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The Appropriations of Public Policies by Citizens

Sixth International Conference in Interpretive Policy Analysis

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Published on Wednesday, January 19, 2011


Au-delà des oppositions entre les approches « top down » et « bottom up » de l’action publique, rares sont les travaux questionnant les appropriations des politiques par leurs publics. Les publics des institutions ne constituent pas un ensemble homogène et on peut différencier les attitudes des acteurs sociaux face à la mise en œuvre des politiques dans différents secteurs. On peut faire l’hypothèse que les trajectoires, ressources et propriétés sociales des administrés influent sur les appropriations qu’ils font de l’action publique.


6th International Conference in Interpretive Policy Analysis - IPA (Cardiff, 23-25 June 2011)

Panel 34: The appropriations of public policies by citizens

Beyond the common dichotomy between «top down» and «bottom up» approaches of public action (Sabatier, 1986), investigations questioning the appropriations of policies by their publics, that is to say the "nationals" (Warin, 1999), "constituents" or "ordinary citizens" (Rose, 1989), have been scarce. The publics of institutions do not constitute a homogeneous group and we can differentiate the attitudes of social actors faced with the implementation of policies in a wide range of social spheres (police, social, schooling, health, environment, justice, taxation, immigration, etc). We can make hypothesize that trajectories, resources and social characteristics of the constituents have an influence on the appropriation of public action. What produces a public policy at its publics? Can we observe recurrent individual and/or collective behaviors in the "usual" appropriations of public policies? To what extend do the differentiated relations to politics (Gaxie, 1978) have an influence on the reception (Le Grignou, 2003) of public programs? May the reactions of these publics (support/indifference/resistance, etc.) redirect the policies? Do they strengthen the possibilities of the ordinary citizens’ participation in the democratic debate (Verhoeven, 2009)? While collective mobilizations have been widely studied (Mayntz, 1993; Giugni, 2002), individual practices have largely been unexplored. To what extent do ordinary people adapt to, or divert from, public policies, in their interactions with the institutional protagonists (Lipsky, 1980; Dubois, 1999) or through strategies of avoidance and resistance (Scott, 1990)? This frame of analysis leads to explore the meanings people attribute to policies and to their (no) resort to institutions. This panel will privilege papers inquiring about various social spheres across national contexts using preferably a comparative framework. We encourage researchers to mobilize a wide range of theoretical perspectives. Proposals will have to expose hypotheses and the empirical data used in the research.

All paper proposals should be sent as Word file and contain:

  • Title and number of panel
  • Title of paper
  • Name, institutional affiliation and email of the presenter(s)
  • Abstract (max 300 words)
  • Up to five keywords
Paper proposals will be submitted via email directly  to the panel convenors

by 31 January 2011

  • Lorenzo Barrault, University Paris 1 Pantheon Sorbonne (CESSP-CRPS), lorenzo.barrault@univ-paris1.fr
  • Nazli Nozarian, University Paris 1 Pantheon Sorbonne (CESSP-CRPS), nazli30@yahoo.com


DUBOIS Vincent, La vie au guichet, relation administrative et traitement de la misère, Paris, Economica, 1999.
GAXIE Daniel, Le cens caché. Inégalités culturelles et ségrégation politique, Paris, Seuil, 1978.
GIUGNI Marco, Social protest and policy change ecology. Antinuclear and peace movements in comparative perspectives, Oxford, Rowman & Littlefield Publisher, 2004.
LE GRIGNOU Brigitte, Du côté du public. Usages et réceptions de la télévision, Paris, Economica, 2003.
LIPSKY Michael, Street-level bureaucracy: dilemmas of the individual in public services, New York, Russel Sage Foundation, 1980.
MAYNTZ Renate, « Governing failures and the problem of governability », in J. Kooiman (eds), Modern governance, New government-society interaction, Sage, 1993, p. 9-20.
ROSE Richard, Ordinary people in public policy, A behavioural analysis, London, Sage Publications, 1989.
SABATIER Paul, « Top down and bottom up approaches to implementation research: a critical analysis and suggested synthesis », Journal of public policy, vol.6, n°1, 1986, p. 21-48.
SCOTT James, Domination and the arts of resistances. Hidden transcript, New Haven-Londres, Yale University Press, 1990.
VERHOEVEN Imrat, Citizens against policy: an analysis of dynamics in political involvement. Amsterdam,  Aksant, 2009.
WARIN Phillipe, « Les « ressortissants » dans les analyses des politiques publiques », Revue Française de Science Politique, vol. 49, n°1, 1999, p. 103-121.


  • Cardiff, Britain


  • Thursday, June 23, 2011


  • Lorenzo Barrault
    courriel : lorenzobarrault [at] yahoo [dot] fr
  • Nazli Nozarian
    courriel : nazli30 [at] yahoo [dot] com

Information source

  • Nazli Nozarian
    courriel : nazli30 [at] yahoo [dot] com


CC0-1.0 This announcement is licensed under the terms of Creative Commons CC0 1.0 Universal.

To cite this announcement

« The Appropriations of Public Policies by Citizens », Call for papers, Calenda, Published on Wednesday, January 19, 2011, https://calenda.org/203098

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