Conference Agenda

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Session Overview
RN32_05b: Governmentality and Society (I)
Thursday, 22/Aug/2019:
11:00am - 12:30pm

Session Chair: Ov Cristian Norocel, Université Libre de Bruxelles
Location: GM.339
Manchester Metropolitan University Building: Geoffrey Manton, Third Floor 4 Rosamond Street West Off Oxford Road

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The Innovative State: Policy-Making Under Conditions of Uncertainty

Hanna Ylöstalo

University of Helsinki, Finland

This presentation is concerned with knowledge-based economization of the political, that is, with the complex process of the folding of the economy into politics and policy making via ‘innovative’ policies that lean on scientific knowledge. Policy practitioners, such as state officials, think tanks, researchers and transnational expert organizations, are striving to solve a compelling problem: How can policy makers deal with complex problems under conditions of uncertainty? According to many of these actors, the world has become ‘complex’, the problems have become ‘wicked’, and all the solutions involve a great deal of ‘uncertainty’. New, policies, labelled as innovative, are designed to address these issues. This presentation takes as its focus two innovative and fast-traveling policy models: strategic governance and experimental policy. These policies rest on and are legitimized with scientific knowledge. They also rest on recognition that the knowledge available to support the rolling out of policy reforms under complex and uncertain conditions is thin and that innovative knowledge-production for policy making are needed to plug this gap. This presentation argues that knowledge and knowledge-production for policy making lie at the heart of contemporary policy reform. Such knowledge is often based on economic premises: management sciences and behavioral economics. Via scientific knowledge and methods (albeit contested ones), policy making is reinvented in economically rational terms. However, knowledge-based policy reform is an ambivalent one and entails both politicizing and depoliticizing as well as democratizing and de-democratizing effects.

Navigating Coercion in Political Rhetoric: Shifting Strategies to Cope with Intervention by the Troika in Portugal

Laia Pi Ferrer, Hanna Rautajoki

Tampere University, Finland

This paper examines how national political actors cope with coercion exerted on them by an external source in political discourse. Our empirical case is intervention by the Troika in Portugal. The coercive setting compromises national sovereignty and integrity. How do national actors manage this setting without jeopardizing their responsibility and institutional legitimacy? We approach the question by analysing two diverse political arenas: parliamentary debates and public accounts by political leaders in the media. The study evidences a variation in strategies to manage coercion: the politicians use both depoliticization and relativization. While discourses of depoliticization are frequent in media, in parliamentary debates the predominant strategy is to emphasize the aspect of agency by relativizing the power of the Troika. Both strategies serve to portray responsibility in the face of external intervention, but in different discursive environments political actors use different rhetorical tools to work on their institutional appearance and legitimacy.

Politics and Administration: Civil Service in Poland in the New Institutional Perspective

Kaja G. Gadowska

Jagiellonian University, Poland

The civil service is an important element of the public administration system and has a major impact on the state's manner of functioning. The civil service in Poland was created with the intention to ensure that the public administration performed its duties in a professional and impartial manner, unhindered by political interests. The aim of the paper is to analyse the process of creating the civil service in Poland after 1989, and to show how the division between the political and administrative spheres was formed from the beginning of the transformation and under the governments of succeeding political groups, and the extent to which the actual relations between politics and public administration reflect the formal regulations contained in successive civil service acts. The paper concentrates in particular on personnel policy with regard to senior civil service positions, because these appointments are connected with assuming control of decision making processes and human resources policy in administrative offices. Various complementary qualitative and quantitative methods were used in the research. Multidimensional analysis of the data leads to the conclusion that political parties in Poland strive to limit the autonomy of the government administration and to subordinate it to their interests. The legislation in the area of civil service has been largely subjugated to the political interest of the moment, and not to the long-term interest of the state. The use of the new institutional perspective allowed to identify the reasons behind the adoption of specific legal measures and to show their actual effects.

A Permanent “State Of Exception”: The Condition Of Migrants Between Humanitarian Emergency And Exclusion Policies In Italy.

Maria Cristina Marchetti1, Emanuele Rossi2

1Sapienza University of Rome, Italy; 2University of RomaTre, Italy

“The state of exception” seems to take on the characteristics of a true and proper paradigm of government, dominant in contemporary politics, which is fully applicable to all those who are collateral victims of globalization processes in action and are considered – in the words of Adorno – as “socially unnecessary”, or rather, real and true “wasted lives”. These are migrants, refugees, illegal immigrants and all those who are considered “out of place” and, as such, are being held in conditions which are more and more dramatic, within a “placeless place” indeed in a no man’s land. This refers to detention centers, now renamed Centri di permanenza e per il rimpatrio (CPR), ie structures which are used to hold all foreigners without a residence permit; we are speaking about those who are found to be the subjects of no immediate expulsion for a number of reasons established by law. It refers to territories and spaces within which individuals are destined to disappear as holders of rights and as bodies. These are real and proper “suspended spaces”. Foreigners retained are inserted in to a real “space of exception”, inside of which there is an active mechanism on the basis of which it is paradoxically possible to “include something solely through its eclusion”.

Moving from this theoretical framework, the paper will focus on:

- The paradigm of “state of exception”

- The Italian law after the so called “Decreto Salvini”

- Emergency/Exclusion Policies

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