Conference: 7th International Conference in Interpretive Policy Analysis (IPA) 2012, 5-7 July Understanding the Drama of Democracy. Policy Work, Power and Transformation
Upholding the Latourian call to follow the actors, this panel focuses on policy advisers and consultants in international politics. In particular, we invite papers that focus on consultants working in international development; as part of international co-operations beyond the formal, regional and economic boundaries - such as developed country policy consultants or international organisations’ consultants who act as experts for the political institutions of the developing countries.
Policy advise, in its contemporary bureaucratic forms, transcends national boundaries in many different institutional arrangements. In the current globalized liberal democratic experience of developing countries, policy advise - originating from advanced developed countries - can vary from prescriptive conditions to strategic liaisons. A number of studies over the last decades have examined these interrelations especially with regards to development aid and economic expansionism and their underlying power dynamics. These studies often focused on hegemony, dependence, structural and agential changes that are inherent in these interrelations from the macro analytical lens of institutions and expertise. However, there is a dearth of attention on the practices of policy advisers or consultants themselves: on how they achieve these so-called effects that have multifarious implications on the democratic process of sovereign states on one hand, and perpetuation of international power equations on the other.
Besides the formal platforms of cooperation between the states, transterritorial consultancy is becoming ubiquitous in emergent international forms of governance. Since policy advise is entangled with diverse political interests of all involved parties, this opens up a number of sites of observing global politics. For instance, the everyday practices of climate change adaptation and mitigation consultancies rendered to developing countries by different EU member state organizations may explicate varied concerns about international climate politics, including that of international strategic alliances, market requirements of emission reduction, visions of sustainability etc. By observing the everyday practices of consultants on how they enact their duties layered with varying interests, and the mechanisms through which individual and institutional actors assess the stability or success of their actions, we hope to open the blackbox of micropolitics of policy advise. We infer that the studies on policy advisers in the emergent global regimes in environmental, health and poverty alleviation issues are significant to understand and intervene in the current processes of globalization.
This panel is an exploratory endeavour to gather researchers, who are interested in studying the agency of policy advisers. We seek papers that are dealing with policy advisers in international settings, especially of those looking at international consultancies and organizations, who offer their services to states and other democratic bodies. The panel is intended to be a platform to discuss theoretically sound empirical cases, field observations as well as ideas for future research. Presentations drawing insights from interdisciplinary orientations, especially from Science, Technology and Society Studies (STS), Cultural and Political Anthropology, Political Ecology, Feminist and Critical persuasions are welcome.
Timeline: Please submit paper proposals between 15th Dec 2011 and 31th Jan 2012 at http://event.globe-view.com/event/wvDhkJP4ln/panel/276/. For any questions, please contact us at policy-advise (at) ems-research.org