Call for Papers: International Conference on Public Policy (ICPP), Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, 28-30 June 2017, Singapore

Knowing and Governing: Political Epistemologies in Public Policy Closing date for short paper proposals is 15 January 2017

In recent years, ‘political epistemologies' have increasingly focused on the multiple ways both, knowing and governing are interconnected in policy practices, discourses and decision-making. The panel aims at re-evaluating the core assumptions, understandings and empirical key findings of political epistemologies by bringing together papers across a wide variety of disciplines and areas of research including but not limited to critical policy analysis, STS, public administration, governance and regulation studies, discourse studies, sociology of knowledge and professions etc. We are interested in theoretical accounts and/or empirically rich contributions focusing on the transformations, erosions or emerging configurations at the nexus between knowing and governing. Papers should possibly address the following key questions:

(1)   Conceptualizing political epistemologies: Recent approaches challenge the belief that science is ‘a value-free, technical project’ (Fischer and Gottweis). Instead, they seek to understand ‘the co-production of science and the social order’ (Jasanoff). What are the key problems and questions? What are the core concepts and how can they be related to each other? What are the basic assumptions and methodologies?


(2)   Embedding political epistemologies: In political epistemologies, expertise and scientific knowledge are conceptualized as being embedded in conventions, discourses and institutions. How can different cultural and discursive contexts of expertise be compared? How do ‘civic epistemologies’ (Jasanoff) or ‘policy epistemics’ (Fischer) shape the ways policy-relevant knowledge is produced, publicly justified and translated into policy-making?


(3)  Criticizing political epistemologies: As political epistemologies seek to understand the relationship between normative and empirical claims, they challenge the belief that there is a universal model of separating science from politics. What are the main ‘problems with experts’ (Turner) and how are they solved in different societies? How could distributed knowledge be aggregated for the purpose of making decisions? How can we solve problems of ‘epistemic subsidiarity’ (Jasanoff) under the conditions of global standardization?

Topic : Policy Discourse and Critical Policy Research
Panel Chair : Holger Strassheim
Panel Second Chair : Frank Fischer

Closing date for short paper proposals is 15 January 2017

For more information and to submit a paper proposal click <link http: www.ippapublicpolicy.org conference icpp-3-singapore-2017 link im neuen fenster>here

There will be <link http: www.ippapublicpolicy.org panel>panel on wicked problems:

 

T04P01 - Wicked Problems in Public Policy – From Theory to Practice 

Topic: Problems and Agenda Setting

Panel Chair: Joshua Newman - <link>joshua.newman@flinders.edu.au

Panel Second Chair : Brian Head - <link>brian.head@uq.edu.au

<link http: www.ippapublicpolicy.org conference icpp-3-singapore-2017 paper-add>Submit a paper for this panel

Objectives and Scientific Relevance of the panel 

In recent years, politicians and bureaucrats have expressed a desire to increase the use of evidence in policy-making. This narrative assumes a kind of linear, rational, or scientific trajectory for the use of knowledge in addressing policy problems – as if access to better quality information were the key to resolving important and difficult policy issues.

However, since the 1950s, there has been among scholars a growing dissatisfaction with the idea that some policy problems might be resolved through scientific methods or holistic design efforts – or more directly, that they might even be resolved at all. Inspired by colossal failures in social planning in the 1960s, the policy literature since the 1970s (starting with Rittel & Webber, 1973) has increasingly recognised that many issues are inherently difficult to manage or resolve, owing to increasing complexity in areas of social policy, significant differences in values, interests and perceptions, and uncertainty of outcomes and consequences that had previously gone unrecognised. This has presented something of a paradox, in that governments are increasingly demanding that policy appear to be more evidence-driven while academics (who produce much of this evidence) increasingly bring to light the challenges inherent in this task.

With this renewed emphasis on connecting evidence to policy, as well as the popular focus on ‘impact’ in academic research, it is time to re-examine the concept of wicked problems and the obstacles they present to linear, scientific models of policy decision-making. Are some policy problems wicked? How can the concept of wicked problems help us understand the inherent challenges of policy-making? Are some areas of policy more inclined to wickedness, or are all policy problems inherently wicked? How do complexity, uncertainty, and divergence of values and preferences intersect in processes of public policy?

This Panel is concerned with conceptualisations of wicked problems and the range of policy responses to wicked problems that are available to decision-makers. What are the key features of such problems? And are they really very different in nature from more routine problems? Are we developing better ways to address these wicked problems? How do approaches vary across different policy issues? How do different political-administrative cultures respond to complex challenges? Are some issues more ‘manageable’ in some institutional settings and political contexts than in other settings? Papers addressing theoretical, methodological, and practical matters in these areas are welcome.

Call for papers 

Some types of policy problems have been described as messy, complex, intractable, open-ended and ‘wicked’. The policy literature since the 1970s (starting with Rittel & Webber, 1973) has increasingly recognised that many issues are inherently difficult to manage or resolve, owing to increasing complexity in areas of social policy, significant differences in values, interests and perceptions, and uncertainty of outcomes and consequences that had previously gone unrecognised.

This Panel is concerned with conceptualisations of wicked problems and the range of policy responses to wicked problems that are available to decision-makers. What are the key features of such problems? And are they really very different in nature from more routine problems? Are we developing better ways to address these wicked problems? How do approaches vary across different policy issues? How do different political-administrative cultures respond to complex challenges? Are some issues more ‘manageable’ in some institutional settings and political contexts than in other settings? Papers addressing theoretical, methodological, and practical matters in these areas are welcome.