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.

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  • 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.

  • 2015/14 - René de Quenaudon : Le droit d’alerte

    Is alerting specific to humans? No. But, only humans have a right or an obligation to whistleblow. The le-gal status of whistleblowing is shaped by two contradictory imperatives: the obligation of transparency on the one hand, and the right to opacity, on the other. In this framework, everything depends on the balance between these two imperatives. Traditionally, the legal basis of the alert lies in the freedom of expression and its limits relate to the right to secrecy. In a democracy, the transparency obligation weighs usually on the institutions and the right to opacity is recognized to the citizen. Such is at least the first situation, in democracy 1.0. Indeed we are wit - nessing today a double movement in democracies: first, the law intervenes to expressly enshrine a right to whistleblow for people with information having to be disclosed; second, anyone exercising this right usually takes risks relating to his professional status and his family life, even to his life in general. Hence, today voices are calling for an international protection for whistleblowers.

  • 2015/13 - Francis Maupain : L’OIT à l’épreuve de la mondialisation financière. Peut-on réguler sans contraindre ?

    Judicious adaptation of ILO normative action might more effectively achieve its constitutional objectives in today’s global economy. This task does not entail calling the organisation’s 100 - year - old underlying institutional framework into question. To the contrary, it requires a rediscovery of the raison d’être of ILO normative action and of a functional logic that has been forgotten over time. While the Constitution is largely devoted to normative action, nowhere does it explicitly spell out this raison d’être. A careful, holistic reading of the text, however, reveals that the ILO serves two essential and complementary functions. Its magisterial function first provides authoritative and well - defined content to the objectives that are otherwise stated only in very general terms in the Constitution’s Preamble and in the Declaration of Philadelphia. Second, its regulatory function serves to overcome the ‘prisoner’s dilemma’ that arises with global economic interdependence, which would otherwise inhibit the willingness of each member State to promote social progress for fear of losing its competitive edge. These functions have overwhel- mingly been pursued by means of international labour conventions and their relevant supervisory procedures, most notably so - called ‘regular supervision’. But the effectiveness and credibility of ILO normative action has been disrupted by its own failure to properly internalize the duality of its normative functions and to accordingly adjust the production, form, and supervision of related instruments. Two parallel paradigmatic shifts would thus be required in order to addressing the resulting situation. The first required shift is in relation to the conception of and approach to the social regulation of the global economy. The second is in the approach to supervision and «compliance» in the discharge of the ILO’s magisterial function.

  • 2015/12 - François Dubet : La préférence pour l’inégalité. Comprendre la crise des solidarités

    Since the 1980s, inequalities have increased throughout North America and Europe. Over the same period, a decline in the Welfare State has been observed. Although this is widely condemned, we have less and less desire for concrete equality. But it is not just that crises and inequalities are affecting bonds of solidarity, it is also that the weakness of these bonds is causing inequalities to widen. For many people it is time to get rid of the political correctness that prevents things from being named: «races», «riffraff», «people on welfare», etc. In spite of their stated principles, societies are «choosing» inequality. The aggravation of inequalities has stemmed from a crisis of solidarity; this solidarity is understood as social bonds that cause us to desire equality for all, including those that we do not know. It has become a matter of urgency to reverse the order of the French republican motto, to make it Fraternité, Egalité, Liberté.

  • 2015/11 - Evelyne Serverin : Agir aux prud’hommes, hier et aujourd’hui (2004-2013)

    Between 2004 and 2012, the number of decisions handed down by Employment Tribunals on the merits of cases and in emergency proceedings fell by 10%, from 207,770 cases in 2004 to 175,714 in 2012. The figures had not dipped below this 176,000 threshold since 1984, the year when emergency decisions were also included in the statistics. Looking in more detail, this average trend hides a clear turning point from 2009, with a 23% fall between 2009 and 2012. 2013 saw an upturn, however, as the number of cases almost returned to its 2004 level, with 206,039 new applications.
    A number of key events lie behind these variations, although they have not modified the trends in the reasons for which employees refer to the Employment Tribunals. Over the period 2004 - 2013, there were two such events, one in 2009 driving a fall in the figures (amicable termination agreements), the other causing a rise (the proceedings initiated in May and June 2013 further to the 5-year term of limitation introduced in personal and moveable property matters by the Law of 17 June 2008). To look for the long-term trends behind these disruptive events, we need to analyse the changes in the figures. Using data from the General Civil Register set against employment data, we present the 10-year trends in four items: applicants (I), the grounds for the disputes (II), proceedings (III) and appeals (IV).

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