Faculty of Arts, Cultures and Education

Interpretive Policy Analysis 11th International Conference

IPA 2016

The IPA 2016 conference was held on 5-7th July 2016 at the University of Hull.

Download the full conference programme.

View the book of Abstracts.

  • The Conference
  • Paper Panels
  • Other Conference Highlights

The Conference

Interpretive policy analysis engenders and embraces research which extends across the social sciences and which is applied to a vast range of policy topics. The common interest of interpretive approaches to policy analysis is the recognition of the importance of discourse, meaning making, interpretation and the performance of social practices both in devising and in enacting policy.

Keynote 1: Isabela Fairclough (University of Central Lancashire) and Norman Fairclough (Emeritus Professor, Lancaster University) Policy debate and decision-making over shale gas the UK.

Keynote 2: Elizabeth Shove (Lancaster University) on social practice theory and energy consumption.


Isabella FaircloughIsabela Fairclough

Isabela’s main research interests are in critical discourse analysis and argumentation theory (pragma-dialectics and informal logic), especially the modelling and critical evaluation of public deliberative practice and the study of argumentation in institutional contexts. Her recent publications (including Political Discourse Analysis, Routledge 2012) have investigated political discourse in the UK in the context of the post-2008 economic crisis.

Norman FaircloughNorman Fairclough

Norman Fairclough was Professor of Language in Social Life at Lancaster University until his retirement in 2004 and is now emeritus professor. His main area of research is critical discourse analysis (Language and Power 1989, Discourse and Social Change 1992, Discourse in Late Modernity 1999 with Lilie Chouliaraki, Analysing Discourse 2003, Critical Discourse Analysis 2nd ed. 2010).  He has published on media, political and organizational discourse, and on critical policy analysis (Critical Policy Studies 7.3 2013).  With Isabela Fairclough, he has been advocating an ‘argumentative turn’ in critical discourse analysis (Political Discourse Analysis 2012, and in Discourse & Society 22.3 2011, Argumentation et analyse du discours 2012, Political Studies Review 11.3 2013, Routledge Handbook of Interpretive Political Science 2016).  He is now writing on critical discourse analysis as a form of dialectical reasoning.

Elizabeth ShoveElizabeth Shove

Elizabeth’s research on energy spans 25 years during which time she has held research awards from BRE, EU, EPSRC, ESF, ESRC, DoE, DETR, TfL, and Unilever.  She is author/co-author of 9 books, including Sustainable Practice (2013: Routledge) The Dynamics of Social Practice (2012: Sage), and Comfort, Cleanliness and Convenience (2003: Berg).

Paper Panels

Select a panel name for more information.

  1. 1 - The Neo-Liberal Transformation of the University:  Critical Reflections on the Education Industry »

    • Conveyor and Institution: Frank Fischer, Technical University of Darmstadt  (Germany)
      Alan Mandell, State University of New York, Empire State  College  (USA)
      Abstract: Higher education, one might argue, is always in flux. The claim that particular “traditions” are indomitable and cut off all change is highly problematic and deflects our attention from what is going on around us. It pushes is away from examining, with care and with a critical eye, how higher education across the world has been shaped at different times and in specific contexts by particular forces that link teaching and learning to a host of social, political, economic and ideological forces. This panel wants to take up the question of what has been called “the neoliberal university” today by raising urgent issues, important questions and deep concerns about a changing higher education landscape that has led to unmistakable intertwinings of learning with what is most valued at work, of outcomes with political compliance, of access with the further legitimation of academy hierarchies, and of success (whether of faculty or of students) with the piling on of products that fit the needs of a highly competitive market. How do these (and other related) realities affect university practices, student learning and faculty life? How do they affect the kind of knowledge that gains legitimacy and power today? How do they affect the role of the university in social and political life? And, how do the realities of such educational commercialization and industrialization affect the possibilities for higher education as a viable source of social change?

  2. 3 - Critical and Relational Action Research:
    Integrating Transformative Ambitions and Challenging Practices of Collaboratively Addressing Policy Issues »

    • Conveyor and Institution: Koen Bartels, Bangor University, United Kingdom
      Julia Wittmayer, Erasmus University Rotterdam, the Netherlands
      Abstract: Action research is proving an increasingly popular approach in interpretive policy analysis. By action research we refer to a wide variety of approaches involving participatory processes of collaborating with (policy) actors to produce scientifically and socially relevant knowledge and transformative action. While for long relatively neglected, a rich and engaging conversation emerged over the last conferences about what action research has to offer.
      Sharing our experiences in a wide variety of backgrounds revealed the value and difficulties of integrating its transformative ambitions and challenging practices. We found that doing so requires critical and relational approaches. On the one hand, action research aims to be critical of what is there and push for transformation of habits, discourses and power inequalities engrained in hegemonic systems. On the other hand, action researchers should be relational by maintaining trust, shared goals, and commitment as well as pragmatically accepting things for what they are and what is practically possible.

      We therefore welcome reflections on experiences with various action research (and related) approaches from a variety of backgrounds that will improve our understanding of how critical and relational approaches (and the associated practices, roles, relationships, and theories) can be used to transform policy issues. Specifically, contributors should further explore questions about the goals, contexts and impacts of action research:
      • When is it a suitable approach and why?
      • For whom and what is it and how is this reflected in its practices and ambitions?
      • Whom are we engaging with and what are the changes pursued?
      • How can we combine a critical approach with practical impacts towards structural change?
      The wider aim of the panel is to gather potentially interested contributors to an edited volume about action research in policy analysis that compares approaches and evaluates goals, contexts, and impacts.

  3. 4 - Immigration and Asylum Policy: critical analysis »

    • Conveyor and Institution: Lucy Mayblin, University of Sheffield, UK
      Abstract: This panel invites papers which present a critical analysis of immigration and asylum policy in Western states. There are multiple and competing pressures on policymakers from public attitudes to immigrants, asylum seekers and refugees, to the reality of clandestine arrivals, or pressure from supranational organisations. While there appears to be a commitment to continue along the well worn path of enhancing restrictivism and embracing the securitization of the immigration regime, there is also the possibility that the events of the summer of 2015 may have the power to challenge some of the accepted ‘truths’ underpinning immigration and asylum policies. This panel seeks to include a range of papers on different yet complementary themes addressing immigration and asylum policy, at multiple scales of governance and using a variety of analytical techniques.

  4. 5 - Critical Discourse Analysis »

    • Conveyor and Institution: Jane Mulderrig, University of Sheffield, UK
      Nicolina Montesano Montessori, Utrecht University of Applied Sciences, Netherland
      Abstract: This panel offers a forum for critical discourse approaches to policy analysis. In recent years critical discourse analysis (CDA) has established itself as a valuable approach to interpretive policy research, as indeed highlighted in this year’s keynote. A distinctive feature of this approach is its incorporation of a theory of discourse with a detailed text analytical framework which aims not just at interpreting the discursive aspects of political and policy practices but also at explicitly critiquing them.
      Papers may focus on any area of policy analysis and critique, and may adopt a range of approaches to textually oriented CDA. A key aim of the panel is to provide a space to discuss the contribution of CDA as one approach to critical policy analysis and to address practical issues of method in applying critical discourse analysis to IPA. Contributors are therefore encouraged to reflect explicitly on the theoretical and methodological decisions made during their research.
      Exploration of the role of discourse/semiosis in influencing, enacting, or responding to any area of policy is encouraged, including:
      • Energy and the environment
      • Citizenship and education
      • Immigration, asylum, and race relations
      • Health and social care
      • Austerity and economic crisis
      • Social change (e.g. social movements, social enterprise)
      Papers will variously ask: What are the features of discourse associated with areas of policy and political practices? Do these features of discursive practice impose constraints or present affordances in the social practices examined?  How do particular conflicts, contradictions, and shifting power relations play out?

  5. 6 - Critical Discourse Analysis, Discourse Theory and Hegemony »

    • Conveyor and Institution: Nicolina Montesano Montessori, Utrecht University of Applied Sciences, Netherlands
      Jane Mulderrig, University of Sheffield, UK
      Abstract: This panel offers a forum for critical discourse approaches to policy analysis performed in combination with discourse theory (Laclau and Mouffe 1985 and beyond). Combining discourse theory and CDA is both challenging and productive. Challenging in the sense that both maintain different ontological views, rewarding because the theoretical orientation of DT and the methodological orientation of CDA complement each other very well.
      Papers may focus on any area of policy analysis, social change, social movements, hegemony and power and may adopt a range of approaches to textually oriented CDA combined with discourse theory. A key aim of the panel is to reflect on the challenges and possibilities of combining CDA and DT. Contributors are therefore encouraged to reflect explicitly on their research aims, reasons for combining CDA and DT, problems found and (not) resolved on the way, and implications for our understanding of the pitfalls and opportunities of this combined approach.
      Papers are welcome that combine CDA and DT and, for instance, focus on the following topics
      • Social and/or organisational change
      • Social movements
      • Social entrepreneurship
      • Radical Democracy
      • Hegemony
      • Power
      • Populism
      Papers will variously ask: What are the features of discourse associated with areas of policy practices and/or processes of social change?  What is the role of discourse in processes of social change - or its stagnation?  How does a research approach that comprises CDA and DT help to understand the particular phenomenon that is being researched?

  6. 7 - Health Policy Research: theory and method »

    • Conveyor and Institution: Eleanor Mackillop, University of Liverpool, UK
      Jane Mulderrig, University of Sheffield, UK
      Laura Eyre, University College London, UK

      This panel seeks to stimulate discussion of theoretical, methodological and comparative issues in health policy research. The context for contemporary health research is one of increasing organisational complexity, financial austerity, demographic change, and transformations (e.g. epigenetics) in how health needs are defined.

      Western health care systems, founded on principles of equality and freedom, were a central pillar in the development of post-war welfare states. More recently health policy and governance has been subjected to neoliberal influences, spreading a logic of competitiveness through a range of structural and discursive mechanisms. For example, the use of performance indicators and audits, customer/patient charters, outsourcing of key services, target-linked resource allocation and the use of waiting times as a means of measuring service quality. At the same time the health policy ‘community’ has also widened to include new groups such as think tanks, patient associations, quangos, and academics. However, their respective influence in decision-making is uncertain.

      The panel thus seeks to explore the range of analytical frameworks that can help us understand how health policy is made and operationalised, inviting approaches from public policy, linguistics, organisational studies, operational research, political sociology, and philosophy. Where is health policy made? Where do ideas come from? What is the interplay of emotions and rationality in such debates as quality of life and right to die? The panel also invites papers presenting new or alternative research methods in this area; from CDA and narrative analysis to quantitative models and thick descriptive qualitative ones such as oral history. What can different methods bring to the debate? Finally, the panel embraces comparative and empirical insights, for instance: can we detect a hegemonic model of health policy and health care worldwide? How have reforms such as ‘Obamacare’ and personal budgeting impacted on these questions?

  7. 8 - Narratives in Public Policy Making »

    • Conveyor and Institution: Lina Klymenko, University of Eastern Finland
      Johanna Vuorelma, University of Warwick, UK
      Abstract: Originating in literary studies, narrative analysis is frequently applied in the social sciences, including nationalism studies, political science, public administration, international relations, and sociology (Bevir & Rhodes 2003 & 2006; Fischer 2003; Patterson & Monroe 1998; Ringmar 2006; Shenhav 2004; Yanow 1999). The notion of narrative has recently been expanded from individuals (recounting their life stories) to collectivities such as social groups, organisations and nation states. We understand narrative as a particular type of discourse that uses emplotment to render single events that occur in the social world into a meaningful story that has a valued endpoint. A narrative is a linguistic form that captures human action and its relation to time, human motivation, happenings and the changing context (Polkinghorne 1995). Narrative can be regarded not merely a method or a form of representation, but as an ontological condition of social life. People make sense of their lives and act in a certain way on the basis of projections derived from social, cultural, and public narratives available (Somers 1994). More recent scholarship has explored the way in which policy-making relies on the narrative form of representation (Barnett 1999; Subotic 2015). In these studies political actors are often treated as narrative entrepreneurs that use narratives to strategically frame their policies. We welcome papers that deal empirically and/or theoretically with the notion of narrative in interpretive policy analysis. Research papers may explore the following questions: What is the role of narrative in policy settings? How do actors produce their narratives? What kinds of narratives are employed in policy making? How are narratives different from other framing devises such as categories or metaphors? How are narratives related to identity and power?

  8. 9 - Expertise and the Moral Economies of Austerity »

    • Conveyor and Institution: Paul Stubbs, The Institute of Economics
      Mislav Žitko, School of Humanities and Social Sciences, University of Zagreb
      Abstract: At the height of the Greek debt crisis in June 2015, Slovak Finance Minister Peter Kažimir tweeted that the Greek government had to “stop politicising the issue”. Appeals to depoliticise austerity attempt to transpose the issue from the domain of ‘politics’, in which ideologies may compete and struggle, to the domains of ‘technocracy’ and ‘expertise’ in which ‘the rules of the game’ ensure that ‘there is no alternative’. Such appeals confront us with age-old questions about the role and limits of science in democratic societies and the nature of legitimacy of political decisions, policies and programs. The ongoing debt crisis in Europe or structural reform programs in developing countries provide opportunities to question the status and role of expertise, understood as embodied assemblages of knowledge, models, and arguments, across time, space and scale. Expertise is crucial to democratic deliberation, but also plays a role in treacherous politics supporting failed policies, strengthening disciplinary power and promoting ignorance about key aspects of the contemporary social order.

      This panel invites papers, which may be theoretical, empirical, comparative and/or historical, which reflect on the relationship between technocratic expertise and disciplinary power in the construction of the moral economies of austerity. How does expertise come to appear as neutral whilst reflecting the dominance of particular disciplines, modes of thought, actors, agencies and, even, countries, over others? How is expertise mobilised and articulated within the moral economies of austerity? What affective and performative devices allow for the naming and shaming of those not adhering to a hegemonic politics of austerity? What are the key mobilising devices that allow alternatives to austerity to be rendered as impractical, inappropriate, and naïve? How can alternatives to austerity politics be developed which reframe and reconstruct expertise as ‘really useful knowledge’?

  9. 10 - Rethinking the Way We Teach: High-Impact Methods In the Classroom »

    • Conveyor and Institution: Anita Chadha, University of Houston, downtown, United States
      Abstract: Increasing research is emerging about the use of technological aids to further class goals as educators evaluate how to effectively use these various techno-aids in an ever-changing classroom. The goal of the panel is to consider and discuss the use of varied forms of technology that would provide support of differing learning techniques. Based on the Interpretive Policy Analysis Conference theme of embracing research that extends across the social sciences and applied to a vast range of policy topics, the panel would be grounded in promoting greater understanding of high-impact practices and innovative methodologies for any kind of classroom domestically and internationally. The panel provides a forum for scholars to participate in the scholarship of teaching and learning, share pedagogical techniques, and discuss trends in long-distance education. We would welcome proposals from educators at all levels who teach political science and related subjects—university faculty and administrators, high school teachers, graduate students, research scholars, and others.

  10. 11 - Bringing linguistic ethnography to interpretive policy analysis and interpretive policy analysis to linguistic ethnography »

    • Conveyor and Institution: Sara Shaw, University of Oxford, UK
      Laura Eyre, University College London, UK
      Sarah Hayes, Aston University, UK
      Jill Russell, University of Oxford, UK
      Abstract: This panel has emerged from observations at recent IPA conferences, and from our reading of a range of papers and textbooks in interpretive policy analysis. On the one hand we welcome the recognition of ""the importance of discourse, meaning making, interpretation and the performance of social practices both in devising and enacting policy"" (Call for Panel Proposals, IPA 2016) as a common interest amongst scholars working in interpretive policy analysis. On the other hand we have at times been surprised and frustrated by a limited focus on methodology, on what constitutes 'data' and on detailed worked analysis that, we argue, provides an important means of accounting for the interpretive work that we do.
Linguistic ethnography offers a different path, with an explicit acknowledgement that language and social life are mutually shaping (Maybin and Tusting 2010), leading to close analysis of situated language (via worked analysis of linguistic and ethnographic data).  Employing linguistic ethnography may address frustrations around worked data analysis (this being standard practice in linguistic ethnography). However, to date there has been limited focus on policy and policymaking by those employing linguistic ethnography resulting in an apparent 'policy void' (Shaw and Russell 2015).
What then might be gained from bringing linguistic ethnography to interpretive policy analysis? And from bringing interpretive policy analysis to linguistic ethnography? LE and IPA can be thought of as two emerging fields but how, if at all, do the two interact? In what ways? And for what purpose? This panel is an attempt to grapple with these questions. Rather than attributing different aspects of research to different approaches (which tends to dichotomise rather than synthesise), we want to encourage dialogue across interpretive policy analysis and linguistic ethnography. We therefore invite papers that address one or more of these questions and that engage in close analysis of linguistic and ethnographic data as an integral part of their interpretive policy analysis. 

      Maybin, J. and Tusting, K. (2010) Linguistic Ethnography. In Simpson J (ed) Handbook of Applied Linguistics. London, Routledge.

      Shaw, S.E. and Russell, J. (2015) Narrating healthcare planning: the influence of linguistic ethnography. In Shaw SE, Snell J & Copland, Linguistic Ethnography: An Interdisciplinary Reader. Basingstoke, Palgrave Macmillan.

  11. 12 - Rethinking 'Researcher' and 'Policymaker' Interactions   »

    • Conveyor and Institution: Laura Eyre, University College London / Waltham Forest and East London Collaborative (WELC) integrated care programme, UK
      Sara Shaw, University of Oxford / Nuffield Trust, UK
      Jay Shaw, University of Toronto / Institute for Health System Solutions and Virtual Care, Women's College Hospital, Canada
      Abstract: Those involved in interpretive policy analysis often talk about the value of shaping, enabling or influencing policy and the importance of this process to their research and their advocacy work. However, the ways in which researchers go about influencing policy, engaging with policymakers and doing policy work tends to be situated as a binary concept, with 'researchers' at one end and 'policymakers' at the other. The talk at recent IPA conferences has tended to highlight interpretive policy analysts as based in and working from universities, and policy makers as existing within or on the edges of government. This binary way of thinking is outdated. An increasing number of social scientists exist in liminal worlds that encompass a range of roles, activities and positions (either at the same time or in succession), participating in communities and networks allied to policy, and even working directly with, for or within government. This 'liminal work' has implications for the kind of research that we do, who with, how and to what ends.

      This panel invites papers that challenge the binary concept of 'researcher-policymaker' and instead takes a close look at the 'real world' ways in which interpretive policy analysis scholars work alongside or in dialogue with policy and with (or even as) policymakers. Papers must be theoretically and methodologically grounded and not simply descriptive accounts.

  12. 13 - De-/Re-politicizing communities as spaces of power »

    • Conveyor and Institution: Mandy de Wilde, Wageningen University, the Netherlands
      Gerald Taylor Aiken, University of Luxemburg, Luxemburg
      Abstract: Governmentality inspired scholars have long-analysed attempts to ‘govern through community’ (Rose 1999) arguing that ‘community’ has come to mean something that is utilised by a neoliberal agenda to collect, contain, and discipline citizens. This governmental trend has come to be known as ‘de-politicization’ (Larner 2005; Larner and Craig 2005, Clarke 2010). These authors argue that while governments hope for spontaneous citizen identification, loyalty and engagement, communities do not simply exist pre-given. Quite the opposite, as delicate fields of affect-laden relationships, they must be carefully produced: designed, shaped and made. Yet, there remains something about community that allows a collective capacity to respond to governance. Community has a productive power. Juxtaposing these established works, this panel seeks to bring government through community into dialogue with ideas of community as a performative force. This communitarian subjectivity is (re)produced through “a regularized and constrained repetition of norms” (Butler 1993: 95) in and through (policy) practices. Judith Butler underlines the productive and emergent nature of these practices: they are continuously subject to reproduction and reinterpretation that projects “the instability and incompleteness of subject-formation” (Idem: 226). Put differently, communities can be shaped by governments—governing at a distance—concurrent to functioning as a sphere where citizens can bring about something new in (policy) practices.

      This panel welcomes contributions with nuanced analyses of the politics of, in and about community. In short the panel proposes to be critical of both government through community, but also the writing off of political potential and capacity for resistance, and thinking and acting ‘otherwise’ that can be engendered through organizing, acting and belonging to new forms of forged collective, communitarian subjectivity..

  13. 14 - The global energy transition as an interpretive problem: issues, incidents and interpretations »

    • Conveyor and Institution: Tamara Metze  Tilburg University, The Netherlands
      Jennifer Dodge, State University of New York, Albany
      Abstract: Fundamental changes in the energy structure occur worldwide, and energy systems of many countries have been set in motion due to issues of energy security – as security in the supply of energy and as environmental and economic security. Issues such as climate change – but also incidents as diverse as the accident in Fukushima and water pollution by fracking for shale gas, as well as geo-political, economic and technological dynamics – transform incumbent regimes of energy policy making and governance. All over the world, governments, political parties, energy companies, environmental organizations, scholars, and citizens are engaged in heated debates over desirable and realistic energy futures. Many embrace a transition towards a sustainable energy system, but not all envision the same goals and pathways, and some fight against it. This panel addresses this from an interpretive perspective: we question how the transformation of energy systems are interpreted worldwide, and what the relation is between these interpretations and the systemic changes. What are interpretive differences and similarities across the world in this transition? What consequences do these differences and similarities have?
      This panel invites papers that adopt an interpretive perspective to analysing the transitions in energy systems. Deepening our understanding of the global energy transitions as an interpretive problem requires three basic interpretive approaches: 1) understanding (such as phenomenology), 2) contextual explanation (such as discourse analysis), and 3) policy design (such as deliberative policy
      making). Together these interpretive approaches – and their many varieties – enable us to understand the dynamics of energy controversies related to these transitions within and across national boundaries, and to explain why different countries have responded in different ways to similar challenges. By focusing on meaning and interpretation, we aim to go beyond overt approaches that highlight the role of interests and institutions and instead to focus attention on illuminating the fundamental meaning of societal, scientific and political conflicts that enliven and underlie efforts to govern energy futures. Ultimately, with these interpretive approaches our goal is to explore discursive horizons – or the range of ways people discuss an issue – that feed into the policy design and development of sustainable energy futures. We especially invite papers that investigate cases from non-Western countries.

  14. 15 - Policies, practice and critique: exploring the practice perspective in critical policy studies »

    • Conveyor and Institution: Kathrin Braun, University of Vienna, Austria
      Anne Loeber, University of Amsterdam, Netherlands
      Abstract: The question what instigates public reflection is at the center of critical policy studies. How and why do some issues become a matter of public concern, contestation, and critique, while others do not? Reflection and contestation require a disruption of routine, that is, of the steady flow of daily practice in which action is geared at continuation ‘without further thought.’ Why and how is it that some issues turn out to be disruptive while others are considered ‘business-as-usual’?
      This panel seeks to explore the “dissociative dynamics” (Knorr Cetina, 2001) that render hitherto unchallenged routines an object of reflection and critique. We wish to discuss the usefulness of a practice perspective for understanding the emergence or non-emergence of public concern, contestation, and critique.
      The panel will particularly explore three sets of questions:
      i) the micro-macro connection: By which mechanisms do practices, habits or routines translate from individual into collective ways of action? Being a member of a community, an individual will chose her actions in view of tacit rules of appropriate conduct. Conversely, changing patterns of acting on the individual level may affect the notion of how “things are being done” at the collective level. When will a community ‘create’ the individual as a defiant case or rather develop an account that brings coherence and legitimacy to the case and allow it to change the identity of the community? (cf. Hacking, 1986)
      ii) disruption, reflection and critique: How are processes of routinization and dissociation influenced or sparked by policies and technologies of governance? Do routines maintain coordination without risking dispute, as Boltanski maintains? Or do breaches in routines rather form a necessary ingredient to successful (policy) change?
      iii) Methodology: how do we recognize regimes of routines, habits and practices when we see them? How to observe that which goes without saying, as an aspect of observing what is disrupted?
      We invite contributions that address either three issues listed above and/or these in relation to one another from an empirical and/or a conceptual perspective.
      • Boltanski, L. (2011) On Critique. A Sociology of Emancipation. Cambridge, UK: Polity Press.
      • Hacking, I. (1986) Making up People. In: Th. Heller et al (eds.) Reconstructing Individualism: Autonomy, Individuality, and the Self in Western Thought, California: Stanford, pp. 222-36.
      • Knorr Cetina, K. (2001) Objectual Practice In: Th. Schatzki, K. Knorr Cetina, E. Von Savingy (eds.) The Practice Turn in Contemporary Theory. pp.184-197.

  15. 16 - Social Innovation; contemporary challenges of counterhegemonic knowings and doings »

    • Conveyor and Institution: Bonno Pel, Université Libre de Bruxelles,  Belgium
      Julia Backhaus, Maastricht University, Netherlands
      Tom Bauler, Université Libre de Bruxelles,  Belgium
      Julia Wittmayer, Erasmus University Rotterdam, the Netherlands
      Abstract: Social innovation (SI) is gaining currency as an answer to contemporary societal challenges. Compared to the mainly technologically-innovative proliferation of new products and devices, SI can generally be understood as the introduction of new practices and social relations. It is manifesting in various forms of social entrepreneurship, sharing schemes, community-based development and new modes of governance. Each in their own ways, these innovations are being appreciated as revitalizing, alternative and possibly counterhegemonic knowings and doings.

      Yet it is also increasingly acknowledged that SI simultaneously forms part of the challenges it aims to address, and that it reproduces the knowings and doings of existing social structures. The term social entrepreneurship exemplifies how the novel is typically rooted in what already existed. This duality of social innovation gives rise to numerous questions, which we would like to address in this panel. We invite contributions dealing with the following questions:

       • the transformative-counterhegemonic potentials of social innovation,

       • the concrete actors and institutions that shape social innovation practices,

       • the narratives and governmentalities that guide those actors,

       • and the theoretical constructs and methodologies through which social innovation is charted and diagnosed.

      These questions also apply to other narratives of change such as social entrepreneurship, Big Society, the Slow Movement, prosumer-ship and similar contemporary discourses of empowerment. These share encouraging and empowering messages about individuals’ and collectives’ agency for bringing about societal transformations. At the same time, they all relate to past developments and make sense of prevailing (social or environmental) problems in their own particular ways. Of these various narratives of change, social innovation discourse proves to be particularly persuasive. As a set of persuasive and performative narratives of change, social innovation discourse merits critical scrutiny and clarification of its empirical-material manifestations.


  16. 17 - Teaching Interpretively  »

    • Conveyor and Institution: Richard Holtzman, Bryant University, United States
      Merlijn van Hulst, Tilburg University, the Netherlands
      Dvora Yanow, Wageningen University, the Netherlands
      Jennifer Dodge, University at Albany, United States
      Abstract: While IPA (Interpretive Policy Analysis) conferences over the years have offered a space and time to discuss interpretive research and interpretive research methods, at three of the last four conferences we have also raised the question whether an interpretive perspective lends itself to - or even demands - a particular style of teaching. This question has been at the heart of roundtable discussions and panels we organized in 2012, 2014, and 2015. At the 2016 IPA conference in Hull (UK) we hope to engage three specific questions:

      - How does or could thinking interpretively manifest itself in teaching?
      - How do or can we try to open critical participatory processes in the classroom?
      - How can we teach in ways that recognize each student as an individual; not just as a student, but as a whole person?

      Contributions addressing one or more of these questions should be grounded in classroom experiences and/or connect interpretive thinking (in one of its multiple versions) to teaching practices. That is, we are not looking for theoretical contributions, but empirical ones. Our aim is to facilitate lively presentations and discussions that not only benefit presenters but involve the audience as well. RATHER THAN TRADITIONAL PRESENTATION STYLES, WE ARE PARTICULARLY INTERESTED IN PRESENTATIONS THAT ENACT THE VERY THING THEY ARE TALKING ABOUT.

  17. 18 - The democratic value of citizens’ initiatives: the need for meta-governance  »

    • Conveyor and Institution: Imrat Verhoeven, University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands
      Merlijn van Hulst, Tilburg University, The Netherlands
      Tamara Metze, Tilburg University, The Netherlands
      Abstract: Active citizenship is considered the panacea for the concerns resulting from welfare state reform. One manifestation of such active citizenship can be found in the very popular citizens’ initiatives: collective, informal and voluntary forms of self-organization through which citizens work on public issues in their communities. Citizens’ initiatives, sometimes under different labels, can be found in many countries.
      A striking development in the policy practice is that governments on various levels are  ‘experimenting’ with how they should enable these initiatives while not taking over. In addition, the increasing number of  citizens’ initiatives is an emergent ‘ecology of initiatives’ for governmental organizations, implying that these can no longer be supported on an ad hoc basis. Such ecologies of initiatives raise new fundamental questions on the meta-governance of the ecology as a whole and the consequences for specific cases.
      The issue of meta-governance is most pressing for the democratic value of citizens’ initiatives. Popular as they are, citizens’ initiatives are also criticised for not being representative, accountable and equal. One way to respond to these shortcomings is to consider governmental actors and professionals as safeguards of democratic values by ensuring practices that are inclusive, representative of the interests and meanings of various publics concerned, and produce fair and efficient outcomes.
      This panel invites papers that address the efforts to safeguard democratic values in ‘ecosystems’ of citizens’ initiatives. Papers are expected to
      - Theoretically and/or empirically take the perspective of government or organizations involved in practice with citizens’ initiatives
      - Or the work of policy entrepreneurs, social professionals, boundary spanners, exemplary practitioners and the like in enabling democratic values in their interaction with citizens’ initiatives,
      in combination with critical reflections on and constructive discussions of if and how the meta-governance of citizens’ initiatives can be developed.

  18. 19 - Public action languages and the performance of public affairs »

    • Conveyor and Institution: Peter Spink, Fundação Getulio Vargas, Brazil
      Gabriela Toledo Silva, Fundação Getulio Vargas, São Paulo
      Abstract: In their 1989 Hunger and Public Action, Dreze and Sen made a claim for the public action perspective when noting the importance of the cooperative and adversarial action of the public in turning state actions effective. For them the “reach of public action goes well beyond the doings of the state, and involves what is done by the public”. In many cases this also includes what the public provides collectively and locally for itself: building houses, creating services and sustaining communities. This theme has been developed in different ways ( Laborier, 2003; Cantelli et al. 2006; Zittoun & Demongeot 2010) but the broad proposition of multiple, complex, at times conflicting and often disjointed relationships has remained. Indeed there is no reason to expect that government, civil society, public services, citizens, and other bits and pieces of public affairs should be neatly arranged, for they are the result of the practical everyday definitions by the actors themselves who may occupy very different positions on issues of state and society.

      If public action is a hybrid arena (Spink, Hossain & Best 2009) it follows that different versions of action are circulating, each performed through social languages (Bakhtin 1986). Over time a number of such public action languages have appeared, gained and lost influence; but have rarely gone away. Policy may seem a natural expression but the major social changes of the 20th century took place without it; the European Union emits directives, social movements are concerned with issues and rights, development agencies with participative governance, planners plan, judicial decisions are obeyed and somebody has to keep the budget. When these paths cross – often in different ways in different areas of action – the results can be far from harmonious. We welcome papers working with or discussing different aspects of these issues.

  19. 21 - Constructing Policy, Crafting Spaces: critical perspectives on policy and space. »

    • Conveyor and Institution: Dr. Natalie Papanastasiou, University of Edinburgh, UK
      Andreas Öjehag Pettersson, Karlstad University, Sweden
      Abstract: Despite the discursive turn in policy studies which advocates interrogating the language, classifications and categories of policy, this critique has largely remained absent in relation to categories of social and political space. The study of policy continues to use categories such as the ‘local’, ‘national’ and ‘global’ to describe and analyse policies, with an overwhelming silence over what the multiple meanings of these scales and spaces might be. An uncritical use of ‘levels’ or ‘scales’ in analysis has also had the undesired effect of suggesting that these are real, pre-existing structures of social space rather than outcomes of a discursively produced social reality.
      Drawing on the burgeoning literature on the socially constructed nature of space is a key resource for introducing a spatially-critical approach to the interpretive study of policy. This literature highlights how space is in a constant state of emergence, produced in discourse and entangled with relations of power, and thus how space should be part of social analysis rather than being used as a purely descriptive category. The implications of these arguments for studying policy are that policy practices will necessarily be intertwined with the crafting of spaces, scales and places. 
      This panel seeks to move beyond using categories of space and scale as descriptive features of policy, and invites papers engaging with issues such as: 
      • exposing the multiple and contextually-embedded meanings of categories such as ‘local’, ‘regional’ and ‘global’ in the production of policy;
      • the mobile and transportable nature of policy across space;
      • how the production of policy is related to the crafting of spaces and scales.
      We welcome papers from a range of disciplines including, but not limited to, public administration, human geography, regional studies, political science and international relations.

  20. 22 - Advocacy as negotiated practice in policy and politics »

    • Conveyor and Institution: Margit van Wessel, Wageningen University, The Netherlands
      Tamara Metze, Tilburg University, The Netherlands
      Jennifer Dodge, University at Albany, SUNY
      Abstract: The practice of advocacy is increasingly institutionalized and integrated in many policy processes. In many local, national and international arena's, activists and grass roots organizations engage in consultative interactions with governments and actors from the business and civil sectors, to pursue their interests, and for example create community gardens, press for stronger environmental protections, and alternative forms of social, economic and environmental organization.

      Ironically, while advocacy is becoming an institutionalized feature of contemporary politics, its legitimacy is also seriously questioned and challenged. For example, grassroots advocacy groups often become part of political or policy processes in which their activist modalities are at odds with more narrowly defined values of participation and democracy. In other contexts, the effectiveness of advocacy is often narrowly measured by a positivist notion of ""impact"" which overlooks important issues of strategy, inclusion and ""measures"" of the unmeasurable, such as capacity development. These are worrisome conditions given that advocacy is often the only 'voice' for weakly organized interests and interpretations.

      This panel address the dynamics that relate to negotiations prevalent in contemporary society over the nature, role, legitimacy and effectiveness of advocacy, by focusing on two related questions.

      First, what is, and can be, the nature and role of advocacy in present-day politics? Questions of context and the ways in which advocacy is defined in emergent forms of governance, such as collaborative governance and deliberative democracy are key here, among others.

      Second, what makes advocacy a legitimate feature of politics, and what threatens such legitimacy?' Of special importance here are questions such as: what makes advocacy democratically acceptable? What is 'effectiveness' when it comes to advocacy?  We invite papers that address such questions in the context of in contemporary policy making and politics, including domestic and international spheres.

  21. 23 - Morality, politics, discourse »

    • Conveyor and Institution: Rosa Escanes Sierra, University of Sheffield, UK
      Jane Mulderrig, University of Sheffield, UK
      Abstract: What is the place of morality in modern policy-making? The link between morality (ethics? values?) and politics would seem to be self-evident. Within democratic societies policy-making aims to formulate political interventions designed in the broadest sense to achieve the collective good and as such is inherently concerned with matters of public ethics.

      However in recent decades the bracketing of collectivist ethical considerations associated with neoliberal economics has been progressively internalised in policy-making, giving way to a feverish pursuit of efficiency and market competitiveness. 

      At the same time, there has been a rediscovery of the discourse of morality, in particular since the 2008 financial crisis. Austerity, as a macro-economic response to the ‘debt crisis’, has been in large measure defended through public discourses of fairness and responsibility. What is less clear is whether this renewal of discourses of morality in the public sphere is accompanied by a genuine renewal or reconsideration of the ethical of modern democracy. To what extent does this explicit moralisation of policy provide spaces for a renewed deliberation over public ethics? Does it merely reproduce neoliberal principles of (market-based) freedoms, or can it offer discursive fissures through which to explore alternatives? This panel seeks to bring together different disciplinary perspectives on questions of moral evaluation and legitimation in public policy. In particular it seeks papers which ask:

      • What are the links between moral evaluation and political parties?
      • What are the differences in moral discourse between the political left and right? (How) has this changed over time?
      • Are there supra-national trends?
      • Are there trends to be found in times of crises and in times of prosperity?
      • How and where is the discourse of morality used to defend the continuation of neoliberalism?
      • How are economic considerations decoupled from moral ones?
      • How are unavoidably ethical topics such as (in)equality dealt with?
      • What role do the media play?
      • How do citizens view policy-making from an ethical point of view?
      • What are the links between moral talk and actual policies and policies impact?

  22. 24 - Everyday Moral Judgements of Street-Level Bureaucrats »

    • Conveyor and Institution: Josien Arts, University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands
      Nora Ratzmann London School of Economics, UK
      Abstract: Recent welfare activation reforms have produced stringent arrangements that have explicit moral judgements at their core. Through the introduction of active labour market policies, conditionality has become embedded into programme design, as exemplified by Dwyer’s notion of ‘earned citizenship’. Welfare services increasingly require residents to show active and responsible behaviour as precondition for benefit access, hence institutionalising moral conceptions of deservingness and belonging into policies and practices. In this context, the role of street-level bureaucrats is undergoing a substantive change. They are increasingly characterized as ‘activation-workers’; i.e. their role entails changing claimants’ attitudes and behaviours and to educate them on active work-seeing behaviour. This raises a new set of issues surrounding moral and practical standards and repertoires street-level bureaucrats draw on in their day-to-day discretionary decision behaviour.
      What remains insufficiently understood is how moral and practical standards of frontline implementers are produced and actualised in welfare offices. Little is known about how these standards guide client assessments. How do street-level bureaucrats evaluate who is deserving or undeserving of recognition and public resources? And what institutionalized values and daily moral practices constitute these evaluative decisions?
      We welcome both theoretical and empirical papers that explore moral and normative underpinnings of social policy implementation, and which delve into the micro-rationales street-level bureaucrats mobilise in opening or closing discretionary benefit access. This entails studies on street-level bureaucrats’ daily practices, formal and informal rules produced in local welfare offices, explorations of hierarchies of deservingness, and studies on negotiation of access between frontline welfare workers and their clients. Lastly, we welcome papers which focus on the experiences of claimants and possible know-on effects these types of morally grounded policies might have for clients of varying ethnicity, age, gender or socio-economic background.

  23. 26 - Transformative Perspectives and Practices: Toward a Policy Analysis for Environmental, Economic, and Social Sustainability »

    • Conveyor and Institution: Koen Bartels, Bangor University, United Kingdom
      Jelle Behagel, Wageningen University, The Netherlands
      Abstract: A key principle of interpretive policy analysis (IPA) is that it is intrinsically linked with the society in which it functions. For example, describing taken-for-granted discursive horizons may empower social groups and individuals to move beyond existing conditions and relations. Or highlighting specific policy practices may enable these to gain momentum and become more widely adopted. As such, the methodological and ethical imperative of IPA is to contribute to transformations of daily policy practice and the argumentative and discursive processes that constitute it.
      Today, established paradigms and practices are increasingly challenged. As the effects of climate change are becoming increasingly visible, ecological tragedies more manifold, and the socio-economic systems of late capitalism more fragile, we can observe a multitude of alternative paradigms and new practices emerging aimed at nature conservation, food production, energy production, economic stability, migration, social welfare, democratic engagement, urban regeneration, etc. Simultaneously, neoliberalism is still abound in every level and practice of governance and its hegemony shows no immediate signs of breaking up.
      How then should we understand and contribute to transformative paradigms and practices such as landscape governance, social innovation, smart energy grids, reforestation programs, climate-smart agriculture, adaptive governance, public dialogue, and civic enterprises? And why does it prove so hard for these transformative initiatives to break free of the neoliberal mold? In this panel, we explore the transformative potential of IPA within debates and practices of sustainable transformations. We would like to foster a conversation that takes us beyond the current debate between transition studies of design principles and critical analyses of hegemony by exploring the everyday practices and processes through which social action and knowledge are interwoven and pragmatic improvements are generated. Hence, we invite theoretical perspectives and practical cases that enable us to critically renew and enact the transformative ambitions of IPA.

  24. 27 - Using STS to disrupt and recast environmental policy problem-solution trajectories »

    • Conveyor and Institution: Ronlyn Duncan, Lincoln University, New Zealand
      Sarah Edwards, Lincoln University, New Zealand
      Abstract: Science and Technology Studies (STS) focus on the intersections, assemblages and practices of knowledge production that are conceived as inseparable from policy and politics.  For example, through the lens of co-production in the work brought together in Shiela Jasanoff’s States of knowledge:  the co-production of science and social order (2004), STS shows how state-making and knowledge-making are intertwined and how problem definitions enact and exclude particular problem solutions and policy responses. Elsewhere, in studies informed by Actor-Network Theory (ANT), a focus on multiplicity enables researchers to trace the socio-technical assemblages that enact certain political realities into being, whilst at the same recognising they could be ‘done’ differently. Hence, a focus on governing practices of knowledge production and legitimation (e.g. prediction, standardization, classification and measurement) and the policy problem-solution trajectories they deploy, STS analytical frameworks can reveal how policy can contribute to the environmental problems it seeks to resolve. 

      This session calls for papers that use STS in environmental policy to illuminate how policy diverts political and public attention to palatable problem-solutions and enacts negotiable and non-negotiable problem-solution spaces.

      We would like to structure presentations and discussion to foster an exchange of ideas, with the specifics to be discussed with presenters once these have been confirmed.

  25. 28 - Epistemology and Ontology Panel »

    • Conveyor and Institution: Hugh Miller, Florida Atlantic University, United States 
      Abstract: Interpretive Policy Analysis Conference notwithstanding, research in public affairs typically presupposes a Cartesian framework informed by classic physics, in which words denote reality – as observed using variables and measurement instruments. The goal is to produce generalizable knowledge. Notably, the Cartesian-classic, natural science model, due to its ontological materialism, implicitly excludes many important social science concepts.
      • Consciousness
      • Intentionality and will
      • Feelings and emotions
      • Thought and thinking
      • So-called social structures
      • Associations (networks of relations)
      • Identity
      • Fantasy
      • Idea
      • Aesthetics
      • Acculturation
      • Subjectivity
      Despite its materialist ontology, methodology in public affairs research continues mostly to follow the Cartesian-classic physics logic -- although social constructivist approaches may be gaining traction. Interpretive, narrative and ethnographic approaches attempt to reflect the meaning of the words and actions of the research subjects, producing knowledge that is not necessarily generalizable. An ontological grounding for social science research would account for the reality status of its non-material concepts, but most such research proceeds apace without reflecting on ontological presuppositions.

      This panel invites papers that reflect on epistemological and ontological matters in public affairs research.

  26. 29 - Making the green city: Questioning urban sustainability initiatives »

    • Conveyor and Institution: Julia Affolderbach, University of Hull, UK
      Kirstie O’Neill, University of Hull, UK
      Abstract: Responding to climate change imperatives implies a careful reconsideration and reorganisation of existing societal structures and economic systems and their relationship to the environment. Cities around the world have launched green policies and sustainability initiatives including a number of sectors such as energy, food, transportation, building and waste to reduce their carbon footprint and to become more sustainable. At the same time, they have also sought to use these initiatives to position themselves as climate change leaders and green champions. The motivations behind urban sustainability strategies are central to the ways these play out in practice.
      Considerable research has recently emerged exploring where policies come from and how ‘best’ practices are being transferred and implemented including but not restricted to work on policy mobility and ideas of policy emulation and competition. This work emphasizes the need to critically analyse the role of policy makers and other stakeholders and the processes by which policies evolve and are put into practice. Following these lines of inquiry, this session invites empirically grounded papers that engage with aspects of competition and leadership related to green cities including discourses, narratives and framings (e.g. discourse analysis, performativity) and how policy makers and stakeholders use these to position the city within global and competitive sustainability discourses (e.g., city marketing and boosterism). Possible papers might also address broader, critical perspectives of urban sustainability initiatives including new public-private-citizen partnerships, urban experiments and living laboratories.

  27. 30 - Critical perspectives on conflict: designing for critique and improvisation »

    • Conveyor and Institution: David Laws, University of Amsterdam, Netherlands
      Tamara Metze, Tilburg University, The Netherlands
      Imrat Verhoeven , University of Amsterdam, Netherlands
      Nanke Verloo, University of Amsterdam, Netherlands
      Abstract: In this panel we explore the practical meaning of critique. We approach this question by looking at settings of conflict that raise the need for a critical stance and, seemingly, frustrate its development. For actors involved in a conflict, critique is likely to be directed at the other in ways that only deepen the conflict. The demands of intervening in their everyday practice can also seem to be at odds with aspirations to develop a critical stance on problems and practices.  In the panel we want to explore how this contradiction can push actors and analysts who confront conflict to give new practical meaning to the idea of critique. How does critique take shape as part of the practical strategies employed in such settings? Who is subject and who is the object of critique? What role does it play in understanding controversies and conflict and recreating their meaning? Finally, how is critique related to the improvisations that are usually necessary for actors involved in conflict to move ahead together?
      We invite papers that explore these questions in practical empirical contexts such as urban conflict, controversies over fracking and windmills, or other politically and emotionally charged issues like housing asylum seekers. We hope, through discussion, to develop insights into how this central tension is or can be addressed as a question of design. What challenges do the designs of researchers and intervenors have in common and how do they manage them in practical terms? Where and how are they able to imbue their work with critique and how do they relate their activities to the activities of other actors who are involved?

  28. 31 - The politics of animal welfare: contestation, deliberation, and power »

    • Conveyor and Institution: Peter H. Feindt, Wageningen University, The Netherlands
      Mara Miele, Cardiff University, UK
      Margit van Wessel, Wageningen University, The Netherlands
      Abstract: Over recent years, animal welfare in contemporary (mass) animal production systems has become an increasing concern for many citizen-consumers, activist groups, and policy-makers. In parallel, human-animal relations have attracted much attention in a wide range of social science debates, ranging from social theory (e.g. Latimer and Miele, 2013), political theory (e.g., Donaldson and Kymlicka 2014), to economics (Harvey and Hubbard 2013) and even stimulating the emergence of new sub-disciplines such as animal geographies (e.g., Buller 2013, Miele, 2011).
      Animal welfare has also stimulated a wide array of political practices. These range from radical animal rights activism (by groups such as PETA or the Animal Angels) to state-sponsored transdisciplinary research (e.g. the EU Welfare Quality project), novel deliberative practices (e.g., Driessen 2012) ) as well as bottom-up attempts at creating novel markets for animal welfare products (Bos et al. 2013 and political initiatives to regulate the emerging market for animal friendly products (Miele and Lever 2013). There have been a number of recent attempts to understand how animal welfare links to the values of a wide range of stakeholders (e.g., Evans and Miele, 2012, Ventura et al. 2015) with a view to better align industry with societal expectations. Behind all these activities are massive struggles about the legitimacy of a powerful industry and the future of animal farming.
      This panel aims to analyse and discuss these emerging practices and the underlying political struggles as different attempts to construct and renegotiate human-animal relationships. We are in particular interested in papers that contribute to discussions about the following questions:
      • Has the increasing presence of the animal welfare issue in public discussions created “animal publics” (Driessen and Korthals 2012, Blue and Rock 2014)?
      • What discourses and frames are emerging around animal welfare issues, and what are their effects?
      • What deliberative practices around animal welfare issues have emerged and how do they affect animal welfare issues as well as our understanding of deliberative practices?
      • How do attempts to address animal welfare issues deal with the notion that in a humane and democratic society all relevant subjects should be given a voice?
      • How do animal welfare issues help us to reflect on key concepts such as human/nonhuman animals relations, speciesm, power, legitimacy, fairness and democracy in the context of the anthropocene?
      We welcome both empirical and theoretical papers that address the above questions.

  29. 32 - Reflection: a crucial aspect of interpretive approaches? »

    • Conveyor and Institution: Steve Connelly, University of Sheffield, UK
      Peter Matthews, University of Stirling, UK
      Tamara Metze, University of Tilburg, The Netherlands
      Dave Vanderhoven, University of Sheffield, UK
      Abstract: This panel provides an experiential space to explore the vital role of reflection within interpretive approaches and the research, methods and learning they promote. Panellists will give short reflective presentations of critical incidents or dilemmas in their work related to connecting policy and research communities, co-producing knowledge, and/or working with vulnerable people. The session will subject the substantive content of presented materials and subsequent contributions from other participants to the question: what does this tell us about interpretive practices? This will explore the implications for IPA of foregrounding reflection as an essential aspect of analytical practice, and promote collective reflection on the dilemmas, constraints and opportunities it affords.

      Interpretive Policy Analysis is at a critical juncture. IPA either continues to develop and play its crucial and unique role in investigating and critiquing contemporary societal challenges or risks ossifying into an academic system of thought with key texts and a golden era in the present time. Reflection has a pivotal role to play in the analysis of IPA’s relevance and position and to its development as an incisive framework for thought and action. It is – or should be - a fundamental pillar within the broad spectrum of interpretive approaches, with its focus on interpretation of experience, linking theory and action, eamning making and the use of wider streams of data such as feelings and emotions.

      We invite proposals to join the panel; we will not be requiring formal 'papers' but need an outline of the critical incident/dilemma to be explored, and what reflection on it will bring to the debate.

  30. 33 - Between sustainability, governance and democracy: interpreting the politics of food »

    • Conveyor and Institution: Basil Bornemann, University of Basel
      Esther Seha, Leuphana University Lueneburg
      Abstract: World hunger, obesity, animal welfare, urban gardening, and food waste: No matter where one looks today, food is at the center of attention and is currently undergoing a pronounced process of politicization. The array of food-related problems is extensive and diverse. Challenges range from farm to fork as well as from the global to the local and connect ecological, social, cultural, and economic concerns throughout the food system.. While the plethora of current food concerns is almost endless, all issues do however have in common that they challenge prevailing societal lifestyles, beliefs and values, discourses and practices as well as conceptions of society and politics more generally. Food issues have become important vehicles for bringing up fundamental debates about the sustainability, democracy, and governance of modern societies. Touching upon these political meta-discourses, food therefore serves as a relevant venue for understanding politics in the 21st century.  
      The proposed panel strives to shed light on current food issues and their implications for sustainability, governance, and democracy from an interpretive perspective: How can interpretive analysis help to understand current food-related problems and policies? How and by what means are food issues framed and politicized? What are the commonalities and differences between the various food debates? How do they challenge and transform current understandings and practices of sustainability, democracy, and governance?
      In order to explore these questions, we invite theoretical and empirical contributions that analyse current food controversies with reference to sustainability, governance, and democracy from an interpretive perspective. By focusing on these political meta-discourses, the panel aims at integrating findings about individual food issues and at uncovering the role and meaning of food as an instance of political transformation.

  31. 34 - The Effectiveness of Renewable Energy Policies »

    • Conveyor and Institution: Mutaka Alolo, University of Hull, UK
      Alcino Azevedo, University of Hull, UK
      Yilmaz Guney, University of Hull, UK
      Abstract: There is a growing concern regarding the consequences of carbon emissions to the atmosphere, which resulted in the development of some measures to be following globally in order to reduce carbon emissions and mitigate climate changes. Electricity generation through fossil sources was identified as one of the main contributors to the carbon emissions. Governments have therefore coordinated efforts to reduce carbon emissions and agreed on providing support to the adoption of renewable energy technologies.
      Renewable energy technologies are very expensive.  Without governments’ support most of the investments in renewable energy would be unprofitable. Across the globe governments have set some renewable energy development targets and designed various subsidies and policies in order to encourage investments.
      After years of subsidized investment in renewable energy technologies, there is information available which provides us with the opportunity to study the efficiency of the support policies implemented to promote renewable energy all over the world. It would, therefore, be of great interest to have a panel discussion on the implications of the adoption of (the available) new renewable technologies as well the effectiveness of the currently available support schemes used globally to promote renewable energy development.

  32. 35 - What counts as evidence? Quantification in policy practices  »

    • Conveyor and Institution: Thomas Franssen, Erasmus University, The Netherlands
      Francisca Grommé, Goldsmiths, University of London, UK
      Abstract: Making and legitimising policy decisions requires the production of a body of knowledge that serves as evidence. This knowledge often comes in the form of ‘hard facts’, taking the shape of numbers. This is true for a variety of policy arenas, including the domains of social, environmental, urban, safety, culture and science policy. Numbers are taken to convey objectivity, transparency, comparability and rigorousness (Strathern 2000). Such trust in numbers is expressed by the presence of evidence-based policy movements. Furthermore, we may expect the relevance of numbers in policy to increase as a consequence of the increasing usage and experimentation with ‘big data’ by policy makers. Yet, what exactly comes to count as evidence is contested. Numbers are not born as facts, but need to be made into them (Latour 1986). This involves such practices as debating and enforcing statistical quality standards (Porter 1995), story telling, and demonstration. Measures and indicators furthermore start to travel between policy terrains, ordering them in different ways. We learn that quantified facts embed and are embedded in particular social and material environments that we need to attend to (Verran 2012).

      In this panel we invite empirical studies of evidence making, especially in relation to the issue of quantification. Contributions might concern the making of evidence for policy, policies regarding quality standards of evidence, and reflections on how policy environments affect what counts as evidence. We ask, for instance, how standards for evidence in social policy are enforced, or how evidence in climate policy gains status. We seek to bring together research from a range of perspectives, including interpretative policy analysis, governmentality studies and STS.

  33. 36 - Doing interpretive frame- and framing analysis  »

    • Conveyor and Institution: Maartje van Lieshout, Radboud University, the Netherlands
      Kasja Weenink, University of Amsterdam, the Netherlands
      Art Dewulf, Wageningen University, the Netherlands
      Noelle Aarts, University of Amsterdam and at Wageningen University, the Netherlands
      Abstract: Frame and framing analysis are popular research approaches, and the number of studies has increased rapidly over the last decade. Within the IPA community, two important overview articles are often referred to: Dewulf and co-authors (2009) who make an ideal-typical distinction between interactive and cognitive approaches to framing research, and Van Hulst and Yanow (2014) who develop a dynamic idea of policy analytic framing, starting from the work of Schön and Rein. However, where the dual meaning of framing as both a theoretical perspective and research method is fully explored for the research domain of news studies (D’Angelo and Kuypers 2010), this is not the case for interpretive policy analysis.
      As a consequence many research publications tend to leave the operationalisation of the frame- and framing analysis underexposed. This is understandable, since interpretation involves sense making and the interaction of the researcher with the data. It is difficult to explicate the exact strategies and operationalisations. Regularly it is assumed we know what the frames are and how to ‘find’ them, but is this really the case, and are we on the same page if we do not explicate the underlying analytical steps?
      Interpretive frame and framing research can be strengthened by discussing these methods and purposes in more depth. In this panel we want to bring together researchers who conduct interpretive frame and framing analysis and are willing to share the steps they take. We welcome empirical papers on various topics that make the operationalisation, interpretive strategies and  purposes of framing analysis explicit. Based on the input to and discussion in the panel a paper will be developed that aims to identify and clarify different ways of doing interpretive framing analysis.
      D’Angelo, Paul D., and Jim A. Kuypers. 2010. “Introduction. Doing News Framing Analysis.” In Doing News Framing Analysis. Empirical and Theoretical Perspectives, 1–15. Routledge.

      Dewulf, A, B. Gray, L. Putnam, R. Lewicki, N. Aarts, R. Bouwen & C. Van Woerkum (2009). Disentangling approaches to framing in conflict and negotiation research: A meta-paradigmatic perspective. In: Human Relations Vol 62 (2): pp. 155 - 193.

      Van Hulst, M., and D. Yanow. 2014. “From Policy ‘Frames’to ‘Framing’: Theorizing a More Dynamic, Political Approach.” The American Review of Public Administration, first published on May 30, 2014.

  34. 37 - Producing knowledge and promoting interests: think-tanks and their role in crisis situations »

    • Conveyor and Institution: Pautz, Hartwig University of the West of Scotland, UK
      Plehwe, Dieter  Berlin Social Science Center, Germany
      Abstract: When political actors find themselves in a crisis situation which they deem to require novel policy approaches, 'experts' of all shades are in high demand for their opinions and analyses. Recent examples for such crises in Europe are the 'refugee crisis', the 'Euro crisis', the 'Global Financial Crisis' and the 'Great Recession'. Beyond Europe, the situation in the middle East and the crisis of emerging economies' health care systems due to the 'tobacco epidemic' come to mind in which expertise is in high demand by politicians, civil servants, military personnel, journalists and a wide range of NGOs. 
      This panel invites papers which analyse the role of think-tanks, broadly understood as producers of policy (discourses) directed at political elites and at the electorate in crisis situations. Themes that papers could address are wide-ranging, but may include analysis of if and how think-tanks contributed to crisis-related policy debates and decisions, whether think-tanks played a role in shaping new or defending 'old' understandings of particular situations, the role of think tanks in pushing certain measures or fighting against them, whether crisis situations have contributed to a change in the 'civic epistemologies' (Jasanoff) in any of the affected polities, and how think-tanks relate to other political actors transnationally.

  35. 38 - De-Centralisation and Power: Partaking Between Acceptance and Deliberation »

    • Conveyor and Institution: Antonia Graf, Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität Münster, Germany
      Marco Sonnberger, University of Stuttgart, Germany
      Abstract: A dialectical understanding of crisis-phenomena provides both: corrosion of societal structures and at the same space for renewal. Ecological crisis-driven discourses such as climate change, gridlocks, peak oil and many more empower ‘new’ argumentative structures. Especially in the energy sector political aims like the pan-European reduction of CO2 emissions facilitate a transformation of traditional supply and demand relations. While energy has been (and mainly still is) produced by transnational corporations, renewable energy technologies such like photovoltaics or wind turbines turn established market structures upside down and integrate ‘the citizen’ into the facilitation of the basic need energy. Partaking of citizens in energy supply has become a central characteristic of energy transformations. Arguable terms like ‘prosumer’, ‘social innovation’, ‘social investment’ or ‘sustainable lifestyle’ mirror these developments. Research in that field often refers to the literature on democratic innovation, participatory governance, corporate and multi-level governance, social practice theory, grassroots innovation but also to traditional democratic theory, deliberation and theories of the commons. From a global environmental governance perspective de-centralization processes also entail the re-configuration of power structures. A power sensitive reading of citizens’ participation in de-centralization processes locates partaking between top down promotion of acceptance and deliberative processes (bottom up). In this perspective partaking oscillates between stakeholder-driven legitimization of (energy)policies and civic co-creation. This panel invites papers interested in a theoretical reflection on de-centralization and power. We also welcome empirical papers working on quality criteria and evaluation standards for participation.

  36. 39 - Understanding Meaning Wars during the Policy Process »

    • Conveyor and Institution: Philippe Zittoun, University of Lyon, France
      Abstract: Since recent decades, the number of meaning controversies on Policy becomes more important, more conflictual and more widespread in the different arenas (scientific arena, expertise scene, political arena, etc.). These controversies concerns the multiple policy dimensions from the problem definition policy must solved, the values and ideas it associated, the future they will build through its consequences,  the public they concerns, etc. This panel focuses on this conflictual dimension between the different policy meanings to better understand how this “meaning war” impact the policy process by taking into account the power dimension of the definitional and argumentative struggles. We wait proposal which contribute to highlight the conflictual meaning dimension and propose to better understand: how the actors with their discourses fight each other ? Are there rules of the meaning conflicts which structure the way actors fight and define how they can win? Are these rules are different in function of the arenas the conflict take place? What are the consequences of meaning victory or failure in the policy process?

  37. 40 - Analysing Policy Knowledges and Policy Practices: Governmentality, Problematization, Discourse »

    • Conveyor and Institution: Malin Ronnblom, Umea University & Karlstad University, Sweden
      Tomas Mitander, Karlstad University, Sweden
      Abstract: Within the field of critical policy studies there is a growing body of literature that is informed by the work of Foucault and other post-structural theorists. For instance, many researchers working in diverse disciplines have drawn on the concept of governmentality to illuminate linkages between practices within diverse local sites, the governing strategies of elected officials and administrators within regional, national and international organizations, and the subjectivities they constitute. As another example, Carol Bacchi and scholars drawing on her work have focused on problematizations, an analytic strategy that challenges the self-evident status of the “problems” that are constituted within the policy process, opening up new ways of considering the topics and strategies of policy-making. These conceptual frameworks direct analytic attention to the discourses and discursive practices through which various forms of expertise work to transform political topics and conflicts into technical problems and, in doing so, occlude practices of power.
      This panel invites papers that draw on these approaches to critical policy scholarship to analyse the forms of knowledge and expertise that are visible within particular policy arenas (e.g., health care, education) and policy practices (e.g., new public management, evidence-informed policy making). Papers that consider theoretical or methodological aspects of these approaches to policy scholarship or that reflect on their relationship with other critical research strategies (e.g., feminist analysis; post-colonial analysis) are also welcome. We are interested in structuring the presentations and discussion during the panel itself in a manner that fosters a dialogic exchange of ideas, with the specifics to be discussed and decided through conversation with paper presenters and discussant(s) once these have been confirmed.

  38. 41 - Reflexivity and Governmental Capabilities in Sustainable Change »

    • Conveyor and Institution: Manfred Moldaschl, Zeppelin University Friedrichshafen
Tobias Hallensleben, European Center for Sustainability Research
      Matthias Wörlen, European Center for Sustainability Research
      Abstract: Despite the continuous failure of a common global climate policy for decades, individual countries have developed fairly diverse stages of consciousness and improvement in climate-relevant dimensions (mobility systems, administration, city development etc.). However, to whom or what can we explain shortfalls or progress in environmental politics? Must we interpret that as a contingency effect? Or can we attribute it - at least partially - to governmental capabilities? And if the latter: How can we conceptualize, analyse and explain such capabilities on different levels of sociality (group, movement, communality, state)? Does that contribute to cope with individual, institutional and governmental learning barriers on (some of) these levels? These are basic questions in the discourse on new forms of governance. Different research streams contribute to rise and answer them, taking into account the ambivalences, uncertainty, unintended consequences and diversity of rationalities in social-ecological change (Rip 2006; Smith & Stirling 2007; Voß & Bornemann 2011). Even in research disciplines such as innovation research (Moldaschl 2006; Kemp 1994), ecology (Armitage et al. 2007; Holling 1978), or technology studies (Elzen et al. 2004) approaches were developed that challenge rationalistic conceptions of governance and emphasize institutional learning. As such, they have been described under the label of reflexive governance (Voß et al. 2006) in policy studies and institutional reflexivity (Moldaschl 2005, 2006) in innovation and strategy research.

      Institutional reflexivity can be observed in procedures and policy practices that (might) contribute to the revision and innovation of established governance designs, e.g. by policy evaluation or supporting decision makers against path dependent processes (Patzelt 2007; Curien 2013). Here, reflexivity manifests in epistemological practices, forms of discourse, practices of knowledge absorption, or forms of dealing with conflict. As socially embedded personal competence and epistemological style, reflexivity can analogically be described as an awareness of perspectivity. It comprises an attentiveness for unintended side effects of own and others activities, a high readiness to accept ambiguity and alternative interpretations of social reality. The aim of this panel is to bring together scholars working on capability conceptions and/or notions of reflexivity in interpretative policy analysis. In addition to findings addressing the dialectics of subject and structure, concepts and findings about the role of personal capabilities of political actors would enrich the panel.

  39. 42 - “When citizens step in”. Citizen participation in environmental topics. Conditions and obstacles »

    • Conveyor and Institution: Jean-Gabriel Contamin, Université Lille Nord de France
      Martine Legris, Université Lille Nord de France
      Abstract: In recent years, state and corporate bodies have increasingly used participatory devices in order to facilitate citizen participation in the context of a crisis of representative democracy. Those institutionalized forms of debate, conceived in a top down approach are even becoming compulsory in different fields of public action. However, these devices seem to both stimulate and channel citizen participation in decision making processes. More and more scholars studying these institutional devices criticize this “procedural tropism”.
      In reaction, new forms of democracy and social participation are spreading around the world. Powerful electronic networks, beyond institutional control, have created opportunities for horizontal - as opposed to traditionally vertical - communication, bringing people new means to influence decision-making processes. Yet it has also been demonstrated that even these new forms of participation are not free from phenomena of domination and hierarchy. And especially when the involved issues seem more technical and scientific.
      The environmental protection-related issues are particularly interesting in this perspective. Because, firstly, there is a strong will of citizens to get involved. Because, then,  governments are introducing devices designed to take into account the point from citizens. And because, however, the citizen action seems to face a double hurdle: the power of decision of the policymakers and the technical knowledge of experts and scientists. Current mobilizations around the COP21 conference are very significant of these paradoxes.
      The proposed panel aims to receive papers that address how citizens are able (or not) to be heard in participatory arenas (institutional ones, civic ones or through participatory research) on environmental topics. It is in this sense at the intersection of at least three topics of the conference : discourse analysis, participatory action research and STS. Contributions to this panel could add to a book by Springer on citizens argumentative strategies on environmental topics.

  40. 43 - Governmentality and expertise: imagining economy after crisis »

    • Conveyor and Institution: Amelie Kutter, European University Viadrina, Frankfurt (Oder), Germany
      Jens Maesse, University of Gießen, Germany
      Abstract: Policy responses to the recent financial and economic crisis may not have induced a shift in general paradigms of economic policy and economic theory. But they reflect, for instance, a new emphasis on the provision of financial stability in central banking and revisions in the classification of risks in financial services. Within the European Union, a new legal-political architecture of joint financial and fiscal supervision is emerging, which is oriented towards ensuring macro prudence at European scale.  
      This panel invites contributions from economic sociology, economic policy analysis, political economy and others that use the lens of discourse analysis to explore modes of economic governance developing since the crisis. We particularly welcome contributions that focus on governmentality following Foucault or investigate how economic expert discourse has re-constituted itself. From the perspective of governmentality, the question arises how modes of liberal government and risk management are being re-articulated in adjusted rationalities, technologies and dispositives of economic and financial policy. The perspective of expert discourse, on the other hand, suggests looking into different forms of economic expert knowledge, such as economic models, ideologies, or discourses on (economic) policy formation and market performance. We invite papers that explore how these forms of knowledge are implicated in sustaining and adjusting specific modes of economic governance.

  41. 44 - The Emergence of Deliberative and Interpretive Policy Analysis in Asia  »

    • Conveyor and Institution: Piyapong Boossabong, Mahasarakham University, Thailand
      Abstract: Deliberative and interpretive policy analysis approaches emerge from both theoretical debates and real-world practices in both the Global North and the South including Asia, where there is an attempt to seek for alternatives to the traditional policy analysis approach. The number of Asian researchers participating IPA conferences has increased gradually. Asia cases have been also interested by Western DPA and IPA scholars such as Fischer who discusses crossing the cases of India, Nepal and recently Thailand. Fischer and Boossabong (forthcoming) propose that the struggles of people for social justice and equity in the developing world make DPA and IPA more possible. Academic institutions in Asia are found researching the DPA and IPA approaches such as the Laboratory for DPA at the Beijing Institute of Technology (Li and He, 2014). Besides, books and journal articles on DPA and IPA have been found in most Asian countries in their own languages. In the practical world, the DPA and IPA are practiced widely in Asia as well both in national and local scales. Many policy analysts transform their role from experts to be deliberative facilitators and interpretive mediators to cope with the fact that Asia societies become more pluralistic and complex. Although the studies and practices on DPA and IPA in Asia still carry a largely debate on theoretical implication whether beyond post-positivism, it is worth learning challenges and different spirits of DPA and IPA studies and practices in Asia by which this panel aims to open the floor for these discussions.

  42. 45 - Deliberation informed by political discourse analysis and social practice theory (or: Participatory deliberation informed by theoretic pluralism)" »

    • Conveyor and Institution: Tira Foran, Black Mountain Laboratories 
      Abstract: We propose to explore the challenges and opportunities of face-to-face multi-stakeholder deliberative processes which are explicitly informed by concepts of dialogue and collaborative governance (e.g. Ansell and Gash 2008), on the one hand, and political discourse analysis (Fairclough and Fairclough 2012) or social practice theory on the other hand.  We welcome contributions from authors that have previously convened such processes or can offer insights into the challenges posed in such theoretically plural (or interdisciplinary) work. We can facilitate such a conversation: working in Burkina Faso on a food security policy project, we implemented and planned workshops informed in part by Fairclough and Fairclough’s (2012) political discourse analysis. The project was designed to support reflexive, deliberative, participatory formulation of food security policy (Foran et al. 2015a). In central Australia, informed by a reading of social practice literature, we implemented workshops to understand how energy-related activities and systems impact on the current and future liveability (Foran et al. 2015b). Having designed and implemented such work we are aware of a range of practical and conceptual challenges and tensions. For example, participatory approaches are more optimistic about the possibilities of intentional change than the social practice literature. By eliciting the insights of other workers in this field we hope to improve ongoing work. The keynote speakers at IPA 2016 suggest that the timing is also opportune.

  43. 46 - Participation in Public Policy »

    • Conveyor and Institution: BettyEspinosa, FLACSO, Ecuador
      André-NoëlRoth, Universidad Nacional de Colombia
      Abstract: Since the 1980's we have seen the emergence of diverse social movements in Latin America, such as indigenous peoples, environmentalists, feminist groups, and other actors and movements that have been built up through political action. These actors are calling for participation in decisions of public policies that affect them directly, or which could affect them in the future, and they have become progressively involved in government, technical and scientific decision-making processes. Some research does exist that analyses the different strategies and processes that have been built to meet these new expectations. M. Callon et al(2001: 212-215) designated two procedures that governments and multinational organisations apply in order to address criticisms of the non-representative nature of the system: opinion polls and referendums. However, some groups do not agree with these conventional forms of  “participation”, and demand to actually participate more directly in decisions and/or policies and/or projects that affect them. In this sense, alternative dispositifs or mechanisms have been created, such as participatory budgeting, the empty chair, prior consultation, deliberative forums (F. Fischer, 2009), and even some that might be called hybrid forums, according to M. Callon et al (2001);M. Akrich, M. Callon & B. Latour (2006). These new participatory approaches have been responses to the pressures of social movements that have raised demands for participation in national and local government decisions from various perspectives.  More research is need to study this emergence of new actors and the incorporation of amultiplicity of individual, collective rights and nature on the agendas,policies and regulations. P. Rosanvallon (2008) suggests that this type of mechanism has given rise to a new type of political relations between actors who called the legitimacy of proximity. In this context, we seek papers that analyse these new mechanisms of legitimacy in public action. Papers can be research articles with presentation of cases and results, or methodological articles that contribute to debates on participation.

  44. 47 - Direct Public Action and Unruly Politics: Discursive policy amidst rising global inequality and Conflict »

    • Conveyor and Institution: Navdeep Mathur, Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad,India 
      Abstract: How does policy argumentation treat the simultaneous phenomena of philanthrocapitalism and terrorist attacks? What kind of ideological frames are constructed that mediate legitimacy and illegitimacy of flows of capital and of people across borders within such phenomena? This panel seeks to bring together analyses that connects ideological policy discourse and ground level public action using the logic of policy deliberation (Fischer, 1995). In Evaluating Public Policy, Fischer writes that policy argumentation extends to ideological commitments, at a discursive level that links the relationship between policy projects and the social order. Those engaging in argumentation at the level of social choice reflect on alternative social orders in their capacity to legitimately resolve conflict, and such reflections are deemed to be the starting points for political philosophers and ideologists (155). This panel takes the view that locates facilitators of ‘direct public action' are those engaging in ideological policy discourse, departing from the view that such argumentation is the domain of high political philosophy. Ground level actions against climate/development induced displacement, imperial occupation, women's exploitation, worker oppression (through normative policy commitments to inequitable global trade and concrete policy programs) suggest that citizens and professionals inside and outside the academy through direct intervention in public mobilizations on policy conflicts involve themselves in deliberative construction/articulation of alternative social orders. This claim can be seen in the furthering of specific aspects of the social order such as “the unruly politics” (Khanna 2013), Occupy (David Graeber), the Maoist movement against the coercion of the neo-liberal Indian state (Arundhati Roy), and resistance to and escaping from the state (James Scott). While disparate in contexts these exemplars point towards the critical connections between engaged public action and the crafting of alternative social orders, and the practices of organizing to realise those alternative ideological commitments. This panel also seeks to then engage with questions such as how does engaged citizenship become embodied in the practice of discursive policy analysis within the academy? How do statist and status quo-ist forces seek to discipline and control the imagining of alternative social orders by acting upon these engaged ‘academic’ citizens? What do the experiences of public-academic dissenters tell us about voice and representation of particular publics in contemporary global political and policy conflicts?

  45. 48 - Resistance in the Critical Policy Classroom »

    • Conveyor and Institution: Navdeep Mathur, Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad,India 
      Abstract: While the university classroom space has been under pressure to move away from the “bastion of unencumbered critical examination” (Kalh, 2015) in the neoliberal era, teachers of critical policy and politics have also shifted towards more participatory pedagogies for student engagement. Studies of re-organizing classrooms and curricula in workshop modes using tools such as ‘the power or privilege walk’ (based on Peggy Mackintosh’s white privilege knapsack) have sought to shift the focus away from the intellectual apparatus of the critical politics literature to bringing the experiences of injustice, discrimination, institutionalised violence, and ideological domination alive and re-animate learning spaces. Such transformations have also sought to reorient the functionalist framed relationships in the classroom that dichotomized the roles of teachers and students in the learning process. This panel seeks to bring together experiences of faculty in a range of university departments who seek to challenge neoliberal encroachment through the curriculum in the classroom. It invites papers, short films, descriptive pedagogical notes that examine learning space design (curricular practice) that deal with resistance to a critical orientation within the classroom from students and seek to create more open and critical debate.

  46. 49 - Policy interpretation with the unconscious in mind »

    • Conveyor and Institution: Karen West, Aston University, UK 
      Abstract: There is increasing recognition that explaining the persistence and traction of certain policy discourses and narratives requires that the work of interpretation move beyond their purely linguistic features to examine - or perhaps more appropriately, to speculate on- the ways in which they support threatened and precarious identities.  Various schools of psychoanalytic thought have been brought to bear on these questions, each emphasizing different features of the dynamic unconscious in interpretation and explanation.  For example, those inspired by Lacan have deployed the concepts of fantasy, desire and ‘enjoyment’ (Glynos, 2001 & 2014; Fotaki, 2006; Stavrakakis, 2007; West, 2013), others have drawn on the Kleinian concepts of objects, splitting and projection (Clarke, 2003; Rustin, 2001) or Freudian concepts of disavowal and perversion (Layton, 2010), while others work more eclectically (e.g. Hoggett, 2001 and 2005).  These clearly add something to the interpretive repertoire, but they are not without their problems and controversies.  How exactly do we approach the unconscious?  How do we move psycho-analytic concepts ‘outside the clinic’ (Frosh, 2010) into the world of policy?  How might we (re)-deploy existing research methods (ethnographic, phenomenological, discourse analytic)?  What is the status of the explanations we produce?  How do they, or might they, generate impact or stimulate change?  Papers are invited from interpretive policy scholars who are working with psychoanalytic concepts who are seeking to explore these questions.

  47. 50 - Open Panel »

    • Papers should be submitted to one of the named panels above.  If there is clearly no fit between your paper and the named panels then you may submit it to this open panel. Please note that preference will be given to papers accepted to named panels over those submitted to the open panel.

Other Conference Highlights

  1. Round Tables »

    • Round Table - Careers, Writing and Academic Publishing

    • Panellists: 
      Kathrin Braun, Professor, University of Vienna, Editor Critical Policy Studies 
      Frank Fischer Professor Emeritus, Rutgers University, Editor Critical Policy Studies
      Rod Rhodes Professor of Government, University of Southampton, Editor Public Administration, 1986-2011

      Nick Turnbull, University of Manchester

      Writing and publishing are essential parts of an academic career. In this roundtable three current and former journal editors give their insights and advice on how to make the most of your writing, how to improve it and how to keep writing even on the darkest and dullest of academic days…

      The session will be invaluable to early career researchers and to PhD students and, given the importance of writing in all of our work, will give all conference attendees a moment to reflect on their own careers, writing and academic publishing. The speakers will focus on the particular challenges of publishing research utilising interpretive theory and methods.

    • Round Table - Energy Policies: Sustainable Transformation, Consumption and Participation

    • Panellists: 
      Elisabeth Shove, Lancaster University, UK
      Rudi Wurzel, University of Hull, UK
      Tamara Metze, Tilburg University, NL
      On demand ‘Fish-Bowl-Chair’ from the audience

      Antonia Graf, Marco Sonnberger; leading the discussion: tba

      The end of the fossil fuel era and the transition towards renewable energies are two of the main challenges in contemporary politics. Unsurprisingly, a lot of panels on the 11th IPA at Hull University focus on aspects of these transformation processes: changing practices of energy consumption and sustainable lifestyles, (discursive) effects of more and more de-centralised (renewable) energy infrastructures, democratization of energy supply via participation and deliberation, public acceptance of renewables in green cities and, last but not least, social and ‘green’ innovations in (civic) energy initiatives. Studies on transitions, however, are closely linked to national and regional contexts. Presumably, the European dimension is going to be the next step in - to date more or less fragmented - energy transformation research. This roundtable brings together researchers with different backgrounds and focal points to discuss these dynamics and to elaborate on important questions in the growing field of energy policies such as: how to overcome country specific research foci and situations, heterogeneous civil society traditions, turn out of transdisciplinary networking opportunities, funding policies and teaching in the field of energy policies.

  2. Author Meets Critics »

    •  Author Meets Critics 1

      Author: Koen Bartels, Bangor University (United Kingdom)

      Communicative Capacity: Public Encounters in Participatory Theory and Practice. Bristol, The Policy Press, 2015

      Participatory democracy has become an idea in good currency and a widespread practice in urban governance. Nowadays, public professionals and citizens regularly encounter each other in participatory practice to address shared problems. But while the frequency, pace, and diversity of their public encounters has increased, communicating productively in participatory practice remains a challenging, fragile, and demanding undertaking that often runs astray. Therefore, the book explores how citizens and public professionals communicate, why this is so difficult, and what could lead to more productive conversations. This is done by comparing cases of community participation in neighbourhood governance in the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, and Italy. Based on interpretive research of the narratives citizens and public professionals tell about participatory practice, the book presents an emergent, grounded theory of communicative capacity. This theory holds that citizens and public professionals tend to sustain habitual communicative patterns that limit their ability to cooperatively solve the problems they are facing together. Therefore, they need the ability to recognise and break through these habitual patterns by adapting the nature, tone, and conditions of conversations to the ‘law of the situation’. Exercising communicative capacity will enable public professionals and citizens to have more integrative encounters leading to shared understandings, joint activities, and cooperative relating. The book provides a number of academic and practical recommendations for understanding and appreciating the often overlooked impact of communicative practices in participatory theory and practice.

      Dr David Laws – University of Amsterdam (the Netherlands)
      Dr Cosmo Howard – Griffith University (Australia)
      Dr Peter Matthews – University of Stirling (United Kingdom)
      Dr Mandy de Wilde – University of Antwerp (Belgium)

    • Author Meets Critics 2

      Author: Ngai-Ling Sum & Bob Jessop, Lancaster University (United Kingdom)

      Towards a cultural political economy: Putting culture in its place in political economy. Cheltenham: Edward Elgar, 2013

      In this volume Ngai-Ling Sum and Bob Jessop offer a critique of recent institutional and cultural turns in heterodox economics and political economy. Arguing for an ontological cultural turn in addition to a methodological cultural turn, they emphasize the foundational role of sense- and meaning-making in all social relations – a foundational role that is often overlooked in political economy. Illustrating their approach from seven case studies, the authors demonstrate how research on sense- and meaning-making can deepen critical studies in political economy, illuminating its role in critiquing the specific categories, contradictions and crisis-tendencies of capitalism and complementing more materialist analyses of political economy.

      Parts I and II provide a foundation in institutionalism, international political economy and historical semantics, before introducing an original account of sense- and meaning-making and its role in remaking social relations. This account connects the evolution of both economic and extra-economic concepts to dispositives (problem-oriented social fixes), institutions, and capitalist restructuring. In Parts III and IV, specific case studies demonstrate how this new research program can be applied to issues such as competitiveness, the knowledge-based economy, governmental technologies, institutional and spatio-temporal fixes and crisis management.

      Jens Maesse - University of Giessen
      Dieter Plehwe - Social Science Center Berlin
      Rod Rhodes - University of Southampton

  3. Conference Fringe Event »

    •  Doing IPA differently? An Anti-Conference Fringe Event at the 2016 IPA Conference

      What appeals to many scholars about interpretive analysis is the common normative desire to provide voice to the local knowledge of subalterns and challenge the hegemony of power within contemporary neoliberal society. This fringe event to the 2016 conference begins from the premise that in replicating the norms of academic disciplines the IPA conference has inadvertently become what it often critiques when analysing policy-making. By replicating many of the practices that are common in academic conferences, it can reinforce hierarchies; lack reflexivity of power/knowledge within academic contexts; and perpetuate behaviours and norms that can exclude certain groups and individuals.

      As such, and taking its inspiration from the Edinburgh Fringe Festival that was established in opposition to the heavily curated and elitist Edinburgh International Festival, this year the IPA conference will also include an anti-conference fringe event that seeks to challenge those practising IPA to question if their own academic practice matches their analysis of others. The plan is for a whole day event to take place over one day of the conference.  The original Edinburgh Fringe Festival offered no barriers to entry – performers just had to pay to be included in the programme and find a venue. The IPA Fringe has the same ethos, but with even fewer barriers. You can either contact the organisers in advance to discuss your ideas, or just turn up on the day and “perform”.

      Presented work can focus either on the practice of IPA, or research that has been conducted using its principles.  However, we are keen not to replicate the norms of the academy, therefore activities that are particularly encouraged are those which:

      • Use novel presentation techniques – interpretive dance, not Prezi;
      • Use non-academics to present research – either as video recordings or as conference participants;
      • Present virtually, or via social media to save the air travel;
      • Celebrate difference and diversity in society;
      • Use mixed media and are fully plural in what constitutes knowledge and knowing;
      • Offer critiques of university practices, research, academic disciplines and academia;
      • Pose new, critical questions for discussion – either on specific research topics or broader theoretical issues within IPA.

      The overall aim will be to create a safe space for difference to be explored and celebrated – doing IPA as practice at an academic conference. We cannot guarantee an audience, but we aim to create a lively space all day where people drop-in. AV equipment, pens, paper, flipcharts and other materials will be provided by the organisers to encourage creativity.

      For more details, or to discuss your ideas, please email Peter Matthews and David Stevenson.

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