ArticlePublisher preview available

Elder care allowances in action: missed opportunities for gender transformation

Authors:
To read the full-text of this research, you can request a copy directly from the authors.

Abstract

This article analyses the formulation, adoption, implementation and evaluation of the Elder Care Allowance (APA) since 2001 at the national and departmental levels, with a fine-grained case study of implementation in one department. We show that despite elder care being highly feminized, this policy instrument was gender blind when it was put on the agenda and adopted. When it was implemented at the departmental level, the room for manoeuvre has not been used to reduce gender inequality, and at the national level, a recent movement to gender policy evaluation has not yet produced significant effects with regard to elder care. Thus, rather than transforming gender norms, it has led to a kind of gender accommodation that reflects existing gender relations.
Vol.:(0123456789)
French Politics (2020) 18:71–92
https://doi.org/10.1057/s41253-020-00114-w
ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Elder care allowances inaction: missed opportunities
forgender transformation
ClémenceLedoux1· Hab.AnnieDussuet2
Published online: 13 March 2020
© Springer Nature Limited 2020
Abstract
This article analyses the formulation, adoption, implementation and evaluation of
the Elder Care Allowance (APA) since 2001 at the national and departmental levels,
with a fine-grained case study of implementation in one department. We show that
despite elder care being highly feminized, this policy instrument was gender blind
when it was put on the agenda and adopted. When it was implemented at the depart-
mental level, the room for manoeuvre has not been used to reduce gender inequality,
and at the national level, a recent movement to gender policy evaluation has not yet
produced significant effects with regard to elder care. Thus, rather than transforming
gender norms, it has led to a kind of gender accommodation that reflects existing
gender relations.
Keywords Implementation· Elder care· Unpaid work· Street-level bureaucrats
Introduction
Elder care is a highly feminized domain. In France, like in other European coun-
tries, a majority of elder care receivers, informal helpers or paid care workers are
women (Lewis 1998; Hobson, Lewis, and Siim 2002; Daly and Rake 2003; Dus-
suet 2005; Morel 2007; Le Bihan and Martin 2010; Bonnet etal. 2011; Ranci and
Pavolini 2012; Avril 2014; Avril and Cartier 2014). This reflects three main social
dynamics. Firstly, women have a higher life expectancy than men and therefore a
majority of older people are women—over 69% of those aged over 85 in France in
* Clémence Ledoux
clemence.ledoux@univ-nantes.fr
Hab. Annie Dussuet
annie.dussuet@univ-nantes.fr
1 Droit et Changement Social, UMR 6297, University ofNantes, Chemin de la Censive du Tertre,
BP 81 307, 44313NantesCedex, France
2 Centre Nantais de Sociologie, UMR 6025, University ofNantes, BP 81227,
44312NantesCedex, France
Content courtesy of Springer Nature, terms of use apply. Rights reserved.
... In France, the 2005 Plan Borloo promoted competition in home care services and led to the growth of for-profit providers. These are supported substantially by public funding and tax breaks for households that pay directly for their services (Ledoux & Dussuet, 2020). In contrast, in Austria, a cash-for-care scheme whereby the government provides individuals with cash benefits has not translated into a prominent role for private providers. ...
Article
Private for‐profit home care providers have grown unevenly in Europe and through varied processes. Yet, more research focusing directly on private providers is needed to identify and explain European patterns in their growth and in their modes of operation. This paper examines the case of Ireland, where private providers have grown significantly in recent years and transformed the national landscape of domiciliary care. First, it is shown that the amount of public funding received by private providers increased from €3 million in 2006 to €176 million in 2019, in contrast to amounts allocated to non‐profit and public providers that have increased only slightly. Second, those trends are explained through policy analysis and by drawing on in‐depth semi‐structured interviews (n = 12) with private home care providers and government officials who have been central to the privatization of care. The paper gives a direct voice to key figures in private home care, and through a critical reading of interview materials, argues that the neoliberal nature of the Irish state has driven the growth of private provision, in particular, through policies of competitive tendering and fiscalization. Providers' own lobbying activities have also played a role, albeit a secondary one. Ireland has traditionally followed a laissez‐faire, family‐based system comparable to Southern European countries. Its experience is thus directly relevant to that region, but further research should also compare and contrast the development of private providers operating in other European long‐term care regimes.
Article
This policy brief presents the findings of GEPP-France – seven case analyses of gender equality policy implementation -- to identify in a systematic comparative manner the factors, or “ingredients”, for gender equality policy success. Through using the Gender Equality Policy in Practice model and approach in conducting fine grained qualitative case analyses, the 18 policy experts and the comparative analysis of those cases presented in this brief contribute to moving towards an evidence-based recipe for gender equality success for policy practitioners, advocates, decisionmakers, activists and scholars alike. The findings point to the key role of the forms of implementation in determining policy success.
Article
Ce policy brief présente les résultats du GEPP-France – sept analyses de cas de mise en œuvre de politiques d'égalité entre les sexes – afin d'identifier de manière systématique et comparative les facteurs, ou « ingrédients », du succès de ces politiques. L’utilisation du modèle et l’approche Gender Equality Policy in Practice pour mener des analyses de cas qualitatives fines, la participation de 18 experts en politiques d’égalité ainsi que l'analyse comparative des cas présentés dans ce dossier, contribuent à l'élaboration d'une recette, basée sur des données, pour le succès des politiques d’égalité entre les sexes. Celle-ci est destinée aux praticiens politiques, aux défenseurs de la cause, aux décideurs, aux militants et aux universitaires. Les conclusions mettent en évidence le rôle clé des formes de mise en œuvre dans la détermination du succès des politiques.
Article
Full-text available
The goal of this article is to use the seven case analyses of gender equality policy implementation covered in this special issue to apply and further develop the gender equality policy in practice approach and agenda. Through using the case of France as laboratory to examine if, how and under what conditions gender equality policy implementation leads to success, overall gender transformation and enhanced gender equality, this article provides a more accurate policy recipe for gender equality policy success and the importance of the post-adoption phases of implementation and evaluation in that recipe.
Article
Full-text available
This article makes the case for the investigation of the post-adoption stages of gender equality policies. We develop the Gender Equality Policy in Practice Approach, built on: (1) the mix of instruments for policy action; (2) the process of inclusive empowerment in practice; and (3) gender transformation as the ultimate outcome. For the gender and politics community, we demonstrate the importance of incorporating implementation in taking policy success seriously; for the policy studies community, we show how engaging with gender provides a compelling critical case to test general propositions about policy success and the intersectional complexity of the policy process.
Book
By focussing on child care and systematically comparing national experiences in Belgium, France, Italy, Sweden, and the European Union, Who Cares? provides an enormous amount of information on recent child care policies and a clear perspective on thinking about welfare state redesign. Many countries have now designed child care policies 'to reconcile family and work.' Some encourage parents to provide their own child care by granting parental leave; others encourage parents to stay at work by supporting child care services. Using the case of child care policy, the contributors to this volume examine how public policy choices over the last three decades have been fashioned by specific understandings of the gendered division of labour.The authors of the country studies have done an excellent job of recounting the details of child care strategies, and placing them within the larger context of state approaches to women's roles. They argue that an examination of the direction and the form of spending, in this period when social spending is under attack, contributes to our understanding of new principles of citizenship as they have been developed and articulated by governments.Who Cares? highlights the connection between child care and employment, and makes a significant contribution to the literature on citizenship and women's work.
Book
Comment sont prises en charge les personnes qui ne peuvent pas vivre seules ? Comment les charges financières, matérielles, affectives, morales sont-elles partagées au sein des familles, entre les familles et les aides à domicile, entre familles, associations, marché et Etat ? Entrer dans des familles pour comprendre comment les responsabilités de chacun envers les plus fragiles y sont distribuées, déléguées, refusées, revendiquées : c'est l'expérience que propose cet ouvrage. Il s'efforce de combiner perspectives économique, anthropologique et sociologique. A partir d'enquêtes ethnographiques, les auteurs reprennent le chantier théorique de l'analyse de la parenté, tout à la fois affaire de droit, d'obligations morales, d'affectivité, de patrimoine et d'entraide.
Chapter
Across Europe, migrants are often employed as providers of care or domestic services, thus forming an alternative for public care provision or contributing to the supply of publicly financed care. This chapter discusses how the growing demand for migrant care workers is related to transformations of European care systems. While public policies stimulate the development of care and domestic services, these policies often contribute to precarious employment and poor working conditions. The chapter also shows how migrant care work is shaped by colonial legacies and stratified systems of entry routes and citizenship within Europe, with specific attention for east-west migration. Finally, the chapter highlights the importance of the politics of migrant care work in relation to social care and migration policy. In this context, political actors at the supra-, trans- and national level are of critical relevance, but they have so far received only little attention in contemporary research on the politics of migrant care work.
Book
p>Pour comprendre l’évaluation de la dépendance des personnes âgées dans le cadre du dispositif créé par l’allocation personnalisée d’autonomie (APA), il faut d’abord questionner la notion même d’évaluation. C’est-à-dire se demander : Que font les agents missionnés lorsqu’ils évaluent, et à quoi servent les outils de l’évaluation ? Refuser de voir l’évaluation comme un simple procédé calculatoire neutre et objectif suppose de considérer la construction de données chiffrées comme un processus résultant de l’ensemble des pratiques d’un certain nombre de personnes engagées dans une série d’interactions. Dans une perspective ethnographique, et à l’aide de matériaux recueillis dans deux départements, ce chapitre traite du dispositif APA dans son aspect organisationnel et cognitif : comment les agents chargés de l’évaluation et pris dans un système organisationnel complexe et formalisé pensent, disent et font la dépendance ?</p