ICS Seminar Series - Vincent Dubois

Date: Tuesday 28 March 2017 (please note Tuesday seminar this week)
Time: 11.30am–1pm
Venue: EZ.1.57, Western Sydney University, Parramatta South campus

Vincent Dubois

(University of Strasbourg, France)

Welfare Fraud: Critical Sociology of a New Policy Issue


From the mid-1990s on, entitlement, welfare abuse, fraud and the so-called fake unemployed have become common topics of political discourse in France as in other Western European countries. Countless reforms, policy initiatives and bureaucratic investments have tended to reinforce control over the poor on welfare. In this presentation I will explore the construction of this issue as a public problem and its setting on the political and institutional agendas. Using Bourdieu's theory of fields, I will show how these processes are rooted in the combination of interdependent dynamics, including political jockeying, the shift toward neo-classic theory among policy experts, Europeanization of social policies and managerialisation of welfare organisations. This will enable me to understand the various aspects of a catch-all rhetoric and its imposition as the coercive side of workfare.


Vincent Dubois, sociologist and political scientist, is Professor at the University of Strasbourg (Institute for Political Studies) where he belongs to the SAGE (Societies, Actors and Government in Europe) Research Unit. He was a fellow at the University of Strasbourg Institute for Advanced Study, a Florence Gould member at the Institute for Advanced Study (Princeton University, USA), and a member at the Institut Universitaire de France. His research fields include cultural sociology and policy, language policy, poverty and welfare, and more general sociological approach to public policy. He is currently working on control policies in contemporary social state.