany, the Netherlands), the measures to reduce working hours were introduced after both agreements with trade unions and intervention (sometimes forceful) by the state. Also, in varying degrees, the role of the actors and the procedures have changed, with the social partners not always showing the leadership that is often attributed to them. In Italy, for example, the government rushed to sustain collective bargaining that had stalled, or in the Netherlands it had a key role in launching the negotiations.
The examples of the five countries that Gilbert Cette uses for his study lead him to conclude that "the existence of active bargaining is not a contradiction of state intervention"; on the contrary, he argues, interventions via legislation and regulations actually complement collective bargaining.
Italy was one of the first European countries to encounter the problems of an ageing population. The issue of the future funding of retirement pensions came to the fore there in the 1970s, and was made all the more difficult by the fact that the existing system was a patchwork of specific rules, often strongly influenced by particular interest groups.
Since then, as Stéphanie Toutain demonstrates, various governments have tackled the problem and have tried to implement reforms that would create a single pensions system and would cope with the difficulties of future funding resulting from an ageing population. Most of the reforms came to grief through partisan quarrels and opposition from trade unions and interest groups. It was not until 1992 that the Amato and Dini governments were able to secure widespread public support for a fundamental reform of the system.
The reform consisted of gradually raising the retirement age combined with lengthening the reference period on which pensions are calculated, as well as changes in the method of calculation. The measures also aim ultimately to institute a uniform set of rules for all the different categories of workers. A transition period was designed to allow the reforms to take place gradually.
Admittedly, the reform has not solved all the problems of funding but, as Stéphanie Toutain stresses, it is the way that Amato and Dini managed to get it ratified that is worth examining. It was by involving the social partners in the original plans, by co-operating closely with them as the plans took shape, and by soliciting the views of all concerned (employed, unemployed and retired people) via a referendum that the Italian government made the reform palatable. An example to follow?
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.