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Call for Papers: The Governance of Large-Scale Projects

Ioannis Andreadis's picture

The Hertie School of Governance and the Journal for Political Consulting and Policy Advice invite paper proposals for an international conference on “The Governance of Large-Scale Projects“, supported by the Volkswagen Foundation. The conference will take place from Sept. 30 to Oct 1, 2011 at the Hertie School of Governance in Berlin/Germany, and will comprise panel discussions, PhD workshops and a poster session.

Modern democracies are based on parliamentary representation which is guaranteed by the electoral provisions of equal participation and contestation. Recently, governments are increasingly challenged by citizens who feel that they are not adequately represented. Citizen movements call for modes of continuous and issue-oriented participation which exceed casting a ballot every four or five years.
However, provisions for direct democracy are difficult to implement in certain political and constitutional environments since executive and legislative decision makers are hesitant. As a consequence, the debate increasingly focuses on rather soft modes of participation which allow citizens to interact with politicians while institutional provisions of political decision making remain unaffected. These participatory arrangements offer opportunities for citizens to consult with policy makers.
This is especially true for large-scale infrastructure projects. The demonstrations and citizens’ movements against a new airport in London or the railway construction project “Stuttgart 21” show the huge level of citizens’ involvement with such projects and the need for modes of participatory policy making which transform protest into feasible policy input.
The governance of large-scale infrastructure projects deserves special attention since it comprises a variety of stakeholders including politics, administration, corporations, and interest groups as well as non-governmental organizations and citizens’ movements. Furthermore, the issues to be discussed are linked to a broad range of academic disciplines, e.g. economics, public policy, sociology, law, public administration, business administration.

The conference aims at the assessment of existing formats of citizen involvement and the development of innovative modes of participatory societal consultation. The panels will reflect the above mentioned variety of relevant actors and topics. Hence, multidisciplinary approaches are most welcome. Crucial research questions regarding the governance of large-scale projects include (but are not limited to):
1. How can the (equally important) criteria of economic efficiency and political legitimacy be combined within the planning and implementation of these projects? What are administrative restrictions in this regard?
2. Did the role of civic actors within such processes change over time? How could it further develop? What are possible modes of civic participation and deliberation?
3. How could the communication between stakeholders (e.g. politics, business, citizens) be improved? What are the respective potentials and synergies? Can communicative deadlocks among stakeholders be resolved by means of information and communication technologies?

Abstracts of about 400 words may be submitted until July 15, 2011 to Prof. Dr. Andrea Römmele ( For any inquiries regarding logistic matters, please reach out to Andreas Hoffelder (