Conference Agenda

RN15_04: Global Models, Glocal Practices (1)
Wednesday, 21/Aug/2019:
6:00pm - 7:30pm

Session Chair: Sylvain Beck, 1980
Location: BS.4.04A
Manchester Metropolitan University Building: Business School, Fourth Floor, North Atrium Oxford Road


The Creation And Spread Of The Concept Of Cultural Policy

Pertti Alasuutari1, Anita Kangas2

1Tampere University; 2University of Jyväskylä

The paper discusses policy diffusion and the role international organizations play in facilitating the global spread of policy innovation. Our example of rapid diffusion is the institutionalisation of cultural policy in the 1970s. The development was triggered by UNESCO’s activities. We explore how cultural policy was established both as a concept and as an internationally standardised branch of public administration. Our data consists of 72 national reports prepared by the countries themselves and the reports of all expert groups and intergovernmental meetings on cultural policy, as well as resolutions of the UNESCO’s General conferences from 1966 to 1999. Applying Everett Rogers' model of the diffusion process we study the order in which the member states from “early adopters” to “laggards” adopt the innovation (i.e., produce a report of cultural policy in their country), and we also discuss cross-national variation in the degree to which they adopt key concepts used in describing national cultural policy. The analysis shows that, as a consequence of long-term international collaboration within the UNESCO from the 1960s onward, member states’ governments throughout the world have established ministries, state departments and arts councils for culture and arranged the collection of cultural statistics. Academic research, education and publishing activities in this area have become institutionalized. There is remarkable isomorphism and conformism among national states in that, regardless of actual practices, you will find similar declarations about their missions in cultural policy. The analysis also shows that UNESCO connections had a decisive role in adopting the idea of cultural policy.

From Rights to Instruments: Reframing in Transnational Advocacy against Child Marriage

Irem Ebeturk

WZB, Germany

Starting from the second half of 2000s, a global movement against child marriage emerged. Between 2013 and 2017, the UN passed four resolutions devoted exclusively to child marriage. In the “2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (SDGs),” which is considered to the bible of global development, child marriage is now defined as one of the major social and development issues of our times. Although, in the early 1990s, child marriage was discussed as an element of harmful cultural practices by the international community, it did not receive exclusive attention as it has more recently. Starting from the second half of the 2000s, there has been a global level attention and many advocacy groups took up the issue. How did child marriage come to be defined as a major global problem, after being a minor issue that only a few “activists” cared about? Drawing upon, 20 semi-structured interviews with key figures of the global movement and analysis of documents produced by INGOs, governments, activists, and IGOs, I argue that the success of the global movement against child in receiving attention and legitimacy can be explained by a shift in the framing of the problem. I emphasize differences in issue framing for two periods of the movement. The early movement, in the 1990s, focused on human rights framing, while the period after 2008 turned primarily to framing that depicts child marriage as problematic for economic development. I argue that, the shift from a“rights framing” to an“instrumentalist framing” is a case of “frame alignment process” (Benford and Snow 2000) and explains the success of the second period.

Theory as Practice: Enacting Global Models in Organising for Development in Tanzania

Maia Green1, Tiina Kontinen2

1University of Manchester; 2University of Jyväskylä

Development research has shown how international development agencies promote global models of the kinds of social arrangements assumed to lead to positive change disseminated through financial transfers along vertical chain of contractors, implementers and recipients. Partners from the global South in this chain are tasked with demonstrating that global development models work in their particular, local contexts. This paper suggests that such global models form an underlying theory of development that, in turn, becomes performative practice in the activities of development implementers in Tanzania. Our ethnographic work with the nationwide social welfare programme which provides grants to poor households and with local civil society organisations as they seek to gain donor-funding highlights the centrality of enacting, performing and demonstrating development social orders; including an emphasis on structuring particular kinds of tangible organisational forms or building a linkage between the claimed outcomes and the intervention. Civil society groups prioritise organising that adheres to template models of effectiveness and capability to educate those perceived as in need to change their behaviour. The local government departments charged with delivering grants to poor households make sustained efforts to incorporate beneficiaries in a visible narrative of economic transformation through individual agency. We argue, thus, that organising in the context of development is modelling work that aims to enact the globally prevalent theory concerning the kinds of social arrangements that bring about ‘development’. The process of organising is not confined to ‘organisational development’ but encompasses also those who the organisation claims to impact on.

The Authority Of Science In Parliamentary Discourse: Variation Between Four Countries’ Legislatures

Jukka Syväterä

Tampere University, Finland

World polity theory research has argued that the worldwide authority of science is a prime example of how world culture shapes local decision-making around the globe. The evidence is extremely convincing when it comes to the worldwide expansion of science (including the proliferation of scientific organisations, higher education, and the production of science), but how all this expansion is reflected in actual national decision-making – for example, how politicians invoke the authority of science in political discourse – has not yet been systematically studied. In this study I examine parliamentary discourse on new legislation using data consisting of 576 transcription of parliamentary debates, distributed across four countries: Australia, Finland, Kenya, and the United States. To what extent are politicians’ practices of enacting and contesting authority of science shared across borders? Naturally, these four countries cannot represent the entire world; however, each does feature a different combination of two important elements: the level of institutionalisation of scientific policy advice; and the level of public trust in science. If the similar modes of enacting the authority of science are used in all (otherwise so different) four countries, that could provide good reason to suppose that similar modes could be found in most other countries as well. There should be, however, national variation in the frequency and intensity of enacting authority, depending on how comprehensively a given country has already enacted models of rationalised governance, including expert-driven policy advice systems. The initial results from the ongoing study will be presented.