Interpretive Policy Analysis 2014

The International Conference in Interpretive Policy Analysis has travelled through Europe. After visiting Birmingham, Amsterdam, Essex, Kassel, GrenobleCardiff, Tilburg and Vienna interpretivists of various kinds will gather in Wageningen, the Netherlands.

Governance and Beyond

Knowledge, Techonlogy and Communication in a Globalizing World

In recent years, practices of policy, governance, and society have been profoundly shaped by growing globalization. Technological developments, such as social media and mobile phones, and international policies and conflicts have increased global interdependencies and interconnectivities. Knowledge, communication, resources and products flow across different localities and scales, thereby connecting different spaces and the human and nonhuman actors that inhabit them.

Although as a phenomenon, 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 socioeconomic development and trade, their results in enhancing important objectives such as sustainability, equality, well-being or democratic self-determination are mixed at best, with successes in some places and failures in other.

These mixed results warrant sustained critical scrutiny of ongoing practices in the broad domains of governance and society and the roles of knowledge, technology and communication in these. Interpretive approaches are crucial not only to deepen our understanding of the situated practices in which the global and the local meet, but also to create innovative perspectives on what it might mean to 'do' knowledge, technology and communication differently and to effectively address the challenges that our globalizing world faces.