Coalition for Critical Qualitative Inquiry


May 16, 2018, Wednesday Program Plan and Limited Call for Paper Proposals

Deadline for Proposal Abstracts: October 15, 2017

Focusing on the 2018 ICQI theme “Qualitative Inquiry in Troubled Times” and motivated by the work of Donna Haraway (2016), Staying with the Troubles, and others that inspire and persuade us to think difference, complexity, multiplicity, and immanent relations, the Coalition for Critical Qualitative Inquiry program accepts the challenge to use critical qualitative inquiry and public activism to “stay with the troubles.” We believe that the troubles generated by/within/because of our neoliberal condition must be engaged through critical policy and counter forms of governmentality and action (as may be found though relations created between fields like qualitative inquiry, public policy, and critical management studies), as well as embracing multi-utopian and unthinkable policy/futures.

The 2 morning sessions and panel discussion described below illustrate the broad plan for the program that would address the troubles.  Co-Chairpersons for each session will be inviting paper presenters; additionally, those interested in submitting an abstract to be reviewed as a possible presentation within one of the sessions should submit an abstract to Gaile Cannella at or Mirka Koro-Ljungberg at by October 15, 2017. Because of the limited time for presentations during the day, we may not be able to accept all presentations. For this reason, the proposal submitters will be notified as to the disposition of abstracts by November 1 so papers can be submitted to the Congress broadly by the December 1 deadline.  All are very much encouraged to attend.  The audience discussion, and the expertise represented by all participants in the audience is of utmost importance. Please do not hesitate to contact Gaile or Mirka with any questions.

Staying with Policy (Justice and Implementation) in

Troubled Times

1st Morning Paper Session

Co-Chairpersons: Carlos Pavao, Julianne Cheek, and Mathias Urban

Acknowledging Policy Studies Through Qualitative Research:  Traditional and Otherwise

Considering the current neoliberal, capitalist patriarchal condition, many qualitative researchers find themselves attempting to understand, think, and act to address these very troubled times.  Involvement with public policy conceptualizations and forms of implementation may under these disastrous circumstances be the position from which qualitative research(ers) may wish to explore possibilities for action.  We propose that qualitative policy work is imperative for addressing the pressing problems in society, including issues of power, justice, and the making of invisibility/exclusions/silences, as well as achieving critical progress toward, and acknowledging limitations imposed by, democracy(ies). For these reasons, the papers in this session address the following:  What is the role of qualitative research for policy studies (currently and in the future)?  How can/does qualitative inquiry (critical or otherwise) serve as an avenue for the construction of public policy that addresses the needs of traditionally marginalized or hard to reach populations, social justice, and/or justice broadly? How can qualitative policy studies reveal systemic strategies/laws/public contracts and methods of implementation that are harmful or beneficial?  How can those with critical justice concerns learn from each other across local, national, international, and state locations? What kinds of actions are possible for qualitative researchers? Furthermore, this session exemplifies diverse ways in which critical policies may survive and create spaces of productive resistance in current troubled times and during increased and ever spreading global right’s reductionist agendas and practices.

2nd Morning Paper Session

Co-Chairpersons: Angelo Benozzo and Gaile S. Cannella

Critical Management Studies, Governmentality, and State Policy

As with the range of other fields (e.g. psychology, education), some scholars have questioned the politics of managerialism and neoliberal management techniques, developing a perspective that has been labeled critical management studies.  Similar to critical policy studies, critical management studies have principally used critical theory and been dominated by perspectives gained from the Frankfurt School and poststructural scholars like Foucault, Derrida, and Deleuze. Just as critical policy studies employ Foucault’s notion of governmentality to understand the ways particular populations are constructed, governed and expected to discipline themselves (e.g. older citizens), critical management studies use the notion of governmentality to explore how administrative power disciplines individuals and embeds them within capitalist expectations like efficiency (whether worker or manager). However, these very related critical pespectives have not tended to overlap often, have not usually resulted in more just transformations, and have certainly not partnered with qualitative inquiry with the field’s profound advances related to complexity, multiplicity, and public activism. The papers in this session focus on field integration that could address the disastrous circumstance of neoliberal, capitalist patriarchy with questions like:  How can the field of qualitative inquiry expand possibilities for critical management studies that are transformative?  How can qualitative inquiry facilitate integration of/between fields like critical management studies and various forms of public policy?  Perspectives that would decenter the human are gaining ground in a range of critical fields as well as qualitative inquiry.  When these perspectives are integrated into critical management studies (and perhaps integrated with critical policy studies), for example “understanding governmentality as immanent and as relations between people, the more-than-human, the environment, and the state,” how is qualitative inquiry conceived and practiced within the fields? As boundary crossings? As locations for more just actions?

Afternoon Panel

Co-Chairpersons: Marek Tesar and Mirka Koro-Ljungberg

Avoiding Denial of/in Troubled Times:  Multiplicities and Utopian Policy Dialogues 

Policy discourses, many current policy studies, and even practices of many policy/advocacy groups follow and portray policy as fixed, predictable, more or less carefully planned yet always already thought and historically situated practice. In this panel, we focus on the transformative dialogue and productive potential of utopian policy (with utopian as always/already the multiple); policies that speak ‘different language’, policies that target unthinkable groups and individuals, policies that utilize the unthought and impossible in ethical ways and so on. More radical and utopian visions of policy and an always present multiplicity of policy dialogues prompts difference and as such could provoke others to think and act in unpredictable and affirmative ways. Utopian policy also has many unintentional effects, discursive, and material forms of impact that shape the practice and opinions of those involved in and impacted by policies. To address multiplicity and complexity of utopian policy, presenters in this session engage in transformative dialogue discussing utopian and ‘unthinkable’ policy/futures. They explore radical, creative, unthinkable, impossible, uncharted policies that push back and produce a/e/ffects. What might the policies of the future look like?  How might radical, transformative, and ‘unthinkable policy’ function? And, could we ever know what multi-utopian policies and policy/futures produce?

Contact the following if you have ideas for the topics and/or would like to assist in planning:          Gaile S. Cannella

Mirka Koro-Ljungberg

Mathias Urban