Public policy is now an autonomous discipline, with its own vocabulary, dimensions and analytical categories. But it cannot avoid to interact with other academic disciplines and very often Public Policy borrows concepts or framework from the “mother-disciplines” or the “older sisters” or develops a multi-disciplinary approach. Since the foundation, public policy has grown up by focusing around the following dimensions: the policy orientation (politics is not just about elections, political parties, and public institutions’ behaviour) the attention to policy dynamics (the process can make the difference); the craft of problem solving.
"The elephant in the corner is the wounded and sagging figure of democracy, but public policy scholars appear not to see it. The voices of the privileged, well-regarded citizens are loud and influential, while ordinary citizens barely speak with a whisper that is lost on the ears of inattentive policy-makers. The public policies that emerge from and reinforce such uneven participation and representation perpetuate inequality. Yet, few public policy studies even mention democracy and certainly do not use it as criteria for evaluation. How has it happened that the study of public policy has flourished, and yet the critical issue of policy implications for democracy is unnoticed ?
This plenary panel examines the origins and evolution of the field of policy studies, both from the perspective of policy analysis and the policymaking process. The assessment of policy analysis focuses on the long-standing but often evasive effort to supply policy decision-makers with usable knowledge. Toward this end, the discussion will examine the relationship of quantitative and qualitative approaches, including the role of interpretation. With respect to policymaking, the panelists will explore the efforts to develop an explanatory theory of the policy process, including the funnel of causality, the stages model, the punctuated equilibrium approach, the multiples streams framework, institutional rational choice approach and the theory of advocacy coalition framework, in an effort to sort out both what has been accomplished and the nature of challenges that remain. Especially important, in this regard, is the degree to which these theories succeed in explaining policy change.
This panel will explore the state of Schools of Public Policy worldwide and developments in the paedagogy of public policy in the university. It will look at how Schools of Public Policy have developed a spread worldwide, their similarities and differences, and the problems they face in promoting high quality research and teaching. The panel will examine both conceptual and structural issues related to these organizations including paedagog questions such as the role and weight of policy theory and practice given in policy courses and programmes, the use of regular versus case study methods in the classroom, concerns with existing coverage, scope and structure of public policy programmes and instructions and also the current and future role of instructional technologies. Participants will share their experiences and thoughts on these subjects in a roundtable format leaving most of the time for an interactive discussion with audience members.
This session explores the boundaries and connections between public policy as an object of scientific research and public policy as an activity. Academics study policies to support policymakers, while practitioners need scientific support to know evidence about how things are done or should be done. And yet, while evidence-based-policy should have come to an age, the two realms do not often collaborate and, rather, risk being insulated from each other. This is actually an old issue: "there is nothing a government hates more than being well informed" (J.M. Keynes, 1937). Prominent experts from both academic and policymaking fields are going to explore mutual understandings – and misunderstandings – between research and practice, on both epistemological and pragmatic dimensions.
With the support of Institut Français Italia
Feeding the world is a multi-dimensional policy challenge. Despite the fact that the amount of food available at the global scale exceeded the daily intake requirement for a working man in 1981, and has constantly increased since then, 805 million people were still suffering chronic hunger and malnutrition in 2013, most of them in developing countries (FAO, 2014). At the same time, 1300 million people suffer from obesity, both in developing and developed countries (WHO, 2012). Additionally, the dominant way in which food is produced has been confronted with both social and environmental crises worldwide which call for renewed production models.