Le Monde – Understanding crises




Panel Discussion

To learn from crises, it is essential to try to understand where their roots lie and what triggered them. By looking at crises in their historical, systemic and societal context, the participants in this first session will provide the keys for understanding the extreme situation that we have recently been confronted with ( and which we will undoubtedly be confronted with in the future). This conference will be followed by 2 other conferences : managing crises and anticipating crises.

Do crises always generate democratic crises? Not automatically, the democratic crises may also have a previous origin and be reinforced by the health or economic crisis. The aim is therefore to prevent the crises from becoming democratic. In order for states not to lose the confidence of their citizens, it is necessary that the health crises do not last too long so that it does not become a democratic crisis. Indeed, health crises generate defiance, for example in 2009 the H1N1 crises generated mistrust towards vaccines and confidence was not restored, which can be seen today in the crisis management of COVID 19 (proposed solution of a problematic vaccine). The major problem with the democratic crises is that it leads to the development of extremes and populism.
It is during crises that the profound character of society is revealed and unfortunately what the current situation reveals is the very individualistic character of our society. More and more people refuse to be vaccinated, relying on the vaccination of others to protect them. We have seen since the beginning of the COVID 19 crises that some young people, who are not very sensitive to the virus, do not isolate themselves and show limited consideration for those who are more sensitive.

Is it smart to go into debt to solve major crises? Is there really another alternative? Should the economy be allowed to destroy itself? Relief solutions such as low-interest loans must be put in place that can be put to good use by investing in more structural sectors that are part of the long term. Moreover, in principle, history will not repeat itself, not in the same way in any case, and we will learn from the mistakes of the past. This justifies making an effort now for the future.

Is it better to have a democracy in times of crisis? Democracy is particularly necessary in times of crises.


  • Patrick Peretti-Watel


  • Jean Garrigues


  • Cécile Valadier

    Deputy director of French Development Agency

  • Myriam Revault d’Allonnes


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