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The book. How do public policies evolve in times of crisis? Since the 1970s, the oil, economic, financial, natural and health crises have given rise to numerous studies. Traditionally, analyzes emphasizing continuity are opposed to those emphasizing the brutality of the changes made. This essay on Public policies in the crisis (Editions Les Presses de Sciences Po) reveals a more nuanced reality. He insists on the large observable variations, according to the sectors and the scales.

The collective work, produced under the direction of Patrick Hassenteufel and Sabine Saurugger, focuses on one of the most important crises: the one which in 2008 produced economic and financial upheavals that were binding for those involved in public policies, but opened up new possibilities for change. Many reforms have been adopted since then, in a constrained budgetary, financial and monetary context.

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Thus the macroprudential turn of supranational financial regulation, the creation of the banking union at the level of the European Union or the development of independent budgetary institutions. “It is this combination of reinforced constraints and opportunities for change that we analyze in this work, in order to understand the evolutions of public policies in several areas, by placing the French case in a comparative perspective, in the medium term and in the the framework of multiple supranational interdependencies ”, explain university professors in political science.

The authors draw several lessons. First of all, the main changes have taken place at supranational levels. The adoption of the European budgetary treaty strengthens the control of economic policies in all the countries of the euro zone. The work then questions the reconfigurations of actors involved, at European level in particular, by the renewal of the capacities for action and coercion of supranational institutions.

Employment, social protection

Then, the authors show that previous dynamics in areas such as employment and social protection have amplified. In France, “The crisis has contributed to a weakening of the social partners, continuing a phenomenon that began before the economic and financial crisis”.

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The book also analyzes the changes linked to austerity policies in areas of public policy not directly related to economic policies but strongly affected by them: social protection, defense policies, employment, etc. environmental policies, “Who are experiencing a movement of withdrawal from 2010-2011, in a context of reaffirmation of budgetary austerity policies. Their more recent reaffirmation is linked to political dynamics ”, both electoral, with the new weight assumed by the environmentalist parties, but also linked to collective actions, with transnational mobilizations and localized challenges to major projects.

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