Social protection as we know it in, particularly in France, has been based on the identification of risks:
- occupational (occupational accidents and illnesses) and social
- but also needs that must be satisfied for different categories of population.
Social security was built to cover workers and their families against certain social risks identified as such (illness, old age, unemployment), whilst the assistance and then welfare systems provided benefits and services to much more targeted groups, assumed to be in a position of need (the elderly, the disabled, at-risk children, etc.).
While the law has been the instrument of a socialisation of these risks and needs through various forms of solidarity (socio-professional, national), generally speaking, it has not entirely done away with the notion of personal responsibility. The laboratory’s project is to examine how these constructions are today being called into question, when they are not actually being undermined.
Two avenues are being pursued in particular. First of all, the aim is to conduct a reflection on the way social protection is designed and constructed today and in particular the way its objects are defined (what risks, what needs?), as well as the subjects (what public is concerned, what social categories?) and forms of solidarity mobilised. Secondly, work is being done on the contemporary conception of the risks related to work and to productive activities more widely. When workers’ health also becomes a public health or environmental issue, what legal arrangements can be observed or envisaged?
This line of research is structured around two main themes:
New challenges in social protection
- Universalism and universalisation
- New social risk
Work, health and environment
- The company, the organisation of work, and workers’ health
- Productive activities, health and environmental risks, prevention and responsibilities