What is the role of science in shaping public policy in a post-truth world? For decades, governments have been publicly committed to the support of scientific inquiry and the use of science in the making of public policy. However, in practice, the use of science has often been limited and challenged from both the left (e.g., GMOs) and the right (e.g., climate change), including by political actors who distort science to advance their interests. Moreover, in recent years, the organization of science advice in government, the reform of policies supporting scientific research and the role and freedom of government scientists have all been vigorously debated. In both academic and government circles, the notion of evidence-based policy has also been advocated, criticized, and, more rarely, evaluated.
In this context, this workshop is meant to bring together a series of panels and papers on various issues at the intersection of science, politics, public administration and policy. We welcome submissions from a broad range of perspectives. Potential themes for panels and papers include, but are not limited to:
Public policies embody efforts by public authorities to alter behaviour to achieve policy goals. While some policies have certainly come about by mere chance and happenstance, most are the products of conscious design in which means are adapted to ends. The policy literature is full of “design principles” that purport to offer good practices in policy design, often focusing on the critical linkages between policy instruments and policy goals and seeming lessons from both policy success and policy failure.
This workshop seeks to advance the debates about policy design by focusing on two contemporary aspects of the design problem. The first is the phenomenon of policy mixes or the use of multiple policy instruments in concert to tackle complex and apparently intractable problems. Jettisoning the familiar “Tinbergen rule” of one instrument for each objective, these designs must grapple with the problem of achieving mutually reinforcing policy instruments not merely in the original design but as the design changes over time. The second is the dramatic expansion of the policy toolkit itself so that contemporary policy mixes often contain unfamiliar or untested elements beyond the traditional instrument categories, such as the tools of behavioural economics, cognitive psychology, data analytics and social learning.
We propose a one-day workshop and welcome submissions around the following potential panel themes:
In the aftermath of the 2016 American election, “RESIST” became the hashtag mantra of self-proclaimed progressives. The concepts of resistance, refusal, and resurgence, however, are nothing new for indigenous peoples, racialized minorities and other marginalized and vulnerable populations. The Idle No More, #NoDAPL, and Black Lives Matter movements were important predecessors of this most recent call for “resistance,” often envisioning more radical, decolonial, and anti-racist leftist politics in the face of white supremacist, capitalist, patriarchal, colonial political institutions and social formations that were put in place long before the 45th President of the United States came to power.
The goal of this workshop is to explore the insubordination of everyday forms of domination in theory and practice. Is resistance just rhetoric? Should racialized and marginalized communities combat or embrace the mainstreaming of resistance? Is it possible for marginalized communities to form solidarity? In what ways are resistance, refusal, and resurgence part of wider political actions, and how might they be a politics in and of themselves? What are the dangers that academics face in challenging structures and strictures of domination in our research and classrooms? Is becoming ungovernable possible or even desirable?
Submissions from a broad range of perspectives, including those that focus on transnationalism, cross-racial solidarities, decolonial and anti-racist pedagogy, reflective research practices, and the nexus of theory and grassroots mobilization, are welcome.
There has been a surging interest in professional best practices for emerging scholars, from workshops like Journeys to blogs like The Professor Is In. For the field of International Relations, understanding how to broaden one’s professional network and research dissemination outlets are key to diversify sources of knowledge and connect scholars who are under-represented in the field. Male, anglo-saxon networks have been the dominant collaborative clusters in the field and it is important for IR to strengthen knowledge dissemination and exchanges beyond these established clubs. The workshop’s aim is to promote strategies for inclusive networking and professional development. While the format is geared toward graduate students, postdoctoral fellows and junior faculty, we are seeking short, targeted presentations from scholars at all levels on (but not restricted to) the following topics:
(1) International research dissemination in mainstream and social media outlets;
(2) Academic-practitioner engagement: how to diversify existing policy networks on the global stage;
(3) Overcoming the gender gap in IR publications and citations;
(4) Developing an inclusive syllabus for undergraduate or graduate teaching in IR, foreign policy analysis and security studies;
(5) Mentorship and networking in the profession, the next generation of the International Studies Association, Canadian Political Science Association, Women in International Security and other professional associations.
Despite robust literatures on International Relations and Foreign Policy Studies, Indigenous politics and perspectives have largely been excluded from these fields of study, and are often classified as domestic rather than inter-national issues. International Relations (IR)’s absence of Indigenous voices and perspectives on indigeneity have only recently garnered attention with a small but growing subfield exploring the ways that Indigenous peoples have experienced political life through systems of imperialism and colonialism worldwide. In both the study of IR and Foreign Policy, there has been a dominant acceptance of the centrality of the state, constructed in the image of Westphalian boundaries and sovereignty. This has led to the inaudibility of Fourth World voices in the central study of International Relations and Foreign Policy. The workshop aims to explore perspectives on indigeneity and Indigenous perspectives and politics as they relate to the field of International Relations and Foreign Policy. The workshop organizers invite panels or papers on, but not limited to, the following themes:
(1) Indigenous politics and “what counts” as legitimate foreign policy or inter-national relations;
(2) Settler colonialism and/in Canadian foreign policy;
(3) Gendered inter-national policies or strategies including the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, (in)attention to sexualized violence, (in)attention to policies of cultural genocide;
(4) Historical and contemporary Indigenous diplomacies and International Relations;
(5) Political reconciliation within and beyond state boundaries and Fourth World politics;
(6) Treaty relationships in International Relations and foreign policy
(7) Inter-national or Indigenous development strategies (including resource development) and colonialism in Canada
(8) Artic and Indigenous sovereignty
Experiments – whether conducted in the lab, field or embedded in a survey – have become increasingly popular in political science. Recent experimental studies have addressed a variety of questions, including ways to provide services to a population, how to improve women’s political representation, how to reduce prejudice, and the impact of negativity on political preferences and participation, for example.
This workshop aims to bring together scholars from a wide range of substantive areas who employ experiments in their research in order to address causal questions. Both papers that apply experiments and those that seek to advance experimental methods are welcomed. We are particularly interested in promoting a dialogue between scholars from various backgrounds about issues related to experimental design, execution and analysis.
Potential panel themes:
Water has always shaped, and continues to shape, the long history of political life in what is now Canada. Consider the tired cliché of Canada as an untamed wilderness of lakes and rivers. Think here too of speculation about a future world desperate for Canada’s abundant fresh water. And more troubling, think of the continuing shame of settler indifference to the water crisis we have precipitated in First Nations communities. Water has always been critical to the definition and development of Canadian institutions. We invite papers that explore these and related themes, for example:
- The River as a site of trade, conflict, and identity in Canada
- Boundary Waters: who governs water commons? Who should?
- Indigenous perspectives on water: resource? sacred trust? living thing?
We are especially interested in papers that engage with Indigenous perspectives on water, on the one hand; and examinations of the distinctive politics and culture of the Canadian prairies through the lens of water issues, or particular rivers or waterways, on the other.
Although this is a workshop anchored in the political theory division, we welcome empirical papers, especially on policy and governance, that raise conceptual or moral issues relating to water. Also welcome are examinations of literature, art, and oral traditions that can inform our understanding the politics of water in Canada.
Description of Roundtable Series
Intergovernmental relations (IGR) impact virtually every aspect of public policy in Canada: from healthcare to economic development, social welfare to energy policy, indigenous relations to environmental regulation, and immigration to urban infrastructure. This critical role has kept IGR in the spotlight of Canadian political scientists for many years, with the focus largely on “apex” relationships among first ministers, and on major developments in social and economic policy sectors. Despite this attention, the extent and complexity of IGR have created a new challenge: understanding the dynamics of Canadian IGR has now escaped the reach of a single researcher or small research team focusing on distinct policy areas. Our goal in this series of roundtables is to bring together different perspectives to explore IGR across a wide range of policy sectors to build more systematic and comprehensive insights into the dynamics of relations and institutional configurations in Canada and beyond.
The series of roundtables focused on “Mapping and Assessing Intergovernmental Relations in Canada and Beyond” consists of five related sessions:
Participants of each roundtable will be asked to address two related themes in their respective areas of expertise:
As a whole, the series’ two-fold focus on mapping and assessing IGR across a wide set of policy fields (and with a comparative perspective) will help to build a more comprehensive understanding of the complex nature of relations and institutions, along with their impact on public policy. At the same time, bringing different perspectives together to focus on these two areas will facilitate discussion and reflection on the methods and practices best suited to carry out such mapping and assessment (i.e. theorizing more directly on how best to study IGR).