International Conference on Historical-Materialist Policy Analysis

at the University of Vienna | Call for Papers

Date and location: Thursday, 10 October, and Friday, 11 October, 2024, at the University of Vienna – Opening panel on the political impact of policy analysis on Wednesday evening, October 9, 2024.

Over the past decade, historical-materialist policy analysis (HMPA) has emerged as a significant analytical approach in policy studies. Its primary objective is to analyse how specific policies take shape against the background of inherently competing and contradictory interests of different social forces. The analysis of politics and policies considers material structures and interests within the context of diverse production and reproduction social relations as crucial dimensions, encompassing societal relations to nature. These are contradictory, dynamic, and crisis-prone and lead to latent or manifest political conflicts. HMPA, in its historical relevance, attempts to situate policies in the context of emerging and evolving social relations, along with the associated conflicts over time. The aim is to understand how certain policies are embedded in historically evolved complex social relations, which form the „context“ and a „corridor“ of policies and policy-making. Methodologically, HMPA differs from other approaches to political and policy analysis by taking social conflicts as the foundational point for the analysis. The proposal of the Frankfurt-Marburg research group „State Project Europe“ was important for the operationalisation of the approach, namely its application as a context, actor, and process analysis. The Vienna HMPA research group further developed this operationalisation. The objective is to expand the analytical and methodological repertoire of historical-materialist political science on the one hand and policy analysis on the other. Notably, references are drawn to interpretative policy analysis (IPA) and cultural political economy (CPE).

The 1st Vienna Conference on HMPA aims to bring together scholars working with HMPA and other scholars in the field of policy studies to discuss and further develop the theoretical framework, methodology, and operationalisation. We therefore explicitly aim to bring HMPA into dialogue with other approaches to policy analysis, as well as critical political economy.

The 1st Vienna Conference on HMPA will take place on Thursday, October 10, and Friday, October 11, 2024, at the University of Vienna. If of interest, we will consider organising a pre-conference for Master students on Wednesday afternoon (October 9, 2024), providing them with the opportunity to present their work.

Keynote and panel speakers (confirmed): Laura Álvarez Huwiler (University of Quilmes, Buenos Aires), Sonja Buckel (University of Kassel), Daniela Caterina (Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan), Fabian Georgi (University of Marburg), Barbara Prainsack (University of Vienna), Birgit Sauer (University of Vienna) – TBC: Bob Jessop (University of Lancaster), David Tyfield (University of Lancaster)

We invite scholars who work with HMPA or with related approaches and who are interested in a conversation with HMPA to present their work in Vienna. Possible topics and approaches include,

  • work on theoretical issues, including the operationalisation of, e.g., regulation theory, materialist state theory, neo-Gramscian hegemony theory, feminist political economy,
  • work on methodological issues and innovations, e.g., analysing discourses, relationships of forces or the relationship between structure and agency,
  • empirical work with HMPA or related critical approaches in different fields such as economic, financial, environmental, gender, or migration policies,
  • conceptual and empirical work on the multi-scalarity of policies, e.g., in the context of the European Union.

To apply for participation, kindly submit an abstract (max. 350 words) and a brief bio (max. 50 words) by April 5, 2024, to the following email-address:

We will notify you by April 30, 2024, whether your abstract has been accepted.

We ask Master students who submit an abstract to indicate whether they want to present their work at a pre-conference or the main conference.
There is no participation fee and you are invited to the conference dinner. While in principle, we are unable to cover costs for travel and accommodation, we do have funds available for a limited number of stipends. We kindly ask you to request one if your participation is not otherwise financed.

We look forward to a fruitful exchange in Vienna!

Best wishes,
The Organising Committee of the Vienna HMPA Conference
Alina Brad, Ulrich Brand, Carolin Hirt, Gabriel Eyselein, Lea Feichtinger, Anna Preiser, Valerie Lenikus, Jakob Scherer, Etienne Schneider

Kategorie: Konferenz
Datum: 9. Oktober 2024 – 11. Oktober 2024
Ort: University of Vienna