Conference in the Honour of Adrienne Héritier on the occasion of her 70th birthday - Report
Nov 14, 2014
On July 4 and 5, 2014 students and affiliates of Professor Adrienne Héritier were gathered at a conference on the occasion of her 70th birthday and her official retirement from the European University Institute in Florence. The birthday conference under the title 'Perspectives on European Governance in Comparative Perspective: Interests, Institutions and Policy-making' aimed at encapsulating the versatility of Adrienne's scholarship as a way of thanking her for the admirable contribution she had made to the discipline of political science in general and her students in particular.
The conference was kicked off by a panel on EU governance chaired by Thomas Risse. The first paper in the panel by Edoardo Bressanelli, Christel Koop and Christine Reh built on Adrienne's work on informal institutions by focusing on the impact of early agreements on the cohesion of the political groups in the European Parliament. In the second paper, Eva Heidbreder had surveyed Adrienne's entire scholarship and applied it to the case of policy enforcement in the light of European governance. The next two papers in the panel took issue with the modes of governance spurred by the economic crises in Europe; one by Magnus G. Schoeller, Mattia Guidi and Yannis Karagiannis focusing on political leadership and the second one by Benjamin Braun (who did not attend) and Dieter Kerwer on the banking crisis. The four papers were discussed by Susanne Schmidt and the birthday child herself.
After a delicious lunch at the restaurant, the conference continued with the second panel on policy analysis chaired by Tanja Börzel. Michaël Tatham presented the first paper in the panel, in which he tried to develop the strategic choice approach by Lake and Powell that Adrienne has been teaching her students. In the second paper presentation, Michael W. Bauer and Christoph Knill discussed a project, of which Adrienne is also a part, on the question of how to measure the volume of public policy. Katharina Holzinger followed with a presentation of a paper taking stock of a special issue of the German Political Science Review, which Adrienne edited almost 20 years ago. The fourth and last presentation by Sandra Lavenex focused on the intersection of policy analysis and international relations. Renate Mayntz and Fritz Scharpf acted as discussants of the second panel.
After the two academic panels it was time for some exercise! In the spirit of Adrienne a basketball and a table tennis tournament took place among the participants. Not surprisingly Adrienne was among the winners together with Rebecca Wolffberger, Edoardo Brasanelli (who had brought his own racquets) and David Willumsen. Subsequently, the participants met for a birthday dinner at Restaurant Piaggio and watched the world cup match between Germany and France, the results of which raised the spirit of most though not all. After the dinner many of the guests reflected on the admirable professional and personal traits of Adrienne.
The next day the third and last panel on regulation and governance chaired by Edgar Grande took place. Catherine Moury opened the panel presenting a paper which analyzed the transformation of politics in Portugal due to the Eurozone crisis. Then, Nicole Bolleyer presented a paper on how parties in the UK were utilizing informal resources provided by the state and the regulation put in place to prevent abuse. Dirk Lehmkuhl followed with a paper on the interaction between the public and private in dispute resolution in international sport. The final paper presentation by Christian Thauer examined whether the demand for social policies in South Africa with regard to AIDS was employer - or employee - driven. The last group of papers was reviewed by Jacint Jordana before Tanja Börzel closed the conference. All in all, the conference had contained a good balance between academic presentations and social activities in order to honor Adrienne on her 70th birthday.
By Mads Christian Dagnis Jensen