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The Growing Challenge of Youth Unemployment in Europe & USA Cross-Cultural Perspective$
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Radha Jagannathan

Print publication date: 2021

Print ISBN-13: 9781529200102

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: January 2022

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781529200102.001.0001

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Dirigisme Pour L’Ordinaire: Vocational Training in 21st Century France

Dirigisme Pour L’Ordinaire: Vocational Training in 21st Century France

(p.79) 4 Dirigisme Pour L’Ordinaire: Vocational Training in 21st Century France
The Growing Challenge of Youth Unemployment in Europe & US

Michael J. Camasso

Guillaume Moissonnier

Radha Jagannathan

Policy Press

This chapter is authored by Michael J. Camasso, Guillaume Moissonnier and Radha Jagannathan, and begins with a description of some of the policy measures that France has attempted in order to blunt the growth of youth unemployment, with specific reference to their VET system. It is argued that the nearly uniform disdain attached to VET by French parents, youth and employers can be explained by dirigisme or the primacy of the role of the state over that of industry, and Etatisme, or state control over the citizens. The chapter goes on to discuss the French preference for intellectual or symbolic capital over market generated profits, the former driven by academic qualifications and the latter, by routine labor market engagement. The foundations of this intellectual superiority and its maintenance are traced to the unique system of Grandes Écoles that spawns future “state nobility” equipped to wield enormous power and control over the economy and other affairs of the state. By interweaving historical and comparative information on the functioning of the French, American and German labor markets, the authors provide insight into the French reverence for the Grandes Écoles system and under-valuation of VET.

Keywords:   Grandes Écoles, Dirigisme, Etatisme, Active labor market policies, ALMPs, French capitalism

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