Pragmatist Governance or Pragmatism Contra Governance?

Jonathan Zeitlin
Session Organizer:
Nils Kupzok
Nicolas Jabko
Thursday, 2 July 2015: 2:15 PM-3:45 PM
TW1.1.04 (Tower One)
This panel aims at presenting works on the ongoing 'pragmatist turn' in political science, as well as fostering a dialogue between this recent development and the more established scholarly literature on governance. Dissatisfied with structuralist approaches that currently govern many sub-disciplines in political science, various scholars have formulated a perspective that stresses the dynamic and changing character of the social, economic, and political world, the fragility of institutions and governance mechanisms, and the creative and experimental character of agency (e.g. Berk et al. 2014; Schmidt 2014; Herrigel 2010). Many of these scholars base their approach in pragmatist social theory (e.g., Joas 1993; 1996). The first aim of this panel will be to give scholars who work within a pragmatist framework an opportunity to discuss their recent works on policy, regulation, and institutions. Secondly, the panel aims at measuring the space between a pragmatist perspective and the literature on governance. We want to investigate to what degree a pragmatist focus on creative agency contradicts the governance focus on mechanisms of coordination - or how far governance and pragmatism already begin to converge in concepts such as “Experimentalist Governance” (Sabel and Zeitlin 2008). Can pragmatist approaches provide a useful critique to the academic cottage industry on governance, or is there a valuable way forward for a pragmatist take on governance?
Governing the Unknown: The Regulation of Financial Risk
Robert Reamer, University of Chicago