Welcome to the WPR Network!
Hello and welcome to the #WPRnetwork - an international network of scholars from a broad range of disciplines who are using Carol Bacchi's "What's the Problem Represented to be?" (WPR) approach to policy analysis. Here you can find information about past events, resources and links which may be of interest.
WPR SYMPOSIUM ON CRITICAL POLICY STUDIES – EXPLORING THE PREMISES AND POLITICS OF CAROL BACCHI’S WPR APPROACH
17-18 AUGUST 2022, KARLSTAD UNIVERSITY, SWEDEN
The Symposium was hosted by the research group Critical Studies on Power and Politics (led by Professor Malin Rönnblom) at the Department of Political, Historical, Religious and Cultural Studies, Karlstad University and funded by the Riksbankens Jubileumsfond. The main objective of the Symposium was to open channels of communication among researchers engaged with the WPR approach, bring to light the types of analyses being produced and to encourage further collaboration among WPR scholars.
The Book of Abstracts gives an indication of the range of WPR scholarship being carried out worldwide. The Conference Program included keynotes from Professor Emerita Carol Bacchi, University of Adelaide and Professor Elisabeth Prügl, The Graduate Institute, Geneva, as well as a Workshop delivered by Dave Bell from the Scottish Policy and Research Exchange and Laura Bea from the UK's Universities Policy Engagement Network.
In Carol Bacchi's keynote, "The WPR approach: Key premises and new developments," Carol reflects on the evolution of the approach over the years.
The Symposium format was to hold "paper sessions" where participants gathered in smaller groups and gave feedback on one another's work. This was a new format for many participants, especially those outside Scandinavia: Traditional conference presentations involve participants presenting their work to a group with a powerpoint and then answering questions from the assembled public. Paper sessions are a little different, with the main aim being to give authors feedback on papers in progress. We gathered in smaller groups to enable a more in depth discussion of each paper. Authors did not give presentations on their work as such (no powerpoints!), but instead engaged in discussion about their work with the others in their Paper Session. Each paper was allocated 30 minutes for comments and discussion, and during the final paper session there was time for a general discussion of the session overall, which was then fed back to the main group in the closing session. All participants were asked to read all the papers in their group and prepare questions and comments on each paper, although were assigned a commentator role on one another paper. The format was as follows:
Possible book publication
The organisers are considering publishing a book after the conference of selected papers. The form of this book is still under consideration, but is likely to showcase a range of WPR applications as well as engage with some theoretical issues in relation to the approach. If you would be interested in contributing to such a work, please let Malin Rönnblom know (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Resources from the Symposium ‘Kick-Off’ in 2021
A ‘Kick-Off’ event was held on 13 October 2021 and attended by some 50 scholars from around the world. The purpose of the kick-off was to discuss themes for the Symposium and become acquainted with others interested in WPR. Here are the links to:
For any questions on the content of the symposium, please contact Professor Malin Rönnblom, email@example.com.
In the menu to the right (under "Documents") you can also find a Select Reference List on WPR applications (as well as a supplement), compiled by Carol Bacchi and Anne Wilson. If you are aware of WPR applications that ought to be on the list, please send the details and a pdf (if possible) to: firstname.lastname@example.org
More information on the WPR approach can be found at Carol Bacchi’s webpage: