Working Papers

COMPTRASEC publishes Working Papers (WPS) connected with its annual research seminar, containing the speakers’s contributions since 2012.
The WPS are not finalized papers which document the treated thematic, determined in regard with the COMPTRASEC research area.


  • 2017/21 - Jacques Commaille : D’un changement de la représentation sociale du droit à la reconnaissance du droit comme instrument de la démocratie

    Breaking with the social representation of the law as «Reason» and an instrument of top-down political regulation of society in order to promote a different representation of the law as connected to society could alter our perceptions of the law in response to contemporary social changes through the entry points of space and time. This then allows us to make use of the law to build a new democratic project, while guarding against a possible distortion in which the law becomes more closely tied to economic factors while shifting further away from the social sphere.

  • 2017/22 - Isabelle Ferreras : Le gouvernement de l’entreprise capitaliste. Enjeux -pour le droit du travail- et perspectives

    We posit that the capitalist firm is best understood as a political entity, which needs to define a form of governance based on facts, in the context of a society that is driven by democratic ideals. This «political theory of the firm» raises a number of questions: Who makes decisions in a company? To what end? What resources does this governing structure have? Acknowledging that capitalist investors own shares in a public limited company (or any other organisation of capital) should not preclude us from designing a corporate power structure that is more democratic. And how can labour law support this goal? We are working to identify several conceptual issues by examining the concept of bicameral firms.

  • 2017/24 - Dominique Lhuillier : Prévention de l’inemployabilité et maintien en activité. Recherche-action dans une collectivité territoriale

    Our work organisations have become more and more restrictive, combining a push for greater productivity and responsiveness with frequent changes to working methods and objectives. This makes it even harder to post workers with permanent or temporary health problems: illnesses or accidents and their aftereffects, chronic conditions, problems that appear or worsen with age, and so on. An increasing rate of absenteeism due to illness, unfitness for work, and requests for reclassification prompted a local authority to collaborate with a team of researchers to address two questions: how can we prevent unemployability and create working conditions that are adapted to all employees?

  • 2017/23 - Gabriel Colletis : La doctrine économique face aux effets des mesures d’austérité

    Considering the French case, this contribution analyses the capital-labour nexus evolutions since the 80’s, through new labour relations based on skills. Different dimensions of these relations are considered : skills and work, skills and professional mobility, skills and professional relations.
    On this basis, a typology establishing a distinction between three “models” of workers, taylorian, neo-taylorian and cognitive, is suggested. The contribution concludes about the conditions of a new mode of regulation where skills would be the heart of a renewed wage relation.

  • 2017/20 - François Ost : À quoi sert le droit ? À compter jusqu’à trois. Les contre-exemples du data mining et du storytelling

    In a recent publication (Law; what is it good for? Usage, functions, aims, Brussels, Bruylant, 2016), I explore the position and the role still occupied by the law in our contemporary societies, without excluding the hypothesis that the law could very well be diluted in an ocean of indistinct normativity.
    In this work, I compare a jurist’s remarks (underlining all the many measuring, demarcation and weaving functions that make up the law) with those of a sociologist (studying what public and private entities do with the law – apply it, but also avoid, deflect and exploit it…) and a philosopher (who wonders about the specific way in which the law allows us to attain “noble” ideals such as justice and democracy). If I had to answer in a few short words “What is the law for?” I would reply “to count to three”. Behind this quip looms the most serious of matters: the law’s capacity to transcribe any social relationship onto a public (third party) stage, that defers to common law, interpreted by a judge.
    As a counterpoint to this analysis, I would like to draw attention to two current counter-examples: profiling and data-mining practices on one hand, and the practice of storytelling on the other – two techniques, algorithmic and imaginary, in which the third party has no part.

  • 2016/19 - Anne Trebilcock : La promesse des principes directeurs relatifs aux entreprises et aux droits de l’Homme pour le droit du travail – illusion ou occasion ?

    This article examines the opportunities and the risks presented by the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, which have become the dominant paradigm of discussion around corporate social responsibility. It does so from three angles: the “due diligence” approach as they relate to respect for workers’ rights, various aspects of the follow-up to the Guiding Principles, including recent developments, and the emerging methodology of human rights indicators in the labour context. The article points out the interest that the Guiding Principles, alongside their limitations, holds for governments, occupational organizations as well as for civil society

  • 2016/18 - Michel Oris : Les contours du concept de vulnérabilité

    The concept of vulnerability is experiencing exponential success, despite the fact that its precise contours have not really been defined. A dynamic approach via life trajectories can contribute to endowing the concept with theoretical and practical meaning, however. This presentation will look quickly into the factors that have made “vulnerability” such a buzzword of this early 21st century. It will then make a distinction between latent and “realized” states of vulnerability that enables the weight of social normativities to be taken into account. We will then consider vulnerabilization processes, mainly through the theories of social stratification, of the accumulation of (dis)advantage, and of accidents or bifurcations in life, which will be illustrated empirically by analyses of inequalities among elderly persons in Switzerland. The importance of a dialogue with psychology will also be underlined, as will its risks.

  • 2016/17 - Catherine Wihtol de Wenden : Le droit d’émigrer

    The issue of citizenship and mobility has become a crucial one in the current context, as the rights of the sedentary population are far more extensive than those of mobile people around the world. It is also a key issue insofar as it involves transnational claims to the right to mobility as one of the human rights of the 21st century. Local participation, local voting rights, dual nationality and the place of this issue in global governance are all questions that will be addressed in this seminar.

  • 2015/16 - Philippe Warin : Le non-recours, catégorie d’analyse, catégorie d’action : un retour d’expérience

    The presentation will attempt to demonstrate the viewpoint of the Observatory of Non-Take Up of Rights and Services (Odenore) and the way the concept of non-take up of public services has been constructed, both as a category of analysis and a category of action. As well as giving an overview of the current history, the aim is to evidence the measures that public action can adopt and formulate as objectives of change, in light of the social meanings of the phenomenon as noted by researchers.

  • 2015/15 - Marie Mercat-Bruns : Des espaces d’innovation française en droit de la non discrimination à la lumière du droit européen et du droit américain

    A set of examples gives a comprehensive overview of decisions and legislative proposals that illustrate the way France has appropriated the right to nondiscrimination in employment.
    In the light of European law and American law, this presents an opportunity to reflect upon the contemporary forms of discrimination at the workplace.