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From its origins and until the 1980s, the Revue française du Travail-Revue française des Affaires sociales only marginally addressed phenomenon of poverty that, despite the economic growth and the increase in buying power during the “post-war golden age of prosperity” (from 1945 to 1975), continued to affect a large part of French society. The Revue was notably uninterested in the populations badly covered by the social security system that was implemented at the Liberation of France around the central figure of the male breadwinner. Later, when massive unemployment led to a “new” poverty affecting a portion of employees, the revue addressed the question of poverty, but only in a selective manner: The RMI (guaranteed minimum income) and its beneficiaries will occupy practically all of the debates on this theme. Starting in the end of the 1980s, the themes of occupational insertion and activation have held a privileged place in the Revue française des Affaires sociales. The revue’s opening to international comparison reinforces and sheds light on interrogations about the entire French social protection system, including its welfare component: Is it possible to continue to handle persistent poverty with social insurance’s tools? Are we heading towards an increasing divide between a national system, which protects employed individuals and the unemployed most apt to rapidly return to the labour market and individualised local welfare programs, which are aimed at households experiencing long-term unemployment, thus re-establishing a distinction between the valid and invalid poor?

Pierre Strobel
This is the latest publication of the author on cairn.
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