The preconference is a day of courses and workshops given by renowned international scholars for PhD Students and Early Career Scholars which take place the day before the conference (Tuesday 25th june 2019) on Concordia University Campus, Montreal. During the day, each participant can follow a full day course/Workshop or 2 half day course/worlkshop


The registration for the preconference must be done during the registration for the conference. The participant must have to select the option "Preconference" and indicate by order of preference (from 1 to 3) the full day  or the 2 half days courses or workshop he/she want to follow. As there is a limited number of seats available, we cannot guarantee that you will receive your first choice.


The Fees of the preconference is 100€ including the 2 half day course, the lunch and two coffee break. 





FULL DAY Course/Workshop on 'Objectivity and Subjectivity in Policy Research" by Amanda WOLF (Victoria University of Wellington)

Maximum number of students: 15

Scientific evidence (the ‘gold-standard’ for which is the randomised-control trial), analyses of big data or costs and benefits and actuarial models and other similar approaches occupy a privileged position in the policy decision-making environment due to arguments for the superiority of ‘objective’ methods. This course starts with a critical examination of that claim to privilege and exposes some often overlooked limitations and ambiguities associated with it. Yet even if subjectivity is inevitable, some hold that its exercise should be restricted to the political or decision-making process. Accordingly, the course next turns to a critical examination of subjectivity in policy research and the tensions researchers may experience when it comes to exercising their subjective judgement in an inhospitable environment. The prospective comparative case study exemplifies methodologically the interaction of subjectivity and objectivity in policy-relevant research. In this type of case work, a researcher uses existing policy experiences as ‘sources’ to develop hypothetical pictures of future improved outcomes in a ‘target’ situation to which lessons from the sources have been applied (Wolf & Baehler, 2018). The success of the method hinges on the researcher’s ability to judge what is relevant, to gain new ideas worth thinking further about, to integrate a wide range of their own and others’ experiences and so on. This method illustrates the subjective exercise of abduction and phronesis in research. Participants will workshop how their judgement is already, and could or should be, employed in their current research. Additional methods will be introduced according to participants’ interests.

Reference: Wolf, A., & Baehler, K., (2018). Learning transferable lessons from single cases in comparative policy analysis. Journal of Comparative Policy Analysis: Research and Practice, 20 (4), pp. 420–434


HALF DAY COURSE "An Introduction to the Narrative Policy Framework" by Michael JONES (Oregon State University), Elizabeth SHANAHAN (Montana State) and Thomas BIRKLAND (NC State)

Maximum number of students: 25

The Narrative Policy Framework (NPF) is a systematic approach to narrative policy analysis that allows both qualitative and quantitative methodologies. While developed only in 2010, the NPF has seen rapid adoption, appearing in academic journals such as Critical Policy Studies, Policy Sciences, the Policy Studies Journal, as well as being featured in Paul Sabatier’s and now Chris Weible’s classic Theories of the Policy Process, 3rd & 4th editions. This lecture offers a three-hour rendering of the NPF with the aim of providing students both breadth and depth sufficient to begin to apply the framework within their own research. Topics covered include an overview of the framework, experimental NPF applications, content analysis and the NPF, as well as qualitative methods and the NPF. The lecture culminates in an opportunity for students to actively engage some of the NPF’s commonly employed methodologies.


HALF DAY COURSE on "Policy Change: Populism as a Case of Tectonic Change?" by Leslie PAL (Carleton University)

Maximum number of students: 15

The turbulence of the last decade, particularly its manifestation in “populism,” has challenged many of our theories of policy-making and policy change, which typically rest on gradualist foundations. Agenda-setting takes place in an ordered way, even under the assumptions of the multiple streams approach. Analysis is driven by empirical evidence and (mostly) rational debate. Implementation is conducted by trusted state and non-state actors, according to principles of efficiency and feasibility. Populist movements, demands, and governments have up-ended normal policy-making: agendas are crowded with unexpected and (for many) unwelcome priorities; analysis is displaced by emotion and experts mocked; and state agencies and organs are deeply distrusted.

The workshop is organized around three themes. The first is populism itself as a phenomenon–what does it mean, what are its contours, and what challenges does it pose to “normal” policy-making in liberal democratic systems? The second is theories of policy change and how well they equip us to understand change that is tectonic, not incremental. The third is the impact of populism on policy making, both in terms of processes and agendas. Are the impacts visible, are they minor or major, and will they last?

Participants are encouraged to discuss their own work as it bears on any of these themes. They will be invited to submit short (100 word) abstracts for circulation before the workshop.



HALD DAY COURSE: Global Policy and Transnational Administration by Diane STONE (University of Canberra and University of Warwick) and Kim MALONEY (Murdoch University) 

This workshop provides a public administration and policy studies perspective on our emergent transnational public sector. One objective is to stretch public administration concepts familiar to the domestic space to understand the administrative life within transnationally-administered spaces. For example, this includes questions about the interaction of global public good with administrative sovereignty, administrative law, evaluation, and accountability. Another objective is to advance and extend the existing tool-box of policy concepts and theories into new domains of policy making beyond the state to consider:

  • the policy entrepreneurship of international associations;
  • the financing and delivery of public goods and services by global public-private partnerships,
  • the international policy coordination roles of trans-governmental networks,
  • the fast growing new breed of so-called ‘informal’ international organisations like the G20, and
  • the accountability, administrative law, and whistleblowing challenges of international organizations.

Participants in this half day workshop will develop a greater appreciation of how policy studies and public administration are moving away from foundations in ‘methodological nationalism’ to the development of approaches and conceptsthat capture the dynamics of the growing global public sector through incorporation of  ‘methodological transnationalism’ in our analysis.


HALF DAY COURSE on "The Politics of Policymaking, a Pragmatist Construcvist Approach" by Philippe ZITTOUN (Univ. Lyon)

The course proposed to examin the main research question, concepts and theory elements of a construcvist and pragmatist approach to study empirically the Policy Process. Inspired by Pragmatist Philosophy (Dewey, James), by Pragmatist Sociology (Boltanski, Latour) and by the linguistic Turn in Social Sciences, this approach proposes to observe the policymakers "in action" involved in the policy process to impose a policy solution in the policy process and to understand it as a political activities. This approach proposes to take into account the cognitive skill and the discursive capacity of the stakeholders and the policymakers not only to define a wicked problem but also  to transform it as treatable problem which can be solved and to match it to a policy solution. 

Ref. P. Zittoun, "The political process of Policymaking, a pragmatist approach on public policy"


HALF DAY METHODOLOGICAL WORKSHOP on "Qualitative Interview of Policymakers" by Philippe ZITTOUN

Max number: 12 students


This workshop proposes to discuss and to train participants to the art and craft of qualitative interview of Policymakers. After discussing on the epistemologic  and the methodological biaises of the Qualitiative Interview, the workshop proposes different practical exercices for participants to learn how to proceed. 

Ref. Becker Howard, Tricks of the Trade: How to Think about Your Research While You're Doing It, Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1998


HALF DAY COURSE on "Agenda Setting and Interest Groups" by Laura CHAQUES

This workshop provides a general overview of the current state of agenda setting theory. The first part of the session reviews the most influential approaches to the study of agenda setting, from the policy streams, punctuated equilibrium and policy advocacy coalition frameworks. The goal is to compare how these approaches explain agenda dynamics from a critical perspective. From here, the workshop explores the applicability of these approaches across political venues, countries, time and levels of governance. The last part of the workshop offers a general overview of the different methodological approaches to the study of agenda setting. The course is offered to Master and PhD students willing to develop agenda setting research.


HALF DAY COURSE on "Historical Institutionalist Approaches to Understanding Policy Development and Change" by Grace Skogstad

More information on teachers and courses coming soon.


HALF DAY COURSE on "Deliberative Policy Analysis and the Argumentative Turn"  by Frank FISCHER

More information coming soon


HALF DAY COURSE on "Political Sociology on Policymakers" by Patrick HASSENTEUFEL

More infromation coming soon



More information coming soon


HALF DAY COURSE by Giliberto Capano

More information coming soon



More information coming soon


More information on teachers and courses coming soon.




Registrations will be open as long as there are places available.


The Preconference registration fee is 100€. It includes two coffee breaks and one lunch. To register for the preconference, opt for this option when you register for ICPP4 (opening on January 15).


More information coming soon.