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19 · MAY · 2017

Call for Papers: Policy making in hard times. Workshop November 2017


Funding Association


The workshop aims to bring together scholars who are interested in policy-making processes in times of economic pressure. Constrained government budgets may impede policy expansion and instead promote policy dismantling and reform blockage. Moreover, economic pressure may stimulate attention shifts to economic and social issues while leaving other public problems largely disregarded. In consequence, economic hardship might provoke new (cross-policy) dynamics in decision-making processes which so far lacks systematic scientific attention. The workshop aims to contribute to this research gap by investigating how and to what extent conflicts between different public policy aims are resolved in times of economic pressure. Hereby, deregulation and the mechanism of policy compensation (expansion in one field and dismantling in another) are of particular relevance. Our main hypothesis is that both mechanisms play a crucial role in resolving trade-offs and conflicts between the different objectives of public governments. We are particularly interested in paper proposal on the regulation of environment, social and morality policies in Western Europe but open for other policy fields and geographical entities.

The most recent economic crisis in Europe and its aftershocks (2007-2013) offer a promising setup to examine the different political responses of countries being confronted with strong economic pressures, especially in Southern Europe. The workshop will bring together scholars who investigate the extent to which deregulation and policy compensation (dismantling versus expansion) actually occur and analyze the influence of both international and domestic factors affecting governments’ choice of crisis-coping strategies. This way, we not only learn more about the nexus between economic development and policy-making dynamics, but also about the circumstances under which deregulation and compensation (expansion versus dismantling) take place (e.g., leftwing governments, strength of organized interests, degree of devolution, etc.). In light of the above considerations, the central focus of the workshop is on policy compensation and deregulation as the “neglected” side of policy change and its societal and political consequences.

In this regard, three basic research questions are addressed:

  1. Empirical assessment: To what extent can we actually observe patterns of cross-policy compensation (expansion versus dismantling) and deregulation across different policies or policy fields, and how do these patterns vary among countries and across time?
  2. Explanation: How can we explain the patterns across Western Europe and from 2007 onwards?
  3. Consequences: Which societal and political consequences have these patterns of cross-policy compensation (expansion versus dismantling) and deregulation in Western Europe?

Qualitative, in-depth studies, but also comparative large n-studies, as well as theoretical work are welcome. Particular priority will be given to cross-policy comparisons. Promising papers are considered for a joint publication (either a Special Issue or an Edited Volume).

Please send us your paper proposals (up to 300 words) until July 15, 2017 (Email: policymaking@gsi.lmu.de). There is no conference fee for participants.


Institut Barcelona d’Estudis Internacionals (IBEI), Campus de la Ciutadella (UPF), Ramon Trias Fargas 25-27, 08005 Barcelona, Spain

Grants for travelling and accomodation

We have a considerable number of grants available for early-career scholars (i.e., Master students, PhD-students, PostDocs, Assistant Professors) from Southern-European countries (i.e., Spain, Italy, Portugal, Greece, Cyprus) and PhD-students and PostDocs from Germany. These grants will cover accommodation and travel costs up to about 500 € per person. Applications should include an abstract, a CV and a motivation letter (up to 1 page).

Mentoring Sessions

We will offer a mentoring session for early-career scholars. Please indicate in your application whether you are interested in participating in respectively contributing to the session.