Theme

IVth Polish Political Science Congress, Lublin, September 18-20, 2018

“State in Times of Change”

Proposed title of the IVth Polish Political Science Congress in Lublin is an attempt to focus on two basic “traditional” politological categories such as power and state in the context of dynamism and changeability, new features of the social environment in which power and states function nowadays both on internal level and international system levels.

The analysis of feedbacks between the state and its dynamically changing environment is a cognitive goal of the Congress. The subjects of that analysis will include: analysis of changes in internal and external conditions in which contemporary states function and political power is exercised, as well as analysis of states’ adaptation (or lack of) to changed or dynamically changing reality.

In the Organizers view the cognitive value of the Congress should be not only in analysis of contemporary political reality but also include analysis of research on the state in its dynamic conditions of changing reality and in the context of present theoretical and methodological challenges. Such point of view has consequences for organization of the Congress program structure and proposed panels. The Organizers propose inclusion of epistemological as well as ontological part in the program.

The ontological part will include 3 themes (pillars):
Theme 1 - State’s environment- Factors of change;
Theme 2 - State as a subject of internal politics in time of change;
Theme 3 – State as a subject of international relations in the time of change.
The epistemological part will constitute the remaining theme of the Congress: Theme 4 – Research on state in time of change. 

Ontology

Epistemology

Theme 1

State’s environment -  Factors of change

 

Theme 2

State as a subject of internal politics in time of change

Theme 3

State as a subject of internal politics in time of change

Theme 4

Research on state in time of change

1) Conditions on national level;
2) Conditions on the international system level.

1) Institutions;
2) Norms;
3) Values;
4) Activities.

1) Foreign Policy;
2) Organization and functioning of international system.

1) Change as a subject of research;
2) Theories and analytical structures in research on state in time of change;
3) Methodology in research on state in time of change.

Information on submitting panels and papers in folder Registration.

Theme 1
State’s environment – Factors of change

The goal of this theme is identification and analysis of factors conditioning functioning of contemporary states, constituting states’ environment and qualitatively new features of that environment. The theme is based on a presumption that contemporary states are based on an environment of factors dynamically influencing the states as well altering the conditions of states workings. For analytical purpose we will diversify these factors into internal factors and factors in international system, taking under consideration the overlapping and mutual conditioning of both dimensions.

On the national level the Organizers suggest focus on the following factors of change:
- changes in social structures and preferred values; their consequences for the electoral process and liberal democracy;
- impact of new technologies and internet on creation of new political elites;
- innovation and new technologies, their impact on the changes in decision-making process;
- new information technologies, their impact on the status of citizens in the state; dilemmas of omnipotent states and protection of privacy;
- social networks and new political movements, their impact on changes in political systems;
- changing states’ role in economic development;
- new factors of economic growth and their impact on social structures in modern states;
- demographic change and states’ policies;
- impact of urbanization on contemporary states;
- development of national identity factor in contemporary states; national identity v. multi-dimensional identity dilemma;
- internal conflict in contemporary states.

On the international environment level the Organizers suggest focus on the following factors of change:

- global system of powers;
- globalization processes;
- transnational processes;
- climate change and ecological threats;
- international security threats;
- technology and cyberspace;
- international migrations;
- multilateralism and institutionalization.

Theme 2

State as a subject of internal politics in time of change

The goal of Theme 2 is analysis of the state as an institution and political system in the changing environment.  To arrange the discussion The Organizers suggest focusing on institutions, norms, values and state’s activities and policies. Taking under consideration growing complexity of this theme’s area of analysis and in order to introduce more holistic approach the Organizers suggest discussion in 5 thematic areas: political system, public administration and local government, European integration and European studies, political thought, social communication.

In the Political System area the following thematic focus is suggested:
- institutions in the time of change (institutions of political power, political systems, political bodies, institutional mechanisms and solutions, structural and functional approaches to int.al. electoral administration, succession of political power, political autonomy, decentralisation, democracy, direct democracy, government cabinets, heads of states, constitutions and constitutionalism, electoral law, non-government organizations, parliaments, parliamentarism, political parties and party systems, division of powers, rule of law, political regimes, horizontal and vertical accountability, judicial review, military sector, system of state agencies, system of government, electoral system, executive branch, sources of law);
- activities – political succession, legitimisation, political communication, elections (European elections, parliamentary elections, presidential elections, local elections), civic participation, electoral turnout, civic participation, public policies.

In the Public Administration and Local Government area the following thematic focus is suggested:
- institutions – institutional infrastructure of public administration, new institutional forms in public administration (partnerships, agencies), adaptation abilities of institutions (in.al. sensibility to globalization and European integration as well as to effects of transitioning from traditional government to governance); institutions’ receptivity to innovation, changes in local government in. al in Central and Eastern Europe;
- norms – transformation of legal norms, changes in recruitment process for civil service, local elections and changes in local electoral law, transformation of national and local administration competencies, relations between various public administration agencies, adjustment of public administration to EU standards (esp. local policies);
- values – axiological and normative basis of public administration (social needs, constitutional principles, subsidiarity, decentralisation, rule of law, public administration mission, ethics in public service); management of public administration image;
- activities – internal dimension– decentralization of tasks, planning in public policies, instruments of public policies, results and evaluation of public policies, functions of public policies, institutional oversight and control; external dimension – relations with sub-national environment (e.g. social, political, business), problem of separation between politics and administration, civil society – social participation and deliberation, new methods of engaging citizens in decision making process, relations with supranational (EU) and international (global dimension) environment. 

In the European integration and European studies area the following thematic focus is suggested:
- institutions – Europeanization of national institutions, adaptation to EU membership (reforms of political system, management of European policies);
- norms – programs of political parties in the area of European politics, national electoral system in EP elections to European Parliament;
- values – public opinion on European integration and its problems, e.g. migration;
- activities – role of European issues in national parliamentary, presidential and local elections as well as in elections to European Parliament, role of European issues in internal (national) political debates.

In the Social Communication area the following thematic focus is suggested:
- institutions and norms transformation of media systems and media policies; law on media, media and politics,transformation of media role in democratic and non-democratic system, media democracy, media and (de) legitimisation of political elite, media and power, representation, participation, media in local democracy;
- values – axiology of political communication, ethical aspects of communication practice in public sphere,(re)presentation of politics in media, image of (post)politics in media – post-truth, fake news and fact-checkers;
- activities – political communication - theoretical perspective, research approaches and results of empirical research; changing nature of relations between citizenship, management and communication; media effects relation with knowledge and participation; information management in media, information wars, mediatisation of politics, long term processes and co-dependencies between changes in media and changes in politics; how these changes cross condition; political communication on line; technological challenges for the political communication, role of new media in political communication; public opinion/public sphere – condition and communicational practice; role of public media in transformation of public sphere; new media and political participation; political public relations and political marketing in electoral campaigns of the new media era, digital sources and technologies – opportunities and challenges for the new journalism, semiotics of politics.

In the Political Thought area the following thematic focus is suggested:
- institutions – political thought subjects, objects of research on political thought;
- norms - national political systems in historical and contemporary perspective, political parties programs in internal and international politics, discourse as an area of communication, discourse as knowledge;
- values – great narratives of XX i XXI century; main political categories during change of axiological system, new ideological trends in the process of deconstruction of concepts and structures of thought; political culture in the process of ideological metamorphosis, restitution of traditional components of thought into contemporary ideological trends,; Poland’s independence - ways to political freedom, visions of state’s sovereignty, inclusions and exclusions of Poland in international environment; revisions of images of political reality during ideological, identity, cultural changes in Europe and Poland in XX and XXI century, is the “end of ideology” over?
- activities – global, regional and local flow of ideas and opinions, mediatisation of political thought, modernization of impact techniques of political thought.

Theme 3

State as a subject of internal politics in time of change

The first goal of the Theme 3 is analysis of the state as a main subject of international relations with special focus on states’ foreign policies.The second goal encompass the analysis of dynamics and changeability of organisation and functioning of international system as an environment for contemporary states. Due to its specific nature process of European integration will be treated as a separate aspect of international system.

In the area of Foreign Policy the following thematic focus is suggested: sovereignty of states during the process of integration, national concepts of European integration, Poland’s foreign policy in times of change, diplomacy in times of change, states’ foreign policy in times of change (unilateralism, bilateralism, multilateralism); dimensions of contemporary diplomacy (energy diplomacy, public diplomacy, economic diplomacy, academic diplomacy); structures of contemporary diplomacy (informal groups), security in state’s foreign policy.

 In the area of Organisation and Functioning of International System the following thematic focus is suggested: state versus the globalization processes, state and the global challenges, state versus processes of integration, desintegration and fragmentation; interstate coalitions; states and its citizens versus global flows of information – fake news, post-truth; cyberattacks; technological „neo-colonization”; state versus new mechanisms of international environment management; state in process of global governance; relations between states and non-state actors, competition and cooperation in Eastern Europe.

 In the area of European Integration and European Studies the following thematic focus is suggested:
- foreign policy - national concepts of European integration; state sovereignty in the context of integration processes; states’ position on the problems of European integration (treaty reform, long term financial framework, Energy policy, Eastern Partnership, migration);
- organisation and functioning of international system – position of states in main EU institutions (European Council, European Parliament, European Commission, inter-state coalitions in EU, influential groups of states (e.g. Visegrad Group, Friends of Cohesion Group, net contributors, net beneficiaries, Euro zone states). 

Theme 4

Research on state in time of change

Theme 4 of the Congress will be devoted to the epistemological dimension of state in times of change hence will focus on research process rather than on dynamics and changeability of the state and its environment.  In epistemological area the following thematic areas are suggested: 1) tendencies to change the subject in research on state, 2) theories and analytical structures in research on state in time of change, 3) methodology in research on state in time of change.
- tendencies to change the subject in research on state - research on dynamics, directions and scope of state’s change; dilemmas, concepts and discussions on states in process of change (political adaptation, democracy deficit, stabilisation and destabilisation, devolution, political desintegration, political evolution, hybrid nature of institutional and political systems, political crisis, legitimisation and de-legitimisation, new political parties, new political movements, post-politics, political process, political reform (reform policies), revolution, systemic transformation (transition, replacement, displacement, political implosion), change in party system, change in political participation;
- theories and analytical structures in research on state in time of change - research on state and its institution from the perspective of in.al. modernization theory, political development theory, democracy (democratization theory), transitology, normativism and normative theory, neo-institutional theory, behavioral theories, critical theory etc.; contemporary concepts of state, dilemmas of modernity and postmodernity in state functioning;
- methodology in research on state in time of change - methods and techniques of research (traditions and innovations) on changes in contemporary states; including changes  of political institutions and relations between them, functions of the state, entities of the political system, quality of democracy, political participation,  political communication, political marketing, mediatisation of politics, national security; research on change in state and its elements in the light of such research “tools” as systemic analysis, political narrative analysis, comparative method, decision making method, historical methods, statistical method, sociological methods.


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