Consortium for Comparative Research on Regional Integration and Social Cohesion (RISC) 2010 conference on “Development, Poverty and Global Crises: Reinforcing Governance”
CALL FOR PAPERS
Luxembourg, 11-13 November, 2010
IPSE Research Unit, University of Luxembourg (UNILU)
Centre for Population, Poverty and Public Policy Studies (CEPS/INSTEAD), Luxembourg
Throughout the world, the failure of development policies at the local, national, regional and global levels are all tied to weaknesses related to governance. The global economic crisis of 2008-2009 highlighted this fact as global leaders publicly declared the need for new forms of governance and economic regulation. Similar calls for change have recently come in the fields of climate change, food security and human rights. Governance challenges related to development include: 1) political factors such as various forms of corruption, a lack of governmental
transparency, weak rule of law, etc., 2) social challenges, in terms of weak social capital, a lack of citizen participation in policy-making processes, etc., 3) economic difficulties which are manifested in terms of unemployment, large informal economies, increasing socio-economic marginalization, etc. Of course, these different arenas are inter-related and these relationships are the points of discussion that have arisen because of the recent economic crisis.
This proposed conference examines poverty and development within the framework of recent global crises and governance. There will be two keynote panels, with pre-selected central presentations, that would address: 1) Economic Crisis, Poverty and Social Cohesion: Cross-Regional Perspectives and 2) Fragility and Development in 2010: Governance Successes and Shortcomings. Also, there will be open panels (see below) organized by RISC’s working groups in association with the conference organizers. They will examine topics related to the general conference theme in the following areas: 1) the Management of Strategic Resources, Environment and Society, 2) Comparative Border Politics, 3) Civil Society, Vulnerable Populations and Public Health, 4) Risk and Disasters, 5) Urban Violence and Citizen Security and 6) the Quality of Democracy.
The RISC Consortium welcomes paper proposals for the following panels. Proposals, consisting of a title and an abstract of no more than 250 words should be sent directly to the panel coordinator by e-mail (see addresses listed below) before June 20, 2010. Notification of accepted papers will be sent in mid-July. The RISC Consortium pays for hotel for all speakers (one per paper) during
the conference as well as most of the meals during the meeting. International travel is the responsibility of conference participants or their home institutions. Unfortunately, the RISC Consortium does not have travel grants for this conference. General inquiries should be sent to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Working groups – Open Panels
Panels 1 and 2: Fragility, Development and the Quality of Democracy in Cross-Border Regions
Joint proposal by working groups: Quality of Democracy and Comparative Border and Migration Politics
Coordinators: Leonardo Morlino (email@example.com) and Harlan Koff (firstname.lastname@example.org)
In 2005, Larry Diamond and Leonardo Morlino published Assessing the Quality of Democracy which identified and analyzed characteristics of stable democracies, including: rule of law, participation, competition, electoral accountability, institutional accountability, freedom, equality and responsiveness. Since then, numerous attempts have been made to refine this theoretical framework through both quantitative and qualitative research which has led to the development of a rich theoretical debate.
This analytical framework has been adopted throughout the world. However, thus far, it has generally been applied to nation-states. Scholars of geo-politics correctly note that governance-related issues are increasingly becoming transnational and democratic performance is most fragile in borderland areas where local actors often pursue interests (i.e. cross-border cooperation) or address problems (i.e. environmental issues or human security threats) which are not prioritized by the nation-state. In many developing states, local border region governments actually represent a political threat to national authorities.
The two panels organized by RISC’s working groups on “Quality of Democracy” and “Comparative Border and Migration Politics” welcome papers focusing on the quality of democracy in cross-border regions. These panels aim to contribute to the literature on cross-border governance through the application of the quality of democracy framework while simultaneously expanding quality of democracy debates by de-territorializing them from the nation-state. In doing so, the panels address the theme of fragility by identifying mechanisms for the improvement of
cross-border democratic performance. Papers focusing on both advanced industrial and developing regions are welcome.
Panel 3: Informal Powers, Citizenship and Poverty: The Challenge for Contemporary Cities
Working group: Urban conflict, civic security and violence.
Coordinator: Juan Carlos Vélez Rendón(email@example.com)
The exercise of rights has become limited due to the shrinking of states and the presence of some groups, both legal and illegal, that have undertaken some state competencies by offering different services, providing some types of informal employment, controlling access to basic goods, and restricting participation in the decision-making of public and collective interests. In some circumstances, oligarchies of power prevail that act through violent means and invest themselves with the authority to decide over issues that are of social incumbency. The daily restrictions on the exercise of individual, political and social rights not only reproduce and exacerbate poverty, but also increase informality and instances of discrimination, marginalization and social fragmentation. In conditions such as this, in which there is a retreat of the state and a growing influence of private groups, it is also usual to find an increase of authoritarianism and the reduction of freedom of speech, organization, mobilization and political participation.
The working group on Urban Conflict, Civic Security and Violence suggests a reflection on citizenship, poverty and governance by taking into account the following variables: a) Factors that restrict the exercise of citizenship facilitating authoritarianism and reproducing poverty in urban areas prone to conflict; b) The impact that social, political, economic and institutional actors have on decision making c) The privatization of politics, oligarchies of power, violence and political goods; d) Instances and forms of daily participation (formal and informal) in the design of public policies related to local and national security.
Panel 4: Global South Public Health and Welfare Policies: Issues of Identitary Autonomy and Autochthony
Working group: Civil society, vulnerable populations, and state policies of health and well-being
Coordinators: Robert Dover (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Claudia Puerta (email@example.com)
There is a growing recognition that the socioeconomic and sociopolitical contexts of global south countries do not necessarily replicate those of global north countries, and that the north/south dialogue that has so oriented and influenced the development of public policy regarding health and well-being in the global south countries has not necessarily met its objectives. There are numerous causes that can be identified in this failure to “improve” the southern condition: in part a result of irrelevant or decontextualized measurement criteria, itself a lack of understanding of the idiosyncrasies of southern experiences; in part the result of northern social models applied to southern social contexts (northern definitions of subalternity are distinct from southern ones); in part the question of sufficient economic means to meet policy initiatives based on northern criteria of health and well-being. This panel seeks to look at several issues:
1) The specificity of global south health and well-being issues vs. northern issues
2) The translation of northern criteria to southern contexts
3) Autochthonous global south initiatives
4) Global north initiatives that are homologous in southern contexts
Panel 5: Environmental Fragility, Development and Poverty Concerns behind the Global Environmental Crisis
Working group: Management of Strategic Resources
Coordinator: Carmen Maganda (firstname.lastname@example.org)
The failure of the recent Copenhagen Summit (December 2009) once more showed how environmental problems were perceived as a result of the relationship between humans and nature.
If this approach continues, the risk will remain above us perennially. It is true, we are facing many important and unprecedented environmental challenges such as human-made global warming; air, land and water pollution; unequal access to natural and strategic resources, growing waste problem; as well as the disappearance of animal and plant species. These environmental problems today are related to development patterns and socio economic conditions where individual conservation of resources has very little impact. Even though this perspective is not new, we are
not going to make any advancements toward solving environmental problems if global leaders and environmental authorities do not change their predominant approach based on the human-environment interaction. If it is widely recognized that the present stress on strategic resources and global climate impacts have their causes in the historical origins of global economies, industrialized nations and global/regional inequities, then environmental conflicts today must be considered “human-human” conflicts and not “human-nature” ones. Because much environmental harm involves people and societies exploiting, abusing, or otherwise mistreating each other, it is time to change the approach and search deeper for the human, social and economic factors related to environmental challenges.
This panel calls for papers which discuss the importance of development, poverty and economic concerns behind the global environmental crisis. Empirical research and theoretical contributions are welcome, particularly those papers examining "best practices" for the reinforcement of environmental governance.
Panel 6: Poverty, (under-)Development and Marginalization: Challenges of Governance when faced with Risks and Disasters
Working Group: The Social Construction of Risk and Disaster
Coordinator: Fernando Briones Gamboa (email@example.com)
The combination of poverty and disaster is a recurring binomial, generally poorest people are the most vulnerable as well. Besides, management of risks and disasters deal with the implementation and use of precautionary and emergency measures but they neglect long-term strategies that reduce the “root causes.”
From minor seasonal floods to major disasters, risks have different ways of manifesting themselves. The recent earthquakes in Haiti and Chile illustrate that two major natural phenomenon (independent of their own geological characteristics) exert different effects in accordance with their respective socioeconomic contexts.
To understand the multiple dimensions caused by these risks, it is necessary to continue exploring the links between poverty, development and marginalization, and also analyze the role of public policies on the generation of these associations.
- What political factors create these risks?
- How do global crises increase social marginalization and vulnerability?
- What are the different types of governance challenges in the reduction of poverty and the after effects of disasters?
- What model of governance can illustrate the role of institutions and public policies in the creation or reduction of risks?
Associate Professor in Political Science
Université du Luxembourg
B.P. 2/Route de Diekirch
Téléphone : ++ 352 46 66 44 62 70
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