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Session Overview
RN32_08a_P: Transformations of European Welfare States II
Thursday, 31/Aug/2017:
6:00pm - 7:30pm

Session Chair: Claire Dupuy, Sciences Po Grenoble - Pacte
Location: PD.2.33
PANTEION University of Social & Political Sciences 136 Syggrou Avenue 17671 Athens, Greece Building: D, Level: 2.

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Dirigisme reinvented? French capitalism today

Andy Smith2, Matthieu Ansaloni1

1Institut d'études politiques de Toulouse, France; 2Institut d'études politiques de Bordeaux, France

Dirigisme reinvented? French capitalism today

The French model of capitalism is a subject of considerable debate. For some, dirigisme is over because the country has taken the road of market liberalism. For others, the singularity of French capitalism lives on because even if liberalizations have left their mark, the influence of the state is still strong, and this as much concerning social protection, collective negotiations, professional training and state-shareholding. The aim of this paper, however, is to displace analysis and debate towards more interesting waters by analysing change within French capitalism via a comparison of the regulation of three of its key industries (agriculture, aerospace, arms). In each instance, we will first map out change within their regimes of public policy, then identify the mechanisms that have caused their respective modification. Our central argument is that contemporary French capitalism is still indelibly marked by a reinvented form of dirigisme that cannot simply be explained in terms of resistance to liberalization. As both an object and subject of liberalization, the state has not abandoned its quest to organize markets. More precisely, if the changing inscription of French industries in international markets has indeed eroded state capacity, many renewed modes of intervention have nevertheless enabled it to act upon and reshape industrial institutions. Moreover, driven by the redefinition and reordering of three key values (liberty, security, equality: Smith, 2016), this renewal has also reproduced many asymmetries of power that solidified in the 1970s and 1980s.

Migrant Integration through Adult Education in Finland and Greece. Redefining integrationist concepts and policymaking beyond ‘Eurocentrism’ with the help of historical perspectives beyond national histories

Ioana Tistea

University of Oulu, Finland

Politics rely on ‘confined’ national history as legitimacy for present polity and policies. Whose histories could then be included, based on an expanded historical responsibility theory?

I am using postcolonial, critical race theory and theorizations of neoliberal governance and racism to develop a critique of multiculturalism, affirmative action, diversity management and migrant integration.

I am developing a postcolonial critique of Finnish migrant integration policies, examining the role adult education plays in them, and in the institutionalization of what Lentin and Titley (2011) call “racism in a neoliberal age”. Integration through adult education is aimed at responsibilising migrants and creating an assimilated-enough diverse subject. Individual responsibilisation is a typical way in which neoliberal governmentality acts. This line of inquiry will allow me to explore the links between racism, the liberalisation of the labour market and the restructuring of the welfare state, since training and adult education are used also to retrain the unemployed and turn them into flexible and employable subjects.

Finland has two migrant integration acts, issued in 1999 and 2010. The law regarding reception of asylum seekers was drafted in 2010; before that, it was under the same law as the integration of migrants with residence permits. This legislative separation was motivated by the desire to reduce asylum seekers’ monthly income support; it went against the welfare state’s egalitarian principles, and institutionalised differential treatment.

Furthermore, I will participate in an EU funded project on social inclusion of minorities in Athens, from February to July 2017. Greece is also a good case to study the link between neoliberal economic restructuring and institutionalised racism and differential treatment of migrants with/without (different categories of) residence permits.

An elitist elite?

Trygve Gulbrandsen

Institute for Social Research, Norway

One explanation of Brexit and Donald Trump’s victory in USA is that large groups of ordinary citizens reacted against elites who were seen to have neglected their needs and to have treated them condescendingly.

Attacks on elites are not a new phenomenon. A narrative about the gap between elites and common men and women has frequently been a significant element of the rhetoric of populist groups and political parties. Such parties accuse regularly elites to put narrow special interests ahead of people's interests and to express arrogant opinions about their intellectual level and cultural taste.

Is there any truth to the populist image of elites as arrogant and elitist? Philosophers like Lasch (1996) and Sloterdijk (2000) have claimed that elites in fact hold overbearing attitudes towards ordinary people. Admittedly, there is a long intellectual tradition of expressing doubts about the democratic competence and will among ordinary citizens, from the interwar “aristocratic” philosophers like Ortega y Gasset (1930) and Mannheim (1940) to contemporary scholars like Brennan (2016) and Somin (2013).

In spite of widespread claims that elites hold elitist attitudes towards ordinary citizens there is, however, hardly any research which can shed light on this issue. In this paper I will contribute with new knowledge about the prevalence of elitist attitudes among elites in Norway. The discussion is based upon unique data from a national elite survey carried out in 2015 in collaboration between Institute for Social research and Statistics Norway.

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