Publications from the Centre of European Studies (Sciences Po)

Rozenberg, Olivier & Viktorovitch, Clément, (eds.), Le Parlement et les citoyensPublications

Special Issue

Rozenberg, Olivier & Viktorovitch, Clément, (eds.), Le Parlement et les citoyens, Cahiers du CEVIPOF, October 2014, n° 58, 120 p,


Aguilera, Thomas, Les villes face aux Roms des bidonvilles. Retour sur deux expériences militantes, Métropolitiques, October 2014,

Balme, Richard, Mobilising for environmental justice in China, Asia Pacific Journal of Public Administration, September 2014, vol 36, n° 3, p. 173-184.

This article assesses the situation of environmental rights in China in terms of political interactions and their implications for Chinese politics. Environmental justice is primarily conceived as equity in access to environmental goods and fairness in social processes dealing with market or government failures to provide environmental security. The argument is that environmental deterioration has a significant influence on the pattern of inequalities in the PRC, occasionally creating situations of extreme injustice. The developments involving legislation, collective action, public participation and litigation over the last decade have served as converging factors to allow for some significant improvements in environmental policymaking procedures. Although these developments have remained far from reversing the general state of the environment in China, they have introduced significant changes in the patterns of interaction among policy stakeholders.

Balme, Richard & Renwu, Tang, Environmental governance in the People’s Republic of China: the political economy of growth, collective action and policy developments – introductory perspectives, Asia Pacific Journal of Public Administration, September 2014, vol 36, n° 3, p. 167-172.

Hassenteufel, Patrick & Palier, Bruno, Neither real nor fictitious but ‘as if real’? A political ontology of the state, Comparative European Politics, October 2014, p. 1-19.

To what extent have the recent re-enforcement of the EU budgetary competences lead to a stronger capacity of the EU to prescribe welfare state reforms in France? To answer this question, we compare the situation before and after the regulatory changes at the EU level. We first analyse long-term trends in French welfare reform since the early 1990s until 2009. We underline a strong consistency between EU recommendations and French reforms, despite an absence of explicit reference to EU guidelines when French politicians are presenting the reforms. Governments were afraid that referring to Europe would reinforce opposition to already unpopular welfare reforms. Second, we focus on the reforms adopted when France has been subjected to Excessive Deficit Procedure (in 2009 and since 2013). French authorities have (re)-discovered that the EU has gained two means of pressure: first, the need for deficit reduction is now explicitly integrated into French political discourses and policies (thus having a strong impact on control over social spending) and, second, the EU is able to demand evidence of reform. Finally, we show that France has maintained some flexibility on the timing and content of the reforms. Because, on the one side, welfare state reforms need to be negotiated domestically and, on the other side, of growing market concern about public debt, it remains difficult to claim that Brussels is the main driver of welfare state reform.

Hay, Colin, If it didn’t exist we’d have to invent it . . . Further reflections on the ontological status of the state, British Journal of Sociology, September 2014, vol 65, n° 3, p. 487-491.

In this brief response to Bob Jessop’s probing yet sympathetic critique, I clarify further the ‘as if realist’ political ontology of the state. I suggest that critical realism’s appeal to the ontological stratification of social reality and to the logic of retroduction are the principal stumbling blocks for ‘as if realists’, that the appeal to state power(s) as distinct from the state as real cannot circumvent the ‘as if realist’ ontological objection to the state as real since both remain conceptual abstractions, but that there is a natural affinity between the strategic-relational approach developed by Jessop and others and the ‘as if realist’ ontology of the state that I here elucidate.

Hay, Colin & Green, Jeremy, Towards a New Political Economy of the Crisis: Getting What Went Wrong Right, New Political Economy, September 2014.

Not only did the global financial crisis transform the prevailing institutions, policies and practices of contemporary capitalism, it also had a profound impact upon the discipline of economics itself. From 2008 a different crisis, one of public legitimacy, engulfed academic economics as critics railed against its failure to predict the onset of unprecedented global economic turmoil. But despite the public focus upon the failings of mainstream economics, the rise of alternative disciplinary and epistemological perspectives has been muted. Scholars of international political economy (IPE), unconstrained by the debilitating equilibrium assumptions of neoclassical economics and keenly aware of the intimate connectivity between politics and economics, might justifiably have expected to make gains during the economics profession’s darkest hour. That they have not managed, thus far, to substantially unsettle the intellectual and institutional predominance of economics should not, however, be a source of dismay. Political economy scholars possess the analytical tools to produce a much-needed counterpoint to prevailing academic economics. It is with demonstrating that capacity, and restating the holistic merits of political economy scholarship, that this Special Issue is concerned. Bringing together a number of diverse theoretical perspectives and employing a wide range of conceptual categories, this Special Issue showcases the rich variety of IPE scholarship and its collective capacity to generate much deeper and more holistic analyses of the global economic crisis than those provided by the reigning economics orthodoxy, and in doing so, to get what went wrong right.

Hay, Colin, Neither real nor fictitious but ‘as if real’? A political ontology of the state, British Journal of Sociology,September 2014, vol 65, n° 3, p. 459-480.

The state is one of series of concepts (capitalism, patriarchy and class being others) which pose a particular kind of ontological difficulty and provoke a particular kind of ontological controversy – for it is far from self-evident that the object or entity to which they refer is in any obvious sense ‘real’. In this paper I make the case for developing a distinct political ontology of the state which builds from such a reflection. In the process, I argue that the state is neither real nor fictitious, but ‘as if real’ – a conceptual abstraction whose value is best seen as an open analytical question. Thus understood, the state possesses no agency per se though it serves to define and construct a series of contexts within which political agency is both authorized (in the name of the state) and enacted (by those thereby authorized). The state is thus revealed as a dynamic institutional complex whose unity is at best partial, the constantly evolving outcome of unifying tendencies and dis-unifying counter-tendencie

Book Chapters 

Chevalier, Tom & Palier, Bruno, The Dualisation of Social Policies towards Young People in France: Between Familism and Activation, In Antonucci, Lorenza, Hamilton, Myra, Roberts, Steven (eds.), Young People and Social Policy in Europe: Dealing with Risk, Inequality and Precarity in Times of Crisis, Palgrave Macmillan, 2014, p. 189-209.

Lascoumes, Pierre, Condemning corruption and tolerating conflict of interest: French ‘arrangements’ regarding breaches of integrity, In Auby, Jean-Bernard, Breen, Emmanuel & Perroud, Thomas (eds), Corruption and conflicts of interest, a comparative approach, Edward Elgar, 2014, p. 67-84.

Vitale, Tommaso, Prefazione, La parabola del New Labour e la politica italiana, In Faucher, Florence & Le Galès, Patrick (eds.), L’esperienza del New Labour. Un’analisi critica della politica e delle politiche, Edizioni FrancoAngeli, 2014, p. 7-22.