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Philippe Zittoun's Course

Philippe Zittoun (University of Lyon)


Philippe Zittoun is a Research Professor of political science at the LAET-ENTPE of the University of Lyon and the Secretary General of the International Public Policy Association (IPPA). He is co-editor of the International Series on Public Policy for Palgrave-McMillan and serves on the Editorial Board of many scientific journals (Critical Policy Studies, Journal of Comparative Policy Analysis, Policy Studies Journal, Policy and Society, Policy Research Journal, etc.). He has been a visiting Professor at Yale University and has given lectures at different universities around the World. He has published 11 books and a large number of articles. His most recent books include “The politics of meaning struggles. Shale Gas Policy under Pressure in France” (with Sebastien Chailleux, 2022, Elgar), “The Political Formulation of Policy Solution” (with Frank Fischer, Nikolaos Zahariadis, 2021, BUP), "The Political Process of Policymaking, a pragmatic approach to public policy" (Palgrave 2014), "The Contemporary Approaches to Public Policy: Theories, Controversies, and Perspectives" (Palgrave, 2016) (with Guy Peters), etc. His studies focus on a constructivist and pragmatist approach to policymaking with a specific attention to the political dimension, the role of expertise and the meaning struggles developed in the multiple hidden arena during all the process. 


Course: Studying Policy Process with Constructivist, Pragmatic and Qualitative Approaches


This course focuses on how to study Policy Processes by mobilizing different qualitative perspectives, from Constructivist to Pragmatic Approaches. Its main objective is to identify and discuss how we can empirically and methodologically grasp the policy process by observing and defining the struggles around the problem and also around the meaning of proposed solutions. Special attention will be paid to the building of coalitions, existing powerful dimensions, and the solutions to the different challenges encountered along their path. Why do some solutions manage to make it to the decision-making process whereas others fail? Under what conditions and at what price do solutions make it to the solution agenda? How do some actors succeed in "domesticating" "wicked" problems? First, this course will explore the career of a public problem, from emergence to agenda-setting.

Second, it will explore the career of the proposal as it passes through different areas such as bureaucracy, the advice system, and the political arena. Policy problems and solutions will be observed on the basis of three games: the game of language where a statement takes on meaning and becomes a problem/solution, the game of actors where this definition is stabilized through coalition building, and the game of power through the formation of multiple levels of power. The course will draw on the studies undertaken by key authors in the field and will explore how they perceive the political dimension in the policy process. It will also propose different concepts and approaches to help grasp the policy process from a different perspective.



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