Cette page regroupe l'ensemble des publications de Futuribles sur cette thématique (Vigie, revue, bibliographie, études, etc.)
In reviewing Cerveau, sexe et pouvoir (Brain, Sex and Power. Paris: Belin, 2005), Julie Bouchard re-examines the misguided notion that human behaviour is basically the result of genetic factors, an idea that has kept popping up since the 19th century. She shares the view put forward by the book's authors that there is no universal law dictating the way individuals behave, for the purely scientific reason that the human brain is so supple and so variable that it is impossible to establish immutable rules. Experience - and therefore culture - is far more important than nature in shaping different types of behaviour, in particular the differences between men and women.
Julie Bouchard goes on to warn against certain misguided attempts at the present time, especially in the field of neurobiology, to "improve" the human race thanks to technological progress. It will require strong convictions, such as those held by the authors of this book, to prevent such notions from spreading.
Qu’est devenu le Japon qui, après les années 1980 où il fut érigé en modèle, a sombré depuis 15 ans dans une crise financière, économique, politique, culturelle dont nul, jusqu’à présent, n’avait dressé un bilan vraiment exhaustif ? Sans renier son modèle particulier de développement, le Japon a accompli une véritable mutation aux plans industriel et économique, social et culturel, telle que, ayant surmonté les chocs pétroliers, remédié aux errements de son administration publique, procédé à un véritable ...
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A specialist in land-use planning, Jean-Paul Lacaze examines the figures from the 2004 French population census - carried out in a new way - which were published at the beginning of 2005. He recalls Alfred Sauvy's warnings about the optical illusions that can arise from looking at annual variations rather than absolute numbers, and points out that the regions which are classed as the most attractive in population terms differ depending on the method used to rank them.
When the absolute numbers are considered, the area of France that attracts the largest inflow of population is the Île-de-France (the Paris region), closely followed by Rhône-Alpes, and then much further behind are Provence-Alpes-Côte-d'Azur and Languedoc-Roussillon. But if the ranking is based on the annual rate of change between 1999 and 2003, the order is Languedoc-Roussillon followed by Midi-Pyrénées, Aquitaine and Rhône-Alpes.
As always, how you interpret statistics, when they are available, depends on the spectacles you wear when you look at them.
New statistics on the French population have just been published following the latest census. They estimate the population at 1 January 2004 to be 62 million, a clear rise compared with previous years. This is due, in large part, to natural increase, i.e. a net surplus of births (the fertility rate - on average 1.9 children per female - is well above the European average) over deaths, which have in turn fallen sharply.
However, another factor in this increase in the French population is the growth of immigration which, having been declared to be falling in earlier years, was suddenly reassessed in a somewhat surprising fashion.
Alain Parant, reviewing the latest available data, explains how this famous net immigration figure is "calculated" and criticizes the obvious inconsistencies between the various sets of available data, as they can vary by as much as 100% over the period 1990-2003.
Although he does not challenge the fundamentals of the French data collection service, nor indeed the new census methods, he does stress the scale of the gaps in the system for investigating demographic change. He illustrates his argument with four examples: the uncertainty surrounding the increases in healthy life expectancy; the lack of figures on voluntary abortions; the highly regrettable decision to abandon the survey of geographical mobility and social integration (MGIS), even though it was extremely useful in analysing what happened to immigrants and their children who were born in France; lastly, the lack of any satisfactory means of measuring migration flows within the country.
Are these lacunae the result of financial restrictions imposed on the statistical services or are there other, less admissible reasons? The author is concerned, rightly stressing the value of reliable population data and the unfortunate consequences of not knowing what is really going on.
Ulrich Beck, the well-known German sociologist and expert on risk, wrote a review in the last issue for 2004 of the journal Foreign Policy of a book that has been highly controversial in Germany. Das Methusalem-Komplott (Munich: Karl Blessing Verlag, 2004, 200 pp.), by Frank Schirrmacher, is one of the many books published in Germany calling for a major reform of the country and warning its citizens of its imminent decline.
Like France, which was given similar warnings of decline in 2004, the threat for Germany comes from an ageing population and its economic and social consequences. The problem is that, if Germany sneezes, the whole of Europe could catch cold and remain sick for a long time. In fact, the question of Germany's possible decline - which Ulrich Beck analyses very clearly here - is a concern not just for the Germans and cannot be sorted out at the national level alone, as Frank Schirrmacher argues. As Ulrich Beck says, the country's salvation and that of the whole European Union lies in opening up to cultural diversity and not in fostering fear and intergenerational or intercultural conflicts.
La société de conseil Forecasting International suit depuis longtemps les grandes tendances du monde contemporain. Son président, Martin Cetron, et Owen Davies, journaliste scientifique, résument dans cet article les changements à l'oeuvre dans les domaines économique, social, démographique et environnemental, en les illustrant de faits qu'ils jugent significatifs, et en en dégageant les implications pour les décideurs. Ainsi, après avoir rappelé les projections de population mondiale du Census Bureau, ils avancent l'idée que celles-ci sous-estiment peut-être la ...
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Futures studies should not be content merely with conducting high-level "macro" analyses but should also be concerned with revealing trends that affect people as individuals. It is therefore extremely important to be able to develop foresight techniques related to everyday life, so as to highlight via particular facts or ideas the changes taking place in the way we live and what they reveal. This article by Julien Damon is a perfect example of such an effort to apply foresight to daily life. It looks at an apparently banal topic - smacking - and shows how modern attitudes to smacking reflect a real shift in approaches to bringing up children and in respect for their rights and freedoms.
The author begins with a brief survey of laws against corporal punishment of children in different countries. He outlines the debates on this issue that stirred up public opinion in Canada and the United Kingdom, and then discusses the French situation.
He goes on to present the arguments used by those in favour of anti-smacking legislation, especially in the United States and France. He notes the growth of a major lobby in France to alert parliamentarians to the problem of corporal punishment within the family.
Finally, Damon argues that this mobilization of opinion reflects major changes in society and in the family: although corporal punishment has clearly been on the decline for several decades, there is now a move to prohibit it by law. Beyond the debate about authority versus liberty, it is also a matter of whether people want a society based on trust or on legal norms.
At the end of November 2004 a report was published in France, produced by Claude Bébéar at the request of the prime minister, on discrimination by firms. In particular, the report showed evidence of undoubted discrimination against foreigners or people of foreign descent with regard to hiring, and it called for a radical change in attitudes.
Michèle Tribalat is a researcher at INED ("Institut national d'études démographiques") and the author of one of the most recent studies to investigate ethnic criteria that provides statistical evidence on the true extent of discrimination in France (1992). She discusses the present position with regard to combating discrimination in this country (against minorities, women, the handicapped, etc.), and shows in particular how much France relies heavily on a "hyperjuridical" and global approach to the problem, being generally content to pass legislation and apply (without great zeal) EU directives. She stresses the lack of any real political will to measure how much discrimination there is: no satisfactory statistical tools exist, not even in employment, which is an area where using existing surveys would, without involving major difficulties, yield studies based on actual figures.
By contrast, the United States - which has been very active in combating discrimination since the 1960s - has been highly pragmatic and this has allowed the Americans to measure what has in fact been happening. Michèle Tribalat presents here, as an example, the way they gather data relating to the employment of women and minorities in American firms, and shows how this could be transposed to France. However, apart from the periodic bursts of interest in this issue, do the French really want to have such statistical information? Are we ready to abandon the current global approach and tackle the problem at a more refined level (employment, housing, etc.)?
Cette publication annuelle analyse les tendances récentes des mouvements et des politiques migratoires dans l'ensemble des pays de l'OCDE et dans quelques pays non membres. Elle comprend une description détaillée des flux, des différents canaux d'immigration et de la diversité des nationalités concernées. Une attention particulière est accordée à l'importance prise par les migrants originaires de Chine et de Russie dans les flux récents. Des approches régionales analysent plus en détail les migrations dans et à ...
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Dans cette étude réalisée par les chercheurs du CRETEIL (Centre de recherche sur l'espace, les transports, l'environnement et les institutions locales) et de l'Institut d'urbanisme de Paris, il est question des impacts de l'éclatement de la famille et du vieillissement de la population sur les choix résidentiels des ménages. L'augmentation de la fréquence des divorces (qui concernent aujourd'hui près d'un tiers des mariages), la croissance du nombre de ménages monoparentaux (8 % de ...
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Ce rapport de recherche de l'ENEPRI analyse les conséquences socio-économiques du vieillissement de la population, et étudie l'éventuel développement de soins médicaux de longue durée susceptibles de répondre aux besoins spécifiques des catégories de population les plus âgées. Deux méthodes de projections différentes ont été utilisées pour évaluer l'augmentation, à l'horizon 2050, du nombre d'hospitalisations, de visites médicales, de soins intensifs dans les pays suivants : Belgique, Danemark, France, Allemagne, Pays-Bas, Espagne et Royaume-Uni. Dans la ...
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Les Nations unies viennent de publier des projections de la population mondiale jusqu'en 2300. Celle-ci continuerait de croître pendant cinquante ans avant de se stabiliser... ou bien d'exploser ou d'imploser, selon que la fécondité se maintient au-dessus du niveau de remplacement des générations ou, à l'inverse, reste durablement en dessous. Mais quel sens peut-on accorder à des projections aussi lointaines ? François Héran explique que cet exercice de démographie-fiction reste utile s'il montre à quelles conditions ...
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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.