Gouverner les institutions par le futur : Usages de la prospective et construction des régions et des métropoles en France (1955-2015)

Abstract : What are the functions of visioning (prospective)? Such is the guiding question of this dissertation, which examines efforts to envision the future at the regional and metropolitan level in France since 1955. When has foresight been used, by whom and for what? Comparing sixteen exercises held in two cities (Nantes and Lyon) and two regions (Pays de la Loire and Rhône-Alpes), this work demonstrates that visioning is used less to shape the long term future than to govern current political institutions. Combining sociology of institutions with the discursive approach of public policy, this dissertation develops the concept of institution statement. Ephemeral although regularly revived, foresight activities are attempts to define the institution and to build discursive coalitions to support this definition. With such a statement, stakeholders in foresight activities act in pursuit of three goals: to demonstrate the unity of the institution, to justify its utility and to claim its leadership. The dissertation distinguishes four generations of foresight practices, each of which deals with a specific use of the future: to exist in advance through long term planning (1955-1983); to develop a need for an institution in spite of reluctance by the local political elite (1983-1995); to affirm the strategic vocation of the institution through the formulation of a project (1995-2004); and to alleviate growing contradictions in local public policies (2005-2015). This work contributes to revitalizing the study of the institutionalization of regional and metropolitan governments. Rather than studying national reforms and their implementation, it analyses the discursive work of local actors in order to define the role of these new state spaces. It reveals the importance of such statements in holding the institution in spite of spatial and sectorial centrifugal forces.
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Nicolas Rio. Gouverner les institutions par le futur : Usages de la prospective et construction des régions et des métropoles en France (1955-2015). Science politique. Université Lumière - Lyon 2, 2015. Français. ⟨tel-01245947⟩

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