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List of Panels

This is the List of Panels with their respective descriptions. For schedules, locations and discussants/presenters, please see the conference programme.


Affairs such as Stuttgart 21, the ‘Occupy movement’s’ response to the financial crisis, ecological problems, or diverse controversies around novel technologies, are timely examples of conflicts between groups of publics and the political establishment. Such movements put into question the status of legitimate knowledge and the articulation of legitimate representation. They question, at the same time, routine operations of traditional democratic institutions, and reintroduce the question of how to define “the political” and “politics” in general.

The 8th continuation of the IPA conference gives therefore a special focus to the intersection of policy analysis with Science and Technology Studies (STS) by highlighting the relation between publics and experts around one of the fundamental keywords of politics: “conflict”. We conceive conflicts as constellations of knowledge and power, in which diverse actors are gathered around values, meanings and practices. The complexity of current policy issues and the institutional ambiguity create a demand for new forms of dealing with conflicts. They also invite us to study formats, in which the meaning of expertise and citizen participation can be renegotiated in performative manners.

Rearticulating policy settings along the relation between experts and publics is one of the main challenges of current research on democracy, governance and policy practices. Actors increasingly establish their positions through argumentations or performances, while the increased need for public acknowledgment recasts the issue of citizen’s participation or the framing of “experts”. These ideas are not entirely new: interpretive policy analysts have investigated mechanisms through which knowledge becomes the central device of power, creates institutions and governs them and/or legitimizes agendas of policy actors. In a similar vein, STS scholars have shown that scientific knowledge can legitimize political agendas or block them. Towards that end, they have investigated, how “experts” get their status and how they shape and are shaped by “publics”. By debating and analyzing the shape of diverse “publics”, they have also launched the question of whose knowledge counts as legitimate in specific time and place.

In the last decades, questions like these have regained the interest in both policy analysis and STS. How do we think about the study of conflicts through interpretive lenses? What aspects do we consider both as analysts and practitioners, when facing conflicts and controversies in environmental, urban, planning or health care policies? In how far do the current policy debates force us to rethink, what we mean by “political” and “politics”? What is the role or function of policy analysis and analysts in times of multiple crises? These are some of the pending issues that will be addressed at the IPA conference 2013 in Vienna.

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1_(Re)defining the “Political” in Transition Societies: Shifting Governance Agency(ies)

Panel Chairs:

Dr. Jana Bacevic
Central European University


Panel Discussants:

Elena Stavrevska
Central European University

Andrey Demidov
Central European University

Karla Koutkova
Central European University



Societies in the aftermath of conflicts or regime changes are common sites for various types of international intervention, either through direct involvement in the country’s governing structures, or through indirect forms of development and democracy assistance. Some of these societies are exposed to international actors’ conditionalities, while others experience externally initiated constitutional and governance reforms.In this context, the nature and the scope of the “political” gets contested and reexamined through everyday encounters (or the lack thereof) between “external” experts, political elites, and local population. Not only does this affect the implementation of policy initiatives, but also the very concept of governance in the society in question. To that end, it is necessary to discuss these developments from an interpretivist perspective, which would aim to shed light not only on the “objective” aspects and consequences of these processes, but also on the ways in which different
actors involved in or affected by them perceive and interpret these changes.

This panel aims to examine the encounter of the “international” (experts, policies, conditions etc.) with the lived experiences and practices of the “local” communities in transition countries, and to discuss the changing roles local communities can play in governance and its transformations. On a theoretical level, the panel thus aims to connect and contribute to two bodies of interpretive scholarship. On the one hand, it addresses literature on agency and practice in governance, and on the other, it is immersed in scholarship that explores the “international”-­‐“local” encounter in terms of expert knowledge production, policy-­‐making, governance initiatives and responses at the local level. Methodologically, the papers presented within this panel draw on extensive fieldwork including political ethnography, critical discourse analysis and interpretive policy analysis.

The panel engages with the following questions:
(1) What is the nature of the encounter between different governance actors and initiatives: co-­‐optation, co-­‐production, confrontation, imposition or resistance? How do policy experts conceive and approach the agency of the local communities and actors? What are the responses by the local population and (political) actors?
(2) What types of relations and practices emerge during this encounter?
(3) How do new forms and discourses of governance play out in the context of pre-existing locally embedded practices?
(4) How does the multiplicity of actors involved in the governing of the society affect the understanding of the “political”? How does the “political” get reinterpreted and reinvented?

To address these questions, we welcome papers from scholars pursuing empirical research on transition societies or theoretical papers dealing with new forms of governance, the “international”-­‐“local” interaction and resulting shifts in governance agency(ies) and understanding of the “political”.


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2_Action Research: What Interpretative Policy Analysis Needs?

Panel Chairs:

Koen Bartels
Business School, Bangor University, United Kingdom


Julia Wittmayer
Dutch Research Institute for Transitions (DRIFT), Erasmus University Rotterdam, The Netherlands



Faced with a myriad of interrelated challenges (e.g. economic crisis, welfare budget cuts), recognition surges that (local) governments and their administrations will not be able to address let alone solve these on their own. The complexity of current policy issues asks for a broader knowledge base and collaboration. A key ambition of Interpretative Policy Analysis (IPA) is to serve policy actors in dealing with the intricate problems they face (Hoppe, 1999; Fischer, 2003b; Wagenaar, 2011). The goal is not so much to provide ready-made solutions, but to facilitate productive processes of knowledge exchange, learning and decision making, as well as to actively contribute to problem solving. Researchers in many fields engage in action research to collaborate with policy actors in learning about and addressing the problems they face (see e.g., Greenwood & Levin, 1998; Reason and Bradbury, 2001). However, in IPA "action research is exceedingly rare" (Wagenaar, 2011, p. 229). This panel seeks to address this puzzling situation. The goal is to draw attention to the value of action research for IPA, consider its principles, practices, and dilemmas, and explore concrete experiences of action researchers. We invite papers reflecting on these dimensions of action research, or adjacent approaches in which knowledge generation and transformative action go hand in hand. Collaborative reflections of researchers and practitioners are especially welcome.

Action research is an important methodological approach for engaging with some of the conference's main themes: "the relation between publics and experts around ... conflict", "the status of legitimate knowledge" and "routine operations of traditional democratic institutions". Action research challenges conventional scientific practices with its emphasis on situated inquiry of real-world problems, cogeneration of knowledge, considering policy actors as competent researchers and change agents rather than as research objects, facilitating transformative action, and the workability of generated knowledge and solutions (Greenwood & Levin, 1998). In doing so, it brings together a number of relevant approaches and strands of research. First, we can learn a lot from the great amount of experience with action research in the field of science and technology studies and related debates on the sociology of knowledge (see Laws & Hajer, 2006; Fischer, 2003a). Second, recent work in public policy mediation has highlighted several crucial advantages and working methods for combining research, participation, and transformative action, as well as a number of inherent tensions and barriers (Laws, 2007; Laws & Forester, 2007). Third, action research can be seen as a way for researchers to take part in rekindling the pragmatist vision of "democracy as problem solving" (Dewey, 1927; De Souza Briggs, 2008) or, put more bluntly, practising what they preach in advocating participatory and deliberative democracy (see Teedon, 2012). Finally, several recent contributions have highlighted how process philosophy provides a language and framework for the relational, participatory, and emergent nature of doing research that addresses the needs of the situation at hand (Stout & Staton, 2011; Stout, 2012; Bartels, 2012). Contributions to this panel are invited to draw on these, and other relevant strands, in their discussions of the potentials and pitfalls of action research for IPA.

Papers, presentations, and discussions of action research are likely to contribute to our understanding of:

  • Science-society relationships
  • The challenges of linking research and practice
  • Different methods for engaging in practice
  • How differences in socio-political context matter
  • The meanings of expertise
  • The academic profession
  • Different types of knowledge
  • The nature of public problems
  • The challenges of genuine participatory research
  • The role of researchers, facilitators, and other boundary workers
  • Communicative practices
  • The difficulty of practical problem solving


The format for the panel will be actionable. That means, first of all, that the format will be adapted to the nature and needs of the papers submitted. Indeed, we encourage a variety of contributions, be they (critical) literature reviews, case studies by researchers, or duo reflections by researchers and practitioners. Secondly, the panel aims, on the one hand, to enable the necessary reflection and, on the other, result in a number of concrete, workable focal points and strategies for action researchers to address in the context of their future research activities. This could be achieved, for instance, by identifying action points, dilemmas, and problems from brief paper presentations, which presenters and audience will then further work out in a setting inspired by a world café format.


Bartels, K. P. R. (2012). The Actionable Researcher: Cultivating a Process-Oriented Methodology for Studying Administrative Practice. Administrative Theory & Praxis, 34(3), pp. 433-455.

De Souza-Briggs, X. (2008). Democracy as Problem Solving: Civic Capacity in Communities Across the Globe. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

Dewey, J. (1927). The public and its problems. London: G. Allen & Unwin.

Fischer, F. (2003a). Beyond empiricism: Policy analysis as deliberative practice. In M.A. Hajer & H. Wagenaar (Eds.), Deliberative policy analysis: Understanding governance in the network society (pp. 209-227). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Fischer, F. (2003b). Reframing public policy: Discursive politics and deliberative practices. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Hoppe, R. (1999). Policy analysis, science, and politics: from "speaking truth to power" to "making sense together". Science and Public Policy, 26(3), 201-210.

Kindon, S., Pain, R., & Kesby, M. (2007). Participatory action research: Origins, approaches, and methods. In S. Kindon, R. Pain, & M. Kesby (Eds.), Participatory action research approaches and methods: Connecting people, participation and place (pp. 9-18). Hoboken, NJ: Taylor & Francis.

Laws, D. (2007). The divided profession: The interplay of research, policy and practice. Policy and Society, 26, 39-66.

Laws, D., & Forester, J. (2007). Learning in practice: Public policy mediation. Critical Policy Analysis, 1(4), 342-370.

Laws, D., & Hajer, M. (2006). Policy in practice. In M. Moran, M. Rein, & R.E. Goodin (Eds.), The Oxford handbook of public policy (pp. 409-424). Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Reason, P., & Bradbury, H. (Eds.) (2001). Handbook of action research: Participative inquiry and practice. London: Sage.

Stout, M. 2012. 'Competing Ontologies: A Primer for Public Administration', Public Administration Review, 72, 3, 388-398.

Stout, M., & Staton, C.M. (2011). The ontology of process philosophy in Follett's administrative theory. Administrative Theory & Praxis, 33(2), 268-292.

Teedon, P. (2012). Research as participation: participation as research? ‐ A policy imperative? A speculative consideration.Presented at Interpretive Policy Analysis Conference 2012, Tilburg (The Netherlands), July 5-7.

Wagenaar, H. (2011). Meaning in action. Interpretation and dialogue in policy analysis. Armonk, NY: M.E. Sharpe.


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3_Arena-shifting and Urban/Regional Politics: Depoliticization, Conflict and Democracy

Panel Chairs:

Ross Beveridge
Leibniz Institute for Regional Development and Structural Planning
Erkner, Germany


Philippe Koch
Centre for Democracy Studies Aarau (ZDA)
Department of Political Science
University of Zurich




This panel focuses on depoliticization, an emerging literature and an increasingly important concern in public policy research. Viewed variously as an outcome of neo-liberalism, new public management/ managerialism, scientization of policy or the new post-democratic/ post-political settlement, depoliticization is the attempt to reduce the formally political character of decision-making through shifting it to other arenas beyond the formal political system (Flinders and Buller, 2006). As such it is seen as a feature of new forms of governance, which seek to preclude conflict and plurality. Strategies of depoliticization include, inter alia, strengthening of technocratic authority, the framing of "common sense narratives" or the discursive construction of "necessity" and denial of "contingency" (Hay, 2007).


Until now depoliticization scholars have focused mainly on policy-making at the level of the nation state, especially economic policy. This panel seeks papers which explore depoliticization at the urban and regional level. As a result of new modes of governance (e.g. participatory governance, public-private partnerships, regional governance arrangements), urban/regional policy-making is increasingly dispersed across territorial units, public/private actors and decision-making arenas. Thus far these governance innovations have been studied largely in isolation, and from different theoretical approaches. Our contention is, however, that they share a common rationale, which is the depoliticization of urban politics via shifting the resolution of political conflicts from traditional/formal to non-traditional/informal arenas.

In the panel we address two concerns. (1) Developing knowledge about patterns of conflict resolution in these (depoliticized) arenas: What is the role of non-elected actors in these arenas and the narratives and knowledge they advance? What types of conflicts are excluded from these arenas and consequently what actors, styles of contestations, knowledge? (2) Learning more about how and why certain issues are assigned to these non-traditional arenas in the first place; who is authorized to shift arenas? What strategies are pursued to shift arenas? What is the role of non-authorized actors and their narratives in this process?

Contribution to IPA 2013

This panel addresses the core theme of conflict, the ways it is framed, contextualised and resolved in non-traditional, depoliticized arenas of urban governance. Depoliticization is a new form of dealing with political conflicts, in which knowledge, expertise, and the framing of political issues is crucial. Although the literature on de/politicization is innovative, it would benefit from insights provided by interpretative approaches. Indeed, depoliticization addresses issues that are at the core of interpretative policy analysis, i.e. the legitimation of political claims and narratives, the political nature of fact construction and the contingency of governance structures.  


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4_Citizen Engagement in the Risk Apparatus: Exploring the Role of Knowledge Representations, Scientific Methods and Technological Devices

Panel Chairs:

Professor Aletta J. Norval
Department of Government
University of Essex, UK


Dr. Elpida Prasopoulou
Senior Research Officer
Department of Government
University of Essex, UK



For more than a decade now governments have restructured their policies to accommodate greatly disruptive events. Following this hegemonization of catastrophe in social imaginaries, risk, as a way of representing events to make them governable, is undergoing substantial changes as well. Precaution, as the main risk paradigm, instills society with a strong belief in scientific knowledge as the means to efficiently govern the future. It also favours technology, especially information technology, as the necessary infrastructure for gathering and assessing information on prospective risks. The ensuing development of new scientific methods, calculative techniques, technological devices and knowledge representations, under the precautionary principle, gradually transforms the biopolitical relationship with the state. A transformation often invoked, however, rarely analysed for its repercussions for democratic politics.

In this panel, we examine the ways democratic claims can be staged in the new risk apparatus. To do so, we adopt a governmentality perspective in order to account for the interplay of ‘discourses, laws, administrative measures, […] the said as much as the unsaid’ (Agamben, 2009: 2). Our aim is to populate the new political imaginaries with the performatives of scientific methods, calculative devices and technological solutions in order to understand the apparent silence, or even apathy, on behalf of citizens. We content that the way, knowledge representations, risk calculative devices and technological artefacts interplay with political discourses and social imaginaries, leads to a horizon of intelligibility that allows specific types of claims to be raised while silencing others. As such, it promotes the opening of specific areas for contestation on behalf of citizens while leaving others hidden behind technological designs and scientific theories.

So, the core question is whether citizens understand what the true stakes are in order to legitimately formulate their claims. To answer this, our study of practices of governance proceeds from two perspectives, as suggested by Tully (2008): ‘from the side of the forms of government that are put into practice and from the side of the practices of freedom of the governed (as active agents) that are put into practice in response’ (Tully, 2008: 22). Our main objective is not simply to trace the conditions of possibility for the new risk apparatus. It is primarily to describe its constituent elements in such ways that their contingent circumstances will be revealed to citizens to enable them to govern themselves differently (Tully, 2008). 

The panel contributes to the IPA community by exploring the role of science and technology in the constitution of the risk apparatus. This is more than an issue of expertise and how scientific knowledge reaches various publics in current democratic societies. It is mainly about the performative strength of scientific language and technological devices and its role into the constitution of a horizon of intelligibility that gradually shuts down several paths for resistance. This approach also departs from standard STS accounts. Our objective is not just about challenging dominant knowledge representations and exposing shortcomings in technological designs. Ours, it is primarily an effort to explore the growing imbrication of scientific knowledge, calculative devices and technological artefacts into citizen practices while reflecting on the possibilities for deepening democracy nowadays. 

We would like to invite papers addressing these issues. We specifically encourage submissions exploring the entanglement of science and technology in democratic politics with an emphasis on citizenship practices and their entanglement with scientific representations and technological artefacts in the precautionary risk paradigm.

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5_Conflict as Instrument of Solution. Environmental Justice Research as New Research Paradigm for Policy Making and Bridge between Social and Nature Science

Panel Chairs:

Dr. Götz F. Kaufmann
Abteilung Soziologie, FU Berlin




Conflict as instrument of solution. Environmental Justice Research as new research paradigm for policy making and bridge between social and nature science

Rationale for the session

Policy making like the dealing with the financial debt crisis in Europe fails to address civil society's demands properly since the understanding of the conflict's role leads to approaches to quickly resolve the conflict. The panel argues that the acceptance of community conflicts as an instrument for solution within a research paradigm will help to reveal the gaps that bring about the failure as well as strengthen communities as relevant stakeholder in policy making processes, which are nowadays ignored. The scientific relevance to provide a general research paradigm like the named is evident by looking at the pointless turf battles about 'hard facts' and 'theory ignorance', when both disciplines try to merge their knowledge. To all these problems, the panel seeks to give useful hints by introducing the environmental justice research paradigm.

Contribution to the IPA community

As could be seen in the rationale, the study of conflicts is naturally influenced by the interests of the stakeholders in the field. These are not just the political actors and civil society, but scientists too. The question of policy analysis role regarding descriptive, accommodative and critical research (Dryzek 2009) is profoundly addressed and shall be discussed in the panel to frame the paradigm. Recognition of concepts like 'perceived justice', 'community', and 'environmental racism' are considered in the named research frame and underestimated in their importance for good governance or to explain its failure. The discussion in the panel shall circle about a general paradigm that allows and requires (sic!) interests from all angles to participate. Questions of how to define environment, health, standard of living and justice make it necessary to have a grounded and generally accepted paradigm, where urban planning and health care policies have played a vital role to develop it (Elvers 2007).


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6_Conflict, Contradictions, Fetishism, and Hegemony: When Marxism meets IPA

Panel Chairs:

Romain Felli
Department of Science Studies (Wissenschaftsforschung)
University of Basel


Raphaël Ramuz and Martin Benninghoff
University of Lausanne


This panel seeks to investigate the variegated, fruitful and sometimes conflicting relations of Marxism to interpretivism, notably, but not exclusively, through an engagement with or a critique of the so-called “strategic-relational approach” (SRA) (Jessop 2001; 2007; Hay 2002) and diverse “neo-gramscian” (Laclau & Mouffe 2001; Howarth, 2010) and neo-marxist approaches (Howarth & Torfing, 2005). We feel it is an appropriate moment to launch such a discussion at a time when Marxist approaches in the social and political sciences are regaining ground and when many practitioners of Interpretive Policy Analysis (IPA) explicitly or implicitly refer to Marx’s and Marxian analyses (Wagenaar, 2011). Yet, with the partial exceptions of the SRA and that of Cultural Political Economy (Jessop 2010), little work has been done both in terms of theoretical clarifications of the relations between these two traditions, and in terms of empirical research. Such a panel would therefore benefit to both practitioners of IPA as well as to scholars of Marxism.

The analysis of “conflict” and more broadly of the ontological nature of “politics” is a potentially important zone of overlapping interest for interpretive and Marxian analyses. From an interpretive perspective, it is crucial to understand how social agents perceive and give meaning to situations of “conflict”. Yet, is it possible to reduce “conflict” to forms of misunderstanding or of differing opinions, values, norms, etc.? On the other hand, is “hegemony” a pertinent concept to make sense of forms of conflict containment, and how is it to be conceptualised? In the Marxian tradition, the concepts of “fetishism” and “hegemony” are precisely used to give an account of the forms of perception through which the contradictory (and potentially conflicting) social relations of capitalism are perceived, experienced and therefore (re)produced. Yet those notions also draws our attention to the necessarily partial perceptions that social agents have of these relations; a perception which is itself (re)produced by the very form of these relations. "Partial" is not to be conflated with “biased“ as it means rather a necessarily one-sided form of perception, which in turn constrains the forms of agency. The analysis of contradictions, and their forms of appearance either into conflictual forms or into consensual agreements, could therefore benefit from a serious engagement with the notion of fetishism and a clarification of the notion of hegemony. The issue then is how could those notions fit within or at least resonate with existing interpretive approaches which share affinities with Marxist scholarship, such as the SRA and the neo-gramscian analyses?

We would especially welcome empirical papers which combine Marxist, SRA and IPA approaches. Yet these empirical papers would need to stress the theoretical questions raised by the relation between these traditions and how they methodologically resolve the tensions arising out of this confrontation. More theoretical reflections are also welcome.


Hay, C. (2002a). Political Analysis. London, Palgrave MacMillan.

Howarth, D. (2010). “Power, discourse, and policy: articulating a hegemony approach to critical policy studies”. Critical Policy Studies 3(3-4): 309-335.

Howarth, D. and J. Torfing (eds.) (2005). Discourse Theory in European Politics. Identity, Policy and Governance, London, Palgrave MacMillan.

Jessop, B. (2001). “Institutional (Re)turns and the Strategic-Relational Approach”. Environment and Planning A 33(7) : 1213-1235.

Jessop, B. (2007). State Power. A Strategic-Relational Approach. Cambridge, Polity.

Jessop, B. (2010) “Cultural political economy and critical policy studies.” Critical Policy Studies 3(3-4): 336-356.

Laclau, E. and  C. Mouffe (2001). Hegemony and socialist strategy. Towards a radical democratic politics. London, Verso.

Wagenaar, H. (2011). Meaning in action. Interpretation and dialogue in policy analysis. London, M.E. Sharpe.


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7_Fracking: Conflicts over policy, publics, and democracy

Panel Chairs:

Jennifer Dodge
University of Albany – SUNY

Peter Kirby-Harris
Queen Mary, University of London

Tamara Metze
University of Tilburg t.metze[at]tilburguniversity.edu

Thomas Saretzki
Leuphana University of Lueneburg thomas.saretzki[at]uni.leuphana.de


In the context of rising energy prices and new efforts to achieve greater independence from imported fuels, a new search for reliable sources of domestic energy production has begun. Employing new technologies, gas companies are exploring new reserves and extracting natural gas from shale at depths that were formerly inaccessible. Induced hydraulic fracking is a technique designed to release natural gas or other substances for extraction. Oil and gas companies already invest heavily in hydraulic fracking and other so called non-conventional energy technologies. According to its proponents, these new technologies open up new options for domestic energy production, for economic growth and even for climate mitigation. 

However, in most of the sites being explored for these new forms of shale gas extraction many residents as well as farmers, facilitators of drinking water and other sectors of the local economy express serious concerns over possible impacts of fracking on their living and working conditions. Experts disagree over assessments of economic prospects as well as risks for human health and the environment. With scientific experts involved in the controversy, issues arise about which experts and which stakeholders are legitimate and should be included as relevant publics in deliberation and decision-making on fracking policies. While these conflicts over fracking and other non-conventional energy technologies arise in many countries, the framing, assessment and regulation of the issues differ considerably as they are related to different discourses, institutional settings and cultural contexts. 

How are the conflicts over fracking policy, its publics and its appropriate regulation in a democracy to be interpreted and studied empirically? This panel invites papers that analyze and evaluate conflicts and conflict resolution practises related to fracking policy in different contexts with the help of different approaches and methods of interpretation and evaluation from STS scholars and policy analysts. Bringing together case studies on conflicts in fracking policy from different countries, the panel will discuss the challenges these conflicts pose both for democratic policy-making and for interpretive policy studies.

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8_Conflicts over the Boundaries of Belonging in the Age of Migration

Panel Chairs:

Julia Mourao Permoser, PhD
Université Libre de Bruxelles;
member of INEX research group


Alexandra König, Mag.a
ICMPD, member of INEX research group



In the context of migration, globalization and subsequent growing socio-cultural diversity, the ‘politics of belonging’ has become an increasingly present mode of conflict within societies. Thus, boundaries of belonging are constantly being re-negotiated and called into question within the political and public arena. While facing considerable social change induced by immigration, a large portion of political actors mobilize on the basis of exclusionary discourses, referring to groups overtly or more subtly constructed as inherently not belonging, thus not entitled to (full) membership. This logic can be used to justify restrictive policies and discriminatory practices. Particularly in times of economic crisis, exclusionary discourses on belonging can be used as legitimizing strategies in conflicts over access to resources and rights. Old socio-economic conflicts are renegotiated under a new guise and give origin to cleavages based on forms of belonging rather linked to identity politics than to class. However, such discourses do not go unchallenged: They are met with resistance by segments of the public, social movements and political actors, who challenge the bases on which belonging is being defined. The contestation over inclusion and exclusion in the realm of membership and belonging is subject to multiple positions, strategies and sites. Protest against deportation, self-mutilation and hunger-strike strategies of asylum seekers, and strikes by sans-papiers are some examples of counter-strategies based on politicization, whereas discourses on social cohesion and unconditional rights are examples of counter-strategies based on de-politicization.

Against this background, the panel invites papers that deal with conflicts over belonging and their policy implications either from a conceptual or from an empirical perspective. In particular, the panel invites submissions on the following key questions:

  • Where and why do conflicts manifest themselves as conflicts over belonging? How do conflicts over belonging relate to traditional cleavages such as class, gender and ‘race’?
  • Who has voice (and who has none) in political processes where boundaries of belonging are negotiated and why? What are the implications of ‘being silenced’? How, where and why do new spaces for political action and new forms of agency develop?
  • How are boundaries of membership drawn and affirmed (by whom, on what sites, what strategies)? How are these boundaries challenged (by whom, on what sites, what strategies)? How do the symbolic and material dimensions relate to each other within these conflicts over belonging and membership?
  • What is the role of emotions and affectivity in these processes?

By exploring the relationship between symbolic and material aspects of policies, investigating the role of emotion and affectivity in the process of drawing and legitimating boundaries, and considering different sites and forms of participating in political processes and engaging in contentious politics over belonging, this panel extrapolates the limits imposed by traditional, positivistic policy analysis and therefore represents a fruitful contribution to the research agenda of interpretative policy community. Simultaneously, the focus on migration contributes a new field of governance (with its own particular logic, power structures, and deployment of expert knowledge) to an area of studies that has been so far strongly focused on STS, health care and environmental policies.


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9_Critical Discourse Analysis & Policy Conflicts

Panel Chairs:

Dr Michael Farrelly
University of Hull, UK


Dr Jane Mulderrig
University of Sheffield, UK



This panel will present work which applies the theories and methods associated with textually oriented critical discourse analysis (CDA) to interpretive policy studies.  CDA is becoming a useful addition to the range of approaches to IPA, incorporating a theory of discourse with a detailed analytical framework which aims not just at interpreting the discursive aspects of political and policy practices but also at explicitly aiding the critique of them.

Papers may focus on any area of policy analysis and critique but will demonstrate the specific theoretical, analytical and practical choices that the analyst has made in the course of their work.  The panel will therefore reflect upon two conference themes: clarification of approaches in use and methodological issues in doing critical policy analysis.  Specifically, the panel will engage in discussion which aims at clarifying the contribution of CDA as one approach to critical policy analysis and which addresses issues of method in doing critical discourse analysis.

A distinguishing feature of much work in CDA is the distinction that it draws between language, discourse and text.  Exploration of this distinction in terms of policy, and policy conflict, will be encouraged in discussion of the papers.  What are the features of discourse associated with areas of policy practices?  Do these features of discursive practice constrain what is said in particular policy texts or do particular policy texts challenge and disrupt accepted policy conventions?  Do particular conflicts over policy play out within established conventions of policy debate or is there evidence that some policy conflicts are threatening to overturn such conventional practice in a more revolutionary way?  Through this discussion the panel will reflect more broadly on the conference theme of societies in conflict and the contribution that CDA can make to the IPA community.


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10_Dealing with Long Term Policy Problems: Making Sense of the Interplay between Puzzling over Meaning and Powering over Interests

Panel Chairs:

Martinus Vink & Art Dewulf
Public Administration and Policy group
Wageningen University



Intrinsic uncertainty which comes with long-term policy issues not only creates complex challenges for policy makers in defining what should be done today to adequately deal with problems of tomorrow, but also amplifies the ambiguity in societal understandings of what is actually at stake and how important this is to society. Accordingly politicians and civil servants experience difficulties in developing policies for uncertain futures in plural societies, but may also be in the position of postponing painful policies by projecting them over multiple political cycles, since their accountability may be limited to the current cycle. In addition, policymakers may employ the future as a framing vehicle for telling stories and making promises which appeal to current societal concerns. Hence, the uncertainty and ambiguity which comes with long term policy problems may yield specific complexity in policymaking processes. Conflict or controversy are never far away, as we currently see in welfare state reforms across Europe, climate change policy from the global to the local level, or the developments in the European project as a whole.

Policy making processes over complex long-term problems can be theorized as an interplay of puzzling over uncertainty and powering over interests (Hall 1993, Culpepper 2002, Heclo 2010). In defining how to effectively deal with an uncertain future policymakers need to collectively puzzle on society's behalf over what is at stake and how to make sense of this future. By sharing knowledge with experts, learning, and collectively making sense, policymakers might formulate plausible storylines, problem frames and possible solutions. At the same time policymakers need to organise power to get things done. By organising stakeholder coalitions, societal support, or employing societal authorities, policymakers try to create political momentum for policy action. Since one may also puzzle over how to organise power, or power over how to solve a puzzle, puzzling and powering are closely interrelated (Heclo 2010). Although a lot has been written about general arrangements of policy-making elites puzzling and powering in traditional state centred policy contexts, less has been written about the actual interplay of puzzling and powering in concrete policy processes, while processes of decentralised governance in a network society make this all the more relevant.

This panel aims at exploring the interface between two themes which are central to IPA: on the one hand processes of interpretation and meaning construction in uncertain and ambiguous contexts, and on the other hand the mechanisms of power at work in policy processes. Starting from the traditional notions on puzzling and powering over long term policy problems we aim to develop a better understanding of how puzzling over meaning is marked by a context of power positions and processes, and how powering over interests is marked by particular ideas and a struggle over meaning, especially in complex long-term policy issues. Therefore we are inviting contributions that conceptually and/or empirically explore the interplay relations between puzzling over meaning and powering over interests. Papers may examine questions as:

  • How does the process of puzzling and powering work in a decentred governance context?
  • What is the role of powerful interests in shaping policy frames, and what is the role of convincing ideas in shaping power relations?
  • How can frame analysis, discourse analysis or other interpretive methods be used to study powering and puzzling?
  • Which concepts are useful to understand the interplay between puzzling and powering?
  • How do processes of puzzling and powering over long term policy issues lead to policy action, controversy or apathy?

These analyses could be applied to different long term policy issues, including social welfare, macro-economics, environment, food security, climate change, migration or globalisation.


Culpepper, P. D. 2002. Powering, puzzling, and 'pacting': the informational logic of negotiated reforms. Journal of European Public Policy 9:774-790.

Hall, P. A. 1993. Policy Paradigms, Social Learning, and the State: The Case of Economic Policymaking in Britain. Comparative Politics 25:275-296.

Heclo, H. 2010. Modern social politics in Britain and Sweden : from relief to income maintenance. ECPR Press, Colchester.


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11_Debating on CCTV: Controversies, Oppositions and Legitimization

Panel Chairs:

Anne-Cécile Douillet
Université Lille 2/CERAPS


Laurence Dumoulin
Institut des sciences sociales du politique
(CNRS-ENS Cachan)



Studies concerning CCTV have grown in volume since the 1980s and the popularity of the topic continues today. This academic interest comes from different disciplines, including public policy analysis (Mackay, 2003; Fussey, 2008). It is closely related to the presence of CCTV devices in a growing number of cities and countries (Norris, 2012) and to the extension of uses: systems have diversified (private areas, open-street, semi-public places) and progressed technically.

These trends led academics to focus on diffusion factors and mechanisms more than on oppositions and mobilizations against videosurveillance. Effective and potential dangers of CCTV are well documented and analyzed in the “surveillance studies” literature; arguments against CCTV are often stated. However, works on opposition and resistance are scarce. One of the aims of the panel is thus to collect empirical data on opposition practices: protests (demonstrations against CCTV, destruction of cameras...), judicial actions (litigation over privacy rights), political opposition (critics from political parties or governmental opposition), expert disputes... A comparative perspective will be particularly interesting: who opposes CCTV and how; which arguments are put forward; are there noticeable differences between countries?

Besides the analysis of practices, we would like to question the dynamics of opposition. Within the framework of the Actor Network Theory (ANT), we recently showed that opponents to open-street CCTV can be converted and that their conversion can paradoxically result from the growth of CCTV (Germain et al., 2012). The very development of the device weakens opposition. For instance, the extension of CCTV reduces the scope of the argument of crime displacement while the adoption of 'ethics guidelines' and/or the setting up of 'ethics committees' is a way of fending off criticisms about any potential threat to individual liberties. Moreover, some opponents can be enrolled through their incorporation into the ethics committee. The discovery of practical uses over time also multiplies the arguments for legitimization, thus feeding the enrolment process. Opposition practices are thus to be studied in interaction with legitimization practices, even though we do not postulate that all opponents tend to be "converted" to CCTV.

In these processes, words, arguments and narratives are crucial. It is well illustrated in France by the replacement of the word " vidéosurveillance " by " vidéoprotection ". We also noticed that emblematic stories, narratives, are often mobilised to "prove" how useful CCTV is, notably when statistical figures are ambiguous. More generally, we must pay attention to arguments and "evidence" put forward by opponents and supporters of CCTV and analyze how they "resist", or not, to counter-argumentation. Another issue at stake is the way knowledge and expertise are mobilized, an interesting point to study being the way evaluations are conducted, used and discussed. Indeed, there are strong discussions around the way CCTV effectiveness and efficiency can be assessed.

In short, we aim to collect papers analyzing CCTV as a conflicting tool of public policy. It is a new and heuristic matter for developing an interpretive analysis as it opens empirical, methodological and conceptual issues. This workshop could help to structure a research network on conflicts related to new technologies.


Fussey, P. (2008), 'Beyond Liberty, Beyond Security: The Politics of Public Surveillance', British Politics, 3/1: 120-135.

Germain, S., Douillet, A.-C., and Dumoulin, L. (2012), 'The Legitimization of CCTV as a Policy Tool. Genesis and Stabilization of a Socio-Technocal Device in Three French Cities', British Journal of Criminology, 52: 294-308.

Mackay, D. (2003), 'Multiple targets: the reasons to support town-centre CCTV systems', in M. Gill, ed., CCTV, Leicester: Perpetuity Press.

Norris, C. (2012), "The success of failure. Accounting for the global growth of CCTV"in K. Ball, K.D. Haggerty, D. Lyon, eds, Routledge Handbook of Surveillance Studies, Routledge, London and New-York, 251-258.


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12_Discourse and Argumentation

Panel Chairs:

Frank Fischer


Isabela Fairclough
University of Central Lancashire

Norman Fairclough
University of Lancaster

Herbert Gottweis


This panel will focus upon the relationship between discourse analysis and argumentation analysis in critical policy analysis, while also aiming to stimulate a more general debate about relations between the various concepts, and forms of analysis associated with them, which have been deployed in the turn towards meaning and interpretation in policy analysis , including 'discourse', 'argumentation', 'deliberation', 'rhetoric' and 'narrative'. 

'Discourse' is widely understood to be the broadest and most general of these concepts, and discourse analysis might be seen as encompassing analysis of argumentation, deliberation, rhetoric and narrative.   Yet as the editors note in their Introduction to Fischer and Gottweis (2012: 9), which addresses specifically the 'argumentative turn' in policy analysis, argumentation 'has tended to take a back seat' in discourse analysis.  They also note that these terms tend to be 'used somewhat indiscriminately', which perhaps suggests that discourse analysts have not generally seen it as part of their remit to clarify relations and differences between the major categories that figure in what we might broadly refer to as analysis of 'semiosis', of semiotic as opposed to non-semiotic (or material) dimensions of society and politics.  This is perhaps linked to how semiosis, or 'discourse' in its most general sense, is conceptualized: it often seems for instance to be reduced to 'discourses', understood as representations, different ways of representing,  with little if any attention to what some analysts call 'genres', different ways of (inter)acting. Argumentation, as well as deliberation and narrative, are ways of (inter)acting, families of genres we might say. One might argue that while some approaches to discourse analysis (e.g. Fairclough & Fairclough 2012) not only accommodate argumentation (as well as narrative etc) analysis but also allow us to address the crucial question of how representations figure within arguments, others do not. It is difficult for example to see how one can coherently approach the question of 'problematization' in policy analysis (see e.g. Howarth & Griggs 2012) without addressing this question. While these observations relate to the capacity of approaches to discourse analysis to accommodate analysis of argumentation, the panel would also include discussion about what forms of and approaches to argumentation analysis are indicated by the aims and concerns of critical discourse analysis and critical policy analysis.

The panel might address the following questions:

How might argumentation analysis be integrated with discourse analysis?

What approaches to discourse analysis and argumentation analysis might facilitate such integration?

How might such an integrated approach contribute to researching dialectical relations between semiotic and non-semiotic (or material) aspects of policy formation and implementation?

Could an integrated approach also subsume rhetorical and narrative analysis?


Isabela Fairclough & Norman Fairclough Political Discourse Analysis: a Method for Advanced Students. London: Routledge 2012

Fischer, F. and H. Gottweis, The Argumentative Turn Revisited: Public Policy as Communicative practice. Duke 2013.


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13_Discursive Mechanisms towards Saliency, Credibility, and Legitimacy in Scientific Environmental Policy Advice

Panel Chairs:

Anja Bauer
Institute of Forest, Environmental and Natural Resource Policy
University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna, Austria


Michael Pregernig

Institute of Environmental Social Science and Geography
Albert-Ludwigs-University Freiburg, Germany



Expert analysis and scientific knowledge occupy an increasingly prominent role in current political controversies and policy debates. In problem areas like climate change or biodiversity loss, in technical fields like agri-biotechnology or biomedicine, or in societal discourses on sustainability, democracy and globalization, science and expertise – qua their cognitive authority – hold interpretative and performative power in defining problems, but also in proposing possible solutions. In some instances, experts are even called in as mediators in political and societal conflicts. As a consequence, one sees an increase in the demand for expert scientific advice in policy-making and, concurrently, a growing landscape of policy advice and analysis. Instruments, organizations and practices of policy advice and analysis, however, are not neutral tools but embed and are embedded in specific discourses and framings. Combining approaches of interpretative policy analysis and science and technology studies, the panel aims at plotting those discourses and framings and critically scrutinizing their performative effects. First, papers analyze how instruments and organizations of policy analysis and advice base on and reinforce particular framings of the subject they are concerned with. This includes the framing of environmental or technological debates either in terms of “risks” or “ethics” or specific representations of the environment, biodiversity and the like. Second, papers focus on the question of how policy analysis and advice entail discourses about “effective” science-policy interactions (e.g. by drawing on the narratives of “evidence-based policy-making” or “knowledge brokerage”) and specific ideas about what counts as authoritative knowledge and who counts as a legitimate expert. The panel builds on the assumption that the way the interplay between science and policy-making is interpreted and reproduced by relevant (scientific and political) actors has an influence on the set of approaches and methods that are suggested and implemented in real-world science-policy interactions. The setup of advisory bodies and processes resonates and co-evolves with specific ideas about the “scientific” and the “political” sphere. In more concrete terms, the different (self-)images show their imprints in various dimensions: in how scientific advisory processes are organized; in the strategies of demarcating between “scientific facts” and “societal values”; in the roles that are provided for scientists, policy-makers and stakeholders in setting the questions as well as producing and transferring knowledge; in the framing of what is seen as appropriate knowledge or an accepted output of advisory activities; and in what place the public should be assigned in scientific advisory processes.

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14_Emotions and Discourses: Towards New Paths of Studying Knowledge Production

Panel Chairs:

Anna Durnová


Birgit Sauer



While emotions have become an object of study for many social science approaches, this panel restrains emotions to their heuristic potential for studying the knowledge production. Against the background of the dialog between the interpretive approaches and Science and Technology Studies we are interested in which way emotions interact with discourses or are part of them. Emotions are often said to destabilize the normative and institutional patterns, conceived as "traditional". For that reason, we argue that understanding how, when and why emotions matter is vital to thinking about issues related to the dynamics of knowledge production that are at the core of current conflicts and controversies.

Approaches recalling Foucault, Poststructuralism or constructivist approaches have emphasized that power is organized through the negotiation and that these negotiations have a discursive nature. At the same time, the ideas of subjectivity and multiplicity have supported the investigation into how the development of discourses is affected by interactions of individual values and beliefs. In this panel, we want to give these debates a different spin and focus on the role of emotions for the development of discourses.

We welcome papers dealing with the duality of emotions and discourse. This duality transcends, we argue, the dichotomy of materiality and sociality that has so often been the object of discussion between STS and Poststructuralism. We especially invite scholars from dealing with both IPA and STS in the discussion of the bringing-in of emotions to submit their paper. Papers can discuss the aforementioned concepts of “discourse”, “emotions”, “knowledge production”, or they can present empirical analysis of current conflicts based on these concepts. We also welcome papers that discuss the inclusion of sociopsychological approaches in IPA or STS.


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15_Energy Transitions between Forms of Knowledge and Public Controversies: New Tools and Perspectives for the Analysis of Key Turning Points

Panel Chairs:

Francis Chateauraynaud
Director Groupe de Sociologie Pragmatique et Réflexive (GSPR)
Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales (EHESS), Paris


Markku Lehtonen
Research Fellow, Sussex Energy Group, SPRU
University of Sussex & Ifris, Université Paris-Est Marne-la-Vallée



Public debates, policies and practices concerning alternative energy futures have in the recent years been increasingly framed in terms of ‘transitions’. These include both state-led debates (such as the on-going French debate on energy transition) and cross-sectoral efforts at ‘transition management’ (e.g. in the Netherlands), as well as more bottom-up community-led initiatives (e.g. within the transition network and transition town movement). Public controversies over desirable energy futures and visions entail the exercise of various forms of power, in the confrontation between the contrasting logics and rationalities of the ‘wild’ (civil-society initiated) and ‘domesticated’ (top-down, institutionalised) forms of mobilisation. In addition to the conflicts and disputes concerning the definition of desirable energy futures and visions (transitions away from what, towards what, why, and for whom?), ‘energy transition controversies’ concern the authority and credibility of various types and sources of knowledge – experts and forms of expertise – under conditions of strong cognitive and normative uncertainty. Crucially, the coevolution of these ‘knowledge battles’ with the ever-changing policy context frequently produces unpredictable turning points that change the shape and the nature of the debates irreversibly. Recent and current examples of such repositioning of goalposts include accidents (e.g. Fukushima), development of new energy sources (e.g. shale gas), and changes in dominant and accepted expert knowledge (risk assessments; calculations of economic costs of various energy sources; debates concerning the sufficiency of energy resources), and shifts in public opinion (e.g. post-Fukushima nuclear debates).

This panel calls for contributions that examine the role of different types of expert knowledge (e.g. in the form of scenarios, indicators, risk assessments, cost calculations, public opinion surveys, and theorising concerning energy transitions), in shaping the controversies and future visions, and in mediating between different groups in society promoting their preferred visions of transitions towards desired energy futures. The presentations in this panel explore novel approaches and methods of analysing the two-way interaction between knowledge and the turning points in the ‘energy transition controversies’, hence raising to the fore two topics: 1) the roles of different forms and expressions of expertise in the creation and analysis of the key turning points, and 2) the shaping of the forms and roles of expertise in these turning points. The temporal dimension of knowledge struggles surrounding energy transitions will be given particular attention. The contributions may hence employ notions such as path dependency, lock-in and tensions between the short-term and long-term imperatives (between e.g. economics/politics and sustainability concerns) for the analysis of the turning points that shape the form, role, authority and power of different types of knowledge in energy transition controversies. Contributions can include cross-country and cross-sectoral (across domains of energy policy) comparisons of the role of tools of expert analysis (e.g. scenarios, indicators, economic evaluation methods, and risk assessment) in the exercise of power embodied in the tools, in the shaping of public opinion; and in the portrayal of the public opinion in the media. Especially welcome are contributions that employ case studies as a means of illustrating novel methodological or theoretical approaches to the analysis of energy sector controversies.

Contribution to the IPA community:

The panel contributes to the IPA community by providing a venue for discussion between STS And IPA scholars around innovative approaches to the analysis of the role of knowledge in conflicts and controversies, in a policy area with a vibrant STS community. The questions of power, ethics and the role of expert, confrontation of different rationalities and forms of knowledge, and methodological challenges in analysing the evolution of energy controversies in a historical perspective are at the heart of the panel.


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16_Frictions in Creativity and Power from the Perspective of Innovative Practices

Panel Chairs:

Dr. Anne Loeber
Assistant professor at the University of Amsterdam,
Amsterdam Institute for Social Science Research


Dr. David Laws
Senior lecturer  at the University of Amsterdam
Amsterdam Institute for Social Science Research


Drs. Jesse Hoffman (contact person)
PhD candidate at the University of Amsterdam
Amsterdam Institute for Social Science Research



Attempts at fostering societal change, whether these are cast in terms of ‘policy making’, ‘conflict resolution’, ‘innovative governance practices’, or ‘system innovation’, have been described and assessed in terms of rationality and power conflicts. Yet, the ‘novel practices’ that seek to change prevailing dynamics and established patterns of thinking and acting entail a creativity that merits attention. In the form of experiments or projects, these ‘novel practices’ creatively exemplify new ways of acting and defining problems and explicitly seek to break with what is accepted as normal and customary. The friction between new and established practices can disturbe the effort to change and may therefore be ignored as much as possible. Yet, it can also be used productively. Finding a balance in dealing with friction is a matter of creativity. The creation of  ‘novelty’ that is eligible for use in the situation at hand is a crucial step in (re-)arranging practices and (re-)defining the issues that can be addressed. It is striking that creativity and the ‘production of novelty’ have been analyzed primarily as a 'pure' faculty that hinges on detachment from reality or some novel search algorithm.

This panel invites papers that examine creativity in relation to power conflicts in reflection on the following questions. How do novelty and normalcy relate to the level of practices? What does novelty do in practice, beyond introducing a discourse of change? How should we understand the relation between agency and structure from a practice-oriented perspective? How should we understand the relation between innovation-oriented agency and the structural context from a practice-oriented perspective? By putting practices centre stage, this panel seeks to bring together scholarship that treats creativity and imagination as an engaged, political, and problem-oriented activity. We invite papers with all policy themes and approaches that focus on the tensions raised by the search for novelty. We are especially interested in papers that address the friction between claims to be new, innovative, and unconventional and the power that enables these claims to break into existing regimes of practice.


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17_From Deliberative Practice to Policy Outcomes: Connecting Argumentation with Institutionalization

Panel Chairs:

Dr Toni Darbas & Dr Bruce Taylor
Research Scientists
CSIRO Ecosystem Sciences
Program of Social and Economic Sciences
Brisbane, Australia


Panel Discussants:

Professor Vivien A. Schmidt
Department of International Relations
Boston University, Massachusetts


Policy debates about how natural resources should best be managed involve multiple stakeholders, and have considerable potential to generate political conflict. These are conflicts between knowledge /power constellations, in which stakeholder positions are fractured by multiple acute (e.g. irrigator, utility authority) and diffuse (e.g. urban consumer) material stakes in resources such as water, coral reefs, minerals, native forests, fisheries etc.

Discursive framings that seek to catalyse change inevitably collide with the discourse coalitions of more entrenched configurations of material stakeholders. Policy discourses that promote (or would require) alternative institutional arrangements are often fragile, particularly if those arrangements imply a fundamental disruption to prevailing incentive structures and power relations. Thus, discursive windows may interrupt and dramatise but not alter the pathway of a socio-economic trajectory, given the institutional inertia arising from extant, interlocked structures of material incentives. Equally, a government may appear to control a policy agenda, often through enrolling scientifically authoritative or procedurally justifiable knowledge claims, but lose control of the implementation agenda through lack of sufficient means of traction with stakeholders. Division between the articulation and implementation of policy goals may also widen due to factors such as: i) the shift from reliance upon expert-based judgments to frame the policy problem and articulate goals to the more practice-oriented knowledge of implementation contexts; ii) interaction between the scientific uncertainty and institutional ambiguity associated with the problem; iii) tension between substantive and procedural rationalities of actors involved in policy debates; and iv) the manner in which distinctive political-institutional systems structure the natural resource management problem.

Ultimately, whether policy implementation actually occurs, occurs within the terms publicly discussed, or institutionally shifts a problematic socio-economic trajectory, remain empirical questions. Thus, the divide between the discursive practices involved in policy formation versus policy implementation is ripe for consideration. The panel seeks to contribute to the IPA community by connecting the interpretive analysis of policy conflict with that of conflict over policy institutionalisation. We seek to delineate the possible terms of connection between the articulation and institutionalisation of policy via comparative analysis (broadly understood). 

Papers to this panel would ideally bring together ‘windows’ of intense policy argumentation with the less visible and less studied processes of implementation and institutionalisation. This could be achieved through historical contextualization, longitudinal analysis, or re-studies of particular issues or cases. Comparative pivots could include formulation versus implementation of a policy or spatially varied cases of policy implementation.  Papers could also explore discursive policy contests under different political-administrative systems to assess relative ability to interrupt trajectories of resource degradation. For example, do the outcomes of policy contests unfold differently in a developing nation that employs five year planning horizons while harnessing conditional aid flows compared to a multi-party democratic nation? Do unitary states possess an advantage over federated states in translating discursive contests over natural resource management into institutional arrangements?


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18_Interrogating rationalities and expertise in international migration policies

Panel Chairs:

İlker Ataç
University of Vienna


Helen Schwenken
University of Kassel



In most parts of the globe, migration is one of the most conflictive policy fields. At national levels, migration reforms tend to be accompanied by fierce public debate. However, when turning to the international level, it is surprising how consensus-oriented debates appear. The International Organization for Migration speaks of a “triple win” situation, where countries of origin, of destination and the migrants can profit from migration. The term “brain gain” has widely replaced the one of “brain drain”. And in regional and global levels consultative fora brought countries of origin and destination together (e.g. Gulf countries and South Asian countries) to develop a common perspective and one day find joint policy solutions. In the Global Forum on Migration and Development civil society and governments expressed their will to arrive at joint “benchmarks”, even though civil society started the process much more critical of state-governed migration. – The panel asks: Which rationalities do guide current national and international migration policies? What’s the role of consensus and conflict? What role does allegedly neutral expert knowledge play?

Approaches in interpretive policy analysis can help deciphering consensus by carving out differing rationalities and approaches in migration policies. A critical look at the role of expert knowledge can identify how expertise is constructed and (strategically) brought into policy arenas.

We invite researchers from all kinds of migration study subfields and disciplines to

  • introduce the analytical gain of various IPA approaches
  • look at the role of expert knowledge, but also other forms of knowledge, such as subversive forms
  • offer explanations why migration policies are shaped the way they are – what’s the role of ideas, interests, larger economic and political developments?
  • analyse the political role of consensus and conflict in international migration policies
  • compare several countries or regions in terms of the underlying policy rationales
  • analyse rhetoric, framing and discourse at national, regional or international levels
  • bring in a historical perspective by following migration policy rationales over time
  • propose any other topic that seems to fit to the overall questions of the panel.

We are looking forward to your paper proposals!


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19_Governing in Multi-Level Systems: Exploring the Intersection between Democracy, ‘Good Governance’ and Expertise

Panel Chairs:

Professor Henrik Bang
The Australia and New Zealand School of Government's Institute for Governance
University of Canberra



The nation state has become intrinsically dependent for its survival and development on its cooperation with a whole range of political regimes, publics, epistemic networks and knowledge systems that exist in relative autonomy from one another all the way down from the global to the local and everywhere in-between. It is within this problematic that the concept of multi-level governance has emerged in an attempt to better understand and explain the dynamic, communicative, performative and interactive interrelationships that exist between government and governance. This panel addresses one crucial dilemma that has emerged from these developments between democracy (inputs) on the one hand and 'good governance' (outputs) on the other. The central concern of democracy has always been around ensuring that citizens with different, often opposed, interests and identities acquire free and equal access to and recognition in decision-making processes. On the other hand, the basic task of 'good governance' is about how political authorities draw on expertise in order to articulate and perform authoritative policies that improve the welfare and wellbeing of their population(s). In today's societies, an increasing tension within and across all levels, is the collapse of this distinction into practices that place good governance 'in the shadow' of democracy, or vice versa, as policy areas are rendered either 'apolitical' or 'risky' domains that need to be 'managed' at arm's length by 'independent' experts and others. This tension has become all the more acute given that many of the public policy problems today call for a coordinated response at several different levels. This session calls for papers which discuss this tension from a variety of different angles, including those that exist between: experts and publics; sovereignty and metagovernance; effectiveness and legitimacy; 'old' and 'new' forms of participation and representation; 'negative' and 'positive' approaches to power; and liberty ('freedom from') and the practice of freedom ('freedom to').

Contribution to the IPA community

This panel addresses key themes that are relevant to this conference, including the relationship between different forms of expertise, conflict and consensus, democracy and good governance, knowledge and representation, and emerging forms of statehood. The papers in this section will include theoretical and applied contributions that examine how democracy is being reconciled with 'good governance' within a multi-level context. As such, it will address crucial questions in public policy about the (re)articulation of 'the political' domain and the changing nature of democracy, governance and their relationship with expertise. 


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20_How to Think Together Politics and the Policy Process?

Panel Chairs:

Philippe Zittoun
IEP Grenoble, France


Sonia Lemettre
CHERPA / Sciences Po Aix
Pacte /IEP Grenoble, France



How to take into account politics inside the policy process? This question is as old as the policy analysis itself. When Lippman suggested developing policy knowledge inside some future intelligence services, he thought it as a medication against the democracy crisis. When Merriam proposed a new political science, one of its aspects was not only to develop a scientific method but also a scientific knowledge for the government. When Lasswell proposed a policy science during the Second World War, he was motivated in part by the stabilization process of the democracy.

The articulation between politics and the policy process still continues to be a contemporary problem that some authors with different approaches try to grasp in different ways. Some works understand politics in short as political staff and try to understand its influence. Some others resume politics as classical political activities like elections and political parties and try to measure their impact. Some others consider politics as values and ideologies and try to understand their role.

In each case, there is a link between what researcher defines as politics and what he observes inside the policy process. The topic of our panel is to set this traditional point of view aside to better understand this link between policy and politics. We would like to consider different approaches to grasp the policy process and a theoretical proposal about what political activities are. Can it be a relation based on power struggles, for example between two Ministries or between different actors' profiles (for instance between a politician and an executive), where two actors try to convince the other one? Is it an activity which consists in defining a policy problem, imposing a solution?

Contributions concerning the politicization process inside the policymaking are particularly welcome. Indeed, if the politicization process is well known inside the agenda process, it is relatively unexplored inside the policy formulation.Theoretical, methodological and/or empirical propositions are welcome. The proposition can focus on policy analysis, comparative policy or political theory.


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21_New politics of expertise and policy making: processing knowledge and influence (in Europe and beyond)

Panel Chairs:

Julia Hildermeier
ENS Cachan/HU Berlin

Kim Bizzarri
University of Strathclyde


“Scientific” or “strategic” knowledge is often used to construct legitimacy in political negotiation, solving conflicts on regulation and decision processes. So far, however, this field of "relevance making" and influence is under-researched in much of the literature on expertise and policy advice. Accordingly, our aim is to explore how expertise and the configuration of experts are constructed and how experts work when “making politics”.

The impact of expertise begins with the framing of a political problem. While institutionalists propose to explore agency in institutional settings under the label of “institutional work”, interpretive policy analysis makes a strong contribution in understanding the role and impact of expert (organisations) in framing policy problems. A first line of inquiry might be: Who is (trying to) frame policy problems? What is the relationship between those who are involved in framing and other parties interested?  What effects do specific framing strategies have on pieces of regulation or the organization of decision making processes?  Taking into account that policy approaches and instruments are carriers of (subjective) interpretations of reality, what are the effects of expert(ise)-based policy instruments?

The question of problem construction through expertise is directly linked to “experts” and expert institutions/organisations as actors in various policy fields, as direct participants in decision-making processes or as critics of the status-quo. This concerns a variety of organisations, from formally registered think tanks and lobbying organizations, to academic institutions and laboratories that deliver expertise on demand for public and private clients (advocacy, academic and commercial research). As expertise and the capacity to convey it is distributed very unequally, its policy impacts are even more relevant.

The panel invites comparative and in-depth case studies as well as theoretical reflections on the role of experts and expertise in policy making, the (discursive) construction of knowledge, legitimacy and public problems based on which political decision are being taken.


Lawrence, Thomas B., Roy Suddaby, and Bernard Leca, eds. 2009. Institutional Work: Actors and Agency in Institutional Studies of Organizations. Cambridge University Press.

Le Galès, Patrick, Pierre Lascoumes. 2007. Introduction: Understanding Public Policy through Its Instruments – From the Nature of Instruments to the Sociology of Public Policy Instrumentation. Governance: An International Journal of Policy, Administration, and Institutions 20(1): 1-21.

Miller, David, Mooney, Gerry. 2010. Introduction to the Themed Issue. Corporate Power: Agency, Communication, Influence and Social Policy.  Critical Social Policy 30(4): 459-471, 2010.

Plehwe, Dieter. 2010. Who cares about excellence? Commercialization, competition, and the transnational promotion of neoliberal expertise. In: Halvorsen, Tor, Nyhagen, Atle (eds.): Academic identities -academic challenges? American and European experiences of the transformation of higher education and research. Cambridge University Press


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22_International Think Tanks: Organizing Transfers and Multi-Dimensional Consultation

Panel Chairs:

Frank Fischer
Rutgers University

David Miller
University of Bath

Dieter Plehwe



Many countries around the world and European Union member states in particular have seen a rise of think tanks and think tank networks over the last two decades. The latest pull factor in Europe has been the funding of European Foundations (tied to European political parties present in the European Parliament). European Foundations in turn have provided another incentive to promote and consolidate networks of like-minded think tanks (frequently linking up with organizations across the Atlantic and elsewhere). Yet European-level think tank research remains underdeveloped compared to U.S. think tank studies, for example.

So far most of the European literature is comparative and focused on the national level. Very little research has been published on think tanks and their role in the European (multi-level) polity. The panel invites papers to discuss think tanks in Europe and their role in European research space and knowledge politics, European public policy making, European advocacy / lobby efforts and the emerging European public sphere. Comparative papers primarily interested in national politics are also welcome, though we require proposals to take international (European) dimensions of policy making systematically into account when looking at the national or sub-national level.


Dakowska, Dorota (2009). Networks of Foundations as Norm Entrepreneurs: Between Politics and Policies in EU Decision-making. Journal of Public Policy, 29(2), 201-221.

Kohler-Koch, Beate (2010). Civil society and EU democracy: Astroturf representation. Journal of European Public Policy 17(1), 100-116.

Plehwe, Dieter (2010). Brussels Think Tanks and Corporate PR. In: Helen Burley, William Dinan, Kenneth Haar, Olivier Hoedeman and Erik Wesselius (eds.), Bursting the Brussels Bubble. The battle to expose corporate lobbying at the heart of the EU. Alter-EU, Brussels.

Saloma, J. S. III (1984). Ominous Politics. The New Conservative Labyrinth. New York.

Ullrich, Heidi  (2004). European Union think tanks: generating ideas, analysis and debate. In: Stone, D. and Denham, A. (eds.): Think Tank Traditions, Policy research and the politics of ideas. Manchester University Press.


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23_Interpreting through Indicators: Science, Politics and Meaning in Measurement

Panel Chairs:

Laureen Elgert


Esther Turnhout



Indicators are increasingly understood as salient policy tools for policy makers and meaningful windows to reality for the public.   Early approaches treated indicators as technical policy tools, drawing from such complimentary frameworks as  ‘pressure-state-response’ (PSR), used to identify causal relationships between driving forces of environmental change, the resultant environmental state, and the policy responses necessary to drive changes in more desirable ways.  Despite a general agreement regarding their utility, however, such approaches were not widely taken up and ultimately critiqued for over-simplistic and static analysis of environment-human relations (Segnestam, 2002).  More recently, the attention of researchers has been turned away from streamlining the design and implementation of indicators towards political aspects which highlight a broader range of actors in indicators creation, their essentially contested nature, and their social construction (Rydin, Holman, & Wolff, 2003).  Such research draws attention to both downstream issues of implementation, and also the ways in which the creation of indicator sets reflects politics and institutions (Turnhout, Hisschemöller, & Eijsackers, 2007). 

Indicators do not simply do the ‘technical work’ of measuring objective phenomena – they also do political work.  For example, Indicators may be used to monitor regionally specific social, economic and ecological processes or they may be used to compare different municipalities, regions, or countries.  Such ranking and assessment do not simply provide a helpful information tool for countries striving for sustainability – but provide the rationale for judgement, funding allocations and sanctions.  But who chooses this system of rewards and punishments, how is it chosen, and who is forced to comply? Critical observers suggest that “The turn to indicators in the field of global governance introduces a new form of knowledge production with implications for relations of power between rich and poor nations and between governments and civil society” (Merry, 2011:583).  Meanwhile, research has demonstrated that this potential ‘tyranny’ of hierarchical indexes is often based on uncertainties that, “end up emphasizing imaginary differences between countries as if they were distinct and real” (Høyland, Moene, & Willumsen, 2012:10). 

For this panel, we are interested in papers addressing interpretive features of indicators in terms of: the process of creating indicators; how indicators are implemented and measured; and, the wider political implications of indicators.  Papers might address issues such as:

  • The role of indicators in policy and governance; how indicators are used to inform policy choices/directions;
  • Multi-scalar indicators: how indicators are mobilized from local to global – or – global to local levels of governance;
  • The politics of designing and implementing indicators; indicators as nature-society hybrids; boundary work and indicator development; or,
  • Regional/country comparisons using indicators; broader outcomes of indicator comparisons.

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24_Interpretive Experimental Studies – Oxymoron or Squaring the Circle?

Panel Chairs:

Peter H. Feindt
Cardiff University


Bernhard Kittel
University of Vienna


Frank Nullmeier
University of Bremen



Experimental approaches are often perceived as anathema to interpretive policy analysts. While interpretive policy analysis emphasizes the importance of context and process of interpretation, the very idea of experimental approaches is to create observational settings which are isolated from context and allow for controlled and often purified observation. This tendency is often exacerbated by experimental design which are informed or driven by a rational choice agenda. Hence, from an interpretive perspective, experimental approaches are often perceived as the epitome of positivism and scientism.

In recent years, though, experimental studies have moved beyond the narrow confines of testing rational choice or game theoretic models, widening the scope of experimental methods as well as broadening the range of subjects analyzed. Experimental approaches have opened new research perspectives on conflict resolution, citizen participation and expert-based policy. Deliberative experiments attempt to combine the critical motives of theories of deliberative democracy with the positivist methodology of opinion research. In field experiments, simulations and laboratory experiments, processes of deliberation and collective decision-making are analyzed with reference to the deliberative quality of the interactions between groups or within mini-publics. Empirical findings are directly linked to deliberative democratic theory.

Computer-based laboratory experiments including deliberation via chat protocols as well as audio-visually recorded face-to-face deliberation experiments are a manifestation of a new openness towards qualitative methods like visual or textual analysis. New forms of interpretive experimental studies offer a chance to test and to analyze principles and practices applied in different political settings in order to deal with conflicts between or within groups.

The aim of this panel is to discuss how experimental and quasi-experimental approaches can contribute to interpretive policy analysis, and how interpretive policy analysis can inform experimental studies of policy. 

We invite papers that explore these issues both empirically and theoretically, addressing questions such as:

  • How can experimental approaches be reconciled with an interpretivist emphasis on contextual meaning? Can experimental methods be severed from scientistic epistemologies and ontologies?
  • How can experimental studies contribute to interpretive policy analysis? Are quasi-experiments better equipped to allow for interpretive versions of experimental methods?
  • How could an integrated research framework for interpretive experimental studies look like that bridges the gap between interpretive and experimental traditions?
  • What types of political practices and forms of interactions can be studied experimentally in order to enhance our understanding of political conflicts in an interpretive tradition?


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25_Making sense and managing sensitivities of designing and developing multipurpose technological artifacts.

Panel Chairs:

Dr. Ir. Bertien Broekhans

Dr. Baukje Kothuis & Dr. Trudes Heems

All panel organizers from:
Delft Technological University
faculty Technology, Policy and Management
Dept. Multiple Actor Systems (MAS)
Delft, The Netherlands


The participative design of multipurpose artifacts, like landscapes, dikes or roof parks, frequently brings along competing knowledge claims, conflicts and politics (Bijker 1995). Such tensions and potential conflicts often are perceived unfathomable by involved actors, such as experts, public(s) and decision makers. They find it hard to convince others with the arguments they are used to.

We are intrigued by the question how these knowers - our way of talking about different actors (Easley 2009) - in action cooperate towards a shared reasoning that ties information and knowledges instead of separating them, despite that in particular in those processes knowers habitually express their skills and views and value these superior than those of others. Their activities and the design as the result of their cooperation, shape and are shaped by the network of knowers. In other words, the legitimate and final artifact is a result of public reason and collective sense making of problems and solutions (Jasanoff 2012).  In doing so they have to manage with the sensitivities of different knowers in order to develop and design something new and to deal with competing knowledge claims and (potential) conflicts (Forrester 2009). Making sense and managing sensitivities are closely related processes that start from the interpretation of expertise and power of knowers.

As interpretive researchers we intend to elaborate on the notion that successful design is not only a matter of formally and informally negotiating values and interests, but also an integral part of everyday (subconscious) practices within the policy domain.

In this panel we aim to bring together interpretive empirical studies concerning policy practices in the process of designing and developing multipurpose technological artifacts. This implicates practices with a multi-actor setting, integral and multi-disciplinary ambitions and complex balancing of competing knowledge claims and knowers. The panel emphasizes the importance of reflection on the relation between science, industries and governance problems and the way citizens cooperate in the decision making process. Papers are invited that investigate sense making and/or managing sensitivities between knowers in participatory decision making processes in designing and developing water management, road infrastructure, urban and  landscape architecture etc.

Not only in our research but also in the practice of sense making in this panel, we opt for an alternative panel structure with innovative forms for discussion. In this panel we use innovative methods for discussion and knowledge sharing, while reflecting on developing mutual knowledge. We consider the use the unconventional method of 'pub-talks'. At four 'pub-tables' four participants simultaneously briefly present their subject and host a short introductory discussion. Four times all participants change tables and thus get involved in all operative subjects. The second part of the session is an interactive 'pub-wide debate' based on the 'pub small-talks', collecting insights around the central theme 'making sense and managing sensitivities'. Due to this way of conducting the panel the maximum amount of participants will be between 25 and 30 persons. In cooperation with participants we will stimulate to develop a concrete final product from this panel. The form of this end product is part of the discussion that will be organized during a lunch meeting with participants.


Bijker, B. 1995. Of Bikes, Bulbs and Bakelites: towards a theory of sociotechnical change. Massachusetts Institute of Technology.  

Easley, D. 2010. Networks, crowds and markets. Reasoning about a highly connected world. Cambridge University Press.

Forrester, J. 2009. Dealing with Differences. Dramas of mediating public disputes. Oxford University Press.

Jasanoff, S. 2012. Science and public reason. Routledge


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26_Interpretive Policy Analysis and Science Technology Studies in the Face of Crises

Panel Chairs:

Doris Wydra
University of Salzburg
Salzburg Centre of European Union Studies


Helga Pülzl
European Forest Institute @ INFER
BOKU University



Theme and rational for the session:

The notion of crisis seems to be omnipresent at the moment. As the European Union lives through the harshest economic crisis since its foundation, new approaches to economic and monetary governing seem to be necessary. At the same time we face a growing global ecological crisis (and the Doha Climate Conference 2012 gives ample evidence of the division between nations but also the impression of a "race against time"), the nuclear accident in Fukushima has fuelled discussions on the technological risks of nuclear energy and highlighted the necessity to find new political approaches to a "technological" and "energy" crisis. These are just some examples for "crises", the list can be extended. Our aim in this panel is to tackle the question how the perception of crisis can be linked to various aspects of policy change.

In recent years there has been a growing trend to identify interpretive approaches to policy analysis. This trend is by no means homogeneous, but characterized by a variety of different strands. The aim of this panel is to create a space for a critical examination of conceptual, methodological and practical dimensions of different approaches in the face of crises. Particularly innovative and newer approaches in the interpretative policy research (eg discourse, frame, narrative, governmentality, etc.) contrasted to more traditional approaches (eg, rational choice, principal-agent, institutionalism, etc.) are of interest to us.

The following questions are central:
(1) How do policy problems evolve in the face of (economic, technological and environmental) crises? What triggers policy change, and how does it work? How and why do some issues get on the political agenda, while others remain invisible or marginalized? Does this differ in times where crises are not dominating policy-making, but so-called “normal policy-making” activities describe the core of political life?
(2) How are policy meanings "created"? How can policy change be explained from different theoretical perspectives, and what theoretical concepts from the policy research as analysis tools are available to us?
(3) Is policy change more likely when a meaning system cannot be maintained (e.g.new scientific knowledge, leading to a redefinition of "causal" relationships)? 
(4) Are actors positioned by discourses and how do discourses change the positioning of these players in times of crises? Can interpretive approaches explain the changing attitudes of actors?
(5) Does membership in regional organisations like the European Union shape the perception of crisis but also possible solutions to it, following a logic of appropriateness?

The Panel proposal is based on the work done within the ÖGPW, the Austrian Political Science Association, Section Interpretative Policy Analysis. It aims at discussing and comparing different theoretic frameworks and their approach public policy analysis, especially with regard to explaining change. In this panel we especially invite papers relating to policy within the European Union, but also papers discussing "policy change in the face of crisis" from different theoretic angles or linking science-technology studies to interpretive policy analysis.

27_Is There a Place for the State in Interpretive Policy Analysis ?

Panel Chairs:

Hal Colebatch
University of NSW, Australia




The application of a critical interpretive perspective has thrown new light on much of the process of governing, but less attention has been given to the fundamental conceptualisation of governing as the imposition by central authority ('the state') of 'rule' in whatever is not state ('civil society'); this panel challenges this 'blind spot' in our application if interpretive analysis.


Interpretive policy analysis has focused on the construction of meaning in the development of policy.  It confronts a dominant paradigm which sees policy as 'whatever government decides to do or not to do' (Dye), with this perspective being elaborated through a linear model of systematic choice (e.g. the 'policy cycle').  Critical policy analysis has recognised this framing as being part of the action, and has asked how it is used to frame action, and has shown how the contested and interactive process of governing is represented (re-presented), through rituals of instrumental choice.

But notwithstanding the critique, the paradigm of instrumental choice remains dominant is both analysis and practice, which raises a number of questions for interpretive analysis about the force of 'sacred' presentations of the world, and the place of academic discourse in sustaining them.

In this perspective, this panel focuses on the specific construct of 'the state' as an actor in the process of governing, one that is embedded in the discourse but is rarely subjected to analysis.  There is academic discussion of how the state might be categorised, but less interest in the impact of the critical perspective on the state as an actor - coherent, intelligent, wilful, and instrumental.

This panel addresses itself to this gap in the application of critical interpretive analysis to the process of governing.  It asks what it means to talk about 'the state' in critical interpretive discourse.  Is the concept of 'the state' part of the 're-presentation' of governing as authoritative instrumental action ('since there is governing, there must be a governor') ?  How should critical interpretive analysis deal with the concept of the state ? 

In particular, what are the implications of the claimed shift from 'government' to 'governance' for the concept of the state ?  If there has been such a shift in practice, does it mean that 'the state' has been reduced in significance - or expanded in size and capacity ?  And in an interpretive perspective, how much should this claimed change be seen as reflecting changes in the practice of governing, and how much a change in the interpretation - the accounts given - of these practices ?

Contribution to the IPA community

Interpretive policy analysis has tended to focus on the processes of governing; this panel asks for the application of IPA to one of the core concepts in the practice and analysis of governing.


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28_Joint Fact-Finding: The Role of Science in Public Policy Discourse

Panel Chairs:

Masahiro Matsuura
University of Tokyo
Graduate School of Public Policy


David Laws
University of Amsterdam
Graduate School of Social Sciences


T.A.P. Metze
Tilburg University
Tilburg Law School



Science and technology have become an integral part of public life.  The legitimacy of many choices about public policy hinges on scientific information and technical analysis, even as these features are becoming more uncertain and controversial.  For instance, the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant incident has triggered a major controversy over the management of radiation risks in Japan, due in a large part to the lack of conclusive information on low-dose radiation risks.  In the face of such conflicts, society needs mechanisms to link scientific information and policy-making processes.

Joint fact-finding (JFF) is a response to the experience of controversy that seeks to reconcile the technical and political demands that arise when scientist and technical experts play a significant role in policy-making.  Experimentation with joint fact-finding has blossomed in North America, particularly in the field of environmental policy.  In many these JFF efforts, panels of experts who are agreed by a wide range of stakeholders, are asked to provide scientific and technical analysis in response to questions developed by stakeholders as a group.  In other cases, competing groups of experts—each of which will provide “scientific evidence” supporting a stakeholder group—are brought to public forums in order to share their assumptions and make sense of the differences in models and analysis that lead them to conflicting conclusions (Ozawa and Susskind 1985). Recent scholarship, reflecting on multiple cases, suggests that the role of scientific experts is not limited to a source of information, but is directly political and triggers reflection on, and reframing of, relationships among contending groups and between these groups and experts (Laws and Forester, 2007).  In this view, JFF is an ongoing experiment with using a collaborative framework to learn about the scientific information and expert knowledge that is relevant to policy choices and to involve varieties of stakeholders in framing and managing this learning process.

In this panel, we invite papers that discuss the role of scientific information in controversial policy deliberations and reflect on efforts to involve scientists and other technical experts in resolving public disputes.  We are interested in comparing practical methods for organizing the participation of experts in public deliberation and negotiation and examining how organizational and performative features of different approaches shape legitimacy and decision-making.  We look forward to illuminating and comparing key features of innovative approaches like JFF in the discussion of papers.


Laws, D. and Forester, J. “Learning in Practice: Public Policy Mediation.” Critical Policy Analysis, 1(4), pp. 342-370, 2007.

Ozawa, C. and Susskind, L. “Mediating Science-intensive Disputes.” Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, 5 (1), pp. 23-39, 1985.


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29_Logos and Ethos: Network Governance, New Publics and the “New” Policy Web

Panel Chairs:


Kathleen McNutt
Johnson-Shoyama Graduate School of Public Policy
University of Regina, Canada


Jeremy Rayner
Johnson Shoyama Graduate School of Public Policy
University of Saskatchewan, Canada


Michael Orsini
School of Political Studies
University of Ottawa, Canada


Patrik Marier
Department of Political Science
Concordia University, Canada



The deployment of interactive and collaborative Web 2.0 technologies has significant implications for traditional understandings of power and networks. Widely hailed as transformative, and the object of intense academic scrutiny, the impact of social media and other elements of the "new" web on politics and policy has been mixed. Their potential to mobilize new voters and to dramatically change public service delivery were noticed early on. Their role in policy development has been more difficult to discern. While having noticeable effects on agenda setting, their effectiveness at other critical points in policy development, notably problem framing and the choice of alternatives, is much less well-known. One key challenge that has emerged is a tension between the emergent ethos of Web 2.0 - participatory, collaborative, flexible and open - with the realities of network governance. Policy networks have boundaries between insiders and outsiders: collaboration is limited to trusted sources with valued information to exchange; and routinized interactions are quickly established. This tension is even more galling because network governance itself was once hailed in much the same transformative terms as social media before becoming institutionalized as the source of officially recognized policy discourses. Social media may actually work against their own ethos in policy networks through mechanisms such as preferential attachment that reinforce centralized network structures.

This panel solicits papers on the theme of the tension between the production and reproduction of policy discourses in networks and the Web 2.0 ethos that informs the use of social media. Will the promise of social media to break down barriers between expert policy communities and broader publics founder on the structural features of policy networks or will policy networks themselves be transformed?  Papers may be theoretical in nature but case studies of the use of collaborative web tools in policy work settings are particularly welcome, especially those focusing on sectors and issue areas characterized by conflict between established policy communities and new publics with alternative framings. Papers may also address the use of particular collaborative web tools and especially the potential for assemblages of tools or "platforms" to realize the original collaborative and participatory potential of network governance.

Although the STS community is currently heavily involved in examining the role of Web 2.0 tools (there were at least 8 panels and over 30 papers on the subject at the recent 4S conference in Copenhagen), especially their role in enabling or constraining new kinds of public engagement on issues of science and technology, response from the IPA community has been more muted.  This panel attempts to focus this interest on some of the characteristic concerns of interpretive policy analysis: rhetoric, discourse, reflexivity and network governance.


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30_Making Expertise Public: Dilemmas, Conflicts and Controversies

Panel Chairs:

Warren Pearce
University of Nottingham



Over the last 20 years, a series of political crises has challenged the authority of science, the integrity of research and the status of expertise in policymaking. This has contributed to a narrative of dwindling public trust in science and science’s declining capacity to underpin political legitimacy. Such topics have been widely explored in the literature through controversies such as genetically modified organisms, climate change, vaccination and biomedicine.

One potential solution to these problems is to make the practice, use and assessment of expertise within policy-making more open, transparent and democratic; in short, making expertise public. This raises theoretical and practical questions about the motivations for making expertise public, its meanings for policy actors, and its political consequences. This panel seeks to critically engage with recent efforts to interrogate these issues, opening up new questions such as:

     How does the narrative of a legitimacy crisis operate in practice; what kinds of political options has it opened up or foreclosed?

     How have arguments for openness, transparency or public participation travelled between and across multiple levels of interpretation and governance?

     What are the possibilities and motivations for encouraging public participation in policy, particularly policies drawing on scientific evidence?

     How have initiatives to open up policy-making been framed in practice and what are the gaps, tensions and closures?

     What are the tensions between opening up and closing down the decision-making process; is ‘making public’ often followed by ‘making private’?

     Is public participation a manifestation of a post-political age; a strategy intended to suppress, not mediate, conflict?

Colleagues are warmly invited to submit papers addressing these critical issues within public policy. The panel will constructively engage with IPA’s focus on shifting traditional policy-making modes towards more democratic forms of governance. In particular, it will unpack the meaning of ‘conflict’ within policy-making and assess how the ‘political‘ may be included or excluded at particular moments in space and time.


Braun, K., & Schultz, S. (2010). “… a certain amount of engineering involved”: Constructing the public in participatory governance arrangements. PUS, 19(4),403-419.

Jasanoff, S. (2003). (No?) Accounting for expertise. Science and Public Policy, 30(3),157-162.

Moore, A. (2010). Public bioethics and deliberative democracy. Political Studies, 58(4),715–730.

Pielke Jr, R.A. (2007). The Honest Broker. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Science and Public Policy (1999). 26(3).

Science and Public Policy (2003). 30(3).

Tsouvalis, J., & Waterton, C. (2012). Connected Communities: public participation as a process of de-politicization.

Wynne, B. (2007). Public participation in science and technology: performing and obscuring a political–conceptual category mistake. EASTS, 1(1),99-110.


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31_Making Knowledge Work – Interactive Approaches to Science-Policy-Society Relations

Panel Chairs:

Dr. Sabine Weiland
Environmental Policy Research Centre, FU Berlin


Dr. Marta Pérez-Soba
ALTERRA Wageningen University, Netherlands



From climate change to economic crises, societies are increasingly confronted with complex, interconnected economic, social and environmental problems. Knowledge is therefore of growing importance to underpin political decision making. Many countries have established institutions such as advisory councils, assessment procedures, evaluation clauses etc., and initiated research programmes to collect evidence and to assess policies with regard to their impacts on the various problems that modern societies face. It is argued that utilizing scientific evidence and other stocks of knowledge has the potential to deliver more sustainable policies and to address large-scale global challenges.

It is not self-evident, however, if and how scientific evidence and ‘high-quality’ assessments translate into ‘better’ policies. Frequently, these procedures are built on the assumption of a ‘linear model’ of science and problem solving that rests on objectivity and neutrality of scientific evidence, as well as on science’s autonomy from politics and hence from societal values. Post-positivist critiques of these forms of evidence use, in contrast, stress the constructive character of knowledge and the political nature of policy formation. Rather than linear, they conceive of the relation between science and policy/society as being interactive. They argue that both considerations of how science is used in decision-making and the role users of scientific outputs have in its production are important aspects of understanding the function and effectiveness of scientific evidence in decision-making. This is particularly relevant in cases in which trans-scientific issues are at stake, when science is unable to converge upon a solution, or the policy problem is unstructured such that proponents cannot even agree on a framing of the problem at stake. In such a setting, it is obvious that science cannot deliver ‘true’ knowledge for ‘best’ policy options, but can at best inform open debate and critical reflection.

Against this background, this panel will explore how the construction and utilization of scientific knowledge in policy making and its impact in the policy process itself can be better understood. The focus will be on interactive approaches to the science-policy-society nexus. We invite contributions that conceptually and/or empirically address the following questions of science-policy-society interaction:

  • How does knowledge exchange between science and policy/society work?
  • How are knowledge conflicts, which result from contradicting stocks of evidence and knowledge, handled?
  • How can these diverging knowledge reservoirs be brought together?
  •  Which instruments exist for translating and brokering between science and policy, and between different knowledge stocks?
  • Which strategies exist to make knowledge work – to address the ‘wicked’ problems of our times?


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32_Making Sense of ‘Knowledge’ in International Relations

Panel Chairs:

Hannes Hansen-Magnusson
University of Hamburg



Processes of knowledge creation and diffusion are central to day-to-day workings of international politics. They warrant a close inspection to assess the legitimacy of global governance. The panel argues that ‘knowledge’ has not received sufficient conceptual discussion in international relations research (IR). This is surprising given that an interest in ‘knowledge’ has been identified as the common denominator of sociologically-oriented constructivist research in IR and it is also at the heart of poststructuralist research on the relationship between knowledge and power. Given this variety in disciplinary backgrounds from which ‘knowledge’ has found its way into IR, a conceptual discussion is long over-due. Hence, while knowledge is key to understanding the world, the theme of panel takes a reflecting position that attempts to make sense of ‘knowledge’ in IR.

However, the aim of the panel is not to reconstruct the variations of knowledge’s foundations. Rather, the panel proposes moving forward and use ‘knowledge’ as a point of reflection to address the following questions, “How does ‘knowledge’ matter in the day-to-day workings of international politics, i.e. what forms of ‘knowledge’ are considered powerful; who has access to ‘knowledge’, who produces ‘knowledge’ (and where?), and how is ‘knowledge’ disseminated?” A reflexive stance towards the discipline asks, “How can research identify ‘knowledge’ and what counts as ‘knowledge’ in the discipline?”

Accordingly, the proposed panel invites presentations that contribute to the themes of the conference, in particular
1) by offering interpretive perspectives on knowledge production and diffusion in international relations;
2) by clarifying and discussing approaches currently in use (e.g. varieties of discourse or narrative analyses; hermeneutic perspectives; the role of alternative concepts and perspectives grasping IR knowledge); and
3) by addressing methodological issues, especially the reflexive impact of practices of policy analyses as well as everyday practices of knowledge production on IR as a discipline.


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33_Missing Communication Links, Diverging Knowledge? The Problem of Weak Networks between Politicians and Citizens.

Panel Chairs:

Dr. Annette Knaut
Universität Koblenz-Landau


Prof. Dr. Reiner Keller
Universität Augsburg



According to main theories of representation representatives and their constituencies should be bound together through a permanent exchange of knowledge in communication networks. Politicians should be in this way responsive to the needs and interests of the citizens. In contemporary democracies such strong ties are loosening, the representation relationship becomes fragile. These processes are caused by politicians on the one hand and by citizens on the other. Politicians seem to ignore what’s going on in society. They seem overcharged by the complexity of modern policies. In the political science literature the decline of parliaments and the increasing power of the executive are often named as creators of weak representatives. Another reason is the typical career of representatives today, who often lack experiences in ‘real life’ professions. An increasing number work for their whole life in the political system. Citizens turn away from politics, and don’t even vote. Meanwhile new forms of participation arise, promoted by the developments of new communication techniques. The striking youth in Spain, the Arabian Spring and the Occupy Movement are some examples.

Our hypothesis is that in today’s democracies networks between politics and society become fragmented. There are no strong communication networks which are able to translate the specific knowledge of citizens into the language of politics and the other way round. There are enough opportunity structures to interact, but there exist a problem of knowledge transfer or translation. From the point of representation theory the networks between politicians and citizens become fragmented, some interests and needs are not heard in politics anymore. Politicians do not communicate in a responsive way. Reciprocal misunderstanding is evoked and the voice of the citizens is not heard in politics.

The problem of fragmented representation and weak communication networks has to be theoretically discussed in the context of change in politics and society. What are reasons for the diverging knowledge and the missing translation links? From an empirical perspective a close look on types of interactions between representatives and citizens is needed. Research should integrate questions of types of knowledge and possible translations.

In this panel we welcome papers of all social science disciplines which deal with the problem of communication networks of politicians and citizens. 

1) Theoretical papers should discuss the problem of building strong networks of politicians and citizens from a political science perspective as a problem of responsiveness or from a more sociological view as a problem of connecting different ‘Lebenswelten’. 

2) Methodological papers could address the question of how to handle the problem of ‘translation’ between the knowledge of politicians and the knowledge of citizens by using qualitative methods.

3) Empirical papers may present case studies on networks of politicians and citizens, especially focusing the (missing) links and different stocks of knowledge.

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34_On the Power of Experts and the Politics of Time: Inquiring the (De-)Politicization of Expert Knowledge in Policy Processes

Panel Chairs:

Sonja Blum
Austrian Institute for Family Studies
University of Vienna


Stephan Engelkamp
Institute of Political Science
University of Muenster


Panel Discussants:

(to be confirmed!)
Holger Straßheim

Institute of Social Sciences
Humboldt-University Berlin



The temporal character of many political problems creates particular challenges for policy analysis: long-term political goals, such as in environmental, social or financial policy, frequently necessitate short-term action. Short-term political and societal costs, on the other hand, often can only be linked to long-term and partly uncertain effects. In addition, different political actors act on the basis of differing time horizons, thus creating additional conflicts. This is particularly pertinent in instances of policy change. In such processes, claims of expert knowledge become essential to prioritize between often competing policy goals. At times, the validity of such knowledge-claims is simply taken for granted, whereas in other cases, expert knowledge tends to become highly politicized. In one way or another, expert knowledge is infused with power and as such particularly prone to become an object of political conflict.

Bringing together insights from the 'ideational turn' within mainstream approaches in policy analysis and more discourse-oriented perspectives, the proposed panel gathers papers that look from different angles at the role of expert knowledge in explaining und understanding the political and temporal dynamics of policy change. In particular, we invite empirical papers addressing questions such as:

  • When and how is expert knowledge drawn on within the policy process?
  • By whom is expert knowledge brought into the policy process and who can be regarded as an 'expert' in the first place?
  • How are policy-advisory systems (cf. Craft and Howlett 2012) build up in different policy fields?
  • What shapes the use of expert knowledge within the policy process?
  • How is this related to the temporal character of political problems, e.g. relating long-term political goals vs. short-term horizons of political actors?

Accordingly, the proposed panel aims to contribute to the following themes of the conference:

  • Questioning of traditional models of government, administration and policy-making in response to the relationship between experts and publics;
  • The relationship between practitioners and policy analysis, e.g. in the case of policy-advisory systems and the relationship between practitioners and policy analysis;
  • Methodological issues in doing interpretive policy analysis (reflexivity in policy analytic practices).


Craft, J. and Howlett, M. (2012) 'Policy formulation, governance shifts and policy influence: location and content in policy advisory systems', Journal of Public Policy, 32 (2), 79-98.


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35_Participation – From Political Demand to Festivalised Offer?

Panel Chairs:

Dr Anna Richter (Chair)
Leibniz Institute for Regional Development and Structural Planning
Erkner, Germany


Dr Susan Fitzpatrick (Co-organiser)
Department of Geography, Strathclyde University




Taking our cue from the IPA's useful conception of conflicts as 'constellations of knowledge and power, in which diverse actors are gathered around values, meanings and practices', we propose a session that considers the socio-spatial politics of festivalised, culture-led urban regeneration, both with respect to policy making and policy analysis. Policy based on 'broadly aesthetic and semiotic attributes' (Scott 2000), particularly when centralised around a single event, is ground for conflict, discord, claims of cultural marginalisation and an aggressive neoliberalising of space (Porter 2009, Save Carpenters 2012).

Alongside these considerations, discourses of participation have become crucial to urban policy making and analysis; this area has received growing attention from policy makers, analysts and publics alike. The claim that culture led events encourage participatory democracy has become a necessary ingredient for many urban projects which implicate  public life and public space. Yet, the notion of 'participation' is open to different interpretations and thus a contested discursive and communicative space. In their authoring of event-led regeneration policy, local governments and their partners utilise a number of off the shelf claims such as 'the people are a city's greatest asset', and events are 'owned' by the people.  This frames event-led regeneration in the context of demands and bottom-up politics. There is an implicit irony in this type of framing: are they confessing their failure to involve people and are they doing so with a view to compensate for democratic underachievement? Irony aside, and following Mayer (2003: 110), 'what might appear as the fulfilment of earlier grassroots empowerment claims is actually part of a new mode of governance that has emerged in and for neglected and disadvantaged areas and communities'.

'The public' and invitations to 'participate' have become part of a trend Mayer describes as the 'dissolving of social and political perspectives into economic ones' (ibid). In other words, rather than opening up the discursive field of participation to considerations of communicative ethics, urban social movements and the nature of power and democracy, it has become a highly instrumental discursive tool wielded by urban developers, local government practitioners, and academic researchers attempting to close off critical discussion of the possibilities of public space.

Contribution to the IPA community:

Whilst events are often constructed as a jamboree for a rational, unified and uncritical polis to enjoy and consume, we invite scholars to theorise the phenomenon of event-led urban policy in terms of the conflicts it produces amongst the multiple publics. As events appear as if 'somehow separate from normal, everyday forms of urban politics' (Raco 2012: 452), they can serve to mobilise publics in a seemingly apolitical way. We aim to re-politicise such 'politics of participation' (Richter forthcoming, Fitzpatrick 2009) by means of critical analyses of participatory agendas.

Responding to the IPA conference aim of rethinking and debating the theory and practice of different methods of interpretation and critical explanation in policy analysis, this panel invites scholars to interrogate the ways in which meanings and practices of (particularly urban) policies are arrived at, interpreted and evaluated, particularly (but not exclusively) in the context of debates around the 'post-political city' (Paddison 2009).

Call for Papers:

The panel invites scholars to present papers on and around the following issues:

  • Discourses of participation and civic engagement in urban policy
  • Publics, counter-publics and modes of resistance vis-à-vis experts and policy actors
  • Production of consensus, moralisation and responsibilisation
  • The role of academia in constructing knowledge of the spectacle-driven urban development and policy making
  • Methodological challenges in critical policy analysis and 'translating' analytical findings back into policy
  • Efforts to re-politicise policy analysis
  • Debates around the 'post-political city'


Fitzpatrick, S.  (2009) 'Between Rhetoric and Reality'. Variant. Winter issue. available at www.variant.org.uk

Mayer, Margit (2003) The Onward Sweep of Social Capital: Causes and Consequences for Understanding Cities, Communities and Urban Movements, International Journal of Urban and Regional Research 27(1), pp. 110-132.

Paddison, Ronan (2009) Some reflections on the limitations to participation in the post-political city. L'espace politique 8(2), online at espacepolitique.revues.org/index1393.html (30th November 2012).

Porter, Libby (2009) Planning Displacement: The Real Legacy of Major Sporting Events, Planning Theory and Practice, pp. 395-399.

Raco, Mike (2012) The privatisation of urban development and the London Olympics 2012, CITY 16(4), pp. 452-460.

Richter, Anna (forthcoming) The politics of 'participation' in Liverpool, European Capital of Culture 2008. Liverpool: Liverpool University Press.

Save Carpenters 2012 www.savecarpenters.wordpress2012

Scott, Allen (2000) The cultural economy of cities. London: Sage.


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36_Participatory Spaces: Facilitators, Experts, Rules and the Management of Dualities

Panel Chairs:

Koen Bartels
Lecturer in Management Studies
Bangor Business School, North Wales, UK

Laurence de Carlo
Professor in the Public and Private Policy Department
ESSEC Business School, Paris, France

Panel Discussants:

David Laws (University of Amsterdam)

Richard Freeman (Edinburgh University)

Hendrik Wagenaar (University of Sheffield)

Tamara Metze (Tilburg University)


This panel addresses a central theme to the conference: the challenge of rearticulating policy settings along the relations between experts and publics. A key feature of contemporary policymaking is that its topography has changed and continues to change. Politicians, public professionals, citizens, and other stakeholders are meeting in new spaces, often inspired by participatory ideals but without pre-defined rules or fixed institutions (Hajer & Wagenaar, 2003). These participatory spaces are being carved out by participation professionals, everyday makers, mediators, and other types of facilitative leaders in the face of intricate problems, deep value differences and conflictual relationships. In this panel, we, as researchers and practitioners, would like to enrich our understandings of what “participatory spaces” are, what happens in them, and how they emerge and change.

As a starting point, we might preliminarily define a participatory space as a physical, social, and psychological process (Petriglieri G and J, 2010) in which stakeholders (aim to) work together by exchanging views, identifying points of agreement and divergence, and/or act upon the issue at hand. According to research in systems psychodynamics and psychosociology (Petriglieri G and J, 2010), such a space must provide a holding environment to its participants, i.e. their interactions must be bounded by, among other things, rules and a facilitator. It also has to give shape to containment, i.e. the ability to “absorb, filter or manage difficult or threatening emotions or ideas –the contained– so that they can be worked with” (French and Vince, 1999: 9; De Carlo, 2012). In particular, the management of dualities (in a pragmatic sense including paradoxes and dilemmas) in such spaces appears key for it to be a container (Janssen and Steyaert, 1999), as exchanging dualities raises anxiety (Smith and Lewis, 2011; de Carlo, 2012). As such, containment and management of dualities could form key themes in the panel discussions.

Taking a pragmatic approach, the panel discussions should lead to understandings and definitions of a participatory space that enable different stakeholders to 1) reach at least partial agreements in an a priori conflictual context, and 2) desirably also coordinate their everyday practices in relentlessly challenging settings. Focusing on participatory spaces will benefit both researchers and practitioners: practitioners need to build such spaces taking into account all their dimensions whereas researchers usually work on participatory spaces’ specific dimensions. We therefore welcome academic papers and practitioner stories looking at participatory spaces in terms of:

  • relational practices between participants and the importance of the types of interactions and communication between them (see e.g., Bouwen, 2001; Bartels, 2012a);
  • the link between knowing and acting that characterizes these spaces (see e.g., Laws & Forester, 2007);
  • the role of facilitators, experts, and researchers as guarantors of these spaces (see e.g., Susskind & Cruishank, 2006; Forester, 1999, 2009);
  • the process of joint fact finding and its role (Laws and Forester, 2007);
  • the choice of experts as part of participants' shared problems (Laws and
    Forester, 2007);
  • the political, cultural, and communicative practices that facilitate empowered participation of local citizens and instill ongoing democratic capacity (Forester, 2006);
  • their contextual particularities in different countries, governance settings, and issues;
  • the management of dualities (in a pragmatic sense including paradoxes and dilemmas) (Janssen & Styaert, 1999; Smith & Lewis, 2011; de Carlo, 2012);
  • their capacity for “containment” of difficult or threatening emotions or ideas (French & Vine, 1999; De Carlo, 2012);
  • the dynamic, ongoing, and flexible processes through which stakeholders engage with each other and the situation at hand in the “eternally unfolding present” (Cook & Wagenaar, 2012; Stout & Staton, 2011)
  • the roles and practices through which researchers might contribute to the quality of these spaces (Bartels, 2012b);
  • any other relevant perspectives or dimensions.

The presentations should demonstrate how the dimensions and/or cases discussed allow the building of a participatory space and/or are related to the concept and the building of a participatory space.


Panel format:

The panel is open to paper submissions addressing participatory spaces by academics and practitioners. Each paper will be assigned to a discussant.

The panel will be organized as a roundtable, in which the circle of discussion is gradually enlarged. First, one or two discussants will provide main points for discussion (rather than comments on individual papers) based on the paper(s) that they read. Second, the authors
of the papers will be invited to respond to the discussants' points for discussion (rather than giving individual presentations of their papers). Third, the audience will be invited to join the discussion that emerges between the discussants and the authors.

The panel organizers aspire to publish (a collection of) the papers and discussant commentaries as a special issue on participatory spaces in an international journal.



Bartels, K. P. R. (2012a). Communicative Capacity: How Public Encounters Affect the Quality of Participatory Democracy. University of Glasgow, Glasgow.

Bartels, K.P.R. (2012b). The Actionable Researcher. Cultivating a Process-Oriented Methodology for Studying Administrative Practice. Administrative Theory & Praxis 34(3), 433-455.

Bouwen, R. (2001). Developing Relational Practices for Knowledge Intensive Organizational Contexts. Career Development International, 6(7), 361-369.

Cook, S. D. N., & Wagenaar, H. (2012). Navigating the Eternally Unfolding Present. The American Review of Public Administration, 42(1), 3-38.

de Carlo, L. (2012). Teaching Negotiation through Paradox. Negotiation Journal, 28(3), 351-364.

Forester, J. (1999). The Deliberative Practitioner. Encouraging Participatory Planning Processes. Cambridge, Massachusetts: The MIT Press.

Forester, J. (2009). Dealing with Differences. Dramas of Mediating Public Disputes. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

French, R., & Vince, R. (1999). Learning, Managing and Organizing: The Continuing Contribution of Group Relations to Management and Organization. In R. French & R. Vince (Eds.), Group Relations, Management, and Organization (pp. 3-19). Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.

Hajer, M. A., & Wagenaar, H. (Eds.). (2003). Deliberative policy analysis. Understanding Governance in the Network Society, . Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Janssens, M., & Steyaert, C. (1999). The World in Two and a Third Way Out? The Concept of Duality in Organization Theory and Practice. Scandinavian Journal of Management, 15, 121-139.

Laws, D., & Forester, J. (2007). Learning in Practice: Public Policy Mediation. Critical Policy Analysis, 1(4), 342-370.

Petriglieri , G., & Petriglieri, J. L. (2010). Identity Workspaces: The Case of Business Schools. Academy of Management Learning & Education, 9(1), 44-60.

Smith, W. K., & Lewis, M. W. (2011). Toward a Theory of Paradox: A Dynamic Equilibrium Model of Organizing. Academy of Management Review, 36(2), 381-403.

Stout, M., & Staton, C. M. (2011). The Ontology of Process Philosophy in Follett's Administrative Theory. Administrative Theory & Praxis, 33(2), 268-292.

Susskind, L. E., & Cruikshank, J. L. (2006). Breaking Robert’s Rules. New York, NY.


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37_Participatory Turn and Scientific Controversies

Panel Chairs:


Panel Oranizers:

Prof. Jean-Gabriel Contamin
Professor in Political Science, Lille 2 University/CERAPS
Director of the CERAPS (Lille Center for European Research on Administration, Politics and Society)


Dr. Martine Revel
Lille 2 University/CERAPS


Rationale for the Session:

Since fifteen years, studies on participatory and deliberative democracy have multiplied in Occidental democracies. To cope with the limitations of representative systems, political regimes tend to introduce procedures in order to involve citizens in public decision-making Ordinary citizens have then been asked to give their opinion or even to decide about topics that affect their daily lives (deliberative poll, neighborhood councils, municipal councils for children), but also about collective public facilities (public inquiries) financial topics (participatory budgeting), and even about scientific or sociotechnical controversies (citizens'conferences, for instance).

Indeed, the field of science and technology has long been considered as the property of the few experts who were able to find the most efficient technical solutions and to share them with public policy makers. The intrusion of citizens in these controversies was therefore read as a mere obstacle to rationality that scientists had to overcome (Fischer, 2000 ; Pestre, 2011)

However a series of events and works have progressively challenged this supposedly impenetrable boundary between experts and ordinary citizens. The scientific field might be considered as a ‘normal’ world where interests compete and which, therefore, could be equally subject to a participatory imperative (Wynne, 1992; Callon and alii, 2001).

This questioning of the dissociation between the scientific field and the civic society has then resulted in a set of devices that provide citizens very different places in the relation between scientific expertise and public action : as source of the needs that science should respond (social demand) ; as taken into account through the theme of the social acceptability of science (through collective mobilizations, for instance) ; as subject and object of transformations initiated by scientists (sociological intervention) ; as represented by the researcher himself ; or as invited to contribute directly in 'collaborative researchs' (Hall, 2005) or in citizen’s conferences.

This panel will precisely aim to more broadly question how citizens might intervene in scientific controversies through participatory devices. It will then be an opportunity to make the link between science studies and studies on participatory democracy, wondering what questions, methods and tools developed in each of these sub-disciplines can be used for others, and how the specificities of the scientific field may limit these reciprocal crosses. To what extent and under what conditions citizens can be heard by policy makers in fields that at first seem only technical and scientific? What people? With what arguments? In what contexts and configurations? Towards which policy makers and which scientists? It will also be an opportunity to reflect on our own practices as researchers.

This session will finally be an opportunity to help organizing an international community of researchers working on these issues. It is based on a European project which questions the citizens’participation in research and should then give rise to panels in other international conferences (IPSA, ISA, ECPR).


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38_Perdurable Policy Narratives and Transient Story Lines

Panel Chairs:

Professor Hugh T Miller
School of Public Administration
Florida Atlantic University



This panel theorizes about the durability of policy narratives – why do some seem to have great staying power and others seem to fade quickly after a short cameo appearance? Why do some policy narratives survive beyond their usefulness while others never receive the attention that they may well deserve? Do narratives supported by the experts have greater legitimacy than those without such backing? How do value-rationality, logical coherence, means-ends calculation, pragmatic results, ideological associations, resonant imagery, emotional attachment, symbolic connotations or habitual replication contribute to a policy narrative’s durability? A reconceptualization of policy conflict may be needed to answer these questions. To what extent is the competition among policy narratives a manifestation of political conflict?  That is, the relevant unit of analysis in political struggle may not be the autonomous, self-interested individual battling it out with others in the name of “interests,” but, rather, the relevant unit may be the semiotic sign (or something in its symbolic lineage including metaphor, ideograph, story line or narrative) in competition/cooperation with other symbolizations. This narrative panel is open to ontological redescription of policy dynamics, and open as well to non-rational understandings of public policy and political contestation.

Relevant Conference Themes

Theoretical reflections on the ontological dimension of a “conflict”: investigating the meaning of “politics” and “the political”.

Clarification of approaches in use (e.g. varieties of discourse analysis or narrative analyses; the role of rhetoric and metaphor, the role of arguments, the role of emotions).


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39_Performativity and Student Protest

Panel Chairs:

Christine Unrau
Universität Köln


Panel Organizers:

Dr. Sybille De La Rosa
Universität Heidelberg



The  aim of the panel is to bring performativity concepts and the analysis of student protests in a constructive dialog. On the one side this dialog can reveal hidden aspects of student protests against the raise of university tuition by highlighting the range of elements and terms that have been considered by performativity concepts until now. On the other side concepts of performativity can reveal why some forms of articulation are successful and in which sense and why others fail.

During the student protests in Chile and Montreal new elements of protest like dancing acts (Santiago de Chile) or the pots and pans marches through the streets of Montreal have developed. Analysing these new elements with concepts of performativity can reveal the experiences and emotions that strengthen the protest movements. Especially the experience of joy connected with the experience of conviviality and friendship as Pleyers describes them in his book "Alter-Globalization"[1] seem to be a social phenomenon that has been underestimated in the thinking of the political. The negative side of political emotions like hate or the emotions that emerge in a mob of people has been in the focus of political science but feelings of conviviality, friendship and joy have gained little attention although they might be the basis for democratic participation and even (the basis) for a democratic society in the long run.

Bringing together student protests and concepts of performativity also offers the possibility to analyze the conditions under which the re-fusion of meaning is possible by focusing on concepts like Alexander's mise-en-scène-concept[2] which gives an impression of how aspects of the context need to fit together to lead to the re-fusion of meaning and the success of the student movement. Choosing the student movements as a point of comparison might lead to a revision or expansion of the theoretical model in order to integrate the experience of joy and/or friendship.

In order to contribute to the agenda of the IPA community the panel should focus on performance concepts that have been developed in the context of the IPA discussions like the works of Jeffrey C. Alexander or those focused on microlevel aspects of performance of social movements like the work of Geoffrey Pleyers. In this way it will be possible to contribute to the IPAs interest in the constitution of a democratic public and the conditions for fertile  discursive decision making and representation. If it can be shown that joyful experiences and emotions play an important role in the constitution of democratic politics, this would have farreaching implications for tranditional concepts of the political.


[1] Pleyers, Geoffrey (2010): Alter-Globalization. Becoming Actors in the Global Age. Cambridge (u.a.): Polity.

[2] Alexander, Jeffrey (2004): Cultural Pragmatics: Social Performance between Rituals and Strategy. In: Sociological Theory, Vol. 22, No 4, pp. 527-537.


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40_Performing Expertise: Contestation in and around Arm’s Length Governance

Panel Chairs:

Dr. Katherine Tonkiss
School of Government and Society
University of Birmingham


Dr. Amanda Smullen
Crawford School of Public Policy
The Australian National University



This panel examines contestation around state-sponsored expertise within semi-autonomous agencies, at arm's length from elected political principals. It aims to theoretically and empirically analyse the (discursive) construction of agency initiatives and reform, the way in which agencies present and use their expertise, as well as the way in which this expertise is mediated and contested within broader policy fields/regulatory regimes.

Much of the literature on arm's length governance has described and analysed the justifications for the creation of agencies, the (accountability and performance) relationships between governments or supranational governments and their agencies, and to some extent their institutional trajectories (see Pollitt et al. 2004, Van Thiel 2001; Verhoest 2012; Busiouc 2012).  However, less is known about the role of discourses in the construction of those justifications and relationships, how these develop or change over time, and how they vary, are contested or mediated within given policy/regulatory settings. Whether a consequence of tensions between the political interests of government and the knowledge claims of experts in agencies, or between agencies and wider societal (professional, citizen) actors, this panel is interested in examining how and in what circumstances the expertise of agencies is contested, the dynamics of contestation over time, as well as the consequences and explanations of such contestation. Key questions include:

In what ways do particular agencies present themselves as experts, or develop their authority over time and for whom? How is their expertise mediated or challenged in their relationships with other actors both internal and external to government? How is the use of expertise by agencies legitimised and delegitimised by politicians, stakeholders and society more generally? How can we understand or explain the dynamics of this contestation?

The panel explores the politics of contestation in arm's length government through papers based on research into national and policy-specific cases, but in a panel context where the ambition is to use these to generate cross-national explorations and to build a wider research agenda. It welcomes papers from broadly argumentative and sociology of knowledge approaches including rhetoric and narrative, discursive institutionalism, grid group cultural theory, epistemic communities and more!

Two papers are confirmed for this panel:

'Analysing the Discursive Construction of Agency Reform: The Abolition of the Audit Commission for England and Wales', Katherine Tonkiss and Chris Skelcher, University of Birmingham

'Comparing the regulatory conversations of Federal Mental Health Agencies in Australia and Canada', Amanda Smullen, The Australian National University


Black, J. (2008). Constructing and contesting legitimacy and accountability in polycentric regulatory regimes, Regulation & Governance, 2, 137-164.

Busiouc, M, Groenleer M. & Trondal. (2012). The agency phenomenon in the European Union, Manchester University Press.

Jasanoff, J. (2005). Designs on nature. Princeton, Princeton University Press.

Roberts, A. (2010). The logic of discipline. Global capitalism and the architecture of government.  Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Smullen, A. (2010). Translating agency reform through durable rhetorical styles: comparing official agency talk across consensus and adversarial contexts. Public Administration, 88:4, 943-959.

Verhoest, K.; Van Thiel, S.; Boukaert, G. & Laergraid, P. (2012). Government Agencies. Practices and lessons from 30 countries. Basington Stoke, Palgrave Macmillan.


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41_Persistent Problems and Conflicting System Understandings: In Search of Critical Reconstructions

Panel Chairs:

Dr. B. Pel
Erasmus University Rotterdam (NL)
Dep. Of Public Administration


Dr. F. Avelino
Erasmus University Rotterdam (NL)
Dutch Research Institute For Transitions (DRIFT)


S. Jhagroe, MSc MA
Erasmus University Rotterdam (NL)
Dutch Research Institute For Transitions (DRIFT)



Current and future sustainability challenges are increasingly seen to persist. The sources of this persistence can be theorized through insights into complex systems and socio-technical evolution (Grin et al., 2010). Unsustainable practices in agriculture, mobility, energy and water management are then treated as systemic pathologies that require ‘transitions’ in dominant socio-technical constellations (‘regimes’). Associated solution strategies are based on co-evolution, systemic change emerging from a multitude of mutually reinforcing changes in cultures, structures and practices (Loorbach, 2007). Compared to earlier forms of systems-based governance, this transitions approach takes reflexivity into account: Agency is situated; knowledge is historical; technology and society are co-constructed.

Even when taking into account the pitfalls and deficiencies of social engineering, this ‘transitions project’ is not without its tensions, challenges and ambiguities, however. In recent years the approach has been critically interrogated on a range of interrelated aspects: Who ‘manages’ the transition process? Who is involved, and who is excluded? What is challenged, and what is taken for granted? How are system pathologies and solutions determined, and whose system understanding counts? How are transformative pathways established and selected? How to account for societal diversity? What are the power implications of transitions discourse? And how neutral is complexity science in the negotiation of pathways for socio-technical transformations? (Shove & Walker, 2007, 2008, Smith & Stirling, 2008, Meadowcroft, 2009, Kern & Howlett, 2009,  Stirling, 2011, Avelino, 2011, Jørgensen, 2012). These and other contributions, primarily from governance studies and STS (Science and Technology Studies), spur a search for what can be called critical transition perspectives. They continue the project of tackling persistent problems and serious ‘matters of concern’ (Latour, 2004), whilst interrogating the system understandings that guide its reconstructive processes.

The panel invites conceptual and empirical contributions that bring forward such critical transition perspectives. Of particular interest are contributions addressing the conflicts involved in new environmental politics. More generally, contributions could address novel syntheses between deconstructive and reconstructive approaches, challenges of societal transformation, conflict in ‘sustainable’ technology development, participative spatial design, and reflexive arrangements for future-oriented visioning. Especially the discussion of new practices would help substantiate how a critical transition perspective could shape alternative sustainable futures – accommodating conflict without smothering it.

The panel seeks to engage IPA scholars in the resurging debate on societal system pathologies. The critical-theoretical tradition of the Frankfurt school may have succumbed under its internal contradictions, yet current sustainability challenges give reasons to pursue its critical-reconstructive spirit - addressing the societal challenges of its time. We believe that the renewed interest in system pathologies (which also resonates with some strands of post-structuralist thought) is particularly salient to scholars in interpretive policy analysis and STS: Persistent sustainability challenges calling for new arrangements and practices to face them, it is all the more important to elicit, mediate between and possibly resolve conflicting system understandings.


Avelino, F. (2011), Power in Transition. Empowering Discourses on Sustainability Transitions, PhD-thesis, Erasmus University Rotterdam

Grin, J., Rotmans, J. & Schot, J. (2010), Transitions to Sustainable Development; New Directions in the Study of Long Term Transformative Change, New York: Routledge

Jørgensen, U. (2012), Mapping and navigating transitions-The multi-level perspective compared with arenas of development, Research Policy 41 (2012), 996- 1010

Kern, F. & Howlett, M. (2009), Implementing transition management as policy reforms: a case study of the Dutch energy sector, Policy Sciences, 42 (4), 391-408

Latour, B. (2004), Why Has Critique Run out of Steam? From Matters of Fact to Matters of Concern, Critical Inquiry, 30 (2), 225-248

Loorbach, D. (2007), Transition management: New mode of governance for sustainable development, Utrecht: International books

Meadowcroft, J. (2009), What about the politics? Sustainable development, transition management, and long term energy transitions, Policy Science 42 (4), 323-340

Shove, E. & Walker, G. (2007), CAUTION! Transitions ahead: politics, practice, and sustainable transition management, Environment and Planning A, 39 (4), 763-770

Shove, E. & Walker, G. (2008), Transition Management ™ and the politics of shape shifting, Environment and Planning A, 40, 1012-1014

Smith, A. & Stirling, A. (2008), Social-ecological resilience and socio-technical transitions: critical issues for sustainability governance, STEPS Working Paper 8, Brighton: STEPS Centre

Stirling, A. (2011), Pluralising progress: From integrative transitions to transformative diversity, Environmental Innovation and Societal Transitions, 1(1), 82-88


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42_Policy as Translation: Reassembling Knowledge, Authority and Power across Time and Space.

Panel Chairs:

John Clarke
Faculty of Social Sciences, The Open University




Policy appears increasingly mobile, connecting places and people in new ways as international organisations advise, recommend and demand particular policies; as international comparisons rank places and policies; as policy makers seek successful strategies from elsewhere and even as governments set organisations and agents free from central control to work out local responsiveness.

Responding to the increasing interest in the movement of policies between places, sites and settings, this panel presents a critical alternative to approaches centred on ideas of policy transfer or policy learning. Instead we argue that thinking of policy as an active process of 'translation', in which policies are interpreted, inflected and re-worked as they change location, is of critical importance for studying policy.


Studies of policy as translation foreground the complexity, ambiguity and messiness of policy processes, distrusting variables pre-specified in abstract models. Situating policy in a translation approach brings into visibility the practices of mediation, dialogue, translation, compromise, and resistance. It also problematises the attempt to 're-transcribe' existing socio-economic, administrative and cultural practices and to thus render certain specific policy models as universal. Whilst an institutionalist policy transfer literature remains trapped within a realist ontology seeing 'policy' as a stable, preexisting, and uncontested 'reality', and the transfer as a more or less linear process, an orientation to policy translation works with a much more fluid and dynamic framework.

The papers in this panel explore processes of translation as policies are transformed and brokered by actors and actants; processes of localization as travelling ideas are enacted in new ways in new settings; and processes of assemblage as elements traditionally seen as either 'politics' or 'technocracy' become re-articulated in innovative configurations and unstable combinations.


Treating policy as translation offers a way of making the reassembling of knowledge, authority and power visible. Translation works both across space and within particular sites as a means of establishing forms of authoritative judgement. Translation works through reorganising the fields of social, political and organizational relations as new agents are summoned, enrolled and empowered.


We envisage a panel of four papers, followed by a round table discussion of the possibililities, limits and problems of a translation perspective in practice. The four papers would be:

Intermediaries, Translation and 'Flexible Agencification': re-constructing South-East Europe (Paul Stubbs)

Translating 'social inclusion': critical reflections on European policy spaces and their making. (Noemi Lendvai)

Assembling the New Public Management (John Clarke)

Translating 'education': Displacements and erasures in the Global South   (David Bainton)


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43_Policy Challenges Deriving from Biotechnology. Public Engagement in Conflict

Panel Chairs:

Dr. L.M. Poort
Department Legal philosophy and Legal History, Faculty of Law
VU University Amsterdam, the Netherlands



Since the late 1970s, distinct technological assemblages, such as stem cell technologies or next-generation sequencing, as well as bio-technologies on a more general level have become important policy issues - on a sub-national, a national, as well as on international scale. These have often interrupted and opened up routine procedures and practice. They have also become the object of a growing body of scholarly literature. For instance, a group of scholars organized into a COST Action on "Bio-objects and their boundaries" has highlighted that innovative "bio-techno-social assemblages" or "bio-objects" such as stem cells, chimera, tissue samples or genetically modified organisms challenge the traditional boundaries of life. They exceed and challenge established classifications in social, political, legal, as well as technological discourses. On a more general level, the governance of bio-technologies is accompanied by a plethora of policy challenges - such as uncertainties, and pervasive moral pluralism. One of these challenges relates to public engagement, which will be the main focus of this panel.  

Although questions such as 'who is the public', 'to what extent is the public involved in decision making processes'  and 'to which extent should it be', have been discussed  intensively in both policy analysis and STS, renewed discussions on the conception of the public or publics remains essential for understanding the governance of bio-objects and of bio-technologies. Unpacking publics and their envisioned or imagined compositions and roles, particularly with regard to policy conflict and controversy, seems to be particularly pertinent in the context of the rise of neoliberal discourses, practices, and regimes.

We are especially interested in ways the public is embedded in governance of policy challenges deriving from bio-objects.  We wonder whether governance of bio-objects requires a specific engagement of the public and how that translates to public expectations and to public debate. We elaborate in this context on the distinction between the so-called 'imagined public' by government agencies and policy-makers on how the role of the public should be and the way the public actually appears in the process of governance of bio-objects or biotechnology. In this panel we seek to address the following questions:

  • Does public engagement differs from the way politicians and policy-makers has imagined the role of the public?
  • How do policy makers and politicians deal with appearing publics that hasn't been imagined at forehand?  
  • Are these publics considered as uninvited (and unwanted)?
  • Are these publics ignored or included in one way or the other?
  • What is the influence of a neoliberal discourse developing in Western countries on these(changing) diversity of  perceptions of public engagement?
  • Is there a connection between the sensible increase in efforts to bring publics "back in" and the rise of neo-liberal agendas?

We invite papers that elaborate on one of these questions in light of governance of bio-objects or biotechnology in a neo-liberal discourse.


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44_Power and Conflict from the Perspective of Practice Theories

Panel Chairs:

Dr. Michal Sedlacko
Department of Sociology, Institute for Higher Studies, Vienna (AT)



The elusive concept of practice is increasingly establishing itself as a vital perspective in policy analysis. Practice-based accounts conceptualise policy as more or less typified patterns of day-to-day activity and stress the negotiated and performative character of public policy, the situatedness of knowledge and the role of materiality (bodies and artefacts) in policy making. Over the recent years the number of such accounts has grown to an extent that we can veritably speak of a ‘practice turn’ in policy analysis.

The aim of this panel is to look at the ‘sayings and doings’ (Schatzki 1996) of policy – i.e. the discursive and non-discursive practices that form the praxis of policy – from the perspective of conflict and power. Some of the avenues have already been indicated, e.g. on a case of expansion of Schiphol airport it has been shown that practices shape and constrain the space for possible policy solutions (Wagenaar and Cook 2003), and conflict between different assemblages of policy practices has been used to interpret the difficulties encountered in the formative years of the UN Peacebuilding Commission (Bueger 2011). Our goal is to similarly use immersion into concrete cases as a basis for exploring the potential of theories of social practice for policy analysis for providing new insights into issues of power and conflict. Particularly ethnographic/auto-ethnographic field studies and other multimethod micro-level studies are welcome.

Suggested thematic directions are:

1. Power and practice. Did practices predefine who could have participated in the policy process and who was excluded (cf. practices of exclusion, Biegelbauer and Grießler 2009), what frames or solutions were preferred, what types, sources and forms of knowledge were dominant (see, e.g., Fischer 2000) and what subjectivities were brought into being? Were any practices of resistance taking place?

2. Political conflict as performance. How was conflict enacted, what different practices enabled to play out and resolve conflict? Were any practices of ‘not participating’ in the conflict observed? Have bodies and co-presence played a role in the conflict, or what was the ‘work’ conducted by material artefacts in the conflict? Were different ‘conflict cultures’ observed? Was conflict part of standard mode of policy or a breaching event?

3. The practice of policy analysis and reflexivity. What power effects did the practices of policy analysis result in, how did they interact with the conflict? How can the mode of policy analysis conducted be described in terms of practice? How was the analyst affected, what subjectivities were brought into foreground?

Rationale for the session

The underlying rationale for this panel lies on the one hand in an encouragement to the continuing experimentation with theories of social practice, and on the other hand in the provision of a space for a critical reflection of the ‘practice turn’ and an examination of the insights and benefits of the theories of social practice for policy analysis.

Contribution to the IPA community

This panel aims to follow up on the debates on policy praxis from previous years, particularly the successful sessions and ‘practice seminars’ held at IPA 2012 in Tilburg and 2010 in Grenoble. It also aims to support network-building efforts of researchers and practitioners pursuing and interested in theories of social practice within the IPA community. It could also lead to the publication of a special issue, making thereby the IPA (both as a community and as practice) more visible.


Biegelbauer, P., and Grießler, E. 2009. Politische Praktiken von MinisterialbeamtInnen im österreichischen Gesetzgebungsprozess. Österreichische Zeitschrift für Politikwissenschaft (ÖZP) 38(1): 61–78.

Bueger, C. 2011. The clash of practice: political controversy and the United Nations Peacebuilding Commission. Evidence & Policy 7(2): 171–191.

Fischer, F. 2000. Citizens, Experts, and the Environment: The Politics of Local Knowledge. Durham: Duke University Press.

Schatzki, T.R. 1996. Social Practices: A Wittgensteinian Approach to Human Activity and the Social. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Wagenaar, H., and Cook, S.D.N. 2003. Understanding policy practices: action, dialectic and deliberation in policy analysis. In: Hajer, M., and Wagenaar, H. (eds.), Deliberative Policy Analysis: Understanding Governance in the Network Society. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 139–171.


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45_Practice, Action, Structure – Competing Concepts of Conflict?

Panel Chairs:

Tanja Pritzlaff
University of Bremen


Frank Nullmeier
University of Bremen



In order to understand, describe and analyze constellations of conflict, interpretive policy analysis refers to different key concepts that convey different images or ideas of political conflict. While, on the one hand, the use of terms like practice, action, structure, discourse or hegemony may indicate major, or even irreconcilable, differences in respective theoretical backgrounds when it comes to studying conflict (practice theory, new institutionalism, constructivism, post-structuralism), there are also approaches that advocate a form of "anti-foundationalism" (Bevir/Rhodes 2010) and apply these key concepts almost interchangeably.

In any case, when faced with the complexity and scope of modern political conflicts, interpretive policy analysis has to provide a powerful conceptual instrumentarium. Therefore, a clarification of key concepts in use - and the respective theoretical and methodological implications of their use - is needed. Theoretical and empirical advances with respect to the analysis of political conflict require a systematic discussion and (re-)formulation of concepts like political practices, actions and structures as seen through a variety of interpretive lenses.

The panel focuses on the concepts of practice, action and structure and seeks to develop a critical understanding of the alleged need for systematic or clarified definitions of these key concepts of interpretive policy analysis. This raises a number of questions:

  • In what ways do current political controversies force us to rethink key concepts of interpretive policy analysis, like practice, action and structure?
  • What are the respective theoretical and methodological implications of promoting practice, action or structure as a basic concept of interpretive policy analysis?
  • Are these concepts competing concepts when it comes to analyzing political conflict, and if they are, is there a need to reconcile theoretical differences?
  • Is interpretive policy analysis in need of more unified definitions of its key concepts, or is openness to theoretical, methodological and conceptual pluralism the right way to address the new challenges provided by societies in conflict?

The panel welcomes papers that address these questions from theoretical/conceptual as well as from empirical/application-oriented perspectives.


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46_Practices of Risk and Technology Deliberation: Studying the Dynamics Connecting and Disconnecting Experts, Policy-Makers and Publics in Conflicts over Technology

Panel Chairs:

Anne Loeber
University of Amsterdam, corresponding convenor


Erich Griessler
Institute for Advanced Studies, Vienna



21st Century governance of technological developments, including risk governance, is extremely complex. Technological developments and their products often escape the logic of risk rationality constituted in modernist governance practices, and they even tend to defy the very symbolic order by which to make sense of such developments as it has been developed in the past century. Moreover, governance nowadays takes place in sets of disparate configurations in a (multi-level and globalised) society, in which the unifying powers of the nation-state as a self-evident locus of politics are diminishing. The self-evident territorial bind is lost, as is the singular teleological orientation presupposed in modernist social order. As a consequence, policy-makers, business representatives, NGO-representatives, experts and the public (or rather: publics) are engaged in a multifaceted relationship when deliberating technological development. Given that these current, 'post-traditional' conditions complicate questions of technology and risk governance, as taken up in STS-studies, Technology Assessment traditions and literatures on knowledge provision and utilisation, it is interesting to direct our focus specifically onto the question how varieties of actors related to one another, in which arenas and how these arenas are being connected or disconnected through the very practices of risk and technology deliberation. Particularly in those cases where technological development is not accompanied with societal conflict at all, and communication seems smooth and consensual, it is of interest to study how actor groups and arenas are connected or disconnected and topics are rendered controversial or non-controversial as a result.

This panel invites papers that discuss the 'bridging and bonding' dynamics, or the disconnecting powers, involved in deliberating technological developments (such as the applications of new biotechnology, synthetic biology, nanotechnology and the like, triggering conflict in domains of food and agriculture, medicine and public health, environmental politics and so on). It seeks to bring together researchers who focus on the discursive aspects of deliberation and/or on the institutional aspects in addressing conflicts over technologies, particularly inviting those who do so from a comparative perspective. Which configurations allow for or themselves trigger technological conflict? How do the actor groups involved relate to one another and how are meanings shared or disputed across possibly widely diverging arenas? Are there differences in this respect between different countries and different international organisations? As a panel we may seek to find, on the basis of the material brought together, joined answers to the question how current dynamics of aligning or disconnecting actor groups and arenas for deliberation impact options for public scrutiny, accountability and public engagement.


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47_Promising Techno-Scientific Innovation. Temporal Narratives in/as Policy Making

Panel Chairs:

Ulrike Felt


Maximilian Fochler



Innovation policy has become a key arena in which science/society relations are shaped and negotiated. In its discourses temporal narratives and metaphors play a central role. First, innovation policy virtually across the globe shares a pre-occupation with both shaping and controlling the future, and with developing means and instruments to do so. Second, nations and regions are increasingly portrayed as runners, leaders or followers in an innovation race - the positions in this race being measured in a complex metrics machinery. As a third example, innovation policy also aims to shape the conduct of research in new temporal forms - which are believed to facilitate efficiency and control. The projectification of research is one hotly debated issue in this domain, though it is only one of the many new temporal structures in academic life influenced by innovation policy.

In all of this, promises are a particularly important and interesting narrative form. Raising expectations about the futures to be generated in and through innovation has become a central activity for scientists, policy makers and entrepreneurs alike. It is of high analytical salience to understand how techno-scientific promises are constructed, which narrative resources they draw on to perform feasibility and attractiveness, and how these promise narratives themselves become forms of symbolic currency in different domains.

This panel proposes to analyse temporal narratives in as well as innovation policy. By pointing to temporal narratives as innovation policy, we are particularly inviting contributions which consider the governance effects of specific temporal narratives, be they on the organisation and conduct of research, on the processes of translating scientific insights to marketable products, on science/society relations or on any other relevant domain. Papers with a comparative perspective are particularly invited -for example comparing different national contexts, but also levels of policy making, or different sites in which particular temporal forms of innovation policy are enacted.

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48_Public Experts or Expert Publics: How Agency and Empowerment Challenge ‘Legitimate’ Knowledge

Panel Chairs:

Gerald Aiken
Durham University


Katherine Jones
Aberystwyth University



Political process has always been entwined with 'knowledge'. From Machiavelli's advice to the prince to gain an understanding of his kingdom, to censuses and registers, accounts and counting, knowing has formed a key part of the ability to govern. It is clear that knowledge means power, and yet, power also determines what counts as legitimate knowledge within a political process (Flyvbjerg, 1998). In an age of 'governance' wherein power is not considered to cascade neatly down a hierarchy but rather involve in the participation of multiple and diverse actors knowledge production itself becomes a site of contention and conflict.

What does this mean for the ability of a political subject to engage with the processes that shape the world? We may be in an age of vastly increased access to information, but if the production of 'legitimate' knowledge is circumscribed by processes that render some knowledge valid and valued, and other knowledge invalid, the political subject is faced with either playing the game through communicating demands using the grammar of those in power, or refusing to play the game and thereby relinquishing power and agency.  

For Ranciere, politics is asking higher order questions, questioning the very rules of the game. In this way asserting that one's knowledge matches with experts is crucial to 'acting politically'. This session seeks to investigate ways in which groups and individuals are challenging assumed notions of what 'counts' as legitimate knowledge and through so doing, cutting to the core of questions of agency and empowerment while at the same time exposing the contingency of the social and political structure of life.  

Empirically-based and theoretically-informed papers are invited which may address but are not limited to the following:

  • Struggles to gain acceptance and validation for alternative sources and types of knowledge and understanding within political processes
  • Practical critiques of the production and use of particular types of knowledge (e.g. positivistic, claims to objectivity) in the justification of policies or political aims
  • Struggles to engage politically through harnessing knowledge processes


Flyvbjerg, B. 1998: Rationality and Power: Democracy in Practice. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.


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49_Reclaiming Space, Reclaiming Stories

Panel Chairs:

Nanke Verloo & Freek Jansens
PhD candidates
University of Amsterdam
Department of Political Science




People make sense of their lives through the stories that are being told. As Arendt asserts, nobody is the sole author of his or her own life-story. However, people constantly strive to co-author their stories, and hence their life-worlds. Articulating meaningful and legitimate stories is a way of people to voice their concerns and influence decision-making processes.

In episodes of conflict, differences between stories come to the surface. Dominant stories that engage in a shared discourse, a symbolic language and generally accepted metaphors, aim to take over marginal ones, either by ignoring them, delegitimizing them, or by incorporating elements as their own. Dominant stories narrow the narrative space in which counter stories can emerge, or, as Rancière puts it, dominant stories shrink the public sphere on which alternatives can appear.

The public sphere is a space where people meet and engage in dialogues through which they create and share stories, in short, from which politics emerges. From this, stems that the public sphere is not only a narrative space, but also a physical public space  – or what Arendt refers to as the ‘spatial quality’ of politics where people actually meet each other.

One cannot be part of the public sphere without being present in public space. Therefore, to claim part of the political, one has to enlarge the public sphere, and, hence, to reclaim public space. The Occupy Movement , Los Indignados, and the Arab Spring give us a glimpse of the role of performances in public space in the emergence of political counter stories in the public sphere.

This panel seeks to understand the relationship between public sphere and public space in moments of conflict and politics. How do spatial qualities, such as city squares or roads, affect the emergence of stories into the public sphere? In what ways can public spaces be inclusive or exclusive and how does this feature in conflicts? How can policy makers effectively make sense of performances in public space to give meaning to both dominant stories and marginal ones? Who owns the public space, and what does it mean to occupy it? How can we, in general, learn from the way people engage in conflicts and politics, and use their living environment as a stage for discursive story telling?

In exploring the role of public space in reclaiming stories, this panel challenges the IPA community to rethink the notion of ‘stories’, ‘public space’, and ‘public sphere’ as the domain of politics in the context of democratic urban governance. We invite papers that deal with any of the questions above. In particular, we look for papers that examine cases in which, in the context of a conflict, marginal groups have been able, through the use of performative story telling in public space, to reclaim the public sphere and thereby reclaim co-authorship over their stories.


Arendt, Hannah, The Human Condition, University of Chicago Press (1998)
Rancière, Jacques, Disagreement. Politics and Philosophy, University of Minnesota Press (1999)


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50_Regulating Prostitution: the Possibilities and Limits of Moral Policy. What Research Can Tell Us.

Panel Chairs:

Hendrik Wagenaar
University of Sheffield


Helga Amesberger
Institut für Konfliktforschung, Vienna



This is the second of two linked panels devoted to the topic of policy practice in the domain of prostitution. In this panel we explore the possibilities and limits of prostitution policy. Prostitution policy is resistant to policy initiatives and, so, a fascinating laboratory for how policy practitioners experience and cope when they experience the limitations of the regulatory state. As a moral policy, prostitution is hotly contested. It invokes a deep sense of right and wrong among those involved, views that are often at odds.  The moral character of prostitution as a policy problem has a number of pernicious consequences for policy making. Prostitution is also a classic example of an ‘unknowable’ policy problem. Precise figures are hard to come by in this social domain and whatever numbers circulate are usually influenced by moral commitments. As a result of these features, prostitution policy practice is driven by strong, often media-influenced, images and narratives: the sex worker as victim, human trafficking, ‘tsunamis’ of sex workers, the morally corrupt client, and so on. One outcome is that prostitution policy is often driven by ideology, and so raises questions about the relationship between ideology and ‘data’ in public decision making. Prostitution merges with other urban problems, particularly labour migration. The majority of sex workers are immigrants—primarily from Eastern Europe, Nigeria and China—who are subject to the kind of economic and sexual exploitation that other labour migrants suffer. Prostitution highlights the limited reach of policy instruments, which throws an interesting light in this chapter in policy theory. Finally, sex workers are rarely consulted in the formulation and implementation of prostitution policy.

The chairs have been involved in a 3-year international comparative study of prostitution policy in Austria and the Netherlands. Both countries follow an ambitious policy of regulating prostitution, although with different emphases based on the nature of the local prostitution market, political culture, etc . The chairs will present key findings of the project, but our goal is to initiate a wider debate about prostitution and policy, its goals, its dynamics, its outcomes and its values. One of the central questions in the panel will be to what extent and in what ways the knowledge that is generated in research projects is useful for policy makers. We invite scholars who have worked on prostitution policy and/or social regulation to present their work in this panel.



51_Representing Climate Change

Panel Chairs:

Prof. Willem Schinkel
Department of Sociology
Erasmus University Rotterdam


Panel Organizers:

Dr. Ayşem Mert
Amsterdam Global Change Institute (AGCI),
Institute for Environmental Studies (IVM),
VU University Amsterdam



Representations of nature vary from nature as naïve reality to nature as a moral imperative, as artifice or as commodity (Cronon 1996). Throughout western history, nature has been pictured as a mostly independent entity, opposed to culture. In representations of climate change, such images return but they require a more intricate work of what Bruno Latour (1993) has called ‘purification’, as climate change concerns a particular entanglement of nature with culture, thereby polluting the ‘bifurcation of nature’ (Whitehead 1920). More specifically, the awarding of the Nobel peace prize to the IPCC indicates, ‘climate’ is an entity in which the spheres of the political and the natural are closely intertwined, while also being based on experts’ representations of the crisis. Images of climate change often involve separating and then re-relating these spheres: an act of interpretation par excellence, with consequences for political conflict, policy suggestions, and governance instruments. This panel investigates how that is done.

In particular, we encourage papers investigating representations of climate change and global warming geared at a variety of forms of policy, ranging from (supra)national governmental policy to corporate policy images. One can also think of constructions of climate change by think tanks to those proffered by social movements, pressure groups and NGO’s. This opens a particularly interesting field of representation, as ‘climate’ is a construct assembled from a variety of variables and domains, relating experts in various fields to heterogeneous publics, using various techniques of visualization (graphs, figures, texts, photo’s, movies of swimming polar bears…), and geared at a policy field that is itself highly fragmented, ranging from global climate summits in a crippling impasse to highly local policies or the governing structure of the European Union Emission Trading System (EU ETS). In this context, papers from cultural theory and sociology are also welcome.

The focus of the panel will thus be on the representations of climate for policy, and on the purifications, translations and visualizations at work in the process of picturing climate change. We encourage papers from a variety of perspectives, including STS, visual studies and discourse theory. By doing so we hope to a) contribute to IPA’s ongoing interest in multimodular, and methodologically pluralist stances on public policy; b) seek out new venues and media (such as video games, films, laboratories, Internet blogs, online petitions and campaigns, and so forth) wherein virtual representation is becoming an increasingly dominant tool, especially of scientific knowledge and uncertainty. 


Cronon, W. (1996) Uncommon Ground: Rethinking the Human Place in Nature. NY and London: W.W. Norton & Co.

Latour, B. (1993) We have never been modern. Cambridge, MA: Harvard Uni. Press.

Whitehead, A.N. (1920 [2004]) The Concept of Nature. Cambridge: Cambridge Uni. Press/Prometheus.

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52_Representing Practice

Panel Chairs:


Richard Freeman
University of Edinburgh


David Laws
University of Amsterdam


practice, case study, method, representation, ethics



A sense of practice has always been central to critical and interpretive policy studies, both as a theoretical construct and as an object of inquiry.  Much work has been put into conceptual and methodological issues and the field has developed quickly as a result.  But what makes for an effective descriptive account of 'practice'?  How should we develop case studies in order to make practice available for interrogation, discussion and reflection, both by researchers and by practitioners themselves?

In this workshop we explore what we see as a common assumption – that understanding practice turns on the effectiveness of case studies.  But what different forms might case studies take?  What does a concern with practice require of conventional approaches to research that focus on writing?  Where and how is that writing challenged, stretched, and reshaped in trying to make sense of practice?  How might we introduce other media, such as film and photography, to enhance these efforts?  Who or what is being represented in studies of practice?  What does the need to give or make accounts of practice mean for the relationship between researchers and practitioners?  What provisional standards do we have for producing - and judging - valid and useful studies of practice?

We invite papers that contribute to understanding the presentation and re-presentation of case studies in the course of research on practice.  We welcome papers on all topics relevant to the study of policy, and from all disciplines.  The session will follow a workshop format: we invite each participant to present excerpts from one or more case studies and to introduce briefly the methodological, stylistic, and ethical considerations behind the representations they make, the stories they tell, and the contexts in which they try to make these stories useful.


The core construct of practice is used in different ways in interpretive policy analysis, few of which have explicit methodological correlates.  How to show practice for what it is remains an enduring problem for policy scholars and it is this problem we seek to address here.  We are driven by a sense that case studies and other representations of practice themselves result from the practices of the researchers who make them; as practices, they are normal and recognizable, but also flexible, contingent and innovative.  We need both to develop clearer standards or benchmarks for accounts of practice and to increase the range of possible ways of achieving them.

Contribution to the IPA community

Practice has figured prominently at successive IPA conferences.  The proposed workshop develops and sustains a specific discussion that began in Tilburg (2012) about how to teach the topic of practice, but which reaches back over a number of previous meetings.  The specific problem of the representation of practice in case studies emerged at a seminar in Essex with Theodore Schatzki, a leading figure in the field, hosted by members of the IPA community and at which a number of research students were present.  Other, related activities continue in Amsterdam, Edinburgh and Sheffield.  We're looking to take this opportunity to draw together and develop these various strands of conversation.


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53_Re-Thinking Critique - Recent Economic Crises and New Paths in Critical IPE?!

Panel Chairs:

Antonia Graf
Münster University


Joscha Wullweber
Kassel University


Panel Discussants:

Ulrich Brand
University of Vienna


A critical and interpretative perspective in IPE is marked by the assumption of the economic sphere being socially and politically produced. Since there is an ongoing negotiation on how to define economic reality, some critical perspectives conceptualize the economy as a specific social relation separated from other social spheres by contradictory and conflictual social practices. The omnipresent vocabulary of crises constitutes a language of conflict, failure and threat and seems to enclose not only parts of the economy, but more and more the democratic system itself.

The critical in IPE faces an ambivalent situation of transformation and rigor. On the one hand the current economic crisis does not lead to a politico-economic and/or theoretical change, despite of the fact that orthodox economic theories failed in explaining the reasons of the crisis. On the other hand current social and political developments strongly interrogate the adequacy of (parts of) the economic system. With (new) forms of protest forming up across Europe, traditional alliances and processes of policy-making appear to erode, generating a need for alternative belief systems.

Critical, constructivist and post-structuralist scholars have always worked on pointing out alternatives to mainstream economic theory. But, how do current discourses and practices of crisis reformulate contexts in which the critical occurs? Is it necessary to reformulate the form and content of critique?

The panel wants to inspire the discussion on how to re-think the critical in times of crisis. It invites theoretical and empirical contributions tackling questions like: For what reasons are orthodox economic narratives still almost unquestionable, despite the fact, that neo-liberal forms of economic governance proved to produce an increasing number of crises with devastating social consequences? If mainstream economic theory has shown its weakness with alternatives still not being established in discourse - do we have to think about the addressee for critique anew? Which mechanisms stabilize and/or destabilize daily practices, belief systems, and established knowledge? Is the economic crisis also a crisis of democracy? Where do alternative forms of governance techniques come from and how do they work?


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54_Rethinking Research-Policy Dialogues at Times of Contested Knowledge

Panel Chairs:

Peter Scholten & Mark van Ostaijen
Erasmus University Rotterdam
Department of Public Administration

p.scholten[at]fsw.eur.nl vanostaijen[at]fsw.eur.nl


This panel will focus on contested knowledge claims. Contemporary society challenges traditional connections between policy, knowledge and society. With the fading of traditional beliefs in rational societal steering, governments and researchers are seeking for new connections between research and policy. In the context of generic societal transformations as individualization, post-rationalization and post-industrialization, new connections have emerged which are often more dialogical and situational than authoritarian or hierarchical in character. Rather than seeing a clear and singular trend to new dominant models, the realms of knowledge, policy and society appear to connect in very dynamic patterns of subpolitics. Understanding these new connections requires an empiricist approach to the study of how knowledge plays a role in policymaking in specific issue areas. With this approach the origin, justification and claims connected with knowledge sources can be interpreted. Furthermore, theorizing these new connections requires a rethinking of policy scientific literature on policymaking, on science-politics relations and on institutional (re-) design in the public sector.  The contributors in this panel focus on this contested aspect of knowledge in subpolitics as important aspect of contemporary democracy.

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55_Rhizomic Network Analysis / Actor Network Theory

Panel Chairs:


Richard R Weiner
Rhode Island College /
Minda de Gunzberg Center for European  Studies
Harvard University


public policy network innovation, actant-rhizomic ontology, interstitial spaces, post-identitarian  rootlessness, negotiated knowledge, dynamics of meaning change


Rhizomic Network Analysis [RNA] is an interpretive policy analysis approach that helps gauge to what extent a system of meaning is more or less open to change, specifically, to path-disrupting or path-creating knowledge dynamics. Specifically, RNA helps appreciate the learning processes involved in the incubating and upscaling of sustainability innovation capacity-building.

What endures, as Jung noted, “endures beneath the eternal flux” moving ever forward as a cross-cutting, zigzagging, entangling undergrowth of rhizomes resisting the organizational structure of Aristotelian rootedness and aborescence. The plant lives in its rhizome. Life is hidden in rhizome spinning off seeds within available fissures: ceaselessly establishing connexions, junctions, interconnexions -- woven and rewoven meshwork. 

And it is this in-betweenedness of interstitial space that serves as a force-field of competing bounded rationalities [1] wherein arguments are revealed in negotiation and renegotiation  of practices, procedures, rules, meanings and values; [2] wherein the embeddedness and homeostatic resilience of bounded rationalities are transgressed, swelling and  overflowing our frames of reference in our post-identitarian rootlessness. Are the very questions of bureaucracy and regulation up for grabs?

*RNA emerges out of the poststructuralism associated with Gilles Deleuze and the Actor-Network Theory [ANT] associated with Bruno Latour. What is posed is the embodied tension which lies between seemingly centered actants and decentered networks where actants are understood as network effects.

*RNA emerges as a variant of ANT to comprehend the phenomena of created multiplicity and the ever expanding discontinuously overlapping undergrowth of connexions.

*RNA gauges both the immersed and upsurging wandering of rhizomes as they incessantly disrupt everyday ways of making sense and generate new “forms of life.”

The focus is on zigzagging/ transversal diachronic path-creating action rather than on seeming  determined/ sequenced synchronic path-dependent behavior. Bursting out of the underbrush and meshwork of Oedipal wovens are practices that bring forth new possibilities: new patterns that are irreducible to the micro-politics from which they emerge.

The grid [that is, grille for Deleuze] of supposed binaries is subverted; fixed identities, tenets and canons are undermined. The capability and will to clinamen: to swerve from the influence of predecessor authority. Rapports are scrambled in zigzag movement:

* traversing a fractal space rather than linearly or circularly; and

* creating new meanings and timings of the past or the present that no longer conform to the spacings and the timings of the past or the present.

Applied to interpretive policy analysis, RNA and ANT focus:

*on the practice of conceiving and selves of policy innovations and the processes of knowledge transfer involved;

*on the connexions, on the rapports  themselves rather than on the nodes constituting networks.

In so doing, RNA and ANT respond to needs in interpretive policy analysis in understanding policy networks in terms of: their negotiation and renegotiation; the establishing of rapport of connection between actants in the network environment where learning pragmatics develop transversally rather than top-down or bottom-up.

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56_Science and Expertise as an Action Tool of Techno-Critical Movements. What is it? Who uses it? To what effect?

Panel Chairs:

Franz Seifert
Consultant/Researcher, Vienna, Austria currently funded by Austrian Science Fund



The overall topic of this conference deals with the conflicting relationship between publics, experts and politics. For the two research traditions that come together on this topic-interpretive policy analysis (IPA) and science and technology studies (STS)-the notion of expert- or scientific knowledge respectively is a key term. This panel looks at this notion, particularly as it pertains to the conflict over new technologies and the environment, from the perspective of public opposition or, more specifically, social movements.

While it has been established that 'public opposition' has become a factor to be reckoned with in the governance of new technologies, little research has been conducted which empirically investigates this opposition. Who, actually, opposes new technologies? As this is obviously not 'the public' in its entirety but rather social movements, how do these movements, or particular actors within these movements, relate to the wider public? How do they pursue their goals, which are their strategies and challenges, resources and constraints, successes and failures? Established traditions in social research, such as the sociology of social problems and social movement research, offer concepts and sometimes answers. As STS and IPA enter into dialogue on the issue of conflict and knowledge they can benefit from these traditions.

The session deals with a specific phenomenon on which these approaches might be brought bear: the use techno-critical movements make of science and expertise. Social movements are known to command a wide repertoire of action (Tilly) such as demonstrations, rallies, petitions, direct action, legal measures etc. The employment of science and expertise can be one among these action forms. We expect techno-critical movements to make use of science and expertise. One case in point is risk: the regulation of new technologies typically hinges on technological risks to man and the environment, which is why the political conflict around these technologies puts a premium on the scientific expertise on these risks. How do movements within movements make use of this scientific expertise? Movements cannot be considered as actors, rather they are made up of a variety of actors who employ specific sets of strategies and entertain a complex web of relationships with other actors. Who are the actors who focus on scientific expertise and how do they relate to other actors within the same movement? Is the use of scientific expertise the prerogative of 'mainstream actors', or do 'the radicals' within a movement engage in science too? Do movements merely exploit scientific expertise that is generated by academic or other accredited institutions? Or are they themselves active in the production of critical scientific expertise? How do techno-critical movements interact with the established institutions of knowledge production? Does their influence reach into these institutions, or are they kept at bay? Do they contest these institutions' epistemic boundaries, or do they strategically exploit expert authority for their own purposes? If actors who are part of specific movements slip into the role of 'experts', which is the nature of their expertise? And which is the nature of expertise required for the elaboration of alternative discursive frames for technological development? Which are the conditions that render this expertise politically effective?

Invited are empirical case studies that examine how movements or the actors make up these movements make use of, or even generate science and expertise in techno-scientific controversies; also invited are conceptual essays that effectively tackle these questions. Note that most techno-scientific controversies do not result in outright movements accompanied by broad public mobilizations, such as was the case in the controversy over nuclear energy or agro-food biotechnology. Movements, however, can often generate spin-offs which case studies might examine as well.  

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57_Self-organizing Publics – A Social Media (R)Evolution?

Panel Chairs:


Arienne Naber - TBM

Bert Enserink - TBM

governance, authority, democracy, participation, social media


While Western governments are cheering the impact of modern ict and social media for their facilitating role in mobilizing the masses in Tunisia, Egypt and Syria in 2011, those same governments are pleading for shutting down twitter and Facebook to prevent flash mobs and flash parties as illustrated by the reactions after the events last summer in Haren in the Netherlands, where thousands of people showed up and caused a raw at a birthday party which was accidentally placed as an open invitation on Facebook.

Clearly mediated social networking and the worldwide internet access through mobile devices are rapidly changing the character and intensity of interpersonal communication and are replacing mass media as main communication and mobilization devices.  The speed of change is overwhelming and authorities are grabbling for control; authoritarian regimes close down mobile networks (Iran 2010, Syria 2012), check all internet traffic and forbid websites and/or throw out unwilling providers (China 2010-11).

Government communication using traditional media in government-citizen relationships, like radio, television, and newspapers,  is facing the competition of these new electronic devices for informing their citizens. The  distinguishing characteristic is that new media  can easily be used by the citizens themselves for  informing, addressing and involving other citizens  and for mobilizing and steering the crowds. Governance in the internet era thus faces unprecedented challenges; whereas in the past citizens might be unaware and uninformed or at best be invited to actively participate in a well-orchestrated and carefully administrated public participation process, nowadays publics inform and mobilize themselves, contest authority and demand their fair share of power (and right they are..).

In the course of events we often witness the creation and development of parallel truths and contestation: Syria is a clear example, but can be seen as the typical disinformation and propaganda used in periods with high political tension and in war-like situations.  But the phenomenon also occurs in stable countries, for instance in the Netherlands in 2011 a cervical cancer vaccination campaign failed because of rumors (according to the content specialists) spreading through the internet and social media on the assumed hushed up negative health effects of the vaccine. Many of these public discourses get out of balance though, they loose nuance or go astray and spur contestation, where careful weighing and consideration would have been required like in the debate on immigration policy shifting to rising xenophobia.

In this session we invite theoretical and empirical contributions exhibiting examples of changing discourses, of contested expertise and the creation of parallel truths and of solicited and unsolicited mobilization of the crowds.  A special interest would be to explore how  new media might create new opportunities for democratization and new forms of public involvement in policy making. The overall objective of the session would be to explore a new  research agenda for changing times.


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58_Social Justice: Normative Visions and Policy Frames

Panel Chairs:

Prof. Dr. Katrin Toens
Evangelische Hochschule Freiburg
FB I Soziale Arbeit / Politikwissenschaft


Prof. Dr. Michael Haus
Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg
Institut für Politische Wissenschaft



There has been an amazing flourishing of reflections on the substance and the normative implications of social justice in recent political theory. Especially John Rawls but also others from egalitarian liberal perspectives (e.g. Dworkin, Kymlicka, van Parijs) or with challenging views (e.g. Fraser, Habermas, Nozick, Nussbaum, Sen, Walzer) laid down guidelines for thinking about social justice in contemporary society. But the practical implications of these guidelines are not always clear. Commentators like Raymond Geuss even go as far as to claim that normative theories are too “unrealistic” to guide actual political action. In practical discourses, references to social justice often seem to be “weapons” in the attempt to win over opponents and to promote specific interests. At best, social justice is used as a normative notion to demand more “equality” as opposed to more “freedom”. It is just this juxtaposition of equality and freedom which theories of social justice strive to overcome In modern societies “real” freedom for as many citizens as possible cannot be achieved without equalizing at least some dimensions (like opportunities for education, or necessary health care). To link theories of justice to the framing of policy could make a step forward in bridging the gap between normative reflections and policy analysis. This leads us to the question whether “social justice” has some identifiable contours in actual policy discourses beyond the mere juxtaposition of equality and freedom. The aim is to identify the “grammar of justice” of policy-making and to relate it to normative debates on social justice in political theory. In which way (if any at all) do discourses mobilize, articulate, challenge or even reject certain visions of justice? These could be

  • liberal visions (ideas of fairness, equal concern etc. expressed in “reasonable” principles of justice like equal liberties, fair equality of opportunity and material redistribution; citizens as moral agents tolerating and respecting)
  • communitarian visions (ideas of the good life like belonging to a community, being part of a moral tradition, being an active citizen engaged for the common good, respecting the common understandings of certain goods and practices)
  • visions of recognition (ideas of institutionalising social practices of recognition and/or barriers against contempt)
  • enabling visions (ideas of capability for leading a full human life either in general or within a particular society, manifested in lists of capabilities or institutional arrangements to identify capability and satisfy corresponding needs sufficiently)
  • discursive/procedural visions (ideas of public deliberation, strengthening the discursive position of weaker interests, counter-acting sources of communicative distortion and manipulation)  

Policy discourse contexts could be

  • advocatorial claims in the name of specific disadvantaged or marginalised groups
  • welfare state (reform) discourses
  • discourses focused on specific institutions, goods and social services (like schools, medical care, elderly care etc.).

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59_Taking Morals Seriously: Policy Change, Policy Conflicts and the Transformation of Morality

Panel Chairs:

Kathrin Braun (chair)
Universität Kassel
Fachbereich Gesellschaftswissenschaften


Jutta Joachim (co-chair)
Institut für Politische Wissenschaft
Universität Hannover



The panel will explore the mutual constitution of governance, policies, policy conflicts and morality and discuss whether and how transformations in governance and policy-making can be understood in light of transformations of morality and vice versa.

The dimension of norms, values, and identities has long been highlighted by Interpretive Policy Analysis (as well as Science and Technology Studies). Yet, we would hold, critical policy analysts could do more to understand, systematize, analyze, and assess the import of morality and moral transformation in contemporary governance and policy making.

While behavioralist approaches do address morality, they consider it in form of given attitudes or preferences, treated as variables that correlate – or not – with others. They do not and cannot account for processes of moral change as such: how it comes about, in which contexts, how and which moral meanings actually change and how these changes are intertwined with changes in governance and policy making.

In vast parts of the governance literature, on the other hand, morality seems to be largely absent altogether. With some exceptions, scholars tend to analyze patterns of governance in terms of up-scaling, down-scaling, or off-scaling, problem solving, performance, efficacy and further technical terms.

In interpretive policy analysis and constructivist work on International Relations, traditions of habermasean descent explicitly include the dimension of morality as well. The issue here rather is that morality is per se opposed to power and interest – which rules out the possibility that moral transformation may bring about or stabilize relations of power or vice versa. It is the risk of naiveté that, on the other hand, is clearly avoided by governmentality scholars of foucauldian descent. Who, however, tend to focus on the connex of power and knowledge, either ignoring the dimension of morality or including it as an effect of governmental programs and techniques only.

In order to move further, we welcome papers that - empirically, historically or conceptually - examine questions such as:

  • Can we observe major moral transformations in politics and governance, concerning either the substance or the significance of moral discourse? What are the contexts and the implications of such transformations?
  • How are we to assess the import of morality and moral change?
  • How do we theorize the relation between power, knowledge and morality in governance and policy change?
  • Does morality act as the antipode of power and interest or, on the contrary, as a more subtle form of manipulation?
  • Should we understand moral change as an outcome or rather as the driving force behind changes in governance and policy making? And how can we tell the difference?
  • When examining the import of morality, how can we steer clear of naiveté on the one hand and cynicism on the other? How are we to account for moral change within a larger context while avoiding the pitfalls of structural determinism?

We invite case studies on different policy areas as well as conceptual and theoretical papers or studies that take a historical perspective.


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60_Tensions between Conceptual and Instrumental Scientific Advisory Work.The role of policy advice in transforming social and economic security.

Panel Chairs:

Antoinette de Bont
Erasmus University Rotterdam
Institute for Health Policy and Management



Scientific advice in the field of social and economic security can be either conceptual or instrumental, or a mix of both.  Many policy analysts have signaled that policy makers are inclined to ask for instrumental, whereas researchers prefer conceptual advice. Politicians and policymakers have a short term horizon and want to show policy action, asking for concrete advice that suggests instruments ready for implementation.  Although a shift from conceptual to instrumental advice in all sectors can be seen, there is a parallel need for conceptual advices in specific settings. For very different reasons, policy makers in different domains are also puzzled by conceptual issues and ask for other policy approaches, such as:

  • How to develop another concept of good care in order to contain costs in health care?
  • How to conceptualize the responsibility of citizens and government within the transition from social security state to social investment state?
  • What kind of alternative framework for financial markets could better guarantee financial security for citizens?

This need for both instrumental and conceptual advice creates theoretical and empirical puzzles concerning the position of policy advice. Therefore we ask:

  • Why has conceptual work become relevant within a rather instrumental context?
  • How is conceptual work possible within this context? Does it contribute to a new societal debate and a change within policy and scientific agendas?
  • Which settings or factors make conceptual work possible and effective? How could this effectiveness be understood?

Moreover, these changes within the science-policy interface could create new tensions between experts, politics, and publics.  Recognizing the need of conceptual change, the incorporation of broader publics becomes more important. What kind of conflicts does this generate?

The panel focuses on tensions between conceptual and instrumental advisory work within policy programs in transition. We look forward to papers that come from different disciplines, within the broad policy field of social and economic security. Social and economic security could include for example health care reforms, reframing responsibilities in social care, new programs for pensions and unemployment but also transforming the role of the state to enhance financial security. We will discuss both empirical and theoretical contributions.


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61_The Contentious Politics of the Internet: New Actors, Practices, and Expertise in Digital Policymaking

Panel Chairs:

Arne Hintz
Cardiff University



The field of digital communications policy has become pervasive, innovative, participatory, and increasingly visible. It is pervasive as it expands to regulate an increasing range of our daily activities. It is innovative as it allows for the involvement of new actors and the experimentation with new practices in policymaking, and it has increased participation through normalizing multi-stakeholder processes, particularly in transnational policy debates. Finally, it has become increasingly visible as a growing range of actors start to engage with prominent issues such as surveillance, intellectual property rights, and freedom of expression in digital environments.

Conflicts around ‘piracy’, ‘network neutrality’ and information control (e.g. internet filtering tools) have become key sites of contention between governments, commercial interests, civil rights agendas and anonymous masses of laics. Mobilizations such as the protests against the Stop Online Piracy Act in the US or the Data Retention Directive in Europe have seen the involvement of a broad variety of internet users, grassroots activists, and civil liberties organizations, sometimes leading to temporary and unusual alliances with major companies, trade unions, or political parties.

These mobilizations point to a number of interesting developments in the realm of internet politics and digital communications. First of all, the notion of expertise is changing, as practitioners become progressively engaged in policy arenas. Rather than deriving their legitimacy from electoral or other more traditional processes, they embody what has been called “grassrootedness” and provide experiential evidence that derives from their continuous practical involvement with technologies. Secondly, we are witnessing new sites of contention that span the technical realms of software development, standards and protocols, and thus provide a role for actors with expertise in these fields. Thirdly, the tactics of policy advocacy are expanding, as they include not only classic forms of lobbying and campaigning, but also disruptive protest, policy hacking, and prefigurative politics. Fourthly, a notion of ‘the public’ is emerging that includes a myriad of internet users scattered around the planet, using the same medium to develop and defend shared values and principles which complement (and sometimes surpass) established social, geographic and political allegiances. Finally, forms of organization are changing towards networked alliances and temporary interactions which intersect with, and challenge, traditional ways of structuring social and political life.

This panel will explore trends in online activism and internet policy, focusing on the new roles and strategies of a variety of nongovernmental actors. In doing so, it will investigate what these developments can tell us about broader questions of how policy is made, who participates, on what terms, using what action repertoires, and what it means for new forms of publics and expertise.

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62_The Dynamics of Escalation in Policy Conflict

Panel Chairs:


Dr. Imrat Verhoeven
Department of Political Science
University of Amsterdam


policy conflict, escalation, framing processes, emotional appeals, events



This panel brings together interpretive studies on escalation dynamics in policy conflicts. Escalation is a key dynamic-along with stalemate, and settlement-and the one that holds the key to the volatility of many policy issues. Yet it is often neglected within the field of interpretative policy analysis. Stalemate has received attention in Schön and Rein's work on intractable policy controversies.  Settlement is addressed in work on policy negotiation, for example by John Forrester and others.

The experience of escalation in policy conflict is much more common than are empirical studies that examine the dynamics driving escalation. Literature, primarily in social psychology, explains escalation as a specific pattern that emerges when zero-sum thinking is combined with diverging perceptions and social and cognitive pressures for consistency. This combination triggers the strategic behavior-defensive and aggressive-that triggers conflict spirals. An interpretive approach complements this with the study of clashing meanings in, for example collective action frames in social movement studies, or in the study of negotiating knowledge in Science and Technology Studies. What these approaches share is a focus on relatively static, as opposed to dynamic, explanations of conflict; a study of what frames collide does not describe how the collision develops and the ensuing conflict plays out, for example. In this panel we seek to find ways to move beyond static approaches and develop an analytic vocabulary suited to escalation and the dynamics of policy conflict. This approach can help us open the relationship between the contentious behavior associated with escalation and 'hot' forms of policy negotiation and change that may be necessary to produce, learning, change, and settlement.


This panel welcomes theoretical and empirical papers that try to capture the dynamics driving the escalation of policy conflicts from an interpretative perspective. Relevant analytical aspects are:

  • Framing processes or the production of stories
  • Broader discourses that these meaning production processes can draw on
  • Emotional appeals enclosed in meaning production
  • Scientific controversies and the negotiation of knowledge in public controversies
  • The role of events feeding into and changing meaning production

Policy conflicts can involve many actors such as governmental organizations, citizens, NGOs, corporations, social movements, and the media.

Contribution to the IPA community

This panel seeks to (re)focus the study of policy conflict within the field of interpretative policy analysis to the thing all conflicts start with: escalation. By employing interpretative methods we believe research on the escalation of policy conflict can significantly contribute to our understanding of the development of public policies.


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63_The Local, National and Global in Educational Policy

Panel Chairs:

Gunn Elisabeth Søreide

Associate professor
Department of Education
University of Bergen, Norway


Politicians and policymakers in countries across the globe tend to describe the challenges for the educational sector and the policy initiatives confronting these challenges in similar terms. Although policy rhetoric appears to be globalized, the question whether the policies themselves also are globalized in the sense that they are understood and implemented in the same way nationally and locally remains to be investigated more closely. The papers in this panel will therefore take national and/or local educational policy initiatives, values, arguments and discourses as a point of departure and explore the connection between these and what could be described as global policy.

The papers in this session will take educational policy as a point of departure and address different layers, voices or parts of an argument in these policy documents. This can be done within the frames of various methodological approaches such as discourse, narrative, system-theoretical, normative and conceptual analysis. The aim for the session is twofold; firstly we wish to illuminate and explore the relationship between national and/or local policy and global educational policy initiatives. What are the relationships, tensions, conflicts, overlaps and/or references between these levels of educational policy? Secondly we aim to illuminate how various theoretical and methodological approaches to analysis of policy documents and initiatives will inform each other and collectively generate a nuanced understanding of policy processes in a national context.

This panel will contribute to the IPA community development and broadening of methodological and theoretical approaches to the critical investigation of policy. As education and knowledge is prioritized by policymakers in the current discourse on knowledge economy, a closer investigation of educational policy is also of significance to a research community focusing on critical analyses of policy.  The panel’s focus on the relationship between different policy levels (global, national, local) will also enable us to highlight possible challenges and tensions in the governing of the educational system.


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64_The Role of Reflexivity in Conflicts and Policymaking

Panel Chairs:

Manfred Moldaschl


Reflexivity is a common reference point in modernization theory (Luhmann, Beck, Giddens, Sandywell), developmental psychology (Piaget, Kohlberg, Groeben), critical social theory (Bourdieu, Habermas, Jessop), philosophy of science (e.g. Bunge, Gouldner) and organizational learning (Argyris & Schön). In most of these approaches specific emphasis was on political issues of reflexivity. With Giddens, for instance, we see the role of reflexivity in the interplay between citizens and experts. However, in this concept the focus is either set on trust or mistrust in experts or on knowledge-dependence of decision making in general. Experts themselves - their strains in dealing with a series of dilemmatic situations and possibilities for reflexive action - are not discussed at all. While in the theory of reflexive modernization Beck and Giddens portrait reflexivity as a more or less "digital" alternative to fundamentalist reactions on contingency and dynamics in the modern world, we see very different forms and levels of reflexivity in social practices and attitudes as well as in cultures and institutions. For us, reflexivity is an important feature of pluralism, critical thinking, democratic governance and institutional change.

Precisely because in times of crisis groups of publics lost trust in the continuous diffusion and linear progress of enlightenment, now more than ever, the question arises, to which extend the relation between experts and publics is characterized by new forms fundamentalism or reflexivity. How can the confrontation of conflicting, sometimes paradox perspectives foster reflexivity and change rules within traditional models of government? Which meanings are given to them by the actors involved? And how to identify levels of reflexivity in political cultures and sublectivity? If reflexivity is not understood as a digital construct, we have to discuss how to conceptualize epistemological qualities of knowledge, practice and culture in conflicts between publics and experts; and how this might contribute to understanding self-reference, inertia or change in policymaking.

As a personal competence and epistemological style, reflexive perceiving and acting can be described (and then operationalized) e.g. as an ability to take up an observational perspective on one's own action and perception; an awareness of perspectivity, of being situated inevitably; it comprises an attentiveness of unintended side effects of own and others activities, and/or a high readiness to accept ambiguity and alternative interpretations of social reality (e.g. skepticism concerning "one best way"). In policy settings, reflexivity could be identified in epistemological practices, forms of discourse, ways of knowledge absorption, interpretations of traditional democratic structures, rules and routines, and especially in forms of dealing with conflicts between publics and political experts. Following the classics of moral education like Socrates and Kohlberg, as well as recent research on moral development, reflexivity can also be conceptualized as democratic competence. As such, it plays an important role in processes by which problems are defined and meanings are given.

Based on such issues and options the organizers invite papers concerning ...

  • the conceptualization of reflexivity as moral judgement (Kohlberg), moral-democratic (Lind) and discourse (Habermas) competence.
  • epistemology and epistemic patterns in conflicts between publics and political actors.
  • the interplay of individual potentials and institutional conditions in dealing with conflicts.
  • empirical and conceptual studies of the development of reflexivity as a competence.
  • the importance of reflexivity in conflicts between experts and publics and its role in developing democracy on organizational (e.g. NGOs), meso (team, leadership) and individual (perception, consciousness/awareness, agency) level.
  • the development of (reflexive) expertise in critical confrontation with the contingent character of diverse publics.

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65_Top Leaders or Toy Soldiers? Reconsidering Discursive Agency in Policy Research

Panel Chairs:

Reiner Keller

Georg Winkel

Institute of Forest and Environmental Policy
University of Freiburg, Germany

Panel Organizers:

Scott Cettie

Sina Leipold


Conceptualizing human agency is one of the oldest and most debated challenges within policy research. With the increasing popularity of discourse approaches among policy analysts this question gains new relevance because it refers to prevailing fundamental debates about structure and agency in discourse studies. In research on political discourses the question of agency is particularly prevalent as the complexity and multidimensionality of political and public issues have led to the evolution of various and often competing discourses and institutions at different policy levels. This creates, on the one hand, a demand for orientation and political leadership while, on the other hand, providing political actors with considerable room to maneuver. It also raises questions about the interaction of agents and discourse.

Even though there is a growing literature on policy discourses, there is still fierce debate on (1) what kinds of individual and collective agency are imaginable in discourse analysis, (2) to what extent agents and discourse are mutually constitutive, and (3) what methodological approaches are feasible for researching the interaction between discourses and diverse kinds of agents. Despite the increasing number of discourse studies in policy analysis, the theoretical and methodological questions connected with this issue are often not addressed in a systematic manner. On that basis, this panel aims to initiate a structured discussion on conceptualizing discursive agency in policy research.

In order to facilitate an exchange of theoretical and empirical perspectives on these questions, we ask for both

  • theoretical presentations that addresses the conceptual and methodological dimensions of policy discourses,  discourse agents, institutions and power; and
  • empirical studies that address the role of agency and particular agents in policy discourses.

By inviting theoretical and empirical contributions this panel will promote the clarification of discourse approaches currently used as well as the reflection on specific case studies from diverse issue areas. In particular, it will further an exchange about approaches and perspectives on the question to what extent individual leadership or collective agency influence policy discourse and vice versa. With this we hope to contribute to a more systematic use of existing approaches and to explore opportunities for developing new theoretical and methodological approaches.


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66_Where/When is the Conflict? The Contentious Politics of STS

Panel Chairs:

Dr. Frédéric Claisse
Scientific and Public Involvement in Risk Allocations Laboratory – SPIRAL
Université de Liège


Panel Organizer:
Michiel van Oudheusden
Scientific and Public Involvement in Risk Allocations Laboratory – SPIRAL
Université de Liège



Science and technology studies (STS) have, in various ways, contributed to “disembedding” conflicts by questioning the design and use of seemingly neutral devices, techniques, and discourses. Early sociologists of scientific knowledge located conflicts where no one cared to look: the science lab. Social construction of technology approaches have indicated how social groups design, appreciate, and use sociotechnical artifacts differently, leading to a social consensus that is only temporary and fragile. Actor Network approaches (ANT) have demonstrated that elements in heterogeneous networks have to be held in place or enrolled if networks are to resist falling apart. More recently, STS scholars have opened to discussion differences and paradoxes that reside within previously taken-for-granted STS arrangements, such as participatory science activities and technology assessments.

Each of these approaches renders the contingent, conflict-ridden character of sociotechnical orders concrete and more political. However, they are hard pressed to explain how, and why, sociotechnical order emerges in the first place, and why it takes the form that it does. They also fail to explain why, socially speaking, many conflicts simply do not exist. This panel draws open such limitations by asking its members to consider the following, interrelated questions: Where is the conflict (and where is it not)? When is there conflict (and when is there not)? Who or what defines the conflict (and who or what does not)?

To answer these questions, the panel integrates STS literatures and policy literatures centered on “agenda setting,” including analyses of the dynamics of public issue framing and the management of overflow,1 and the dynamic approach conceptualized by Kingdon.2 Confronting STS with tools mobilized in public policy analysis is pertinent in view of the “structuralist” critique that STS fail to account for power asymmetries, relations of domination, and (macro)structures, which constitute and “lock in” social relations and interpretations. It is also pertinent given the criticism that because STS subscribe to ontological realism, they cannot, and do not, fundamentally challenge existing sociotechnical order.3

Yet, as shown by Fouilleux,4 STS approaches like ANT lend themselves to the analysis of the construction of arenas and the institutionalization of new referents for public action. They can also prove useful for analyzing the dynamics of the apparently stable equilibriums of policy institutions.5 Thus, even apparently “cold” institutions, where conflict is latent or subdued,6 can be analyzed as interactional spaces whose apparent stability is problematized and questioned.7

Panelists are thus invited to respond to the questions above by deepening STS concepts and tools or by drawing on other literatures, as well as personal experiences, and/or case studies. They may also choose to attend to formal political devices and processes (e.g. parliaments, voting procedures, policy instruments), economics (e.g. capital flows, assets), and cultural infrastructures (e.g. ideological and symbolic sectors), which together constitute society, but which are not typically the focus of STS.

1 CALLON M, 1999, “An Essay on Flowing and Overflowing: Economic Externalities Revisited by Sociology,” in: Callon M (Ed.) The Laws of the Markets. Oxford and Keele, Blackwell and the Sociological Review, p. 244-269. 
2 KINGDON J, 1995, Agenda, Alternatives and Public policy, Addison Wesley Educational publishers. 
3 FULLER S, 2000, “Why Science Studies Has Never Been Critical of Science: Some Recent Lessons on How to Be a Helfpul Nuisance and a Harmless Radical,” Philosophy of the Social Sciences, 30(1), p. 5-32.
4 FOUILLEUX È, 2000, Entre production et institutionnalisation des idées. La réforme de la Politique agricole commune, Revue française de science politique, (2), p. 277-306.
5 FALLON C, 2011, Les acteurs-réseaux redessinent la science.  Le régime de politique scientifique révélé par les nstruments. Academia Bruylant, Coll. Thélème n°8, Louvain La Neuve.
6 RIP A, 2010, “Processes of entanglement,” in: Akrich M, Barthes Y, Muniesa F, Mustar P (Eds.) Débordements. Mélanges offerts à Michel Callon. Presses des Mines, Paris, p. 381-393.
7 TOURNAY V, 2012, S'il te plaît dessine-moi une institution. Ed.Glyphe.

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99_Open Section

Panel Organizers:


IPA 2013


open section


This section is for paper proposals that do not fit any of the other panels on the list. The conference organizers will judge whether these proposals fit the conference.

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100_Methodology Workshop



Katharina Paul & Paul Just


methodology workshops


A limited number of the sessions will be devoted to methodology workshops. These 90-minute workshop sessions feature specialists in different aspects of interpretive policy analysis. In the workshop sessions, following the approach employed in earlier conferences, build on the idea of a "master-class" in musical studies, two experienced researchers will meet a small number of "newer" researchers to discuss issues in using a particular methodological strategy or method. The emphasis will be on questions raised by the newer researchers, and their research will be treated as case studies to generate and engage relevant methodological issues. Presenters are asked to focus on their methods.

The workshops seek to create a setting where newer scholars can benefit from focused interaction with more seasoned experts in their field. The goal is to discuss questions about interpretive research and to exchange experiences on a range of relevant topics, such as discourse analysis, interviewing and participant observation. The sessions will be facilitated, and the discussants will be established figures in the field of interpretative policy analysis, such as Frank Fischer, Navdeep Mathur, Hendrik Wagenaar and Dvora Yanow. The sessions are fully incorporated into the regular conference program; and, as part of an effort to create a collaborative learning environment, the sessions are open to all conference participants.

In order to take part in a workshop session, newer researchers invited to present their work in one of these workshops will be asked to introduce their research project, pointing to particular methodological questions that have arisen in their research and/or field experiences that they would like to explore in the workshop. If you wish to be considered for inclusion in a Methodology Workshop, please submit your proposal no later than 28 February 2013.

Your submission should include:

  • your full name, institutional affiliation and email
  • title of your research project
  • your career stage (e.g., year of your PhD studies, year PhD dissertation defense is anticipated, year of post-doc work and date PhD was received, etc.)
  • a brief description of your research project, its methodological approach and the problem that you would like to discuss (500-600 words)

For additional questions, please do not hesitate to contact the Methodology Workshop Advisory Board by sending an E-Mail to ipa2013[at]univie.ac.at, writing "Methodology workshop" in the subject heading. Full papers for the methodology workshops should have no more than 3.000 words and will be due one month prior to the conference date: 3 June 2013. They should be uploaded on the website and e-mailed to the panel chair.

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Life Science Governance Platform
University of Vienna
Universitätsstrasse 7
A-1010 Vienna

Email: ipa2013@univie.ac.at
University of Vienna | Universitätsring 1 | 1010 Vienna | T +43-1-4277-0
Lastupdate: 28.06.2013 - 12:00