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Milan Plenary Session

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Plenary Session 1 : What does public policy do with different disciplines ?

Wednesday, July 1st 2015, 10h15-12h30, Teatro Dal Verme

Chair: Giliberto Capano, Scola Normale superior, Florence



  • Akhil Gupta, UCLA, Anthropology
  • Patrick Le Gales, CEE-Science Po Paris-CNRS, Sociology and Political Science
  • Vivien Schmidt, Boston University, Political Science and International Relations
  • Alessandro Balducci, Polytechnico de Milan, Planning
  • Mark Bevir, University of California, Berkeley, Philosophy
  • Michael Plummer, SAIS Europe, Bologne, Economy

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.


Plenary Session 2 : Keynote Speaker :Helen M. Ingram

Thursday, July 2nd, 10h45 - 13h, Teatro Dal Verme

Chair : Guy Peters, University of Pittsburgh,

Discussant: Luigi Bobbio, Università degli Studi di Torino, Italy

"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 ?



Plenary Session 3a : Public Policy Studies: Origins and Evolution of the Field

Friday, July 3rd, 14.15 - 16.30 , Gemelli Aula Magna

Chair : Frank Fischer, Rutgers Univeristy,


  • Beryl Radin, Georgetown University
  • Grace Skogstad, University of Toronto, Canada
  • Wayne Parsons, University of Cardiff
  • Bruno Dente, Politechnico de Milan
  • Bryan D. Jones, Texas University

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.


Plenary Session 3b : Teaching and School of Public Policy

Chair : Michael Howlett, Simon Fraser Univeristy, NUS

Friday, July 3rd, 14.15 - 16.30 , Gemelli 024



  • John T.S. Keeler, University of Pittsburgh
  • Roberto Zoboli, Catholic University of Milan
  • Carsten Daugbjerg, Australian National University
  • Chistine Rothmayr Allison, University of Montreal

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.


Plenary Session 3c : Academic and Practitioners, Opposed or complimentary ?

Friday, July 3rd, 14.15 - 16.30 , Gemelli 022

Chair : Alessandro Colombo, Éupolis Lombardia,


  • Robert Hoppe, University of Twente
  • Giuseppe Guzzetti, Fondazione Cariplo,
  • Fabrizio Barca, Ministry of Economy and Finance (IT)
  • Leslie Pal, Carleton University
  • Raffaele Cattaneo, President of Lombardy Regional Council

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.


Plenary Session 4 : Feeding the world, a multi-dimensional public-policy challenge

Saturday, July 4th, 10.45 - 13.00 , Gemelli Aula Magna


Chair : Eve Fouilleux, CEPEL-University of Montpellier, CNRS and CIRAD



  • Stewart Lockie, Cairns Institute, James Cook University
  • Renato Maluf, Universidade Federal Rural do Rio de Janeiro
  • Ward Anseeuw, CIRAD, University of Pretoria
  • Nora McKeon, Rome Three University, Formerly UN/FAO

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.

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