Call for Papers Interpretive Policy Analysis (IPA) Conference, 5-7 July 2017, Department of Politics and Public Policy, De Montfort University, Leicester, UK
Panel 5: Democracy under stress? Interpreting empirical and conceptual challenges in argumentative policy analysis
When in the early 1990s policy scholars proclaimed an “argumentative turn”, they called for nothing less than a rejuvenation of Lasswell’s “policy sciences of democracy”. More than 20 years later, diagnoses of democratic crisis abound: Debates on Post-Democracy, rising populism, anti-pluralism and what some call the advent of “post-truth politics” make some observers conjecture that democracy is under stress. In this panel, we aim to tackle this diagnosis from different angles: On the one hand, one could agree with this interpretation and ask how the different aspects of democratic stress translate into stress for critical policy analysis. What do the current trends mean for an approach that once set out to make the quality of argument the organizing principle of policy analysis? If interpretive policy analysis transformed “speaking truth to power” into a deliberative “making sense together”, how is this endangered by what some authors contend to be an increasing degree of “enclave deliberation” in “echo chambers”? Is the post-positivist critique of the “rationality project” still valid in the face of seemingly irrational policy and communication styles?
On the other hand, we invite theoretical and empirical papers on the diagnosis of democracy under stress itself. Have democracies really become more vulnerable and if so what are these stressors? How is the dominant assessment of stress and crisis framed and narrated? How are political, social, economic and ecological conditions interpreted as stressors of democracy and with what consequences for policy-making?
Prof. Dr. Sybille Münch, Professor for Theory of Public Policy, Center for the Study of Democracy, Leuphana University of Lueneburg; firstname.lastname@example.org
Prof. Dr. Thomas Saretzki, Professor for Political Theory and Public Policy, Center for the Study of Democracy, Leuphana University of Lueneburg; email@example.com
Authors should submit the details of their papers, including an abstract of no more than 300 words, to the conference email at: IPAconference2017@dmu.ac.uk.
Proposals should include: panel number; paper title; name, role, institutional affiliation and email address; abstract (no more than 300 words).