ECPR General Conference
University of Wrocław, Wrocław
4 - 7 September 2019




Agitated Polities, Changing Policies, and Policy Process Research

Policy Analysis
 
Public Policy
 
Agenda-Setting
 
Comparative Perspective
 
Policy Change
 
Policy Implementation
 
Policy-Making
 
Theoretical
 
Section Number
S06
Section Chair
Stéphane Moyson
Université catholique de Louvain
Section Co-Chair
Vilém Novotný
Charles University in Prague

Abstract
The attention paid by political scientists and policy scholars to the policy process has been demonstrated by the remarkable success of the 2016-2018 ECPR sections on this topic. Our polities (societies and states) have faced serious challenges (migration, security, climate change, etc.) causing policy changes. Policy process research is crucial to understand how policies change, what factors influence them, what decisions are made, who makes them, how policies are interpreted and what concrete effects they have. Different analytical frameworks contribute to this scientific quest. This section provides a forum for policy scholars to share their experience and develop policy process frameworks.

The objectives of the section are:
• To provide an opportunity for meeting scholars from different generations sharing common interests in the policy process;
• To expand the theoretical, empirical, and methodological knowledge concerning policy change within prominent policy process frameworks;
• To develop dialogue and networks around and across policy process frameworks, as well as research agendas.

The section involves a healthy mix of established and junior scholars from Europe and other continents. We invite papers contributing to the development of policy process frameworks and/or addressing policy change. These proposals can rely on one framework or on a meaningful combination of them. We are interested in works that employ diverse methodological orientations, are pitched at sub-national, national, comparative or international settings, and address any policy domain.

PANELS

ROUNDTABLE – APPROACHING CONTEMPORARY POLICY CHANGES WITH POLICY PROCESS FRAMEWORKS

Chairs
Vilem Novotny (Charles University, Czech Republic)
Karin Ingold (University of Bern, Switzerland)

Participants representing the policy process frameworks
ACF - Stéphane Moyson (Université catholique de Louvain, Belgium)
IADF - Andreas Thiel (Kassel University, Germany)
MSF - Reimut Zohlnhofer (Heidelberg University, Germany)
NPF - Claudio Radaelli (University College London, UK)
PAF - Nils Bandelow (TU Braunschweig, Germany)

Our societies and states face serious challenges (climate change, populism, migration, security, etc.) causing policy changes. Policy process frameworks employ varied concepts and approaches to identify factors of policy changes, their effects, important actors involved, as well as decision procedures. The representatives of various frameworks will address the conceptual, theoretical, methodological and empirical issues related to the study of policy change, within and across frameworks.


THEORETICAL AND METHODOLOGICAL INNOVATIONS FOR POLICY PROCESS FRAMEWORKS

Chair
Karin Ingold (University of Bern, Switzerland)

Discussant
Melanie Nagel (Konstanz University, Germany)

Sound policy process research addressing policy change is produced when frameworks integrate theoretical reflections and use appropriate methods for operationalization. While this poses a variety of challenges (e.g., research design decisions), some frameworks seem to work better when applying specific theories or methods (e.g., social network analysis, QCA, meta-analysis). We welcome papers contributing to the question when and how to integrate theories, models, and methods.


EMERGING PERSPECTIVES ON POLICY CHANGE

Chairs
Nils Bandelow (TU Braunschweig, Germany)
Patrick Hassenteufel (Université de Versailles Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines, France)

Discussant
Johanna Hornung (TU Braunschweig, Germany)

In recent years, policy process research has experienced the emergence of theoretical perspectives on policy change that either connect to existing frameworks or provide a complementary view on the policy process. This panel seeks to foster methodological and theoretical innovation with regard to emerging perspectives on policy processes, such as the Policy Conflict Framework, Identity Politics, Social Identity Theory, Actor-Centered Constructivism, and the Programmatic Action Framework.


POLICY LEARNING AND POLICY CHANGE

Chairs
Claire Dunlop (University of Exeter, UK)
Stéphane Moyson (Université catholique de Louvain, Belgium)

Discussant
Philippe Trein (University of Lausanne, Switzerland)

Policy learning is a cognitive and social dynamic through which policy actors revise or strengthen their beliefs. Further research about the assumptions, micro‐foundations, conceptual apparatus, observable implications and normative applications is required to understand the relations between policy learning and policy change. Conceptual or empirical papers addressing this ambition in any institutional or functional area are welcome.


THE ROLE OF NARRATIVES IN THE PUBLIC POLICY PROCESS

Chair
Claudio Radaelli (University College London, UK)

Discussant
Megan Warnemant (Idaho State University, USA)

The Narrative Policy Framework (NPF) demonstrates how narratives affect policy change with variables such as narrative elements, policy beliefs, and narrative strategies. Future research articulating the NPF with other policy process frameworks such as Multiple Streams Framework and agenda setting would be worthwhile. Implications for practice include learning how to tell better stories about policy solutions. Research on how the NPF applies to policymaking outside of democracies would further enhance the framework.


EXPLAINING INSTITUTIONAL AND POLICY CHANGE WITH NEW TOOLS AND IN NEW FIELDS OF APPLICATION

Chairs
Andreas Thiel (Universität Kassel, Germany)
Sergio Villamayor-Tomas (Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Spain)

Discussant
Edella Schlager (The University of Arizona, USA)

The study of institutional and policy change through the Institutional Analysis and Development (IAD) framework is still in its infancy. This panel aims to pursue the analytical development of the framework in new fields of application. We particularly welcome papers addressing the methodological needs of new contexts as well as the emerging opportunities and challenges for the ensemble of IAD tools.


THE ADVOCACY COALITIONS IN A COMPARATIVE PERSPECTIVE

Chairs
Tuomas Ylä-Anttila (University of Helsinki, Finland)
Tanya Heikkila (University of Colorado Denver, USA)

Discussant
Antti Gronow (University of Helsinki, Finland)

The Advocacy Coalition Framework (ACF) has been applied to study the formation of coalitions, policy learning and policy change in a variety of countries and policy domains. Most of these studies, however, are case studies of one policy process in one country. The emphasis of this panel will be on papers using the ACF to compare policy processes across countries or policy domains. Theoretical dialogue between the ACF and other policy process frameworks is also encouraged.


MULTIPLE STREAMS PERSPECTIVES ON POLICY CHANGE

Chair
Reimut Zohlnhoefer (Universität Heidelberg, Germany)

Discussant
Nicole Herweg (Universität Heidelberg, Germany)

The Multiple Streams Framework (MSF) is widely applied to analyze policy agendas and changes. Theoretical questions of particular interest include: How applicable is the MSF for explaining change in multiple forms of government? Is the framework equally suited to explain policy stability and change? In addition, we invite empirical studies that apply a comparative perspective or enhance the operationalization and measurement of the framework's key concepts.

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