CPN Conference 2023

CPN Conference 13-15th September 2023 - Nisokoros Island (Greece)

Governing in an Age of Multicrises: Policy Learning from Climate, Food, and Covid Politics

The conference

We are writing to announce an international conference on crisis and policy learning from climate, food, and covid politics. The conference will be hosted by the Critical Policy Studies Network/International Public Policy Association (IPPA) and the Agricultural and Food Policy Group at Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin. It will take place on the beautiful Greek island of Nisyros from lunchtime on the 13th of September in 2023 to the 15th.

The conference aims to provide an interactive space for researchers and practitioners to discuss research results, ideas, and experiences in the light of the current multiple crises or what has been called the Age of Multicrises. We invite presentations that cover a wide range of critical questions in politics and policy of the current crises. Topics for roundtables can be considered. The conference places special emphasis on the politics and policies of climate, food, and covid crisis, but can also include other crises—such as financial, migration, or humanitarian crises – if they offer a comparative perspective. Further, a number of theoretical perspectives on crisis and learning generally can be included. The organizers will seek to publish a selection of the contributions as a special issue of a leading referred journal.

The topic

In the last years, the world has experienced a rapid accumulation of intertwined crises emerging as the “new normal”. Climate shocks, food insecurity, and the covid pandemic have escalated into a global unprecedented crisis of daunting proportions. Political and policy implications of and responses to this crisis vary in quality and quantity. Most political initiatives and policy strategies that are emerging at (trans)national levels are lacking critical examination of the current emergencies. Society is in a state of heightened uncertainty while confronted with the challenges of technologization, digitalization, and innovation considered as causes and solutions of the crises. Political responses and policy recommendations are needed to move on from “business as usual”. The conference thus focuses on the need to rethink the human-environment relation and encourage transformations towards sustainability.


Contributions sought

The organizers invite scholars and practitioners from all disciplines and fields to present their research and discuss their work on the politics and policy of the current crises from a critical and interdisciplinary perspective. We invite presentations with an international, national, and regional focus that address at least one of the following questions:

• What are the political trends and triggers of the current crises?

• What are the crises’ implications for public policy?

• What are the public policy responses to the crises and to what degree are they successful?

• Is technocratic (de)politicization a cause and/or a product of the current crises?

• How does the crisis normalization resolve or intensify conflicts or create new ones?

• Do current crises constitute an opportunity for or a barrier to climate protection, food security, and covid recovery?

• What are the theoretical and conceptual perspectives on crisis and how can they inform the way we deal with the current crises?

• What are the conflicts between science and politics in dealing with crises and how can they be resolved?

How to participate

Should you be interested in giving a presentation of about 20-25 minutes, please send us an abstract of about 150 words by 15 March, 2023. We can consider a small number of roundtables. If you want to initiate one, please send us a short note that explains the suggested topic and, if possible, potential participants. The conference is based on attendance, but we might be able to consider a limited number of selected virtual presentations, to be determined at a later date. Presentations should describe and discuss the outline, content, and critical questions of an essay that can be written and submitted after the conference (deadline to be determined at a later point). Please send your contributions to maria.proestou@hu-berlin.de.

We will send notification of acceptance of your suggested presentation in early April 2023. Should you be interested in participating in the conference without presenting, please register by sending an email to maria.proestou@hu-berlin.de (kindly note that there might be a limit to the number of non-presenting participants). The conference charges a fee of 150 Euro for participation including accommodation, lunch, drinks, and snacks.

We look forward to hearing from you.

Maria Proestou and Frank Fischer


Conference Organizers

Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin and Critical Policy Studies Network

Conference Program

Day 1 – Wednesday, September 13th 


Welcome Address 

10:30-10:50 Christofis I. Koroneos, Mayor of Nisyros 


Introduction: Thinking about Crisis 

10:50-11:05 Defining Crisis: Definitions and Implications 

Frank Fischer, Humboldt-Universitaet zu Berlin, Germany 

11:05-11:20 Reflecting on Crisis: Conceptualizations and Perspectives 

Maria Proestou, Humboldt-Universitaet zu Berlin, Germany 

11:20-12:00 Crisis and the Political Imagination: Opening Critical Junctures 

Amanda Machin, University of Agder, Norway 

Coffee Break 12:00-12:15 


Financial Crisis 

12:20-13:00 Reflections on the Current Financial Crisis: Are We Entering a Period of Transformative Change? 

Tracy Carrier-Smith, Royal Roads University, Canada 

Lunch 13:00-14:05 

14:10-14:50 Policy Learning after the Great Financial Crisis: Doubling down on Speculation 

Christoph Scherrer, University of Kassel, Germany 

14:55-15:35 Governing in the crisis and through the crisis: How French government solve the subprime crisis 

Philippe Zittoun, University of Lyon, France 

Coffee Break 15:35-15:45 


Agricultural and Food Crisis 

15:50-16:30 Confronting the Food Crisis: Exploring the Role of Financialization and Digitalization in the Agri-food System for Sustainability and Policy Regulation 

Sarah Hackfort, Humboldt-Universitaet zu Berlin, Germany 

16:35-17:15 When Policy Learning Fails: The Well-Known Problems with Animal Farming and a Critical Analysis of the Solutions that Have Not Caught On 

Jerry Mitchell, The City University of New York, Baruch College, USA 

Cultural Evening: Traditional Nisyrian Festival and Dinner 20:00 


Day 2 – Thursday, September 14th 


10:30-11:10 Agricultural Crisis in Eastern Europe: Policy Learning Evidence from the Post-Soviet Experience 

Olga Gleichmann-Statnaia, Humboldt-Universitaet zu Berlin and Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Nuclear Safety and Consumer Protection, Germany 

11:15-11:55 Addressing food crises with environmentally controlled food production in urban areas. A comparative analysis of London, Nairobi and Singapore 

Victoria Dietze and Peter Feindt, Humboldt-Universitaet zu Berlin, Germany 


Climate Crisis 

12:00-12:40 Understanding responses to the climate crises through policy instruments: The case of Common Agricultural Policy post-2022 in Germany 

Pascal Grohmann, Humboldt-Universitaet zu Berlin, Germany 

Lunch 12:40-14:40 

15:00-15:40 An environmental state failing the climate crisis? The strange non-death of the ‘hydraulic mission’ in Germany 

Thomas Vogelpohl, Humboldt-Universitaet zu Berlin, Germany 

15:45-16:25 Conceptualizing the Idea of Crisis Networks: Climate-Related Crisis Networks as Illustration 

Carlos Brava, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel 

Coffee Break 16:25-16:40 

16:45-17:30 Panel Discussion: Climate Politics as Institutional Crisis: Strategies for Environmental Change and the Role of COPs 

Patricia Nemeth, United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, Bonn, Germany, with Frank Fischer and Maria Proestou 

Seaside Aperitif 18:30 

Dinner 19:30 


Day 3 – Friday, September 15th 


Covid Crisis 

9:45-10:25 Crisis Management and the Information Paradox: Policy Learning from Brexit and Covid to Climate 

Denis Fischbacher-Smith, University of Glasgow, Scotland, 

10:30-11:10 Earth Quake Disasters and the Empowerment of Local Women in Japan: Policy Lessons for Governing Covid 

Pobsook Chamchong and Piyapong Boossabong, Chiang Mai University, Thailand 

Coffee Break 11:10-11:25 


Migration Crisis 

11:30-12:10 How the "asylum crisis" was addressed in Germany in the early 1990s: Lessons for Policy Advice 

Hubert Heinelt, University of Darmstadt, Germany 

12:15-12:55 Matryoshka of the Crises: How refugees from the Mediterranean and Ukraine reveal global conflicts 

Achim Engelberg, Publicist and Author, Berlin 


Closing Address 

13:00-13:15 Frank Fischer and Maria Proestou, Humboldt-Universitaet zu Berlin, Germany 

Lunch 13:15 

Visit to the Volcano of Nisyros 17:00 


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