International Colloquium « Interdisciplinarity in policy studies » – September 15th/16th, 2016 – University Paris Est Marne-la-Vallée

  IDEP 2016 – Call for papers

If there is agreement on the fact that the concept of governance refers to the analysis of how the public and private actors are involved in the formulation of policy or contribute to defining its content and its implementation, while governance necessarily articulates several levels between them, connects several dimensions of collective action, refers to differences in scale, connects a variety of actors and territories. Ultimately, governance is based on a variety of representations and by a multiplicity of disciplinary approaches opening a way to interdisciplinarity.

This is such a crossing of approaches and disciplines that aim this call for papers “taking seriously” the idea that if governance is multi-level or multi-scale. But it is necessary to examine or re-examine according to what (s) point (s) of view, to what degree, and what lessons can be inferred from a theoretical or practical level. If “account level”, what level are they? How are the different scales? Between which actors? Which “spaces” or which « territories »?

Indeed, multilevel governance can’t probably be reduced to “a Russian doll nested skills” to use an image used by Gary Marks (and Liesbet Hooghe), or a particular form of “dispersion of the deciding authority multiple territorial levels” as it seems to match the case of the European Union. It is itself multiple, and interdisciplinary meeting should be able to restitute such a multiplicity by analyzing different configurations subnational, national, regional or global.

The international colloquium IDEP 2016, proposes to consider multilevel governance less as a preset notion that as a search field to explore by the interdisciplinary bet. This is why the call to communicate addresses researchers involved in multilevel governance regardless of their disciplinary anchor (political science, law, economics, management, sociology, history, philosophy), they are part a single approach, multi or interdisciplinary .

We suggest your draft of communication falls within the framework of the following axes :

Axis 1: The question of the level in multilevel governance

How to tackle « the (s) level (s) » in the multi-level governance? Must we approach the level of implementation of public action (empirical dimension, related to the subject, which opens many questions, including morphological, on areas of public action, levels of decision)? Is it a perspective or a theoretical scale of choice (work on the logic of centralization / decentralization / regionalization, the key role of interim regulations, the different theories of globalization, the “multi-track diplomacy”)? Does proposed a methodological and epistemological position (by levels “micro” and “macro” and problematic passages from one to the other)? Which « levels » are we referring in law, political science, sociology, and how does this lead to specific representations of governance itself? The level he anchored in space or in the territory?

Axis 2: Exploring the creation and evaluation of « multilevel” public action  

This axis is meant, more specifically, for public policies analysts, whatever their discipline. On the one hand we may question on the uses of the notions of multi-level governance and its inputs in the process of understanding the making and the evaluation of public policies. For instance we may examine the emergence of new public action scenes and how they interfold, or the way the redistribution of powers between the different actors is implemented.On the other hand we may question on the effects of this pattern of government through the study of sectorial policies (employment, education, public health, environment) or more transversal (horizontal) policies (urban development, mobility, international relationships). Focusing on the effects of the intermingling (interfolding) of so many actors, we may also search about the dilution of responsibilities, the increasing of conflicts, the rises of possibilities for cooperation and its difficulties, the redefinition of the public intervention content and of its participants, its efficiency and of the hybridization between public and private governance.The issue of regulation can also be addressed by studying different function logics (competitive , contractual and otherwise) that impose a redefinition of relationships and spaces between public and private actors.

Axis 3: “Territories” of the multi-level governance

The territories where multi-level and “multiscale” governance are exercised have multiplied. This questions the diversity of scales (local, national, global) as well as the nature of the actors (public, private, institutional) whose interactions constitute the core of governability of the contemporary societies.The draft registered in this axis are to highlight (demonstrate) the relationships between the reality (the field, the ground), the different actors and the mode of governance which is performed (experienced) or which could be conceivable. The reference to case studies will allow, in an empiric manner, to develop and test theoretical assumptions.

Axis 4: Generate and mobilize knowledge: issues of multilevel governance in connection with the field of « science and technology »  

Multilevel governance refers to a set of producers and / or knowledge of users. This is particularly the case in the context of the governance of science and technology. This axis aims to examine the relationship between knowledge and power, expertise (instituted or instituting) and decision, construction and use of knowledge and data while governance of science and technology is exercised at multiple levels, producing effects on content and format of the products and knowledge mobilized (prioritization, legitimation, alignment, standardization, regulation). What practical modalities of production, circulation, layout and use of knowledge, they specify a multi-level governance? To what extent do they direct the course and choices? Communications offering to answer these questions based on field research will be welcome.

These axes can be adapted with the help of contributors, who are required to specify in their applications:

  • Design (theoretical, empirical and methodological) « levels » considered;
  • The reasons (theoretical, methodological or empirical yet again) why the « standard account » and why it is necessary to consider several levels in the analysis (and by which analytical methods);
  • How interdisciplinarity allows them to meet these analytical challenges.

Response modalities and timetable

Communication projects (individual or collective) describe precisely the questions, the objects studied, interdisciplinary dimension and mobilized methods. The authors specify their institutional affiliation and their disciplinary affiliation.

The proposals take the form of a 500-word (maximum) and 5 keywords. They must be submitted by May 9, 2016 on the link ColloqueIDEP2016.

The assessment returns communication projects will be notified as from 27 June 2016.

The full papers (in French or English) must be sent in word format beforeSeptember 5, 2016.

For more information : IDEP 2016_en