Social Work Welfare State Reform in France
by
Bruno Palier, Tom Chevalier
  • LAST REVIEWED: 06 May 2015
  • LAST MODIFIED: 24 July 2013
  • DOI: 10.1093/obo/9780195389678-0194

Introduction

The French welfare state is often presented as very peculiar. From abroad, it seems both complex and hybrid, since it mixes different logics of social policies. In France, one often emphasizes this complexity in order to show the specific features of such a model, which has two consequences. First, French people are very attached to their welfare state, which seems to them unique in the world, as a treasure to keep safe from globalization. This is an important aspect of the French welfare state, helping to understand the social debate about it and the reforms adopted. Second, this complexity, together with its image of uniqueness, has long prevented French scholars from grasping it as a whole, and from integrating it into a comparative perspective, by establishing a dialogue with the international literature of comparative social policy and Welfare state studies. Traditionally, studies about social protection in France have been the prerogative of historians and administrators in charge of this question. As a result, research has remained segmented along social risk lines, without a more global questioning. Since the 1990s, the French literature on the topic has begun to integrate accounts of the international literature, and to adopt a more comparative approach. This has helped the comprehension of its fundamentally Bismarckian features, since social insurances of la Sécurité sociale constitute the core of the French welfare state. However, the resurgence of social assistance schemes in the 1990s, typical of liberal welfare regimes, has contributed to a blurring of the analysis of the direction that social protection has been taking since then. Nowadays, the literature about the French welfare state is rich and dynamic, adopting more systematically a comparative perspective, which allows an understanding of the reforms undertaken to adapt it to the new socioeconomic context. New paths for further research have opened in order to seize this new context and examine the way social protection could be reformed so as to remain both financially sustainable and fair for everyone. New social risks, such as the conciliation of work and family life, elderly care, or transition to adulthood, need to be at the core of further research. The strategy of “social investment” fostered in the international literature as well as at the EU level, which tries to tackle these risks by changing the paradigm of social policies, lacks implementation in France. It also supposes a dialogue between welfare studies and studies on education, since skill formation is seen as a decisive point from both an economic and a social cohesion point of view.

General Overviews

The French welfare state is both very widespread and very complex. There is an important investment to make in order to enter the world of social protection and to understand its functioning. This is why general books are very useful not only for students, but also for scholars and professionals. In France, senior administrative officials are partly in charge of social protection, for instance in la chambre sociale de la Cour des Comptes or in l’Inspection générale des Affaires Sociales (IGAS). There are two consequences of this. First, administrators have long had a monopoly on expertise on the subject. As a result, lots of studies have been done by the research services of the administrations concerned. Second, in order to become part of an administration, one has to pass a very selective competitive examination, and then enter a school such as the Ecole Nationale d’Administration (ENA) or the Ecole Nationale Supérieure de la Sécurité Sociale (EN3S). Therefore, lots of general and introductory works are written specifically for students preparing for these exams. Professionals create these works for other future professionals. General studies made by researchers are less numerous and are mostly the concern of economists, especially those interested in political economy and from l’Ecole de la régulation.

Introductory Works

French social protection requires a huge intellectual investment if one wants to understand it, but many introductory works are available. Murard 2011 and Barbier and Theret 2009 are generally the most useful, as they describe precisely the general functioning of French social protection. In this respect, Barbier and Theret 2003 would be helpful for non-French-speaking students and scholars. Merrien 2007 is also a classic work, but it adopts a more global point of view in order to present briefly issues concerning not only the mechanisms of French social protection but also welfare provision in general. Tronquoy 2010, De Montalembert 2008, and Charpentier 2000 are more relevant for anyone interested in a particular aspect of the welfare state, since they all provide a brief overview of the problems involved. As the financing of the system is the decisive aspect to understanding the functioning of social protection, as well as its reforms, Dupuis 1994 is very useful, although a bit dated. Lastly, Lamiot and Lancry 1989 provides very interesting original documents about the development of the welfare state.

  • Barbier, Jean-Claude, and Bruno Theret. 2003. The French system of social protection: Path dependencies and societal coherence. In Changing patterns of social protection. Edited by Neil Gilbert and Rebecca Van Voorhis, 119–166. New Brunswick, NJ: Transaction.

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    The authors give a complete and detailed overview of both institutional features of the French social protection and recent reforms. They focus on the peculiarity of such reforms, which nonetheless try to deal with common trends and structural issues.

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    • Barbier, Jean-Claude, and Bruno Theret. 2009. Le système français de protection sociale. Paris: La Découverte.

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      A complete and synthetic overview of the French welfare state and its recent reforms. Structural socioeconomic trends have put the welfare state under pressure, and the authors, specialists in their field, analyze reforms undertaken in response, showing that social protection system has considerably evolved, and has become hybrid and fragmented.

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      • Charpentier, François, ed. 2000. Encyclopédie de la protection sociale: Quelle refondation? Paris: Liaisons-Economica.

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        A great overview and analysis of the system, by many of the French specialists of social protection (researchers, public administrators, professionals). It is composed by several ten-page summaries, each concerning a specific theme. After having presented the new issues of social protection, the authors present the possible institutional evolutions that might deal with them.

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        • De Montalembert, Marc, ed. 2008. La protection sociale en France. 5th ed. Paris: Les Notices de la Documentation Française.

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          A very useful overview of the French social protection. For each topic and social risk, a brief note presents the history of specific social policies, their functioning, and the problems they face. Ideal for undergraduate students.

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          • Dupuis, Jean-Marc. 1994. Le financement de la protection sociale: Que sais-je? Paris: Presses Universitaires de France.

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            A very interesting small book that focuses on the financing of the system, in order to understand the complexity and the logic of social protection in France. It retraces and describes then the different modes of financing, and tries to determine their economic effects. This work helps illuminate the recurrent debates on the subject, though it is a bit dated at this point.

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            • Tronquoy, Philippe, ed. 2010. La protection sociale: Quels débats? Quelles réformes? Cahiers français 358. Paris: La Documentation Française.

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              A compilation of different social policies specialists’ contributions. It provides a picture of the welfare state functioning, and takes into account recent reforms and their consequences. The authors commit to and stand for specific reforms.

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              • Lamiot, Dominique, and Pierre-Jean Lancry. 1989. La protection sociale: Les enjeux de la solidarité. Paris: Nathan.

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                A useful presentation of social protection for undergraduate students. It is not very recent, but it provides many interesting documents, such as original texts about history of social protection, in order to illustrate the point of each page.

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                • Merrien, François-Xavier. 2007. L’Etat-providence: Que sais-je? Paris: Presses Universitaires de France.

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                  A clear and seminal work concerning the French study of the welfare state in an international context, more so than the welfare state in France. It proposes a state of the art about welfare studies, which provides both a theoretical account, through the different typologies elaborated, and empirical and historical material, allowing one to understand social protection.

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                  • Murard, Numa. 2011. La protection sociale. 5th ed. Repères. Paris: La Découverte.

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                    An interesting global overview of the French welfare state and its complexity. It adopts a historical approach, looking at the formation of the system, and then tries to capture the different logics present in it (assistance, insurance, etc.). The author presents the “new social question” by showing how the social protection tries to cope with it.

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                    Websites

                    As far as websites are concerned, the site for Centre des liaisons européennes et internationales de Sécurité sociale (CLEISS) is well done and useful for finding short texts (in many languages, including English) on the French social protection system. Vie publique is perfect for the beginner, as its role is to spread information among citizens. In order to get more informed analyses with some prospective points of view, the Centre d’analyse stratégique (CAS) website is very useful. The website of the Institut de recherches économiques et socials (IRES) is also very helpful, it provides a more trade unions–oriented point of view.

                    Law Books and Handbooks for Competitive Examination

                    As stated before, students have to pass a competitive examination in order to work in the realm of social protection in France as civil servants. Thus there are a lot of law books and handbooks concerning the welfare state, and each one of them takes into account a specific view of social protection as a whole. As a result, the area covered by these works fluctuates. The most famous and useful handbook is Penaud, et al. 2011. Concerning law books, Dupeyroux, et al. 2011 and Morvan 2011 are the most complete. Less recent and less complete are Cytermann and Wanecq 2010 and Kessler 2009. Undergraduate students would be more interested in smaller law books, such as Grandguillot 2010, Petit 2009, or even Valtriani 2011.

                    • Cytermann, Laurent, and Thomas Wanecq. 2010. Les politiques sociales: Droit du travail, politiques de l’emploi et de la cohésion sociale. Paris: Presses Universitaires de France.

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                      A handbook for students preparing for competitive exams of public and social administration. It comprises thirteen lessons, nine summaries, and many dissertations about specific issues.

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                      • Dupeyroux, Jean-Jacques, Michel Borgetto, and Robert Lafore. 2011. Droit de la Sécurité sociale. 17th ed. Paris: Dalloz.

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                        A classic law book about social security in France. It is very useful both for students and for professionals, since it presents a very complete and precise account of social security.

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                        • Grandguillot, Dominique. 2010. Droit social: Droit du travail et de la protection sociale. Paris: Gualino.

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                          A synthetic overview not only of social protection, but also of labor regulation. It explores, in a condense manner, the main aspects of the subject for first-year students.

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                          • Kessler, Francis. 2009. Droit de la protection sociale. Paris: Dalloz.

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                            A more complete presentation of the functioning of social protection. Interesting for law students, students preparing for competitive examination, and even professionals.

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                            • Morvan, Patrick. 2011. Droit de la protection sociale. 5th ed. Paris: LexisNexis.

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                              Another important law book about social protection. A complete and detailed presentation of social protection, taking into account both law and collective labor agreement. One of the most recent and updated handbooks.

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                              • Penaud, Pascal, Yann-Gaël Amghar, Jean-François Bourdais, et al. 2011. Politiques sociales. Paris: Dalloz-Sirey.

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                                The most important handbook on social protection. It presents both the history and political issues of social protection, as well as the details of social policies. Very useful in elucidating social policies and the issues with which they deal. Directed to students, especially those preparing for a competitive examination.

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                                • Petit, Franck. 2009. Droit de la protection sociale. Paris: Gualino.

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                                  A small and structured presentation of social protection. For students.

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                                  • Valtriani, Patrick. 2011. Les politiques sociales en France. Paris: Hachette.

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                                    A small and clear introduction to social policies. It is directed especially to undergraduate students in law.

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                                    Economy of the Welfare State

                                    Many economists work on social protection in France, but they often are a minority of heterodox economists fighting against neoclassical approaches. Whereas neoclassical economists argue in favor of welfare state retrenchment in order to promote market-based mechanisms, economists who deal with social protection often try to think about its role in a political economy. Bichot 1997 presents a general account that tries to comprehend both political and economic aspects of the welfare state. Boyer 2000, as with other works by economists of l’Ecole de la regulation, seeks to determine the links between the growth regime and social protection within a macro perspective about capitalism. Gazier 2005 and Ramaux 2012 continue this insight by proposing new paths for social protection that are opposed to directions inspired by neoliberal doctrines. Less engaged in the political debate and more neutral and academic, Elbaum 2011 and Mills 2009 clearly present what is at stake from an economic perspective. Lastly, French economists also focus on more specific issues and sectoral policies to evaluate their economic outcomes. For instance, Allègre 2011 analyzes the new revenu de solidarité active (RSA), whereas Piketty 2001 focuses on an often forgotten part of the welfare state, tax policy, and its effects on inequalities and redistribution. The website of the Institut national de la statistique et des études économiques (INSEE) provides official data on economic and social aspects of the issue, whereas the Observatoire des inégalités focuses more on data concerning inequalities.

                                    • Allègre, Guillaume. 2011. Le RSA: Redistribution vers les travailleurs pauvres et offre de travail. Revue de l’OFCE 118.3: 33–61.

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                                      The new revenu de solidarité active (RSA, active solidarity benefit) aims to improve the standard of living of the working poor as well as avoiding the poverty gap. This article evaluates its impact according to both objectives, by using, on the one hand, a microsimulation, and, on the other hand, a labor supply model.

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                                      • Bichot, Jacques. 1997. Les politiques sociales en France au XXe siècle. Paris: Armand Colin.

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                                        A great overview of the history of social policies in France. It not only provides analyses of the social policies implemented at each period, but also provides a presentation of the economic and political context. Clear and synthetic, it is very useful, although it does not consider the recent evolutions of social protection.

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                                        • Boyer, Robert. 2000. The French Welfare: An institutional and historical analysis in European perspective. Paris: Centre pour la recherche economique et ses applications (CEPREMAP).

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                                          One of the founders of the economic École de la régulation, the author tries to understand relations between the welfare state and growth regime. He uses insights of new growth theory and institutional analysis. He also provides comparisons with European countries in order to situate the French case.

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                                          • Elbaum, Mireille. 2011. Economie politique de la protection sociale. 2d ed. Paris: Presses Universitaires de France.

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                                            A very complete examination of social protection from an economic point of view. After presenting its characteristics, its evolution, and other models in Europe, the author focuses on specific economic issues, such as employment, redistribution, growth or deficits, and methodological approaches. A very useful work.

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                                            • Gazier, Bernard. 2005. Vers un nouveau modèle social. Paris: Flammarion.

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                                              The aim of the book is to analyze social innovations in different countries and propose a new path for social protection in France. The author focuses on the notion of “flexicurity” and tries to clarify it in order to demonstrate that it needs to be promoted. He writes from an economic and institutionalist point of view.

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                                              • Institut national de la statistique et des études économiques.

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                                                The official website of the Institut national de la statistique et des études économiques (INSEE). It contains official statistics and data on every aspect of social protection, especially from an economic point of view.

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                                                • Mills, Catherine. 2009. Protection sociale: Economie et politique, débats actuels et réformes. Paris: Gualino.

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                                                  A presentation of all the issues concerning social protection in France, both from a thematic and a chronological perspective. The author also describes recent reforms and debates, and finally proposes possible solutions. Perfect for students.

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                                                  • Observatoire des inégalités.

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                                                    The website of the Observatoire des inégalités is useful for those interested in inequalities. It is very general and deals with all aspects of social stratification by providing data and analyses on the issue.

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                                                    • Piketty, Thomas. 2001. Les hauts revenus en France au XXe siècle: Inégalités et redistributions (1901–1998). Paris: Grasset.

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                                                      A very interesting book that tries to understand inequalities and the impact of tax policy in France during the 20th century. It focuses on high-income households and the evolution of l’impôt sur le revenu (income tax), taking both an economic and historical perspective. A fundamental work on the issue of inequalities that looks specifically at tax policy, a part of the welfare state that is often neglected.

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                                                      • Ramaux, Christophe. 2012. L’Etat social: Pour sortir du chaos néolibéral. Paris: Mille et une nuits.

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                                                        This very new book aims at theorizing l’Etat social (the social state), encompassing social protection, labor market regulation, public services, and economic policies, in opposition to the dominant neoliberal theory. Thus, its objective is very ambitious, and the author tries to grasp many dimensions while defending a strong Keynesian perspective.

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                                                        History of French Social Protection

                                                        The French welfare state is known to be quite complex. So, in France, academics got used to examining the system’s history in order to grasp its peculiarity and reduce this complexity. That is why, although academic works presenting the functioning of social protection are a bit scarce, there are plenty of works about the history of social protection. However, one can still see different types of approaches. There is a great tradition of history and philosophy in the French university, so the first and the main perspective about the welfare state is a philosophical history that aims to understand the ideological roots of social protection. The second perspective stems from a sociological microhistory point of view. The different authors focus on civil society actors, such as trade unions or mutuelles, for example. These works are useful for those interested in the “varieties of capitalism” framework elaborated by Peter Hall and David Soskice, which insists on the different actors’ preferences, including those of employers. The third perspective of the political and institutional history looks at the role of the state in the elaboration of social protection. From this point of view, institutions and their structuring effects are analyzed, as well as public actors’ preferences, such as those of civil servants or politicians.

                                                        Philosophical History

                                                        Social protection is the result of a long ideological process, and it stems from a specific idea of society and the state. Gueslin and Guillaume 1992 is a useful book to seize this long-term evolution. However, in order to understand the philosophical roots of social protection, one has to apprehend the solidarist doctrine of the Third Republic. Audier 2010 and Béland 2009 are perfect for this matter. Still, the French welfare state has been torn between social assistance and social insurance. Bec 1998 proposes an analysis of the evolution of social assistance. On the contrary, Ewald 1996 looks at the shift that the emergence of social insurances inspired at the end of the 19th century. From a more general point of view, Donzelot 1994 also examines on the break that constituted the rise of social protection for democracy and society in general. Lastly, Rosanvallon 1992 interprets the philosophical crisis of the welfare state from the 1980s on, and Rosanvallon 1995 tries to extend this thinking by proposing a new way to understand social protection, adapted to the new socioeconomic context.

                                                        • Audier, Serge, ed. 2010. La pensée solidariste: Aux sources du modèle social républicain. Paris: Presses Universitaires de France.

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                                                          An inquiry into the philosophical origins of the French social protection. It combines a dense introduction with a compilation of “solidarist” texts, commented on by the author.

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                                                          • Bec, Colette. 1998. L’assistance en démocratie: Les politiques assistantielles dans la France des XIXe et XXe siècles. Paris: Belin.

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                                                            A history of assistance policies and their place in the French welfare state. The author argues that these policies have always been present, but their formulation and their meaning have changed according to the period: the establishment of the Third Republic, the Trente Glorieuses, and the liberalization beginning in the 1970s.

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                                                            • Béland, Daniel. 2009. Back to bourgeois? French social policy and the idea of solidarity. International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy 29.9–10: 445–456.

                                                              DOI: 10.1108/01443330910986243Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                              A historical analysis of the philosophical roots of the concept of “solidarity” in the French debates about social policy. It focuses on two historical moments and two figures: the end of the 19th century and the figure of Léon Bourgeois, and the end of the 20th century and the figure of Pierre Rosanvallon.

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                                                              • Donzelot, Jacques. 1994. L’invention du social: Essai sur le déclin des passions politiques. Paris: Seuil Essais.

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                                                                The author analyses the invention of the notion of social. According to him, it is necessary in a democratic state, to make society governable. A seminal but normative book that tries to locate the place of social protection in a global thinking about the modernity of the state.

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                                                                • Ewald, François. 1996. Histoire de l’Etat-providence. Paris: Grasset.

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                                                                  A classic archeological inquiry of the welfare state in France, which was born with the famous law of 9 April 1898 on labor accidents. The author argues that the Etat-providence represents the modern form of the state, by analyzing the genealogy of social laws and presenting a sociology of “assurance societies.”

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                                                                  • Gueslin, André, and Pierre Guillaume, eds. 1992. De la charité médiévale à la Sécurité sociale. Paris: Les Editions Ouvrières.

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                                                                    A very complete and collective work about social protection. A number of specialists examine the welfare state from different perspectives in order to grasp all the issues facing it. Religion, culture, politics and economics are all taken into account in this remarkable work.

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                                                                    • Rosanvallon, Pierre. 1992. La crise de l’Etat-providence. 3d ed. Paris: Seuil.

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                                                                      A seminal book of the French literature about the welfare state. By examining philosophical material and taking a historical perspective, the author analyzes the three crisis of the welfare state: financial, ideological and organizational, and philosophical.

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                                                                      • Rosanvallon, Pierre. 1995. La nouvelle question sociale: Repenser l’Etat-providence. Paris: Seuil.

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                                                                        Rosanvallon looks at the three crisis of the welfare state, and then propose an alternative conception in order to renew it. He asserts that it needs to become an “active welfare state,” instead of a “passive welfare state.”

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                                                                        Sociological Microhistory

                                                                        This approach focuses on specific actors of civil society and their role in the rise of welfare provision. Each work takes into account a specific actor or multiple actors, and each tries to demonstrate that the actor or actors in question are the most important ones concerning the elaboration of social protection. Castel 1995 is the most important book concerning this issue, since it provides an analysis over the long term, from l’ancien regime to the current period. Dreyfus 2001 and Gibaud 1986 take into account more specifically the mutualist movement, inasmuch as it is at the core of the development of the welfare state in France. Gibaud 1986 deals properly with this issue, while Dreyfus 2001 is more about les mutuelles in general. Korpi 1995a and Korpi 1995b argue that the development of social protection depends mainly on the Labor movement structuration, and particularly trade unions. On the contrary, Dutton 2002 insists on the role of industrialists and business between the two world wars, as does Mares 2003. Hatzfeld 1989 analyzes all the actors’ preferences, their evolution and their confrontation until World War II, which makes this the most complete work to help understand the politics of the emergence and development of the French welfare state.

                                                                        • Castel, Robert. 1995. Les métamorphoses de la question sociale: Une chronique du salariat. Paris: Fayard.

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                                                                          This important book traces the history of the “social question” from a sociological point of view. The welfare state constitutes the public answer to the generalization of the work relationship of the salariat. It provides the “social property” for workers, who don’t have private property to protect them from social risks.

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                                                                          • Dreyfus, Michel, ed. 2001. Liberté, Égalité, Mutualité: Mutualisme et syndicalisme, 1852–1967. Paris: Editions de l’Atelier.

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                                                                            A history of the mutualist movement and its link with the trade unions. This is a central topic for understanding the characteristic features of the French welfare state. To be read together with Gibaud 1986.

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                                                                            • Dutton, Paul V. 2002. Origins of the French welfare state: The struggle for social reform in France, 1914–1947. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge Univ. Press.

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                                                                              This work focuses on a specific period of French social policies to understand its further development. Against the image of a centralized country, it shows how decentralization has been crucial to it, by looking at the role of industrialists and mutual benefit societies.

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                                                                              • Gibaud, Bernard. 1986. De la mutualité à la Sécurité sociale: Conflits et convergences. Paris: Les Editions Ouvrières.

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                                                                                A complete overview of the role of mutual societies in the constitution of the French welfare state over the last two centuries. It specifies the links between the mutualiste movement and the labor mobilization and, more specifically, trade unions. Therefore, it provides an understanding of the specific design of the welfare state and the place of the mutuelles in it.

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                                                                                • Hatzfeld, Henri. 1989. Du paupérisme à la Sécurité sociale 1850–1940: Essai sur les origines de la Sécurité sociale. 2d ed. Nancy, France: Presses Universitaires de Nancy.

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                                                                                  A very important work tracing back the debates about social policies from their origins to World War II. It presents and situates the different social groups (radical and moderate workers, big and small employers, social Catholics, philanthropists, etc.) opposed to each other according to their view of welfare provision. Ideal for those interested in the position of the different actors.

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                                                                                  • Korpi, Walter. 1995a. Un Etat-providence fragmenté et contesté: Le développement de la citoyenneté sociale en France; Comparaisons avec la Belgique, l’Allemagne, l’Italie et la Suède. Revue française de science politique 45.4: 632–667.

                                                                                    DOI: 10.3406/rfsp.1995.403562Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                    Also published in English (see Korpi 1995b).

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                                                                                    • Korpi, Walter. 1995b. A fragmented and contested welfare state. In Comparing social welfare systems in Europe. Vol. 1, Oxford conference. Edited by Bruno Palier. Rencontres et Recherches Paris: MIRE.

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                                                                                      An examination of the development of social citizenship in comparison with other countries, such as the Nordic states. Korpi uses the power resources approach to show that the division and the weakness of the labor movement in France are at the origin of this development. Statistical analysis is combined with historical inquiry.

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                                                                                      • Mares, Isabela. 2003. The politics of social risks: Business and welfare state development. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge Univ. Press.

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                                                                                        A very important book about the role of employers in the development of social insurances, both in France and Germany. By using the varieties of capitalism theoretical framework, Mares focuses on cross-class coalitions and provides a systematic presentation of the preferences and positions of all the actors involved from the late 19th century to the postwar period.

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                                                                                        Political and Institutional History

                                                                                        It is not possible to understand the features of the French welfare state without analyzing the role of political actors and their conflicts. At different moments of history, they assume a decisive role. As Renard 1995 notes, at the end of the 19th century, public actors implemented social policies aimed at stabilization of the Third Republic. Thus, this occurred against the wishes of religious organizations, according to Manow and Palier 2009; between the local and the national levels, according to Pollet 1995; and through the solidarist doctrine, according to Merrien 1990. Smith 2003 tries to seize all these aspects by retracing over the long term the emergence of the welfare state, up until World War II. Galant 1955 looks at the various postwar conflicts that led to the actual characteristics of the French social security system, while Valat 2001 specifically addresses health care spending. Jobert 1981 focuses on the specific role of the state in shaping social security, through its activity of “planification.” The most recent reforms of social protection are analyzed in the works summarized in the next section.

                                                                                        • Galant, Henry C. 1955. Histoire politique de la Sécurité sociale française, 1945–1952. Paris: Colin.

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                                                                                          Shows how different social groups, such as doctors, trade unions, or representatives of the mutual insurance system, have shaped the formation of the Social Security after 1945, especially by refusing its generalization. Explains why the French system presents a corporatist feature, along socioeconomic divides. A classic of the history of the French welfare state.

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                                                                                          • Jobert, Bruno. 1981. Le social en plan. Paris: Les Editions Ouvrières.

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                                                                                            An analysis of the mechanisms, ideologies, and strategies of socioeconomic prevision through the planification. The author shows the fundamental and growing role of the state in it, focusing mainly on the health care realm.

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                                                                                            • Manow, Philip, and Bruno Palier. 2009. A conservative welfare state regime without Christian democracy? The French Etat-providence, 1880–1960. In Religion, class coalitions, and welfare states. Edited by Kees van Kersbergen and Philip Manow, 146–175. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge Univ. Press.

                                                                                              DOI: 10.1017/CBO9780511626784Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                              An historical inquiry of the formation of social protection in France using the Rokkanian theoretical framework of the cleavages theory. It focuses on the conflict between religious and secular actors to explain the specific institutional design of the French welfare state.

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                                                                                              • Merrien, François-Xavier. 1990. Etats-providence: L’empreinte des origines. Revue française des affaires sociales 44.3 (July–September): 43–56.

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                                                                                                Very important article, since it was the first work to adopt the historical neoinstitutionalist perspective to analyze the development of the welfare state in France. Merrien also focuses on the public actors, and especially their representations, to understand the specific turn of the French welfare state from the end of the 19th century and the creation of the Social Security in 1945.

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                                                                                                • Pollet, Gilles. 1995. La construction de l’Etat social à la française: Entre local et national (XIXe et XXe siècles). Lien Social et Politiques 33: 115–131.

                                                                                                  DOI: 10.7202/005216arSave Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                  The author retraces the construction of the welfare state by concentrating on the link between the local and the national level. He explains that the provision of welfare was first supplied in France on the local level, and then extended during the Third Republic, and then after World War I to the national level.

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                                                                                                  • Renard, Didier. 1995. Intervention de l’Etat et genèse de la protection sociale en France (1880–1940). Lien social et Politiques 33:13–26.

                                                                                                    DOI: 10.7202/005223arSave Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                    An analysis of the origins of the welfare state, focusing on the public actors. It aims to show that the institutionalization of the key administrations of social protection occurred under the Third Republic as a political issue; the aim was to constitute and establish the Republic.

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                                                                                                    • Smith, Timothy B. 2003. Creating the welfare state in France, 1880–1940. Montreal: McGill-Queens Univ. Press.

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                                                                                                      This book invites us to reconsider the period between the two world wars. Against the image of repeating failures of social reforms, it argues that the foundations of the French welfare state were actually built at that time, by the 1928 and 1937 legislations.

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                                                                                                      • Valat, Bruno. 2001. Histoire de la Sécurité sociale (1945–1967): L’Etat, l’institution et la santé. Paris: Economica.

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                                                                                                        The author analyzes the creation of the Sécurité sociale after World War II, but chooses to focus on the rapid and unexpected growth of health-care spending and the questions that it raised. Very interesting for those interested in the position and interaction of the different actors involved, both in the state and trade unions.

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                                                                                                        The Politics of the French Welfare State Reforms

                                                                                                        Many works have tried to understand changes in the French welfare state over recent decades. Behind the assumption that “the welfare state is in crisis,” structural trends have put social protection under pressure. However, the direction that social policies are taking is still blurred. Each work seeks to determine this direction by answering the question, “Where is social protection going?” Several arguments can be found. First, many authors argue that the development of neoliberal economic doctrines, together with budgetary constraints, is fostering a retrenchment of the welfare state. Second, against this idea of retrenchment, or to nuance it, some argue that welfare institutions resist changing and are prone to inertia through a path dependency process. Third, stemming from economic analyses of the labor market dynamics, recent works stand for a process of dualization of social protection. According to the approach of each author, these works do not look at the same aspect of reform: some describe the evolution of social policies (outputs) precisely; some try to see the effects of them on society (outcomes)—concerning inequalities, for instance; and some analyze the causes and the political conditions of these changes (inputs). Therefore, one can distinguish, on the one hand, studies that mainly focus on institutional features of recent reforms, and, on the other hand, works that look at the political economy of such reforms.

                                                                                                        Institutional Features of Reforms

                                                                                                        The following works all try to understand the changing logic of French social protection. As a result, they focus on the institutional features of recent reforms in order to understand changes in institutional arrangements. Barbier 2007 provides a detailed presentation of new policies that have been implemented, which is useful for those who want to get a grip on changes over the last thirty years. Palier 2000 challenges the hypothesis of a French “frozen” welfare state impossible to reform by analyzing the structural reforms that have occurred. From this perspective, Palier 2005 analyzes the conditions of such reforms by the position of different actors, whereas Bonoli and Palier 2000 explains why welfare state institutions are so difficult to reform. Guillemard 2008 also focuses on recent reforms. Still, as a collective and thematic work made by French specialists, the book tries to bring a prospective point of view, which sometimes is missing in welfare studies. Together with Palier 2005, it is one of the most important books about French welfare state reforms. Béland and Randall 2000 tries to understand these evolutions according to the core concept of social protection, which is “social citizenship.” Lastly, while Gilbert and Parent 2004 underlines the commonalities between French and American reforms, Astier 2007 brings an original point of view by trying to understand, from the bottom up, these changes in the day-to-day life of social workers and beneficiaries of welfare provision. See also Kus 2006.

                                                                                                        • Astier, Isabelle. 2007. Les nouvelles règles du social. Paris: Presses Universitaires de France.

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                                                                                                          This work analyzes, with qualitative data, observations, and interviews, the paradigmatic shift that the welfare state has experienced, from a movement (the solidarism) assessing the debt of society toward the individual to the responsabilization of the individual. Astier analyses the new rhetoric on the notions of individualization and activation.

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                                                                                                          • Barbier, Jean-Claude. 2007. The French social protection system in the throes of reform (1975–2007). CES Working Paper 2007.48. Paris: Centre d’Economie de la Sorbonne.

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                                                                                                            A global analysis of recent reforms in France in all social realms. It takes into account all sectors of social protection, and argues that there has been important change in the French social protection system, contradicting the thesis of path dependency. These transformations lead to a new hybrid welfare state.

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                                                                                                            • Béland, Daniel, and Hansen Randall. 2000. Reforming the French welfare state: Solidarity, social exclusion and the three crisis of citizenship. West European Politics 23.1: 47–64.

                                                                                                              DOI: 10.1080/01402380008425351Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                              This article tries to capture the peculiarity of the French “citizenship” idea compared to Marshall’s concept, by insisting on the notion of solidarité. The authors then explain the recent reforms concerning the fight against “exclusion” and a more British tax-based financing social protection.

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                                                                                                              • Bonoli, Giuliano, and Bruno Palier. 2000. How do welfare states change? Institutions and their impact on the politics of welfare state reform in Western Europe. European Review 8.3: 333–352.

                                                                                                                DOI: 10.1017/S1062798700004944Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                The authors use the concept of path dependency in order to explain, by focusing on the functioning of institutions, the different trajectories of two different welfare states: France and the United Kingdom. They look, in particular, at reforms in unemployment compensation, old-age pensions, and health care.

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                                                                                                                • Gilbert, Neil, and Antoine Parent, eds. 2004. Welfare reform: A comparative assessment of French and U.S. experiences. New Brunswick, NJ: Transaction.

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                                                                                                                  The two authors provide an interesting comparison between two cases usually considered as radically different. They show, on the contrary that the similarities in recent reforms are noteworthy, especially regarding assistance benefits.

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                                                                                                                  • Guillemard, Anne-Marie, ed. 2008. Où va la protection sociale? Paris: Presses Universitaires de France.

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                                                                                                                    A very exhaustive collective work about the future of social protection. All the authors are important specialists in their field. They present what is at stake for the welfare state, the issues it faces, and the possible ways to deal with them.

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                                                                                                                    • Kus, Basak. 2006. Neoliberalism, institutional change and the welfare state: The case of Britain and France. International Journal of Comparative Sociology 47.6: 488–525.

                                                                                                                      DOI: 10.1177/0020715206070268Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                      A study about the way paradigmatic shift translates into different social policy reforms. It argues that neoliberalism did not take hold in the same context in Britain and in France, and did not lead to the same diagnosis. That is why the preferences within the welfare state reforms were not the same in the two countries.

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                                                                                                                      • Palier, Bruno. 2000. “Defrosting” the French welfare state. West European Politics 23.2: 113–136.

                                                                                                                        DOI: 10.1080/01402380008425369Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                        Against the argument of a “frozen” welfare state, this article analyzes the mechanisms through which profound reforms have been implemented in all areas of social protection. Presents a global overview of welfare state reforms until 2000, as well as a theoretical contribution to the debate on welfare state change.

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                                                                                                                        • Palier, Bruno. 2005. Gouverner la Sécurité sociale: Les réformes du système français de protection sociale depuis 1945. Paris: Presses Universitaires de France.

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                                                                                                                          A global and detailed presentation of the general evolution of the welfare state since 1945, including its political and institutional dynamics. This research takes place in a comparative perspective and shows how the liberal “welfare state action repertoire” has been introduced into the Bismarckian traditional French welfare state.

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                                                                                                                          Political Economy of Reforms

                                                                                                                          This trend of works focuses on two main problems. First, they put recent reforms in their economic context, often underlining the common problems modern welfare states have to face. Second, they try to understand the role of economic actors in those reforms. Ambler 1993 helps one understand the emergence of the problems that pushed the welfare state further toward reforms. Since it is a collective work based on thematic studies, it is useful for those interested in one realm of social protection in particular. Levy 1999 tries to seize the specific changes that occurred in the 1980s. However, it does not focus on social protection but on the links between the state and civil society, which is crucial in order to understand the conditions of further social reforms. In this perspective, while Levy 2008 presents the specific changes in economic policy over the long term, Vail 2010 puts the understanding of most recent changes in the light of the economic context. Angresano 2007 pursues this interrogation by putting in perspective a welfare state often overlooked in international comparisons. Smith 2004 concentrates on the most recent changes by looking at both the transformation of outputs and the position of different actors concerning the general issue of globalization. Lastly, both Palier and Thelen 2012 and Vail 2004 try to understand reforms in France and Germany by using a political economy point of view.

                                                                                                                          • Ambler, John S., ed. 1993. The French welfare state: Surviving social and ideological change. New York: New York Univ. Press.

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                                                                                                                            A compilation of seven essays about the growth of the French welfare state after World War II, written both by international and French specialists. The essays analyze different aspects, such as health care, family policy, and housing, and their evolution. It presents the problems that have emerged since the 1970s.

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                                                                                                                            • Angresano, James. 2007. French welfare state reform: Idealism versus Swedish, New Zealand and Dutch pragmatism. New York: Anthem.

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                                                                                                                              The author studies the issues that have faced welfare states since the 1970s because of the new economic context and rising budgetary constraints. He shows the peculiarity of the way the French welfare state deals with them, compared to other welfare states, such as Sweden, New Zealand, and the Netherlands.

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                                                                                                                              • Levy, Jonah D. 1999. Tocqueville’s revenge: State, society, and economy in contemporary France. Cambridge, MA: Harvard Univ. Press.

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                                                                                                                                This book captures President Mitterrand’s move from a “dirigiste” state toward an “associational liberalism,” in which the participation of civil society results from public action through the establishing an institutional framework. To support this assessment, Levy presents an empirical study of the economic effects of the 1982 decentralization reforms in Besançon and Saint-Etienne.

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                                                                                                                                • Levy, Jonah. 2008. From the dirigiste state to the social anesthesia state: French economic policy in the longue durée. In Special issue: The Fifth Republic at fifty. Modern & Contemporary France 16.4: 417–435.

                                                                                                                                  DOI: 10.1080/09639480802413371Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                  The author retraces the last fifty years of economic policy. He shows that the shift that occurred in the 1980s led to great social adaptation in the direction of the “social anesthesia state,” in order to help the victims of the economic change. It explains why social protection is not very employment-friendly.

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                                                                                                                                  • Palier, Bruno, and Kathleen Thelen. 2012. Dualization and institutional complementarities: Industrial relations labor market and welfare state changes in France and Germany. In The age of dualization: The changing face of inequality in deindustrializing societies. Edited by Patrick Emmenegger, Silja Häusermann, Bruno Palier, and Martin Seeleib-Kaiser, 201–225. New York: Oxford Univ. Press.

                                                                                                                                    DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199797899.001.0001Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                    A comparative analysis of reforms in different institutional realms: industrial relations, labor market regulation, and social protection. Using the VoC notion of institutional complementarities, the authors show how a change in a sector leads to changes in other ones, resulting in institutional dualization in these particular countries.

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                                                                                                                                    • Smith, Timothy B. 2004. France in crisis. Welfare, inequality, and globalization since 1980. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge Univ. Press.

                                                                                                                                      DOI: 10.1017/CBO9780511617584Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                      An attempt to understand the difficulty of France to reform its welfare state. The author argues that it reinforces inequalities, more than counterbalances them. Paradoxically, the actors involved do not fight this trend, but instead prevent reforms by being willing to defend French social protection against the threat of globalization.

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                                                                                                                                      • Vail, Mark I. 2004. The myth of frozen welfare state and the dynamics of contemporary French and German social-protection reform. French Politics 2.2: 151–183.

                                                                                                                                        DOI: 10.1057/palgrave.fp.8200055Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                        An analysis of the recent changes in the French social protection, compared to those in Germany. Focuses mainly on labor market policies and pensions from a political economy perspective.

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                                                                                                                                        • Vail, Mark I. 2010. Recasting welfare capitalism: Economic adjustment in contemporary France and Germany. Philadelphia: Temple Univ. Press.

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                                                                                                                                          By comparing France to Germany, the author argues that these welfare states have experienced great changes since the 1970s. He provides an understanding of these changes by looking at the evolving economic context, the new social policies that have been implemented, and the strategies and actions of political actors in the reform processes.

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                                                                                                                                          Studies on Sectoral Social Policies

                                                                                                                                          French studies on the welfare state have long been organized along sectoral lines, and the global point of view is more recent, roughly from the 1990s onward. As a result, studies on each social risk are very numerous, but also rather heterogeneous. In fact, many disciplines are involved, reflecting different approaches and different concerns, such as economics, political science, or sociology. Studies on family policy are very important in France, as it is a very decisive feature of the welfare state, which makes it different from other Bismarckian countries. In fact, this policy is very extended and rather old, as it goes back to the 19th century. Since the 1970s, however, its meaning has been evolving to shift from a horizontal redistribution, with natalist concerns, to a vertical redistribution, with more social concerns. The French health-care system is typical of Bismarckian welfare states, with a great number of private and liberal practitioners, but social insurances for patients. However, the growth of health care spending puts under pressure the whole system and forces the state to reform it. Recently, the path taken means less coverage for patients, whereas the freedom of practitioners has been maintained. Studies on the pension system are also dynamic, inasmuch as budgetary pressures have already resulted in massive and important reforms, in 2003 and 2010. The other sectoral policies are more recent and try to deal with new problems, so that there are fewer studies on them. Unemployment policies use traditional social insurances, but the rise of new specific issues, primarily because of deindustrialization, have led to new types of policies, including activation policies and policies against social exclusion.

                                                                                                                                          Family Policies

                                                                                                                                          Many books about family policies are written by sociologists specializing in family sociology. Typical of this aspect, Singly 1991, although it is not very recent, provides a useful and complete overview of the issues concerning family. Commaille 1996 seeks to link the topic of family with an analysis of public policies, as Donzelot 1977 tried to do, even if this seminal work was more from a theoretical and philosophical (inspired by Foucault) point of view. For straightforward presentations of actual family policy in France, Commaille, et al. 2002 and Damon 2006 are the two main references. Concerning the historical understanding of the development of such a policy, Lenoir 1991 presents an analysis of its political dynamics over the long term, whereas Minonzio and Vallat 2006 focuses more specifically on the role of l’UNAF (Union Nationale des Associations Familiales) in it. Lastly, economic studies help evaluate the effects of family policy, in a context in which it is seen as a decisive feature for social protection. For instance, Sterdyniak 2011 addresses the political debate over the role of family policy by looking at its redistributive effects. The Caisses d’allocations familiales (CAF) website provides data and studies on this specific sectoral policy.

                                                                                                                                          • Caisses d’allocations familiales.

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                                                                                                                                            The website of the Caisses d’allocations familiales (CAF) is very useful both to citizens and researchers. It presents the different benefits provided, and it also contains a research section with lots of data and scientific publications on French family policy.

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                                                                                                                                            • Commaille, Jacques. 1996. Misères de la famille: Question d’Etat. Paris: Presses de la Fondation Nationale des Sciences Politiques.

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                                                                                                                                              This specialist on the family interprets the political regulation of the family by showing how it has been integrated in the “social question.” Therefore, he analyzes the different policies toward family and the progressive rise of a new normative framework concerning the regulation of society. A very rich and complete work.

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                                                                                                                                              • Commaille, Jacques, Pierre Strobel, and Michel Villac. 2002. La politique de la famille. Paris: La Découverte.

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                                                                                                                                                The authors propose a useful overview of family policy in France. Ideal for students.

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                                                                                                                                                • Damon, Julien. 2006. Les politiques familiales: Que sais-je? Paris: Presses Universitaires de France.

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                                                                                                                                                  A clear and synthetic review of family policies. It presents the problems faced by them, especially their modification in the sense of more social redistribution. Ideal for students who are looking for an introduction to French family policies.

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                                                                                                                                                  • Donzelot, Jacques. 1977. La police des familles. Paris: Minuit.

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                                                                                                                                                    A seminal work about the way the state has progressively governed the family as a means to regulate society in a capitalist economic system. Its theoretical approach stems from the work of the French philosopher Michel Foucault.

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                                                                                                                                                    • Lenoir, Rémi. 1991. Family policy in France since 1938. In The French welfare state: Surviving social and ideological change. Edited by John S. Ambler, 144–186. New York: New York Univ. Press.

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                                                                                                                                                      The author retraces the history of family policy in France from the late 1930s to the late 1980s. He focuses on the evolutions of policy outputs as well as the political dynamics of their adoption, by analyzing the politics of the family issue. The theoretical framework comes from the French sociologist Pierre Bourdieu.

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                                                                                                                                                      • Minonzio, Jérôme, and Jean-Philippe Vallat. 2006. L’Union nationale des associations familiales (UNAF) et les politiques familiales. Crises et transformations de la représentation des intérêts familiaux en France. Revue française de science politique 56:205–226.

                                                                                                                                                        DOI: 10.3917/rfsp.562.0205Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                        An analysis of the specific role of the UNAF, one of the most important actors influencing the development of family policy since 1945. It shows how this association has been evolving by using its different resources in order to adapt to a changing political context and defend its own views and preferences about family policy.

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                                                                                                                                                        • Singly, François de, eds. 1991. La famille, l’état des savoirs. Paris: La Découverte.

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                                                                                                                                                          A very complete compilation of forty contributions from specialists on many disciplines about the family. It consists of forty three articles of nine pages each. Very useful as an introduction for those who are interested in a specific topic concerning family, even though it was written in 1991.

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                                                                                                                                                          • Sterdyniak, Henri. 2011. Faut-il remettre en cause la politique familiale française? Revue de l’OFCE 116.1: 333–366.

                                                                                                                                                            DOI: 10.3917/reof.116.0333Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                            The French family policy is often criticized for being not enough redistributive toward the poorest families. This economist argues on the contrary that it reaches all its redistributive objectives through the universalistic allocations familiales and fiscal measures such as le quotient familial. Therefore, this policy does not need the global reform that is claimed.

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                                                                                                                                                            Health Care System

                                                                                                                                                            The topic of health care provision is very complex, and it concerns many different actors. However, it is a crucial matter for the future of social protection, because of both its social function and the budgetary problems that it is facing. This is why Bras, et al. 2009 is the best reference for this issue, since it is the most detailed and complete work on the subject. Then, Fassin 2009 provides a clear overview specifically on health inequalities, whereas Fassin and Hauray 2010 focuses on the topic of public health. This particular topic is rather overlooked in France, although it is decisive for the future. In fact, budgetary constraints are often at the core of studies on this topic, and this is why these studies are generally the work of economists. Cornilleau and Debrand 2011 proposes, in this perspective, both a diagnostic of financial problems of the health-care system and some solutions to reduce its deficit, as does Kervasdoue 2009. However, to understand the way the system works and has been evolving, by focusing on the outputs, Palier 2012 is very useful. In order to go further in this direction and understand the evolution of the system, Hassenteufel and Palier 2007 extends this perspective. Hassenteufel 1997 and Hatzfeld 1963, meanwhile, provide two explanations of the development of the French health care system by focusing on the relationship between doctors, their trade unions, and the state. Hatzfeld 1963 is very useful to understand the emergence of the health care system, while Hassenteufel 1997 proposes a more complete analysis, since it is more recent and leans on a European comparison. The Direction de la recherche, des études, de l’évaluation et des statistiques (DREES) website contains lots of data of this particular issue.

                                                                                                                                                            • Bras, Pierre Louis, Gérard De Pourourville, and Didier Tabuteau, eds. 2009. Traité d’économie et de gestion de la santé. Paris: Presses de Sciences Po.

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                                                                                                                                                              A very complete book on every aspect of health care. Includes contributions from major French authors on the subject. A very useful work.

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                                                                                                                                                              • Cornilleau, Gérard, and Thierry Debrand. 2011. Crise et déficit de l’assurance maladie: Faut-il changer de paradigme? Revue de l’OFCE 116.1: 315–332.

                                                                                                                                                                DOI: 10.3917/reof.116.0315Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                The authors ask about the recurrent problem of the health care insurance deficit. A part of it is due to the crisis and will disappear with the return of economic growth. Yet another structural part of the deficit needs to be reduced, and the authors propose structural reforms in order to cope with this problem, mostly concerning the governance and the financing of the system.

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                                                                                                                                                                • Direction de la recherche, des études, de l’évaluation et des statistiques.

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                                                                                                                                                                  The Direction de la recherche, des études, de l’évaluation et des statistiques (DREES) is the research division of the Ministry of Social Affairs and Healthcare (Ministère des Affaires sociales et de la Santé). Its website contains lots of data and analyses on social protection in general, and health-related issues in particular.

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                                                                                                                                                                  • Fassin, Didier, ed. 2009. Inégalités et santé. Paris: La Documentation Française.

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                                                                                                                                                                    A compilation of several different texts about health inequalities. The author, a specialist on the question, chose them, and he provides a good introduction on the topic. Synthetic and brief; very useful.

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                                                                                                                                                                    • Fassin, Didier, and Boris Hauray, eds. 2010. Santé publique: L’état des savoirs. Paris: La Découverte.

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                                                                                                                                                                      A great compilation of works about the issues concerning public health in France. Many authors, both scholars and professionals, present an aspect of the problem in a brief but synthetic article. An interesting and multidisciplinary overview of this topic.

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                                                                                                                                                                      • Hassenteufel, Patrick. 1997. Les médecins face à l’Etat: Une comparaison européenne. Paris: Presses de Sciences Po.

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                                                                                                                                                                        A European comparison of the way doctors are represented and their relationship with the state. The specificity of French doctors is that their trade unions are fragmented and aim to defend the liberal identity of the profession.

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                                                                                                                                                                        • Hassenteufel, Patrick, and Bruno Palier. 2007. Towards neo-Bismarckian health care states: Comparing health reforms in Bismarckian welfare systems. Social Policy & Administration 41.6: 574–596.

                                                                                                                                                                          DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-9515.2007.00573.xSave Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                          An analysis of recent reforms of Bismarckian health care systems. The authors focus on three countries, France, Germany, and the Netherlands, and show how structural changes have occurred in these systems. A “regulatory health care state” is emerging in particular, with more state control and more market mechanisms.

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                                                                                                                                                                          • Hatzfeld, Henri. 1963. Le grand tournant de la médecine libérale. Paris: Les Editions Ouvrières.

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                                                                                                                                                                            This historical work describes the transformation experienced by doctors since the late 19th century, when they had to face a new type of patients, beyond the poor and the rich. Specific organisms pay for these patients, and the author focuses on the relationship between doctors and these organisms, inasmuch as a modification of their remuneration also changes the profession itself.

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                                                                                                                                                                            • Kervasdoue, Jean de. 2009. Très cher santé. Paris: Perrin.

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                                                                                                                                                                              As an economist, the author argues that the health care system is too expensive for society because of a structural misfit between the liberal health care system and the solidaristic method of reimbursing patients. He proposes solutions to reduce this deficit, saying that it needs not to be left to the market, but, contrarily, that rationing should be promoted.

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                                                                                                                                                                              • Palier, Bruno. 2012. La réforme des systèmes de santé: Que sais-je? Paris: Presses Universitaires de France.

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                                                                                                                                                                                A synthetic presentation of the issues that health care systems are facing and the policies that are being implemented to face them. It provides comparisons with reforms accomplished abroad to put the French case in perspective.

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                                                                                                                                                                                Pension System

                                                                                                                                                                                The pension system has gone through numerous reforms, and it has therefore been analyzed thoroughly, though more by political scientists than economists (unlike the health-care system) and sociologists (unlike family policy). To grasp every aspect of this issue, Guillemard 2010 provides a complete overview and constitutes the best reference on the topic of old age. Then, many studies try to understand the political conditions of pensions reforms by using international comparisons. Bonoli 1997 provides an analysis of the first reforms during the 1990s. Béland 2001 tests the hypothesis of inertia regarding the 1980s and the 1990s, as does Schludi 2003. Both Bonoli and Palier 2007 and Häusermann 2010 look at the political dynamics that led to important changes, especially during the 2000s. Naczyk and Palier 2010 tries to understand the peculiarity of such reforms, resulting, in the end, in structural changes. The actuality of these reforms has also led to numerous and normative works proposing new developments for the pension system. They are very heterogeneous, though. On the one side, there is Bozio and Piketty 2008, which argues in favor of a structural reform implementing a notional defined-contribution (NDC) system. On the opposite side, there is Friot 2010, which argues in favor of further generalization of the actual system, based on principles explicitly opposed to a NDC system. The Conseil d’orientation des retraites (COR) website presents information concerning pensions reforms.

                                                                                                                                                                                • Béland, Daniel. 2001. Does labor matter? Institutions, labor unions and pension reform in France and the United States. Journal of Public Policy 21.2: 153–172.

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                                                                                                                                                                                  An analysis of the pensions reforms since the 1980s in France and the United States, focusing on the role of labor unions. The author shows that the institutional design provides a “veto point” to labor unions in France, since they are integrated into the management process. That is the reason why they have such a strong influence on reforms.

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                                                                                                                                                                                  • Bonoli, Giuliano. 1997. Pension politics in France: Patterns of co-operation and conflict in two recent reforms. West European Politics 20.4: 160–181.

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                                                                                                                                                                                    An extremely well detailed and theoretically informed analysis of the first pension reforms in France.

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                                                                                                                                                                                    • Bonoli, Giuliano, and Bruno Palier. 2007. When past reforms open new opportunities: Comparing old-age insurance reforms in Bismarckian welfare systems. Social Policy & Administration 41.6: 555–573.

                                                                                                                                                                                      DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-9515.2007.00572.xSave Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                      The authors trace the pension reforms in Italy, Germany, Austria, Spain, and France in order to understand the conditions under which governments undertake such reforms. By emphasizing the distinct sequences of reforms, they show that governments act when they are forced to, and that each reform structures and facilitates the next one.

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                                                                                                                                                                                      • Bozio, Antoine, and Thomas Piketty. 2008. Pour un nouveau système de retraite: Des comptes individuels de cotisation financés par repartition. Paris: Presses de l’Ecole normale supérieure.

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                                                                                                                                                                                        A contribution to the public debate that proposes a new notional defined-contribution pension system, inspired by the Swedish model. The authors show the advantages of this approach compared to the existing model in France, and then present the way to proceed to the transition. A normative work that puts the current system in perspective.

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                                                                                                                                                                                        • Conseil d’orientation des retraites.

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                                                                                                                                                                                          The Conseil d’orientation des retraites (COR) was created in 2000. It is a pluralist and independent structure that produces reports on the French pension system in order to assist the decision making. Its website regularly provides reports and documents on pension-related issues.

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                                                                                                                                                                                          • Friot, Bernard. 2010. L’enjeu des retraites. Paris: La Dispute.

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                                                                                                                                                                                            An alternative diagnosis of the pension issue. Refusing the demographic pessimism, the author assesses that pensions are a “continued wage” instead of a “postponed revenue,” which changes the way one looks at them: pensions become a remuneration of a free activity. A very heterodox approach, but very successful in France.

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                                                                                                                                                                                            • Guillemard, Anne-Marie. 2010. Les défis du vieillissement: Age, emploi, retraite: Perspectives internationales. Paris: Armand Colin.

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                                                                                                                                                                                              A complete analysis of the issues of aging and the different ways to deal with them. After comparing the situation of the elderly in many countries, Guillemard proposes a new theoretical framework to understand the institutional patterns that structure it. She also discusses policies that should be implemented in a more normative point of view.

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                                                                                                                                                                                              • Häusermann, Silja. 2010. The politics of welfare state reforms in continental Europe: Modernization in hard times. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge Univ. Press.

                                                                                                                                                                                                DOI: 10.1017/CBO9780511750588Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                An analysis of the politics of pension reform. It compares three different Continental countries: Germany, Switzerland, and France, and presents the changing dynamics of coalitions at the origin of welfare state reforms. A very important book, with new data and methods and compelling demonstrations.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                • Naczyk, Marek, and Bruno Palier. 2010. Complementing or replacing old age insurance? The growing importance of funded pensions in the French pension system. REC-WP 08/2010. Edinburgh: Reconciling Work and Welfare in Europe (RECWOWE)

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                                                                                                                                                                                                  The two authors analyze the recent developments concerning the French pension system, focusing on the rise of funded pension schemes. Traditionally, there is no room for such schemes in the French system, which relies on PAYG occupational schemes. Still, in recent years, pension savings have developed on a voluntary basis, among high-skilled workers.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Schludi, Martin. 2003. Politics of pension reform—the French case in a comparative perspective. French Politics 1.2: 199–224.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    DOI: 10.1057/palgrave.fp.8200031Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                    This article tries to understand the condition of feasibility of pension reforms, comparing different Bismarckian welfare states. The author argues that important pension reforms depend on the capacity of the government to build a consensus with either the opposition or trade unions. This article was published before the two most important pension reforms in France, those in 2003 and 2010.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                    Unemployment Policies

                                                                                                                                                                                                    This realm of social policies became an important part of the welfare state only in the 1970s, and it is thus taken into account much less often than other areas. Unemployment policies have been developing as the “welfare without work” issue has been rising. Clegg 2011 analyzes recent developments in this realm, discussing the argument of dualization. Daniel and Tuchszirer 1999, meanwhile, is the most complete overview of the evolution of unemployment policies over the long term. Mansfield, et al. 1994; Salais, et al. 1986; and Topalov 1994 constitute attempts to understand the birth of the issue of unemployment in France at the turn of the 19th century. The Direction de l’animation de la recherche, des études et des statistiques (DARES) website is very useful as far as employment and unemployment issues are concerned.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Clegg, Daniel. 2011. France: Integration versus dualization. In Regulating the risk of unemployment in Europe. Edited by Jason Clasen and Daniel Clegg, 34–54. Oxford: Oxford Univ. Press.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                      The author documents the dualization of unemployment protection policy in France with, on the one hand, the generous insurance part, and, on the other, the less generous assistance part. He argues that, since the 2000s, while it had first been introduced at the margin of the system, the logic of activation has begun to spread over it.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Daniel, Christine, and Carole Tuchszirer. 1999. L’Etat face aux chômeurs: L’indemnisation du chômage de 1884 à nos jours. Paris: Flammarion.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                        The authors retrace the history of the indemnification of the unemployed. They show how mass unemployment has changed it, by distinguishing more sharply the role of the UNEDIC (insurance) and the role of the state (assistance). The result is a relatively inefficient system, which does not cover properly those who need it the most.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Direction de l’animation de la recherche, des études et des statistiques.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                          The Direction de l’animation de la recherche, des études et des statistiques (DARES) is the research department of the Ministry of Labour and Employment (Ministère du Travail et de l’Emploi). The website provides lots of data and analyses concerning both employment and unemployment policies.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Mansfield, Malcolm, Robert Salais, and Noël Whiteside, eds. 1994. Aux sources du chômage (1880–1914): Une comparaison interdisciplinaire entre la France et la Grande-Bretagne. Paris: Belin.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                            A compilation of works by many specialists from different academic disciplines, both French and English, about the issue of unemployment in France and the United Kingdom. They focus on the emergence of unemployment as a public issue, between 1880 and 1914, the way these two countries dealt with it, and why. Interesting but very heterogeneous.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Salais, Robert, Nicolas Baverez, and Bénédicte Reynaud. 1986. L’invention du chômage: Histoire et transformations d’une catégorie en France des années 1890 aux années 1980. Paris: Presses Universitaires de France.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                              This work tries to understand the evolution of the representations of “unemployment” in France. The authors argue that it is a category reflecting the way society understands the link between work and inactivity. Therefore it changes over time, and such change is the main object of the authors’ research, which focuses on the representations of specific actors.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Topalov, Christian. 1994. Naissance du chômeur, 1880–1910. Paris: Albin Michel.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                A very interesting and complete book about the construction of unemployment as a public problem in France, the United Kingdom, and the United States. The author looks at the scientific objectification and formulation of this issue.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                Employment Policies

                                                                                                                                                                                                                Employment policies constitute the other side of unemployment policies. Clasen and Clegg 2003 and Clegg 2010 show that there is continuity between the two types of policies. Active labor market policies (ALMPs) are quite recent in France, where they are used to try to fight against the problem of “welfare without work.” In this perspective, the notion of “activation” has been developing, although it differs from one country to another, as Barbier 2007 argues. Still, Erhel and Zajdela 2004 notes that convergence can be found in this general logic. For a general presentation of employment policies in France, Erhel 2008 is very useful, since it provides a clear overview and integrates it in a theoretical framework. Direction de l’animation de la recherche, des études et des statistiques 2003 and Direction de l’animation de la recherche, des études et des statistiques 2012, meanwhile, assemble all the public studies on the subject and propose evaluations of these policies. Lastly, there are many intense debates on the subject, and especially on the notion of “flexicurity,” linking, in a way, unemployment policies and employment policies, as well as their eventual adoption in France. This notion stems from the Nordic model, especially Denmark. Gazier and Auer 2006 focuses on this specific issue, both in an analytic and in a prescriptive way.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Barbier, Jean-Claude. 2007. The French activation strategy in a European comparative perspective. In Reshaping welfare states and activation regimes in Europe. Edited by Amparo Serrano Pascual and Lars Magnusson, 145–172, Brussels: P.I.E. Peter Lang.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                  The author argues that, besides the two ideal-types of activation—universalistic and liberal—the French activation strategy of “insertion” seems to represent a third hybrid type of Continental activation. He provides a presentation and analysis of all the policies adopted since the 1990s according this general theoretical framework.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Clasen, Jochen, and Daniel Clegg. 2003. Unemployment protection and labour market reform in France and Great Britain in the 1990s: Solidarity versus activation? Journal of Social Policy 32.3: 361–381.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    DOI: 10.1017/S0047279403007049Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Against the idea that France and the United Kingdom present opposite ways to reform unemployment protection and labor market policy, the authors argue that it is possible to see a trend toward convergence. The logic of activation is developing in both cases, but along different paths, because of different types of interests being institutionalized.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Clegg, Daniel. 2010. From insurance or insertion to rights and responsibilities: The shifting logics of unemployment protection in France. In Human rights and social policy: A comparative analysis of values and citizenship in OECD countries. Edited by Ann Nevile, 83–100. Cheltenham, UK: Edward Elgar.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Very interesting and useful chapter, as it provides a brief overview of unemployment policies, their logic, and their links with employment policies of insertion. It then tries to grasp their evolution by analyzing the most recent reforms, which have implemented means-tested benefits, against the traditional logic of insurance.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Direction de l’animation de la recherche, des études et des statistiques. 2003. Les politiques de l’emploi et du marché du travail. Paris: La Découverte.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                        An updated and summarized overview of labor market policies made by the administration of the Labor Ministry over the previous forty years. It presents in a small book the history and the evaluation of labor market policies. It stems from the more complete 1996 DARES publication 40 ans de politique de l’emploi [Forty years of employment policies].

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Direction de l’animation de la recherche, des études et des statistiques. 2012. Bilan des politiques d’emploi en 2009. Paris: La Documentation Française.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                          An annual synthetic review of labor market policies made by the administration of the Labor Ministry. It is very useful since it provides a presentation of such policies, and an overview of the different evaluations of them.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Erhel, Christine. 2008. Les politiques de l’emploi: Que sais-je? Paris: Presses Universitaires de France.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                            A useful presentation of all types of employment policies. The author not only provides an interesting theoretical framework to understand them but also compares the French case with Sweden and the United States in order to put it in perspective. Lastly, she presents the important issue of the evaluation of such policies.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Erhel, Christine, and Hélène Zajdela. 2004. The dynamics of social and labor market policies in France and the United Kingdom: Between path dependence and convergence. Journal of European Social Policy 14.2: 125–142.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              DOI: 10.1177/0958928704042004Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              The authors analyze the evolution of social and labor market policies in both France and the United Kingdom. They argue that national differences remain, according to the path dependence logic, but also that there is a hint of convergence, since the late 1990s and the early 2000s, toward job supply–oriented employment and social policies.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Gazier, Bernard, and Peter Auer. 2006. L’introuvable sécurité de l’emploi. Paris: Flammarion.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                In this book, the authors try to understand how employment security could be promoted in France. By looking at foreign cases, especially where “flexicurity” exists, they provide not only an interesting analysis of the French case, but also propositions to improve the situation of the individual, insisting on the role of the state, trade unions, and employers.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Policies against Social Exclusion

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Policies against social exclusion have a special place in the general economy of welfare provision in France. In fact, they belong to the ancient tradition of social assistance, which symbolized the rise of the welfare state during the 19th century. After World War II, the generalization of social insurances led to the abandonment of the logic of social assistance, through the promotion of full employment. Nevertheless, the transformation of the socioeconomic context since the late 1970s has resulted in the resurgence of the risk of poverty, now often called “exclusion.” Although it is taken into consideration in the international literature as a “new social risk,” there is an academic tradition in France that studies this issue, which comes mostly from sociology. In order to understand all the issues related to this exclusion, Paugam 1996 is the best reference, but Damon 2011 presents an updated and more synthetic view of the problem. Paugam 2005 is a classic of the analysis of poverty in general, and the way to tackle it. Duvoux 2009 presents an original point of view by looking at the beneficiaries of these policies and the way they receive it. Béland 2007 focuses more specifically on policies against social exclusion than on the phenomenon of exclusion itself, as does Puriere 2008, which underlines both continuity and change over the long term. Lastly, Damon 2010 and Paugam and Duvoux 2008 are both prospective attempts proposing solutions to cope with this specific issue of exclusion, and the Observatoire national de la Pauvreté et de l’Exclusion Sociale (ONPES) website concentrates the information related to this issue.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Béland, Daniel. 2007. The social exclusion discourse: Ideas and policy change. Policy & Politics 35.1: 123–139.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  DOI: 10.1332/030557307779657757Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  This article focuses on the political discourse about social exclusion and its possible consequences on policy development. The author looks in particular at France and Great Britain, but also more generally at the European Union to understand the structural trend. He shows that this discourse contributes to a shift in social policy design.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Damon, Julien. 2010. Eliminer la pauvreté. Paris: Presses Universitaires de France.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Reducing poverty has become an important objective of social policies on many levels. The author analyzes these policies at the international level of the UN, at the European level, and the national level. He considers the definitions, measures, and instruments that are used, as well as their links and cohesion.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Damon, Julien. 2011. L’exclusion: Que sais-je? Paris: Presses Universitaires de France.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      This specialist of social policies provides a clear presentation of the issue of social exclusion. Ideal for undergraduate students.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Duvoux, Nicolas. 2009. L’autonomie des assistés: Sociologie des politiques d’insertion. Paris: Presses Universitaires de France.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        A very interesting sociological inquiry regarding the beneficiaries of les politiques d’insertion, or activated assistance policies. It shows the way these policies are perceived, and how inequalities keep these policies from being successful. Duvoux argues that financial incentives are not enough to make them work and reintegrate them back in social life.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Observatoire national de la Pauvreté et de l’Exclusion Sociale.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          The Observatoire national de la Pauvreté et de l’Exclusion Sociale (ONPES) was created in 1998. Relying on data from DREES, DARES, and INSEE, it provides reports and documents on poverty and social exclusion in France in order to inform the decision-making process.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Paugam, Serge, ed. 1996. L’exclusion, l’état des savoirs. Paris: La Découverte.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            This specialist on poverty provides a great compilation of diverse contributions in order to integrate the heterogeneous studies about social exclusion. Very useful for those who need an overview of this issue.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Paugam, Serge. 2005. Les formes élémentaires de la pauvreté. Paris: Presses Universitaires de France.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              A seminal analysis of the different forms of poverty among various countries. The author elaborates a typology with three types of poverty, according to the characteristics of the poor and its link to society. Each type calls for a specific form of social policy, which is why forms of poverty are tightly linked with welfare regimes.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Paugam, Serge, and Nicolas Duvoux. 2008. La régulation des pauvres. Paris: Presses Universitaires de France.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                A dialogue between two specialists about the evolution of the treatment of poverty. By questioning the new social policy called revenu de solidarité active (RSA), they consider the pertinence of such a policy with regards to the transformation of the labor market and the development of atypical jobs.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Puriere, Aurélien. 2008. Assistance sociale et contrepartie: Actualité d’un débat ancien. Paris: L’Harmattan.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  The author retraces the history of social assistance and the obligation to work. He argues that postwar universalistic welfare states had neglected this obligation, whereas, along with the rise of neoliberalism, the conception of social policy requiring a counterpart has come back, as the adoption of the RSA shows.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  New Social Risk Policies

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Since the 1970s, structural trends have been transforming the socioeconomic context of welfare states. These welfare states have reflected compromises about a postwar Keynesian economic strategy that allowed full employment. In this context, industry was the leader of the economy, and social protection was conceived according to the male breadwinner model. The rise of a service-based economy, as well as the massive entry of women into the labor market and the extension of education or demographic changes, such as the aging of the population, have radically changed the foundations of postwar welfare states. As one finds in the international literature, “new social risks” (NSRs) have emerged. The French social protection, as a Bismarckian welfare state, is particularly vulnerable to this new context and tackles in a specific way these NSRs. Concerning the issue of gender and the conciliation of work and family life, France is in a hybrid situation: as a male breadwinner type of welfare regime, the French welfare state doesn’t intend to actively promote this conciliation. However, it is more developed in reality in France than in other Continental countries, mainly thanks to a great and early development of the écoles maternelles. The situation is still pending for elderly care. In fact, some benefits and services are currently available, but they are not financially sustainable, according to the demographic prevision that warns about the steep development of related spending. This is why this issue is often put on the political agenda, but without being really dealt with until now. Lastly, the economic context, the situation of the labor market, and the extension of secondary and higher education have transformed the conditions of entry into adulthood, creating a new period of life that some call “youth.” In France, young people face great difficulties entering the labor market and, subsequently, benefiting from social rights, as the welfare state requires the payment of contribution to deliver benefits. For now, instead of proposing new policies that would cope explicitly with the problems met by young people, the responsibility is left to families, through the familiarization of public action typical of Christian Democratic welfare states.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Gender

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  The research about gender in France is rather new but very dynamic. Many research projects are currently being developed, by both economists and sociologists. Le Bihan-Youinou and Martin 2008 makes a complete presentation of the issue, and is useful in exploring this field of research. In a comparative perspective, too, Morel and Jönsson 2006 provides a synthetic presentation of the problem of conciliation of work and family life, whereas Daguerre 2006 focuses on the specific issue of child-care policies. In order to have a clear presentation of all the problems related to women employment integrated in the academic debate and a theoretical framework, Maruani 2011 is the most useful and most interesting. In a more prescriptive way, Méda and Périvier 2007 presents also a straightforward argument with regard to women’s employment and gender equality. Through a narrower lens, Windebank 2012 focuses more on the problem of domestic care in France. Lastly, some authors, mostly from political science, have dealt with the evolution of social policies toward women. Morgan 2003 tries to seize the political dynamics of women over the long term, while Morel 2007 and Revillard 2006 analyze the most recent period.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Daguerre, Anne. 2006. Childcare policies in diverse European welfare states: Switzerland, Sweden, France and Britain. In The politics of post-industrial welfare states. Adapting post-war social policies to new social risks. Edited by Klaus Armingeon and Giuliano Bonoli, 211–227. New York and London: Routledge.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    The author tries to understand the development and the political conditions of the implementation of child-care policies. She looks at the coalitions supporting these policies, using the advocacy coalition framework. She shows that, in male-breadwinner countries, there must be a convergence of the different actors’ interests, including employers.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Le Bihan-Youinou, Blanche, and Claude Martin, eds. 2008. Concilier vie familiale et vie professionnelle en Europe. Rennes, France: Presses de l’Ecole des Hautes Études en Santé Publique.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      A collective work about the different issues concerning the conciliation of work and family life. It provides transnational comparisons to situate the French case. It also uses different theoretical and methodological approaches, such as policy analysis, sociology of labor and the professions, and sociology of the family.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Maruani, Margaret. 2011. Travail et emploi des femmes. 4th ed. Paris: La Découverte.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Maruani, a specialist of gender inequalities in the labor market, presents a clear and synthetic overview of the issues concerning women’s employment. After describing their massive entry into the labor market and the rise of their level of education, she explains the mechanisms leading to status and income inequalities compared to men.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Méda, Dominique, and Hélène Périvier. 2007. Le deuxième âge de l’émancipation: La société, les femmes et l’emploi. Paris: Seuil.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          By comparing France with other countries, such as Sweden and the United States, the authors describe the policies that reinforce inequalities between men and women, especially those that keep women out of the labor market. They propose different solutions to promote equality through labor market integration, insisting on positive externalities, such as the financing of social protection.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Morel, Nathalie. 2007. From subsidiarity to “free choice”: Child- and elder-care policy reforms in France, Belgium, Germany and the Netherlands. Social Policy & Administration 41.6: 618–637.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-9515.2007.00575.xSave Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            The author analyzes reforms of care policies since the 1980s, resulting from employment strategies. The first consequence of such reforms is the inequality of the “free choice” between and within countries. The second consequence is to be found in the functioning of the traditional rigid Bismarckian labor markets.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Morel, Nathalie, and Alexandra Jönsson. 2006. Politiques de conciliation vie familiale—vie professionnelle en Europe: Une comparaison des politiques menées en France, en Suède et au Royaume-Uni. Politique européenne 3.20 (July): 121–139.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Recent reforms have tried to facilitate the conciliation of work and family life in order to promote gender equality. However, these arrangements have not had the same meaning, nor the same consequences, depending on the welfare regime where they take place. The legitimacy of state intervention in this realm thus depends on the history and tradition of the particular country.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Morgan, Kimberly J. 2003. The politics of mothers’ employment: France in comparative perspective. World Politics 55.2: 259–289.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                DOI: 10.1353/wp.2003.0013Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                The author aims at explaining why there are so many child-care services in France, when this country does not seem in the forefront of gender equality. She argues that it all depends on the conflict between the church and the state that took place at the end of the 19th century: in France, the secularists won and promoted the intervention of the state in the private sphere.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Revillard, Anne. 2006. Work/family policy in France: From state familialism to state feminism? International Journal of Law, Policy and the Family 20.2: 133–150.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  DOI: 10.1093/lawfam/ebl009Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  This article tries to understand the “French paradox” of a familialist tradition and a high participation of women in the labor force. It shows that, since the 1960s, a structural trend promoting gender equality through a “state feminism” has emerged. It makes an empirical study of the governmental bodies whose function is to deal with the issue of women employment.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Windebank, Jan. 2012. Social policy and gender divisions of domestic and care work in France. Modern & Contemporary France 20.1: 21–35.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    DOI: 10.1080/09639489.2011.631699Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Examines the French paradox about domestic care work. On the one hand, there is a great integration of women into the labor market, thanks to child-care services, while, on the other hand, a strong gendered division of domestic care work at home has persisted. The author explains why this is the case by looking at social policies.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Elderly Care

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Elderly care is a pressing issue because of the evolution of the demographic structure of the population. Coutton 2004 provides an evaluation of this area, focusing on the heavy and growing financial burden of long-term care in France. Ennuyer 2010 is a perfect presentation of the general issue of what is called in France la dépendance. Martin 2001 is more complete in its description of policies but it is now somewhat dated. Morel 2006 describes the political conditions that led to the adoption of a certain type of policy. The peculiarity of the debate about elderly care in France has to do with the relevance of its integration into the Sécurité sociale as a cinquième risque (fifth risk). This question is at first a law one, which Kessler 1994 and later Elbaum 2008 try to explore. For now, one cannot really talk about a “fifth risk” of social security, and the liberal way, through the promotion of private insurances, is privileged, although many are criticizing it. For instance, Marty, et al. 2011 proposes another way to cope with this issue, without relying on private insurances.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Coutton, Vincent Jean Marie. 2004. Dynamiques actuelles et perspectives d’évolution des coûts de prise en charge de la dépendance des personnes âgées en France. PhD diss., Institut d’Etudes Politiques de Paris.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      This doctoral dissertation in economics tries to evaluate the evolution of the costs of aging. By proposing a mathematical modeling of such a scenario, the author shows the extent of these costs, and underlines the centrality of this problem for social spending.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Elbaum, Mireille. 2008. Les réformes en matière de handicap et de dépendance: Peut-on parler de “cinquième risque”? Droit social 11:1091–1102.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        The author analyzes the recent reforms concerning long-term care, and shows that they are not taken in the sense of a recognition of a “fifth risk” covered by the Social Security. On the contrary, the path taken relies much more on private insurances.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Ennuyer, Bernard. 2010. La dépendance en France, état des lieux et prospectives: Vers un nouveau contrat social? Regards sur l’actualité 363.8–9: 74–84.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          A synthetic presentation of the issue of “la dépendence,”or long-term care. After explaining the problems that face the elderly, the author proposes solutions and perspectives to deal with them.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Kessler, Francis, ed. 1994. La dépendance des personnes âgées: Un défi pour le droit de la protection sociale; Actes du Colloque international du Centre de recherche de droit social de l’Université Robert Schuman tenu le lundi 6 décembre 1993 au Château des Rohan à Saverne (Bas-Rhin). Strasbourg, France: Presses Universitaires de Strasbourg.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            This collective work provides an overview of the juridical issues of long- term care for the social protection. In order to grasp the specificity of the French situation, comparisons are made with Germany and Luxembourg.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Martin, Claude. 2001. Les politiques de prise en charge des personnes âgées dépendantes. Travail, genre et sociétés 6:83–103.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              DOI: 10.3917/tgs.006.0083Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              On the one hand, the author retraces the progressive adoption of policies toward the elderly concerning long-term care and their political conditions, until the early 2000s. On the other hand, he studies the consequences of them in terms of gender by focusing on care jobs.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Marty, Christiane, Catherine Bloch-London, Jean-Luc Gibelin, Gérard Gourguechon, and Pierre Khalfa, eds. 2011. Dépendance, perte d’autonomie: Affaire privée ou sécurité sociale? Paris: Syllepse.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                The authors propose an alternative way of reforming long-term care. After having presented the issue, they argue that it should not be covered by private insurances, as it is against the principles of Social Security. Therefore, it needs to become a fifth risk included in Social Security, financed according to national solidarity.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Morel, Nathalie. 2006. Providing coverage against new social risks in Bismarckian welfare states: The case of long-term care. In The politics of post-industrial welfare states. Adapting post-war social policies to new social risks. Edited by Klaus Armingeon and Giuliano Bonoli, 227–248. New York: Routledge.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  In this chapter, the author tries to determine why reforms have been undertaken despite a context of retrenchment. The reason has to be found in the rising cost of previous programs, rather than in social demand. The different actors and institutional settings, as well as different political contexts, explain the different paths chosen in the end.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Youth

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Unlike gender or elderly care, youth is not considered explicitly as a new social risk (NSR) in the literature, although it is acknowledged that young people are the part of the population on whom the most social and economic difficulties concentrate. Therefore, research about youth as a NSR is still at its beginning, and it is mostly the work of sociologists; see, for instance, Nicole-Drancourt and Roulleau-Berger 2001. One area of research argues that youth encounter difficulties as a generation, as Chauvel 2010 suggests. Another area of research, mostly explored by economists, takes into account the relationship between education and entry into the labor market. Lefresne 2003 provides a presentation of this specific issue, whereas Verdier 1996 analyzes employment policies toward young people, the so-called politiques d’insertion des jeunes. Lima 2008 asks if these policies can be seen as the institutionalization of a new period of life, while Lima 2004 tries to understand the ideology that has led to such policies. From a more global and comparative point of view, Van de Velde 2008 demonstrates that the transition to adulthood depends on the welfare regime where it takes place. Thus, in France, this transition relies on the logique d’intégration sociale, which makes young people wish to achieve a status (se placer) and fosters their familialization. It is the most important study about this issue. Loncle 2010 extends these insights by focusing specifically on youth policies. Lastly, Cahuc, et al. 2011 underlines the fact that this way to treat the youth issue leads to a dualization of youth and great inequalities, with many completely left behind, without any perspective for the future. It is rather a prescriptive book, but still very useful for students, thanks to its clear presentation of a wide range of issues concerning youth (family, employment, school, social protection). The Institut national de la Jeunesse et de l’Education populaire (INJEP) website provides many studies on this particular topic.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Cahuc, Pierre, Carcillo Stéphane, Galland Olivier, and Zylberberg André. 2011. La Machine à trier: Comment la France divise sa jeunesse. Paris: Eyrolles.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    The authors focus on the peculiarity of the French system that dualizes its youth, placing on one side the “élite,” and on the other the “left behind.” They analyze this process in all institutional realms, such as the educational system, the regulation of the labor market, and social policies. They also make propositions to tackle this problem.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Chauvel, Louis. 2010. Le destin des générations, Structures sociales et cohortes en France du XXème siècle aux années 2010. Paris: Presses Universitaires de France.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      A deep and seminal analysis of intergenerational inequalities. Stemming from an extensive statistical analysis of social stratification and social mobility, the author argues that France is facing a break of the social contract because of a neglect in public policies of the youngest generation.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Institut national de la Jeunesse et de l’Éducation populaire.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        The Institut national de la Jeunesse et de l’Education populaire (INJEP) is in charge of the diffusion of the information about youth and youth policies, namely through the Observatoire de la jeunesse et des politiques de jeunesse. Reports and scientific publications can be found on its website.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Lefresne, Florence. 2003. Les jeunes et l’emploi. Paris: La Découverte.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          A clear and complete presentation of the issues young people face concerning their entry into the labor market. The author presents and uses economic theories, but she adopts an institutional theoretical framework. She looks at institutions and policies to understand the situation of youth and their transition from education to work.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Lima, Léa. 2004. L’âge de l’Etat social: Une comparaison France-Québec des systèmes d’assistance-jeunesse. Paper presented at “L’accès inégal à l’emploi et à la protection sociale,” Paris, 16–17 September 2004.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            The author proposes an analysis of assistance social policies in two countries from two different welfare regimes. She shows that a different philosophy at the origins of these systems can explain the way youth is taken into account by society.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Lima, Léa. 2008. Le temps de la prime insertion professionnelle: Un nouvel âge de la vie. In Où va la protection sociale? Edited by Anne-Marie Guillemard, 49–67. Paris: Presses Universitaires de France.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              The author examines youth as a new age of life, and analyses the way it is institutionalized through social protection, and especially labor market policies. She argues that the coherence of this policy realm has to be found above all in the youth agencies’ les missions locales.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Loncle, Patricia. 2010. Les politiques de jeunesse: Les défis majeurs de l’intégration. Rennes, France: Presses Universitaires de Rennes.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                The author presents a useful examination of youth in general, and youth policies in particular. She tries to link youth and the welfare state by proposing a typology of “transition regimes.” Youth policies are then presented in the specific case of France.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Nicole-Drancourt, Chantal, and Laurence Roulleau-Berger. 2001. Les jeunes et le travail, 1950–2000. Paris: Presses Universitaires de France.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  A central book to understand the specificity and the transformation of the youth situation, or what the authors call la question sociale jeune. In order to do so, they have assembled data about youth, both quantitative and qualitative, and reviewed works on it, which allows them to present a historical account of the evolution of the links between youth and work.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Van de Velde, Cécile. 2008. Devenir adulte: Sociologie comparée de la jeunesse en Europe. Paris: Presses Universitaires de France.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    By using the framework of the welfare regimes typology, the author describes the different ways of becoming an adult in Europe. In order to do that, she looks at the educational system, the labor market, the family model, and social policies in four countries: France, Denmark, Spain, and Great Britain.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Verdier, Eric. 1996. L’insertion des jeunes “à la française”: Vers un ajustement structurel? Travail et Emploi 69:37–54.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Stemming from the theoretical approach of l’analyse sociétale, the author tries to grasp the peculiarity of the entry of young people into the labor market. He analyzes the relations between training and the labor market in general, and more specifically the so-called politiques d’insertion, their evolution and their logic.

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