The International Conference on Policy Diffusion and Development Cooperation aims to bring together local and international participants. Since this is an international event, those wishing to participate in the plenary discussions will require a minimum level of fluency in English and only submissions in English will be accepted.

Only proposals presenting research findings will be eligible. Applicants must be at least in the latter stages of study for a Masters in order to present at the sessions.

Undergraduate students are invited to present their research as a poster.

Abstracts of proposed papers and posters are due by 15 November 2017. All applicants will be notified by 15 December 2017. Complete papers are due by 1st April 2018.

A bit about the conference, from its website:

Policy diffusion and development cooperation are two intrinsically intertwined fields of research. However, each research area has followed a specific path, resulting in development of independent research agendas and the emergence of specific concepts, methods and theories to interpret their objects of study. In many ways, analysis of issues from the current global order would benefit if these two disciplines became closer. The most evident aspect the fields share is that policy diffusion frequently takes place directly or indirectly via international cooperation. Sometimes, diffusion is a key part of development cooperation projects. This became more frequent in the realm of the so-called south–south cooperation, where policy models developed in emerging economies such as Brazil were transferred to Latin America, Africa and Asia.

Policy diffusion promoted by domestic and foreign actors via development cooperation raises several questions that remain unexplored and overlooked by the literature. These deserve more attention to amplify knowledge in the fields. How do development cooperation and diffusion create new power relations? Which identities, ideas and narratives are being (re)produced? Which actors, private and public (e.g. think-tanks, foundations, corporations, networks, states, international organisations), are engaged in these processes? When do resistance dynamics – from governments and civil society – emerge around transfer impositions? What is being transferred (ideas, models, interests, national coalitions, elites, discourses, etc.), to where (city, state, international organisation) and how it is being translated to other contexts? In which spaces or institutions are models being legitimised (or delegitimized) and diffusion encouraged? How do these arenas operate? Do policy diffusion and development cooperation lead to mutual learning? In what way do staff recruitment and reconfiguration of international organisations’ bureaucracy impact upon policy diffusion and development cooperation?

The use of development cooperation as a soft power strategy by states is not new. The difference relates to recently emergent actors and mechanisms, resulting in a reconfiguration of soft power resources. Brazil progressively became more interested in promoting its policies abroad. Indeed, social policies were part of the Brazilian foreign affairs strategy (Pimenta de Faria, 2012). Policies relating to, for example, conditional cash transfer programs, food purchase and health, were transferred from Brazil to Latin American and African partners (Leite, Peres, 2013; Cabral, Shankland, Favaretto, 2014). China invested heavily in development cooperation in Africa in different areas, promoting a narrative, which insisted on a “mutual benefit” model. However, new forms of imperialism can be seen in the solidarity claims of south–south cooperation (Alden, Large, Soares de Oliveira, 2008).


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