Through a long series of individual and collective researches, the Arènes team has seriously invested on “Public problems”, which is finally gaining recognition in French social sciences. This interest stems from a significant, long-standing investment into the question of journalism and its contribution to the definition of public problems in the public sphere. It also derives from multiple projects led by colleagues engaged in public health issues, i.e. the prevention of epidemics, the constitution of behavioural problem, and the normalisation of social roles such as “parenting”. In addition, team members working on mobilisation and collective action come up against the role played by social movements in the definition of agendas, problems and frameworks in areas like environmental and gender issues.
Based on this experience, in 2017 Arènes therefore decided to create an area for scientific exchanges between its members in the form of a crosscutting, unifying focal area on “Construction of Public Problems”. The area provides a space for discussing, for example, the challenges of constructing risks and public health issues, gender assignment in the media and public and professional spaces. Our group also tackle methodological questions like the conditions and social, political (in the broad sense, including actors and public policies), professional, and even economic contexts that encourage the internationalisation of some public problems. This latter theme was the object of an ECPR workshop in Nottingham in 2017, an international gathering that will be extended with the publication of a book by an English-language publisher in 2019.
Next meeting of the focal group:
- 20 March 2018 from 2pm to 4pm: presentation by Jean-Pierre Le Bourhis (Arènes), Matthieu Grossetête (CURAPP) and Renaud Hourcade (Arènes) on implementing public policy to fight pollution.
General Arènes seminars connected to this focal area:
– 23 January 2018, Emmanuel Henry (Dauphine University), Ignorance scientifique et inaction publique (scientific ignorance and public inaction), EHESP, 4pm – 6pm
– Tuesday 6 February 2018, Pauline Côté (Laval University), La mise sur agenda public de la question religieuse : une perspective comparée(putting the religious issue on the public agenda: a comparative perspective), 4pm – 6pm, IEP Rennes
- 20 March 2018, Pierre-Edouard Weil (UBO), Sans toit ni loi. Genèse et mise en œuvre de la loi DALO (homeless and lawless. Origin and implementation of the “DALO” right-to-housing Act), EHESP
- 19 April 2018, Pauline Delage (Lausanne University), Violences conjugales. Du combat féministe à la cause publique(domestic violence, from feminist battle to public cause), EHESP.