Responsive image


Pre-conference Courses/Workshops are open for Ph.D. candidates and early career researchers on June 26, 2023.

The pre-conference is a one-day event during which courses and workshops are given by renowned international scholars for Ph.D. Students and early career researchers. It takes place the day before the conference (Monday 26 June 2023) at Toronto Metropolitan University. Each participant can opt to follow a full-day course/workshop or 2 half-day courses/workshops.

Registration for the preconference is required to be done during the registration for the conference. The participant can select the option "Preconference" and indicate by order of preference (from 1 to 3) the full-day or the 2 half-day courses or workshops they want to follow. Since the number of participants in each course is limited, the allocation of courses will take place on a first-come, first-served basis, and the allocation of the first choice is not guaranteed.  




Brian Head (University of Queensland)

Wicked Problems in theory, research and practice - Session 1

This course intends to cover the theoretical, conceptual, research and practical aspects of wicked problems; how researchers can embrace and incorporate complexity and uncertainty into their research designs; how they can center applied policy research, partnerships and methods; and how using this approach to public policy research across a range of policy areas/examples can develop new insights and strategies for tackling wicked public policy problems. 

Maximum number of students: 15

Full day

Cheryl Teelucksingh (Toronto Metropolitan University)

Critical Race Theory: Implications for Policy Studies

Critical Race Theory is a way to understand how racism has shaped public policy and to uncover histories of discrimination in education, health care, and the media, to name a few institutions. This course will present the fundamental tenets of critical race theory and how they inform policy analyses and policy change drawing on the work of seminal essential race theorists such as Kimberely Crenshaw, Ibram X, Kendi, and Robin D’Angelo. The course will engage with the merits of some emerging international debates relating to the efficacy of critical race theory from a policy perspective, including debates about the role of government in bringing about equity and critical race theory’s focus on racial outcomes rather than intentionality and equal opportunity. Examples of critical race theory policy initiatives will be integrated into the workshop. 

Maximum number of students: 20

Half day

Hayden King (Toronto Metropolitan University)

Decolonizing Policy Studies?

This workshop invites students and early career scholars to a dialogue considering how the decolonial turn in the Social Sciences impacts Policy Studies, if at all. The workshop will begin with an outline Indigenous perspectives on policy research, conceptualization, analysis and advocacy, with the Yellowhead Institute as a case study, followed by brief presentations on similar examples from workshop participants. Following presentations, there will be a facilitated dialogue with three broad goals: 1) to assess the degree to which those working in the discipline(s) of Policy Studies are engaging with "decolonization", 2) to draw out principles of a general approach and/or method to decolonial Policy Studies, and, 3) to reflect on the opportunities and challenges for solidarity between non-Indigenous Policy Studies scholars and Indigenous communities. The workshop invites short presentation proposals from conference attendees, especially Indigenous students and early career scholars. They can be emailed to

Maximum number of students: 20

Half day

Richa Shivakoti | Anna Triandafyllidou (Toronto Metropolitan University)

Global Governance of Migration

Governing international migration is a complex issue as while sovereign states decide on their own immigration policies and there is no coherent UN-based multilateral framework regulating states’ responses to migration, there is also a wide range of institutions that co-exist at the bilateral, regional, inter-regional and multilateral levels, through both formal and informal structures, that states use for the global governance of migration. With the growing politicization of migration, states have recognized that they cannot address the challenges of migration without international cooperation.


This course introduces global governance mechanisms in place for various forms of migration and the challenges related to international cooperation. We begin by exploring the theoretical underpinnings for the global governance of migration and the norms and legal frameworks present. The course will then discuss the current inter-state cooperation mechanism in place including the global compacts. We will end the class by discussing various issues related to resilience and sustainability in global governance. The course will also include practical exercises where students will participate in solving various global migration governance issues via role playing.

Maximum number of students: 20

Half day

Philippe Zittoun (University of Lyon)

Qualitative Interview

This workshop proposes to discuss and train participants in the art and craft of qualitative interviews of Policymakers. After discussing the qualitative interview's epistemological and methodological biases, the workshop proposes different practical exercises for participants to learn how to proceed. 



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


 Zittoun Philippe (2021), « Interviewing in Public Administration” in  Encyclopedia of Public Administration, Oxford University Press


Maximum number of students: 12

Half day

Giliberto Capano (Università di Bologna)

Policy design in times of crises: theoretical and methodological challenges

We live in turbulent times, in which policy dynamics are characterized to be as highly variable, inconsistent, unexpected, and/or unpredictable. Thus policy-makers have to design policies under pressure, and often under the veil of ignorance (in terms of cause-effect relationship. How can they design robust policies under these persisting critical conditions? 

This workshop will focus  on this general theme by collectively discussing the following issues and  key concepts: 

  • Ambiguity and uncertainty: their impact on policy design 
  • The various dimensions of crises and their  impact on policy design 
  • Organizational and institutional solutions for guaranteeing policy robustness in turbulent times.

Maximum number of students: 15

Half day

Afternoon PROGRAM

Philippe Zittoun (University of Lyon) & Christopher Ansell (University of California) Patrick Hassenteufel (Université de Versailles Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines)

The politics of Policymaking: A pragmatist constructivist Approach

The course proposes to examine the main research question, concepts, and theory elements of a constructivist and pragmatist approach to study the Policy Process empirically. Inspired by Pragmatist Philosophy (Dewey, James), 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 activity. 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 a treatable problem that 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"

Maximum number of students: 15

Half day

Anna Durnová (University of Vienna)

Emotions and Public Policy analytical tools and concepts

This session will give insights into the manifold ways in public policy to approach emotions while focusing in the second part of the course on the interpretive analysis of emotions as a tool to understand policy processes. The course will outline the theoretical framework that enables such analysis and give an overview of its analytical techniques. The theoretical framework shows that, in public policy scholarship, addressing emotions has been linked to the analysis of knowledge. While interpretive approaches to policy studies have been prominently placed within such analysis of knowledge through language - including its various uses and the structural and power biases that such use implies - they have omitted the role of emotions. Through various examples, the course will show how emotions can, and should, be included in the analysis of knowledge in public policy because they inform and structure policies through meanings actors accord them by expressing, e.g., fear, joy, anger, pride, shame, disgust, or rage. Through these meanings, emotions are categorized in ‘acceptable/legitimate’ or ‘unacceptable/illegitimate’ elements of concrete standpoints and actions and, thus, affect who has a voice and how that voice impacts particular policy debates/policy conflicts. This means interpreting (1) when ‘emotions’ are mentioned, (2) who mentioned them, and (3) what specific rhetorical devices are used to describe them. I will conclude by providing further illustrative examples of how such analysis of emotions can be designed and conducted as a part of research projects.

Maximum number of students: 15

Half day

Michelle Morais de Sa e Silva (University of Oklahama) & Osmany Porto de Oliveira (Federal University of São Paulo)

Transnational Policy Transfers and Development Cooperation

As policies travel beyond national borders, the public policy literature has sought to better understand the processes, motivations, obstacles, agents, and arenas involved in policy transfer. In Global South countries, policy transfer has been often intertwined with projects of international development cooperation, be it at the bilateral, multilateral, or civil society levels. Dynamics of solidarity and conditionality arouse, promoting policy circulation in different ways. Resistance to the adoption of imposed models was often used as a strategy by social movements. Often policies are labelled as ‘best practices’ and globalized as if one size fits all. Drawing on different cases of policies circulating from/to the Global South and a new generation of policy transfer studies, this course will engage participants with the growing debates over policy dynamics that constitute what the instructors have termed the “transnational policy process”. 

Maximum number of students: 15

Half day

Zsolt Boda (Centre for Social Sciences)

Conceptualizing populism in policy making

The fact that populist parties and leaders came into power both at the national and subnational levels even in established democracies offers a novel opportunity to study the practice of their governance and policy making in comparison to the business-as-usual of liberal democracies. Although populism scholars claim that there is no such thing as populist policy, given the malleable and ideologically multifaceted character of populism, it might be possible the reconstruct the ideal type of populist policy making even in terms of its substantive (content-related) components. Indeed, prioritizing some policy fields over others is not necessarily a characteristic feature of populist governance, but frequent policy innovations as well as large policy changes may be. Populism manifests itself even more clearly in terms of the procedures and the discourses of policy making.  The course aims at exploring the main patterns of populist policy making along the dimensions of policy content, policy procedures and policy discourses. This exercise helps also to reflect upon the sometime hidden assumptions concerning the mainstream models of policy making and their limitations explaining governance styles which differ from the policy making of liberal democracies. The course will adopt an ideal-typical approach, but will rely on empirical evidences concerning the governance of populist governments. Participants are welcome to bring in their own work as it bears on any of these themes.


Reference: Bartha, A.; Boda, Z.; Szikra, D. (2020). When Populist Leaders Govern. Conceptualizing Populism in Policy Making, Politics and Governance, 8 (3), 71-81. DOI: 10.17645/pag.v8i3.2922

Maximum number of students: 15

Half day

Hamid E. Ali (Doha Institute for Graduate Studies)

Globalization and Sustainable Development

Globalization is one of the defining features of the contemporary world, but there is considerable controversy regarding its nature, impact, and future trends. This workshop will seek to integrate debates about globalization and development at the onset of the 21st century. The course will be weaving in the sustainable development goals to contextualize and frame policy debate.  Our analytical approach will be to study globalization through the lens of diverse global regions and will explore models and cases of economic growth and development, North-South trade, economic stabilization, and development finance.


In addition, we overview emerging issues reshaping development on a global level and the changing patterns of global migration of labor and capital, trade flows, the influence of technology, the role of conflict in development, and global phenomena such as global warming.  There will be a particular reference to problems of debt and financial crisis, income inequality, peace economics, and the effects of globalization on prospects for stable development.

Maximum number of students: 15

Half day

David Aubin (Université Catholique de Louvain)

Advising the policy process

Decision-making relies on multiple sources of information and opinions that emanate both from public organizations at different levels of power and from civil society. This set of policy advice providers constitutes the policy advisory system (Halligan, 1995). Policy advice provides the merits of policy options and their potential to deliver the desired outcomes.

The lecture will present and establish a dialogue between four streams of literature which study of the relationships between advice-givers and the decision-makers in the policy process: Policy advisory systems (Craft and Wilder, 2017), knowledge utilization (Boswell, 2008), policy work (Colebatch and Hoppe, 2018) and ministerial advisors within the executive triangle (Shaw et Eichbaum, 2018). It will invite students to reflect on further theorization in this specific field of policy analysis.

Maximum number of students: 15

Half day


The Preconference registration fee is 100€. It includes two coffee breaks and one lunch on the day of the pre-conference. To register for the preconference, make sure to choose this option during your registration for the ICPP6.


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

We use cookies to ensure the proper functioning of our website and some tracking statistics (Learn more).