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Research Group: Discriminations and Category-Based Policies

Section #presentation

Presentation of the Discriminations and Category-Based Policies Research Group

Fight against discrimination in hiring #LesCompetencesDabord (credits: Ministry of Labor and Employment)

Research on discrimination has experienced a particular boom in France since the early 2000s. Empirical work attests to the extent and mechanisms of production of inequalities linked to gender, origin, religion, skin colour, sexual orientation, disability, etc., in different contexts of social interaction: labour market, housing market, family, school, administration, police, justice, etc. 

Public policy is not neutral in the face of this phenomenon. In addition to the effects induced by public policies in the areas listed above, category-based policies explicitly targeting certain populations (women, ethnoracial minorities, migrants, persons with disabilities, etc.) help to alleviate or, on the contrary, accentuate the discriminations suffered by these populations.

LIEPP's "Discrimination and category-based policies" section is devoted to these issues and contributes to the public debate through an interdisciplinary research approach by assessing the extent and evolution of discrimination in France and analysing the challenges it poses to public policy. It combines research on the measurement of discrimination, on the experience of discrimination, and on (anti-)discriminatory policies. 

This strand brings together bodies of work on types of inequality and category-based policies that are usually studied separately:

  • Gender 
  • Migration and policies towards migrants
  • Disability and health inequalities 
  • Ethno-racial inequalities.

The specific feature of the policies analysed in this section is that they are explicitly built around the targeting of certain populations - women, ethno-racial minorities, migrants, and people with disabilities - whether or not they seek to reduce the inequalities or discrimination suffered by these populations. Research carried out within this axis contributes to documenting the extent to which these policies have (or are likely to have) egalitarian or unequal effects. 

These policies are implemented by a diversity of actors beyond governmental actors alone, and are studied as such in the various ongoing projects of the axis: for example, policies defined by private firms or implemented by NGOs. The axis therefore situates its approach to evaluation within a broad conception of public policy, involving a diversity of public and private actors. 

We combine three evaluative approaches, each integrating a plurality of methods. 

  1. Ex-post evaluation of existing policies, combining quantitative and qualitative methods; 
  2. Comparison of different ways of implementing the same policy, particularly on the basis of quasi-experimental systems;
  3. Foresight on public policy based on the analysis of the mechanisms that produce inequalities - the aim is to establish a link between studies documenting the mechanisms that produce inequalities and possible courses of action for the public authorities. 

This axis supports the International Expert Group on Migration (GIEM) initiated by Virginie Guiraudon, Hélène Thiollet and Camille Schmoll, which brings together international scientists in the field through networking existing research institutions in different countries. 

Finally, the axis hosts the research component of the Chair for Women's Entrepreneurship, which aims to create and scientifically evaluate interventions aimed at reducing the barriers women face in their careers.

Contact: discriminations.liepp@sciencespo.fr 

Section #seminars

Seminars of the research group 

The discriminations and category-based policies research group organizes seminars open to all, presenting research work on various topics related to its research themes.

Find out more about the Discriminations and Category-Based Policies Seminars.

Section #projects

Associated research projects

Ongoing projects

Section #publications

Publications of the research group