This year the conference hosts ten workshops, covering different aspects of the political science research field. Here you find information about them as well as contact details for the researchers responsible for each of the workshops. Please note the description below for how to submit an abstract.
To submit an abstract for a workshop in which you wish to participate follow the link posted under that particular workshop. Clicking on the link will open a new email window with the address and subject fields already filled out. Please leave these as they are. You do not have to write anything in the email, however, you must attach a document containing your abstract and the following information:
- Name of author (if you are more than one author please state clearly who of you that are planning to participate)
- Affiliation (university, institute etc.)
- Title of your paper
- Your abstract (the workshop descriptions may specify more instruction, however, if nothing else is noted this should be about 300 words)
If you wish to participate in a workshop without presenting a paper you can write a message directly in the email and state your intention.
If you have questions regarding the topic and content of a particular workshop please contact the researchers listed as workshop chairs below. If you have questions of more technical concerns, such as how to submit your abstract or participation more generally please contact one of the conference organisers. Contact details for the organisers can be found in the right column of this page.
Collaborative Governance and Innovation
Increasing frequency of social, political and economic crises along with reactions to NPM failures during the past decades has resulted in new approaches towards collective policy action that may all be subsumed under a concept of governance, especially in collaborative arrangements. The concept of networked governance in the sense that multiple actors share resources in order to formulate or implement policy, produce or deliver a public good is not new (Kooiman, 2003; Rhodes, 2000; Whilborg, 2015). This has been a response to the fact that many contemporary social problems are “wicked” in the sense that they are difficult to define, they are multi-causal and without a clear solution but with the possibility of externalities, involving a multitude of actors (Peters, 2015). As such, dealing with them requires increased levels of coordination, which according to Peters is a fundamental policy problem in itself (2015). When it comes to coordination, network arrangements are an advantage, but the challenge for the practitioners is to operate and cultivate the networked linkages without prioritizing them at the cost of their home organization (Peters, 1998). Increasingly, informal interorganizational arrangements have been giving way to formalized networked structures tasked with producing a collaborative delivery of services or service innovation.
Despite the lack of consensus in the literature, collaboration indicates a more involved level of collective action than cooperation or coordination, and can be defined as
“… a process in which autonomous actors interact through formal and informal negotiation, jointly creating rules and structures governing their relationships and ways to act or decide on the issues that brought them together; it is process involving shared norms and mutually beneficial interactions.” (Thompson, 2001 quoted in Thompson and Perry, 2006, p. 23).
We see governance as decentred and meaningful activity of diverse agents within historically contingent contexts (Bevir, 2013). On the part of public actors innovations in governance may imply distancing themselves from overly risk aversion and legalisation of contractual relationships as NPM practices (Christensen & Lœgereid, 2007). We seek to explore governance practices through ways that bring attention to actors and their strategies as they relate to new patterns of decision making and implementation including resistance to dominant governance models and innovations: conceptual, policy, service, service delivery, organisational or systemic to follow Windrum’s (2008) taxonomy.
Here we are especially interested in identifying and exploring variety of (collaborative) governance expressions, new norms and behaviours in intersection between state and civil society that may enlighten modern theory of (decentred) governance. We encourage, in line with Bevir and the theory of decentred governance, contributions exploring the ways in which local actors have interpreted the dominant discourses and policies, responded to them or resisted the intentions of the elites and forged their own practices of (collaborative) governance.
We seek, in part, to answer the following questions:
- What are the divergent and innovative patterns in governance, and more specifically public service design and delivery? What are their added value or effects?
- When are collaborations meaningful for each individual (organization) actor? What helps sustain collaborations?
- Is state hollowing out or retaining its governance via new forms of meta-governance?
We welcome papers that address environmental issues, climate politics, natural resource use and sustainability. Environmental politics is essentially about achieving a more sustainable society and is thus a nexus of issues that provoke a large variety of questions relevant to the field of political science. These questions can be studied by several sub-fields within the discipline, such as public administration, political theory, political economy and international relations. The papers can deal with issues like, for instance, democracy, participation, legitimacy, equity, power, the role of experts, diplomacy or social movements. The working group on environmental politics seeks to attract researchers with different theoretical, methodological and empirical approaches in order to achieve stimulating discussions on a wide variety of issues. Thus, we are keen on including a diversity theoretical perspectives – including critical and normative approaches – and empirical objects of study across local, national and international politics. Contributions can be written in both English and Swedish and the workshop will be held in English if non-Swedish speakers attend.
The European Union and the Challenges of a Transforming World Order
SWEPSA has, since a number of years, a standing workshop on the European Union (EU) and European politics. The workshop constitutes an opportunity for scholars active in research on European affairs to discuss recent developments in the field.
The field of EU studies is characterized by a number of academic sub-disciplines, such as comparative politics, international relations, public administration and political theory with an empirical focus on European politics and the EU. Recently, advances in the field include a re-evaluation of traditional integration theories, a focus on an intergovernmental turn in the EU’s executive, the emergence of EU-sceptical and nationalistic political parties, and challenges to European economic and monetary governance. Also the comparative perspective on the EU’s political system, the power and function of individual institutions as well as its procedures for democratic representation and governance is preeminent among EU scholars. In particular, the dramatic migration crisis, the drawn-out euro crisis, increased geopolitical tensions in and beyond Europe and “Brexit” are challenging the foundations of the EU system and eroding the trust among EU member states and European citizens. Adding to this, recent developments suggest that the foundations of the entire liberal global order – such as open trading regimes, human rights and the rule of law – are subject to severe stress, not least due to the policies pursued by the current U.S. administration under President Donald J. Trump.
The organizers welcome papers with a focus on European politics in a broad sense, which may include research on European integration, the EU’s political system, its institutions and policies, as well as the domestic politics of EU member states from a wide range of theoretical, methodological and empirical approaches. Also papers from a broader perspective on identity, culture and external relations such as the EU’s neighbourhood are welcome. We particularly welcome papers that address the EU's response to the challenges of a transforming world order and what this entails for the future of European integration.
Gender and Politics: Power, Knowledge and Democracy
Contemporary political landscapes and power-knowledge formations are rapidly changing. Year 2017 was by many expected to be the first year with a female president of the US but instead became a year when scholars over the world gather and mobilise to discuss and defend the status, role and terms of research and scientific expertise under perceived populist pressure. The role of science and expertise in politics and policy processes has been put into question, regarding the validity of research and expertise on climate change, economic policy and constitutional law.
In the legacy of feminist political scholarship, the practice and study of politics has been theorised and analysed as intimately related. Concepts, categories, methodologies and theories informing political analysis has been problematized, challenged and further developed. Research on gender and politics has looked at a range of themes, using a diversity of approaches: including women in current categories and analyses of political science; broadening the notion of politics and examined political activities in arenas traditionally seen as outside the scope and domain of political science; analysed gender as an structure of social organization; and broadening the ambition and scope of analysis through intersectional perspectives, including women of color, postcolonial feminists approaches and LGBTQ scholarship (Celis, Kantola, Waylen & Weldon, 2013).
This call for workshop contributions takes the rapid political changes of the 21th century as well as the legacies and future contributions from gender and feminist scholarship as point of departure. We welcome a broad range of theoretical, methodological and empirical contributions and reflections on gender and politics from participants that wish to gather and discuss the present status, achievements and challenges of doing gender and politics research, the gendered nature of science, politics and political institutions as well as public and/or activist groups efforts to increase equality in society.
As indicated by the theme for this conference, the last couple of years have been marked by a number of changes, transformations and shifts that profoundly challenges established understandings of politics in general, and (possibly) international politics in particular. The aftermath of the financial breakdown of 2008 still plagues many countries throughout the world and armed conflicts contribute to an increasingly desperate and steady stream of refugees that find themselves displaced, both within their own countries, and as immigrants in nations all around the globe. Meanwhile, tensions arise in the European Union as the United Kingdom is getting ready to exit and Donald Trumps new 'America first' policy is already disrupting established international orders. All of these events (and others) underscores with emphasis the continuing need for international political analysis in a time that often is articulated as 'global'. Therefore, this workshop seek to provide an arena for scholars interested in what we broadly conceptualise as 'international politics'.
The study of international politics is a vast research field encompassing several distinct academic disciplines, theoretical positions and ways of formulating problems. In other words, it cannot be defined simply by asking what methods that are utilized or by asking what empirical domain that is being addressed. Consequently, this call for papers intentionally aims to keep this workshop broad and open to the diversity of approaches that study international politics. Thus, we welcome papers that include, but are not limited to, themes or topics such as: space, territory, globalization, global development, peace and conflict, foreign policy analysis (FPA), international political economy (IPE), human rights, international security studies and intelligence studies. Moreover, papers that deal with theoretical or methodological development in relation to this broad conceptualisation of international politics are as welcome as more empirically oriented case studies.
The papers can be written in English or Swedish, however, the default workshop language will be English as long as the presenting authors are not all Swedish. Your submitted abstract should include your contact details and a title of your paper accompanied by roughly 300 words that describes its content.
Andreas Öjehag-Pettersson, Karlstads universitet, email@example.com
Competition and Marketization in Public Administration
The interest of this workshop revolves around the marketization of the public sector that has developed since the early 1980:s, a development that has led to the implementation of market inspired solutions in the organization and governance of municipalities and regions. For political scientists, this process – that has increased in intensity and scope during the last decade – raises a number of questions, for example: How does marketization impact the democratic and political governing of welfare areas such as school and healthcare? In these forms of governing, what perceptions of central welfare actors in welfare emerge, e.g. the citizen, the administration and the professional?
We welcome both empirical and theoretical papers that relates to these issues, comparative ambitions are particularly appreciated. We welcome full papers as well as short and more spontaneous thought papers.
Critical Studies of Power and Discourse
During the last thirty years, we have seen an increasing transformation of the contents and forms of politics. Looser forms of organising politics, often characterised in terms of governance, as well as new actors, not least market actors, entering the political scene have also had an impact on the content of politics. These changes challenge not only how we understand politics but also how we analyse central problems in political science, like power and power relations. Power is both a central and a complex concept, and the way we understand how power is used and how power should be analysed depart from different ontological and epistemological positions. Some studies depart from a post-structural understanding of power where power is regarded as relational and productive, and where relations between power, knowledge and the production of truth is seen as central. Other studies depart from a more classical understanding of power, where power is analysed in terms of resources and dominance and where an important discussion is the one between formal and informal power. A common trait for critical studies on power is that there is an analytical emphasis on creating a distance between political problems articulated in and by the political order, and a theoretically informed scrutiny of political processes. This position is regarded as of special importance in a time where the demands on researcher do deliver “the right answers” in order to be “politically useful” is becoming more and more common.
The organisers welcome contributions with empirical or theoretical focus, as well as contributions with the ambition to develop analytical and/or methodological approaches to the studies of new forms and expressions of politics where critical studies of power as well as of ideology is used. Contributions can be written in either English or Swedish. The workshop will be held in English if non-Swedish-speakers attend.
Political Behaviour and Parties
Research on voters, advocacy groups, political parties and representatives is based on a multitude of theoretical and methodological perspectives. A number of topics have been covered within this field, such as issues of vote choice in elections, political participation, social movement activism, collective action among citizens, political recruitment and representation, political leadership, responsiveness, legislative behavior, political parties' goals and organization, party competition, and government formation and policy-making within multiparty governments. The overall aim of this workshop is to gather researchers interested in such issues. We are particularly interested in contributions that combine and draw on different research fields and geographical regions. We welcome contributions with a wide range of theoretical perspectives and research methods within the overall theme of political behavior and political parties. We especially encourage innovative research designs and data collections, ranging from large scale data, experiments, in-depth case studies, to ethnographic field work. We also welcome purely theoretical papers. The workshop welcomes submissions from junior as well as established scholars who are interested in the topics outlined. Contributions can be written in either English or Swedish. The workshop will be held in English if non-Swedish-speakers attend.
Political Theory, Political Ideologies and Political Language
The SWEPSA workshop for Political theory, political ideologies and political language is open to submissions from all varieties of political theory and political philosophy, including normative political theory, the history of political thought, theoretical engagements with problems in contemporary politics and public policy and reflection on fundamental political concepts, methods and phenomena. We also welcomes theoretical or empirical papers on new or old political ideologies or political discourses, as well as investigations into political language. The circulated texts can be in Swedish or English, and the working language of the workshop is Swedish unless the paper-giver wishes to discuss his or her paper in some other language.
Urban and Regional Politics
The contemporary - and often perceived as unstoppable - process of urbanization is renegotiating the conditions for politics and governing. New political challenges and conflicts emerge in the trails of urbanization, and they desperately call for political analysis. For instance, in city areas we see complex issues of housing, patterns of segregation as well as challenges of inclusion and exclusion in the urban development more generally. Meanwhile, we see issues connected to changing urban-rural dynamics that concerns equality, centralization of welfare provision and new conditions for political mobilization.
This workshop welcomes contributions that takes an empirical or theoretical interest in discussions related to the urban and/or the regional. Examples can be urban or regional development, the governing of cities or regions, urban-rural relations, sub-national citizenship, mobility or the political dimensions of urbanization.