Nuit des idées 2021 : “Division or Solidarity In Times of Lockdown”

While we know that the lockdown unveiled and increased societal inequalities, we also witnessed the emergence of unexpected solidarity movements. To better understand these phenomena and their possible development, we must examine them in depth.

In the framework of the 2021 edition of the Nuit des idées, under the theme “Closing the Distance”, this event will be devoted to this dichotomy, which we have decided to address in two parts: the first roundtable will be dedicated to Gender Inequality, the second to Care and Austerity.

We have also chosen not to limit analyses to the French case but to engage in discussions with British colleagues in order to have a comparative approach between our two countries and to identify their differences and their commonalities.

19h30 – 20h15 – Panel 1: “Lockdown: Comparing the Effects on Gender Inequalities”

Lockdown and the COVID-19 pandemic more generally have affected the gendered division of labour within female/male couples. In some cases, women had to simultaneously manage paid work and more work within the household. But in some situations, men might have become more aware of the weight of the load on women and/or increased their contribution.

The pandemic also appears to have had a gendered impact on incomes and poverty.

The discussion will be focused on a comparison between France and the UK.

A discussion with:

  • Fran Bennett, Senior Research Fellow, Department of Social Policy and Intervention, University of Oxford and member of Policy Advisory Group, UK Women’s Budget Group
  • Hélène Périvier, Economist, OFCE Sciences Po, Director of PRESAGE, Sciences Po.

20h15 – 21h00 – Panel 2: “Lockdown: a Revolutionary Moment to Rethink Care Versus Austerity?”

The responses to Covid-19 expose the strengths and weaknesses of the welfare state and provide a vantage point to think about a different vision of welfare and “good care” in our societies and observe how governments and public opinion is reacting to the long-standing prevalence of austerity policies across Europe.

Is the Covid-19 crisis a turning point and revolutionary moment for the welfare state?

Would this be an occasion to understand the need of universal care as a fundamental good for society? Are people’s attitudes shifting against the austerity measures that have helped to retrench essential care services for the population?

A discussion with:

  • Mary Daly, Professor of Sociology and Social Policy, University of Oxford; Fellow, Green Templeton College, Oxford
  • Emanuele Ferragina, Associate Professor of sociology, affiliated with the Observatoire sociologique du changement and the Laboratory for Interdisciplinary Evaluation of Public Policy (LIEPP), Sciences Po.

Leading of the debates by Cléa Chakraverty, Politics and Society editor at The Conversation France.

See the detailed programme of the NUIT DES IDÉES 2021