Société, modes de vie
Cette page regroupe l'ensemble des publications de Futuribles sur cette thématique (Vigie, revue, bibliographie, études, etc.)
12 November 2011 will remain a significant date for many Italians who were impatient for the end of the Berlusconi era. On that day, il Cavaliere finally resigned himself to the idea of leaving the office of Italian prime minister that he had held for almost 10 years (with one brief interruption), despite repeated political/financial and sex scandals. However, though it represents an encouraging sign for democracy, Silvio Berlusconi’s departure by no means provides Italy’s institutions with a clean bill of health. As Arles Arloff shows here, corruption and collusion between ruling politicians and the mafia are not recent phenomena that came on the scene with the rise of Berlusconi. They go back several centuries and are deeply rooted in the national political system.
Drawing on the copious writings of Italian journalists and authors specializing in this question – and on the testimony of the “last of the judges” (that is to say, one of the last anti-mafia, anti-corruption judges to have escaped physical elimination by outright assassination), namely the public prosecutor Roberto Scarpinato – Arles Arloff reminds us how the mafia was built, from its earliest days, on the corruption of political power. She also shows the extent to which these corrupt practices came to be accepted and regarded almost as normal in that country. Despite the actions taken from 1983 to 1992, which aroused hopes of a massive clear-out of Italian institutions and the return to a “clean” government, Italy remains in the control of “notables”, politicians and other dignitaries closely linked to the mafia (the so-called alta mafia) amid a prevailing code of silence, all of which increasingly makes the country resemble certain former, unlamented South American dictatorships. And if pockets of resistance to that system remain, the danger is that they will not resist for long without support from a broad section of the population. But will those people be willing to risk their lives for the sake of a clean Italy?
When one practices, or is interested in, foresight studies, it is helpful to have a good understanding of the past and, more generally, a clear vision of the way societies have developed over a long period. It is not, however, easy to decipher the historical process and it may appear difficult to add anything whatever to what has already been written by Hegel, Marx and many others on universal history. That is, however, what a Russian orientalist, Igor Diakonoff, has attempted in a book which appeared in Russia in 1994 and was translated into English five years later as The Paths of History (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1999).
Bernard Cazes has read this highly original work with great interest. Alongside an account of the atypical career of its Russian author, he presents Diakonoff’s re-reading of history here, driven as it is by the desire to establish whether certain non-material (in Marx’s sense) aspects, present in certain civilizations, were not found elsewhere. Diakonoff proposes a break-down of universal history into eight phases, the originality of this lying largely in the transition mechanism from one phase to another. This is based mainly on psycho-sociological (changes of values, for example) and technological factors (particularly in the field of armaments). Lastly, Cazes highlights the author’s comments on the finitude of our planet and his warning against the risks of extinction facing the human species in the relatively short term if nothing is done to check the course of history seen in its current, eighth, “post-capitalist” phase.
La crise de l’euro n’est pas uniquement économique et politique : elle est aussi sociale. En effet, la confiance des Européens envers leur monnaie ne cesse de diminuer. Cette crise explique probablement l’essor et le succès des monnaies alternatives, principalement locales, qui voient le jour en Europe, et qui permettent aux consommateurs de mieux contrôler l’origine et la destination de leur argent.
On se souvient peut-être qu’il y a une quinzaine d’années il y a eu un débat transnational assez vif sur les valeurs dites asiatiques, qui donna l’occasion à l’ancien Premier ministre de Singapour, Lee Kuan Yew, d’affirmer l’importance primordiale de la famille asiatique traditionnelle, au sein de laquelle les jeunes apprenaient à révérer l’instruction, le travail et l’esprit d’économie, et à « préférer un gain futur à une jouissance immédiate ». Les partisans ...
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Ce Rapport Vigie est l’édition 2012 du rapport annuel du système Vigie. Ce dispositif de l’association Futuribles International a pour ambition de fournir à ses membres des analyses prospectives qui éclairent le champ des futurs possibles dans 15 domaines. Le Rapport Vigie 2010 proposait un panorama de tendances lourdes et d’incertitudes majeures pour chacun de ces domaines à l’horizon 2020-2030. Il nous est apparu utile de reprendre ce rapport, de le réexaminer, de l’actualiser et ...
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Tendance 1. Émergence et affirmation d’une classe moyenne mondiale Tendance 2. Réduction de la pauvreté dans le monde Tendance 3. Stabilité et transformation de la pauvreté en France Tendance 4. L’effritement de la syndicalisation en France Tendance 5. L’émiettement des classes moyennes en France Tendance 6. La peur du déclassement en France Tendance 7. La France, société de défiance Tendance 8. Métamorphoses de la famille en France Tendance 9. Hausse de la qualité et des coûts du ...
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Dans cet article, paru dans le magazine Slate, l’auteur tente de dégager neuf tendances à l’horizon 2012 dans le domaine des relations internationales.En 2011, la presse internationale a accordé une place importante aux dépenses chinoises en matière de défense sans réellement mentionner les ambitions militaires croissantes de l’Inde. Pourtant, l’Inde est aujourd’hui le plus gros importateur d’armes au monde : entre 2006 et 2010, elle a représenté 9 % des transferts internationaux d’armes. D ...
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The economic and financial crisis that has been raging for some years now has confirmed, if confirmation were needed, that the centre of gravity of the world economy has well and truly shifted to Asia, where Westerners are torn in their admiration between the two demographic giants, India and China. Both countries actually have near-10% economic growth rates, which seem mind-boggling to the “old” democracies.
Nevertheless, economic growth is not everything, as Amartya Sen reminds us here. It is essential, also, to look at what the authorities do with this economic growth. Now, to judge by more qualitative criteria, such as living conditions (health, education, social care etc.), the two Asian giants are not in the same ballpark. And, contrary to what one might think, it is not India, the more democratic of the two countries and the one with greater respect for human rights, that shows the best results in terms of living conditions for the majority of the population. Quite the contrary, it is China and its authoritarian regime that invests most in improving the living conditions of its population. In this evidence-based analysis, the 1998 Nobel Prize winner for economics reminds his country of origin, India (which, as he shows, is also outstripped by Bangladesh in terms of quality of life), how it is essential not to focus on the rate of GDP growth “in itself”, but to bring a number of social issues on to the political agenda, if economic development is genuinely to bring about an improvement in the well-being of the whole population.
By the time this issue of Futuribles comes out, the now traditional international conference on climate change, planned for 28 November–9 December 2011, will have begun in Durban where the different nations will again attempt to agree to a series of measures aimed at curbing the warming of our planet. It is far from certain they will succeed in doing so, despite a diagnosis – recognizing global warming and its anthropogenic origins – that is shared almost unanimously by the scientific community. We say “almost” since a few scattered individuals – the so-called “climate sceptics” – still dispute the fact that climate change is happening. Futuribles has already (in March 2005) devoted a long “Forum” section to one of the emblematic figures of this tendency, Bjørn Lomborg. We return to the theme today by way of the analysis of Antonin Pottier, who examines the socio-psychological mechanisms underlying the climate-sceptical position.
Pottier distinguishes between two elements in the debate on climate change: a “diagnostic” component, including the observation of the warming of the planet, its causes (the emission of greenhouse gases) and its possible consequences (a scenario tending towards large-scale climatic upheavals), and a “prescriptive” part which, taking account of the diagnosis, proposes political measures and relates not to scientific observations but to a moral evaluation of the situation. After reminding us of what “fuels” the debate (the element of uncertainty which, Pottier argues, can relate only to the vision of the likely future that emerges from the observation of the facts, not to the description of the facts observed), he shows us that climate-sceptical arguments arise out of a confusion between diagnosis and prescription: it is because they reject the need for, or the content of, climate policies that they come to deny the scientific reality of climate change, shifting the ground of the debate and veering deeper into error. This posture is all the more harmful for being widely echoed in the media, tending to add a touch more confusion to the information available to the public: “Citizens’ perceptions of contemporary issues are skewed in favour of those interests that would be seriously impacted by a campaign against greenhouse emissions.”
Regularly, and particularly on the occasion of the publication of the PISA reports comparing the skills level of 15-year-olds in the OECD countries, France is subject to criticism, with the level of French school students barely reaching the international mean (and tending, generally, to fall), despite a level of education expenditure that is rather higher than the OECD average. This is because, in France, educational tradition regards learning as an end in itself, and as more important than learning to deal with the concrete needs of everyday life, with which the student will have to cope as an adult.
This situation is not new, as is attested by the article we reprint here from the pen of Marc Bloch. Writing in 1943, he deplores all the failings which the school students that we once were – and those currently studying in French schools – have already experienced: a culture of cramming, an “obsession with exams”, a neglect of critical thinking, a culture of elitism, an inward-looking attitude and a lack of enthusiasm for concrete applications… These are characteristics of the French education system which, as Marc Bloch stresses, count against the country, “seriously” impairing its “international influence”, providing poor preparation for the crucial issues of scientific research and affording poor adaptability to change.
Hence the urgent need for thoroughgoing reform, to offer a “secondary education... that is both open and [aimed at] training elites, irrespective of origin or wealth”, to accord a major role to the observation-based disciplines, to enable young people to acquire a “truthful, comprehensive image of the world”, and to replace the elitist grandes écoles and “rigid faculties” that have ossified around a single specialism with multi-disciplinary groupings. An urgent need that clearly did not convince the decision-makers in charge of French education, since, nearly 70 years later and despite a host of reports making much the same arguments, complaints about the French education system – such as those expressed by Daniel Gouadain in this same issue – have barely changed.
While France devotes more than 6% of its GDP to education expenditure (in 2009), international comparisons suggest that the French education system is not necessarily performing commensurately with that level of investment. This is because the educational model first established in France in the late nineteenth century and which has continued in being since then, is perhaps no longer suited to the demands of the twenty-first century.
As Daniel Gouadain shows here, Republican elitism, based on the principle of equality of opportunity for all, does not achieve equality or homogeneity of results at the end of schooling. On the contrary, as currently conceived, the French system is unable to give all French schoolchildren the means to acquire the “common core of knowledge and skills” of which decision-makers so often speak. And though it is difficult to imagine radical reform in the short term, given the many players involved and the past heritage that weighs on the French education system, gradual measures aimed at reorganizing schools to meet today’s social and educational challenges – not to speak of those of tomorrow – are undoubtedly possible.
Gouadain outlines a few such measures here, stressing particularly the importance of secondary education and teacher recruitment, highlighting particularly the need for genuine mixed ability teaching in French classrooms to escape the vicious circle in which a small elite receives a very good education, while the level of the great majority stagnates or declines. To achieve this, it is going to be necessary to take the risk of introducing freedom into the French education system, while being careful not to sacrifice the other educational ideals on the altar of market forces.
La croissance économique fulgurante de l’Inde ces dernières années (+ 9,7 % en 2010 ) tend à masquer certaines réalités : selon une étude de l’Organisation mondiale de la santé (OMS), les Indiens sont la population la plus dépressive au monde . La dépression touche majoritairement les pauvres, victimes des inégalités et du surendettement. On peut imaginer, si ce n’est pas déjà le cas, que cette situation influera sur la croissance économique et la stabilité politique du pays.
Familles recomposées. L’expression, après hésitations, a été proposée par des sociologues dans les années 1990. Ces cellules familiales aux contours incertains, tant pour leurs membres que pour les observateurs, ne sont pas une entière nouveauté. Les recompositions familiales étaient autrefois courantes, et souvent rapides. Jusqu’à la Seconde Guerre mondiale, les unions étaient rompues par la mort d’un des deux conjoints, alors qu’aujourd’hui, la cause principale des ruptures est le divorce (ou la séparation dans les ...
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L’espérance de vie des Français n’a cessé d’augmenter depuis 60 ans, et l’écart historique entre les hommes et les femmes tend progressivement à se réduire. Pourtant, des inégalités très importantes subsistent entre les catégories socioprofessionnelles.
« Ouvrons les yeux, s’écriait Jacques Delors le 18 août dernier, l’euro et l’Europe sont au bord du gouffre. Et pour ne pas tomber, le choix me paraît simple : soit les États membres acceptent la coopération économique renforcée que j’ai toujours réclamée, soit ils transfèrent des pouvoirs supplémentaires à l’Union. » Un mois plus tard, à l’issue de la réunion des ministres des Finances de la zone euro qui s’est tenue en Pologne, l’ancien ...
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The re-election in June 2011 of prime minister Recep Tayyip Erdo?an in Turkey, confirmed the rootedness in Turkish society of the AKP, the Islamic party that has commanded a majority in the country since 2002. It has to be said that the “Turkish model”, so often advocated by Western countries in the 20th century, has undergone major development and is arousing growing attention on the part of Turkey’s Arab neighbours. Given the geopolitical upheavals affecting North Africa and the Middle East for almost a year now, can this non-Arab border-nation between East and West, with its secular, democratic state led by an Islamic party enjoying broad popular support, become a source of regional inspiration ?
Jean Marcou examines this question within the framework of the series of articles on the Mediterranean initiated by Futuribles in 2011. He begins by reminding us how much the image of Turkey has changed in less than a century, with the “Turkish model” evolving from that of a modernized, secular Muslim country – which, despite a relatively flimsy layer of democracy and the domination of politics by the army, became an ally of the West – into a democracy asserting its Muslim identity and exercising an independent diplomacy. This has been a course of development that has left the country no longer an estranged “brother” to its Arab neighbours, but a power with renewed autonomy vis-à-vis the West and an example that might inspire those countries which have just emancipated themselves from the yoke of dictators. Quite clearly, as Jean Marcou reminds us, a number of internal ambiguities and difficulties remain, beginning with the Kurdish question, but the former “Sick Man of Europe” has undoubtedly become a key actor again in this region that stands the crossroads of Africa, Europe and Asia.
Maria Nowak, who has for more than 20 years been engaged in citizen action on behalf of the excluded in France, was, like many others, spurred to action by the economic crisis that has plagued us since 2008. Drawing on her experience at the head of the ADIE, she here outlines her proposals for improving the situation of the excluded and of the persons most affected by this crisis, while at the same time re-thinking the workings of the existing economic system.
After a detailed review of the activity of ADIE, mainly through banking microcredit, and the institutional and financial framework in which it operates, Maria Nowak develops three lines of thinking: the city in crisis; ferments of renewal; and the future city, calling for the development of a genuine “social market economy” and a “perestroika of capitalism”. This is an unavoidable development in her view and one in which microfinance activities and actions relating to the social responsibility of companies have a crucial role to play.
The development of social networks, which lends scope for new forms of exchange and the creation of a collective intelligence, plays a major role today in the changes affecting formal education. It is this precise phenomenon that Christine Redecker and Yves Punie address in this Futuribles special feature on the “School in the Digital Era.” They present in this article the main findings of an IPTS study on Learning 2.0. or, in other words, on the use of Web 2.0 – and, in particular, the social media – in education, and the role it can play in improving learning and stimulating innovation.
This study, conducted at the European level, is based on an analysis of the literature and on 250 case studies (including 16 in-depth studies) and an expert seminar. Beyond the assessment of significant innovations described in the study, Redecker and Punie provide interesting insights into the new styles of learning among young people, showing particularly that the use of Web 2.0 both requires and facilitates technological, pedagogical and organizational innovations, thereby contributing to a modernization of educational institutions that is crucial to facing the challenges of the 21st century. Without concealing the challenges that remain to be faced or the obstacles to be overcome, they end by proposing various recommendations for confronting these challenges.
In the so-called developed societies, information and communication technologies are now to be found everywhere. They are changing ways of life and social relations at a deep level. Through the extent of the supply of information and the ease of access enjoyed by any individual connected to the Internet, the digital media are thoroughly transforming our ways of thinking and being in the world. This inevitably has major consequences for the processes of access to knowledge and, hence, for education systems.
In this Futuribles special feature on “Schooling in the Digital Era”, Paul Mathias presents his philosophical reflections on the question, showing the thoroughgoing transformation, in this context, of the very nature of the knowledge-acquisition process – and how it breaks with the traditional norms and methods of the learning of specific disciplines within the educational universe – and analysing the impact of that transformation.
Massive technological change within the school produces a radical transformation of the norms and methods required for it to achieve its pedagogical goals. As a site of knowledge, the school is now saturated with highly varied forms of intelligence. Its ICT tools are not new instruments for performing old tasks, but represent profound mutations in the very knowledge process, its nature and, hence, its horizons. What should the school now teach? What intellectual challenges is it called on to meet? How is it to escape from the engulfing ocean of digital flows?
Depuis le mois de juin et la publication des nouveaux manuels de sciences de la vie et de la terre (SVT) pour des élèves de première , la théorie du genre sexuel fait parler d’elle en France. Cette théorie d’origine philosophique et sociologique remet en cause certains principes quant au genre sexuel notamment, et est vivement critiquée par quelques groupes politiques, institutions et associations religieuses.
Comment évoluent les émissions de gaz à effet de serre des Français depuis 20 ans ? D’après les données officielles du ministère de l’Écologie, elles ont diminué de 10 %. Mais, en prenant en compte les émissions générées à l’étranger par des biens consommés en France, le bilan carbone des Français aurait augmenté de 13 % depuis 1990.
La proposition récemment amenée dans le débat public d’un « serment d’allégeance aux armes » n’a pas manqué de faire polémique. Petites phrases, affirmations péremptoires, tout peut être utilisé afin de soutenir, de contester ou d’ironiser. Mais qu’en pensent les premiers concernés ? Que peut-on valablement dire d’un tel sujet à partir des évolutions structurelles de l’opinion ?
Durant les années 1990, en une période très bousculée pour le monde ferroviaire (crise sociale, difficultés de mise en oeuvre du système de réservation Socrate, doutes sur la pérennité du modèle économique du TGV comme de celui des trains régionaux), une « prédiction » courrait dans les couloirs de la SNCF. Louis Armand, ancien Président de l’entreprise nationale, avait plusieurs fois déclaré, dans les années 1950 : « le chemin de fer sera le moyen de transport du XXIe siècle. S’il survit ...
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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.