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Analysing social policy concepts and languageComparative and Transnational Perspectives$
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Daniel Béland and Klaus Petersen

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9781447306443

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: September 2014

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781447306443.001.0001

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Social policy concepts and language in France

Social policy concepts and language in France

(p.143) SEVEN Social policy concepts and language in France
Analysing social policy concepts and language

Daniel Béland

Policy Press

This chapter explores the development of two major policy concepts in France, a country with a rich intellectual and social policy tradition where the language of social policy has become quite contentious over the last three decades. Focusing mainly on this recent period, the chapter discusses the meaning and development of the concepts of solidarity, social exclusion, social security, and ‘État-providence’, which is the French equivalent (but not exact translation) of the Anglo-American term “welfare state.” These concepts have long been controversial, in part because they are typically involved in the inherently political drawing and redrawing of the contested boundaries of state action in France. Overall, the chapter uses the French case to explain how the analysis of social policy language can help scholars adopt a more reflexive and historically-minded approach.

Keywords:   France, social policy, social policy language, social security, social exclusion, welfare state

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