Alain Supiot

April - May 2018

Alain Supiot, is a legal Scholar, the founder of la Maison des sciences de l'Homme Ange Guépin, and co-founder of the Institute for Advanced Studies (l’Institut d’études avancées) in Nantes, which he currently presides over. In 2012, he was elected Chair of the «État social et mondialisation : analyse juridique des solidarités» at the Collège de France. He has presided at the National Council for the Development of Human and Social Sciences and holds a seat at the scientific committee of the International Labour Review as well as the administrative board of the Foundation « Maison des Sciences de l’Homme de Paris ».

Throughout his career he has published 24 books, contributing as well to over 45 other collective works. He has authored numerous books focusing on labor law and social security law (among which: Critique du droit du travail, PUF) and participated in various collective works (Le travail en perspective, LGDJ, 1998; Servir l’intérêt général, PUF). Many of his essays have been published in English including The Spirit of Philadelphia: Social Justice vs. the Total Market (Verso), Homo Juridicus: On the Anthropological Function of the Law (Verso), and Beyond Employment: Changes in Work and the Future of Labour Law in Europe (Oxford University Press). His latest book La Gouvernance par les nombres (Fayard) will be published later this year by Hart Publishing.

About the book: La Gouvernance par les nombres

(Fayard 2015, forthcoming Hart Publishing)

The feeling of “discomfort in civilization” has recently returned in Europe with a new intensity that has not been seen since World War II. The saturation of public space by economic and identity discourse is the symptom of a crisis whose profound causes are institutional. Law, democracy, the state, and all judicial frameworks which we continue to reference have been shaken by the resurgence of the old western dream of harmony founded upon calculation. The reason of power is no longer researched in a sovereign body that transcends society but in the norms inherent to its sound operation. Prospering on these bases is a new normative ideal that aims at an efficient achieving of measurable objectives rather than obeying just laws. Brought by the digital revolution, this new institutional imaginary is one of a society where the law gives way to programming and rules to regulation. However, confronted to the moment when one’s security is not guaranteed by a law that applies equally to all, the people have no other choice but to pledge allegiance to a stronger leader.

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