CAIRN-INT.INFO : International Edition

It is now more than two years since the health emergency associated with Covid-19 began in France, a period in which unprecedented restrictions — lockdowns, controls on movement, obligatory mask-wearing, mandatory vaccination for some citizens etc. — were introduced to tackle it. Though the epidemic has not disappeared, it now seems to be going through a less acute phase and, despite the regular emergence of new variants, normal life has almost resumed. However, this crisis — and the measures (particularly, the emergency measures) taken over the last two years by the executive — have raised many questions about the respect for individual liberty, particularly in public space, but also at work and in access to leisure activities etc. Based on these upheavals and the protests that went with them, Futuribles has decided to launch a series of articles on the issue of freedom versus the demand for protection, surveillance etc. The Covid crisis sparked many debates and we therefore begin this series with an opinion piece contesting, at the legal and institutional levels, the way that the measures restricting freedoms have been implemented since 2020. The following articles in the series will not, however, be confined to this context.
In this article, Clément Schouler and Laurent Mucchielli take the view that, since March 2020, under cover of a state of emergency, the entire institutional edifice that guarantees our liberties has been thrown into question in France by the government’s health policy. That policy has essentially taken two forms: general lockdown, followed by mass vaccination. On each occasion, it is argued, countervailing parliamentary and judicial powers have been seriously deficient, and the authors warn here of the threats to democracy and freedom posed by such a litany of institutional failings.

Clément Schouler
Laurent Mucchielli
This is the latest publication of the author on cairn.
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