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IPA 2015

06/07/2014 16:45 Age: 3 an(s)
Category: Colloque

By: Anne-Laure Thévenot

10th International Conference in Interpretive Policy Analysis

POLICIES AND THEIR PUBLICS: DISCOURSES, ACTORS AND POWER

8-10 july 2015, Lille - France


KEY DATES

Call for panels
1st September 2014 - 31 October 2014

Call for papers
1st December 2014 - 31 January 2015

Registration opening
1st March 2015


Informations: Lien externe - Ouverture dans une nouvelle fenêtrehttp://ipa2015.sciencesconf.org

Anti-austerity protests in Southern Europe, the Occupy Movement in North America and Europe, to say nothing
about the Vinegar Movement against the costs of hosting the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, are recent examples of
spectacular contestations against government programmes which are paradoxically justified as being in the public
interest.  In a somewhat different vein, the widespread promotion of participatory democracy, at all levels of
government, has spurred heated scholarly discussions regarding the 'democracy of the publics' (Manin, 1995). 
As such, the tenth IPA conference is devoted to studying public policies through their publics.  The latter can best
be understood as beneficiaries, recipients, and targets of public policies but also as stakeholders or participants in
policy-making.  In other words, publics are products as well as policy actors insofar as they inform public judgment
(Dewey, 1927). Therefore, policy-making, whether it is local, national or international has to be embedded in the
diversity of its publics.  Its analysis requires studying publics’ contribution to policy-making and, simultaneously,
how publics are constructed in the process.  Citizens, users, clientele, interest groups, experts, spin doctors,
think tanks, media, political parties, top ranking civil servants, street level bureaucrats… all of these groups or
entities can be understood as the publics of policies. Analysing policies through their publics allows us to reflect
on a) policy legitimisation; b) policy categories and identities; c) public participation in policy-making. In this
respect, the discursive dimension – at the heart of the IPA’s agenda – is highly relevant. a)  How do politicians,
officials and experts liaise with the public(s) at various stages of policy-making? How is the public being spoken for
(for instance through opinion polls or statistics)? How is it given a voice? b)  How are publics constructed and
bounded by policies? To what extent are groups and identities shaped in the policy-making process (problem
definition, policy narratives, interaction with street-level bureaucrats and so on)? c)  To what extent do policies
divide the public between supporters and dissenters? How are publics expressing themselves, whether they
are invited to or not? How effective are these discourses? All in all, in order to reflect on the linkage between argumentation, decision and action whilst taking the status of speakers seriously, argumentative tools, devices and
regimes as well as power struggles are to be taken into account.

 
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