Governance and Beyond

Knowledge, Technology and Communication in a Globalizing World

Interpretive approaches to research and analysis—methodologies and methods concerned with situated meaning(s), historical context(s), and the importance of human subjectivity—are experiencing renewed interest and revitalisation in the social sciences broadly. They constitute the basic cornerstone of a critical approach to policy analysis which challenges the positivism and scientism that still characterize much policy analytic research.

Following on successful meetings in Birmingham, Amsterdam, Essex, Kassel, Grenoble, Cardiff, Tilburg and Vienna, the 9th International Conference in Interpretive Policy Analysis will be held in Wageningen, the Netherlands, hosted by several research groups at Wageningen University. The theme for the meeting is “Governance and beyond: Knowledge, technology and communication in a globalizing world.”

Keynote speakers
We are delighted to announce the following confirmed keynote speakers:

Silvio Funtowicz
Professor, Centre for the Study of the Sciences and the Humanities, University of Bergen, Norway.
Title: "Is the Internet to Science what the Gutenberg press was to the Church? Collapsing the monopoly on knowledge"

Tania Li
Professor, Department of Anthropology, University of Toronto, Canada.
Title: "Transnational Governing in the Global South"

Susan Wright
Professor of Educational Anthropology, Danish University of Education, Aarhus.
Title: TBA

Conference theme
In recent years, practices of policy, governance, and society have been profoundly shaped by growing globalization. Knowledge, communication, resources and products flow across different localities and scales, thereby connecting different spaces and the human and non-human actors that inhabit them.

Although globalization seems inescapable, its trends, directions and impacts are unevenly distributed and far from clear. Despite ‘the global’ pervading many aspects of daily life, this has by no means resulted in a flat world of free and equal global citizens. Rather, frictions, disparities and inequalities abound. While often great hopes are attached to international governance regimes, global forms of scientific knowledge, large-scale industrial and agricultural technologies, and generic blueprints for socio-economic development and trade, their results in enhancing important objectives, such as dealing with our environment in a sustainable way, or achieving equality, well-being or democratic self-determination, are mixed at best, with successes in some places and failures in others.

These mixed results warrant sustained critical scrutiny of on-going practices in governance, including the roles of knowledge, technology and communication in these. Interpretive approaches are crucial to deepen our understanding of the situated practices in which the global and the local meet, and to create innovative perspectives on what it might mean for policy to ‘do’ knowledge, technology and communication differently and to effectively address the challenges that our globalizing world faces.

The call for panels and papers is now closed.

All proposals have been reviewed in a peer review process by at least two reviewers selected by the organising committee on the basis of their theoretical, substantive and/or methodological focus. As the review process has been completed, we cannot accept any new proposals anymore.

For questions: please contact the academic conveners by sending an email to

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