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CfP: Problem-Solving and Learning in Multilevel Governance

posted Nov 29, 2018, 12:37 AM by Eva Thomann   [ updated Nov 29, 2018, 12:42 AM ]
Call for papers for the 4th International Conference on Public Policy, 26th-28th June 2019 - MONTREAL
Panel chairs:
Eva Thomann and Claire Dunlop, Department of Politics, University of Exeter
Deadline for proposals: 30.1.2019

Multilevel governance is the result of a process in which decision makers shifted competencies away from the nation-state in order to deal with pressing policy challenges that exceed the reach of the central government. As such, multilevel governance is a result of globalization and modernization, based on the assumption of an improved problem-solving capacity. Problem-solving can both be seen as a decision-making mode/process, and as a result of these processes. Trein et al. (2019) define problem-solving as a process through which the policymakers in charge make policies so as to deal with problems that are perceived as important for society by organized groups and/or by policymakers themselves, through the cooperative production of a policy output that is expected to be collectively beneficial in making a contribution to solve the policy problem at stake.
The goal of this panel is to collect contributions that provide theoretical and empirical insights on problem-solving in multilevel governance.
Recent years have witnessed important theoretical, conceptual and empirical innovations in how we think of problem-solving in multilevel governance. Scholars have moved beyond traditional approaches to thinking of multilevel governance mainly in structural terms and through a command-and-control perspective, as these often cannot explain the distinct workings of multilevel governance in the absence of a clear “shadow of hierarchy”. Moreover, there is a move beyond the assumption that policy adoption is the decisive stage of problem-solving. Instead, there is emphasis on the processes of implementation, evaluation, and problem definition, the patterns and underlying mechanisms of differentiation as well convergence. Scholars increasingly emphasize mechanisms of learning (Dunlop et al. 2018) and experimentalist governance (Sabel and Zeiltin 2010) and link such mechanisms with patterns of policy differentiation (e.g., customization), success, and failure (Dunlop 2017; Thomannn 2019).This panel gathers theoretical, conceptual, and empirical contributions by both junior and senior scholars that look at the processes and outcomes of problem-solving and learning in multilevel governance systems in terms of both convergence and differentiation. We particularly invite contributions that either comprehensively review or systematize the state of the art, apply theoretical, conceptual or methodological innovations to empirical settings, connect methods with theories, and/or contribute to innovation themselves.
View the full panel description here