Challenges and New Directions in Multi-Level Governance: IPSA 75th Anniversary Conference

Coined in the early 1990s, the term 'multi-level governance' initially described and analyzed the new procedures displayed for the development and implementation of public policies in the European Union. The usage of the term soon spread beyond EU studies. In the contemporary definition, multi-level governance refers to changes in the structure of governance at the sub-national, state and supra-national level; it encompasses the study of a variety of actors involved in the decision-making process and in the implementation of these decisions. Nowadays, we find the term ‘multi-level governance’ in a number of subfields and topics, such as the European Union political processes, the transformations of the polity structures, federalism, international relations, and public policy or local government.

One of the premises of multi-level governance is that the nation-state is not vanishing or disappearing, but it is witnessing a role transformation in a network of actors, governmental and non-governmental from different territorial levels with which the national authorities interact, negotiate, agree, cooperate, and compete. Multi-level governance encompasses formal structural changes in political institutions at different territorial levels, but also the connections and interactions of diverse public and private actors, institutions, and their respective jurisdictions in a variety of territorial arenas of the decision-making and implementation processes. Thus, according to the multi-level governance approach, the decision-making process at various levels of government becomes more participatory than hierarchical, more fluid and informal than ordered and structured, more oriented towards negotiations and agreements than to imposed or authoritative unilateral decisions, and conceived in a network-based approach between national government and other actors rather than in a hierarchical conception.

At various degrees, multi-level government structures entangle different actors and levels of government in all countries in our globalized world. Yet, this current world order of multi-level governance is also at a crossroads. On the one hand, global threats such as climate change or transboundary crisis like COVID-19 can only be combatted through multilayered cooperation. On the other hand, the current world order of interdependence is increasingly contested. Even to the least politically aware, rifts in all levels of governments begin to surface strongly. On the global scheme, the end of history thesis which postulates the spread of democratic governance to any place of the world has long been obsolete. National governments as well as political actors within states (e.g. populist radical right or left wing parties) contest supra-national institutions such as the EU more and more. In addition, we are currently witnessing upheavals with violent overthrows of governments, autocratic erosion of democratic institutions, extensive contestation of established power structures and widespread disillusionment of parts of the populations regarding liberal democratic institutions. Against the backdrop of these developments, this conference aims to evaluate challenges and new directions in multi-level governance. In line with the global mission of IPSA, some special sessions will try to determine the most important challenges toward global governance in various regions of the world.

Questions of interest are:

  1. What are the current trends regarding the national world order?
  2. How do national and subnational actors challenge or defend regional governance systems such as the European Union?
  3. Will the current populist wave sweep away the subnational, national and supranational systems of governance?
  4. Will it be possible to find truly international solutions for global problems such as the climate crisis?
  5. How can decentralization and federal structures help in these processes and what challenges are they addressing?
  6. How do state and non-state actors adapt to the new challenges of the 21st century?
  7. Will we be in for a new cold-war-like era with a divide between East and West?
  8. Regionally, what will be the most important challenges to multi-level governance?

Program Committee

Prof. Pablo Õnate
IPSA President, Professor and Chair of Political Science at University of Valencia (Spain)
Prof. Yuko Kasuya
IPSA President-Elect, Professor of Political Science, Faculty of Law, Keio University Tokyo (Japan)
Prof. Daniel Stockemer
IPSR Co-Editor, Full Professor, School of Political Studies, University of Ottawa (Canada)
Dr. Kim Fontaine-Skronski
IPSA Executive Director, Affiliate Assistant Professor of Political Science, Concordia University (Canada)
Prof. Daniel Salée
Professor and Chair of Political Science at Concordia University (Canada)

Call for Papers 

In this call for papers, we welcome papers that seek to understand and explain current challenges to multilevel decision-making and government structures across the globe. Whilst the focus is on current challenges to and new directions in multi-level governance, we also accept traditional papers on multilevel governance. These include the study of federalism, decentralization, regional (subnational) and international organizations, political structures, national and transnational social movements, and political actors. This two-day conference will take place in person on 25-26 April 2024 in Montreal, Canada.

For more information, please contact:

How to Submit a Paper - 20 October to 14 December 2023

In order to submit a proposal for consideration for the Challenges and New Directions in Multi-Level Governance: IPSA 75th Anniversary Conference, please complete the Paper Submission Form, which can be accessed by clicking on the button below.

Paper Submission Form


Conference Partners


Preliminary Program

25 April 2024 | 9:00 – 19:00 EDT

08:00 – 09:00 Registration
09:00 – 09:30 Opening Remarks
09:45 – 11:15 Panels 1 and 2
11:15 – 11:30 Break
11:30 – 13:00 Panels 3 and 4
13:00 – 14:00 Lunch
14:00 – 15:30 Panels 5 and 6
15:30 – 15:45 Break
15:45 – 17:15 Practitioners’ Roundtable on Challenges and New Directions in Multi-Level Governance
17:30 – 19:00 Reception


26 April 2024 | 9:00 – 17:00 EDT

08:00 – 09:00 Registration
09:00 – 10:30 Panels 7 and 8
10:30 – 10:45 Break
10:45 – 12:15 Panels 9 and 10
12:15 – 13:30 Lunch
13:30 – 15:00 Panels 11 and 12
15:00 – 15:15 Break
15:15 – 16:45 Academics’ Roundtable on Challenges and New Directions in Multi-Level Governance
16:45 – 17:00 Closing Remarks


To submit a paper proposal for consideration for the Challenges and New Directions in Multi-Level Governance: IPSA 75th Anniversary Conference, please complete the Paper Submission Form.

Paper Submission Form

Important Dates

20 October 2023 Call for Proposals Opens
14 December 2023 Extended Deadline to Submit a Paper Proposal
25 January 2024 Acceptance or Rejection Notifications (sent by email to the individual who submitted the proposal)
Registration Opens
22 March 2024 Deadline to Register for the Conference
17 April 2024 Deadline to Submit Paper
25-26 April 2024 Conference Dates

Guidelines for Paper Proposals

To submit a proposal for consideration, please complete the Proposal Submission Form by 14 December 2023.

  • The abstract must contain 250-300 words.
  • Do not include references, bibliographical notes, or your contact information in the abstract text.
  • Please review spelling and grammar before submitting your abstract.

Paper Submission Form

Guidelines for Full Papers

Main authors of accepted proposals will be asked to submit the complete paper in PDF format by 17 April 2024.

  • A written paper, in English, no more than 25 pages, single-spaced on letter-sized pages (8.5” x 11”) or A4.
  • Authors are free to choose the citation style of their paper.
  • Please review spelling and grammar before submitting your paper.
  • Papers should be submitted in PDF format only.


Important Dates

25 January 2024 Registration Opens
22 March 2024 Deadline to Register for the Conference
25-26 April 2024 Conference Dates

Registration Fees

Members of the International Political Science Association (IPSA), the Canadian Political Science Association (CPSA), and Société québécoise de science politique (SQSP) benefit from a reduced registration fee to attend the conference.

Note: Invitation letters will be issued upon request to the individuals who have registered and have an accepted role in the program. Invitation letters will not be issued to observers.

IPSA/CPSA/SQSP Member Registration Fees
Regular Member - Country Groups A & B $60 USD
Student Member - Country Groups A & B FREE
Regular Member - Country Groups C & D $25 USD
Student Member - Country Groups C & D FREE


Country Group Lists


Non-Member Registration Fees
Non-Member Regular $90 USD
Non-Member Student $45 USD


Note that the Call for Proposals is open from 20 October 2023 to 14 December 2023. To submit a proposal, please complete the Proposal Submission Form.

. Paper Submission Form

Foundation of IPSA

IPSA was founded in September 1949, when representatives from sixteen countries gathered at UNESCO House in Paris. That inaugural meeting was led by delegations from the national associations of IPSA’s four founding countries: the United States, Canada, India, and France. In late 1949, the first Executive Committee and Executive Secretary begun to put into place the structures that would enable IPSA to take up the challenge laid out in its constitution: "[promoting] the advancement of political science throughout the world."

The first article about the creation of IPSA, published in the UNESCO Courier in November 1949.

IPSA's First Logo

IPSA Letterhead used in the 1980's


Since its first World Congress of Political Science in Zürich in 1950, IPSA has organized 25 successful World Congresses and numerous conferences across the world and more than 25,000 people attended these international events.

7th IPSA World Congress - Brussels, 1967

11th IPSA World Congress - Moscow, 1979

20th IPSA World Congress - Fukuoka, 2006


Today, IPSA publications, International Political Science Review and International Political Science Abstracts, as well as the IPSA Portal, seek to meet the needs of political scientists in different parts of the world. IPSA also organizes various Summer Schools for students and young researchers in collaboration with prominent universities and offers free IPSAMOOC - Massive Open Online Course - on its website.

A Roundtable Discussion Organized by IPSA  - Tokyo, 1982

IPSA Celebrated the 10th Anniversary of the Establishment of its Permanent  Secretariat in Montréal - 2016


IPSA's first virtual conference, The UN at 75: Challenges and Prospects for the Future of Multilateralism, was organized from 19-21 October 2020 to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the founding of the United Nations. You can view the complete session videos on the conference page

The first virtual IPSA World Congress was held from 10-15 July 2021 and had 2,760 participants and became the second most attended event in the history of the Association, after the 2012 World Congress in Madrid. To access the daily highlights and selected session videos, please visit the Congress page.


IPSA organized the Open-Access Publishing: A New Era in Scholarly Communication conference onsite at Concordia University in Montreal and virtually from 13-14 September 2022 to contribute to the future of scholarly publishing. You can view the complete session videos on the conference page and access the conference photos on our Flickr account.

IPSA published its first open-access book, Does the UN Model Work? Challenges and Prospects for the Future of Multilateralism in 2022. Edited by Kim Fontaine-Skronski, IPSA Executive Director, Valériane Thool, Lecturer in International Law at the University of Sherbrooke, and Norbert Eschborn, Director of the Konrad Adenauer Foundation in Canada, the book is composed of original articles from scholars and policy notes from practitioners based on the contributions to the Conference “The UN at 75: Challenges and Prospects for the Future of Multilateralism”. Read this open-access book here.


The 2023 IPSA World Congress, held in Buenos Aires from July 15-19, proved a great success, with 3,096 registered participants from 102 countries.To access the daily highlights and selected session videos, please visit the Congress page.


We are proud that IPSA has successfully accomplished its mission of creating a global, inclusive political science community, which today counts 61 national and regional associations, over 81 institutional members, and more than 4,000 individual members.

Invitation to partner with IPSA on the Challenges and New Directions in Multi-Level Governance Conference

The Challenges and New Directions in Multi-Level Governance conference is an opportunity to network with prominent scholars, international associations, NGOs, and students. Promote your institution or organization, support your brand and maintain a high profile among delegates. 

The following opportunities exist for sponsorship and advertising. For more information, please consult the Sponsorship & Visibility Kit (button below) or contact Haluk Dag at

Sponsorship & Advertising Kit

Summary of Products (all prices are in USD) 


Gold Sponsorship Package $5,000 
Silver Sponsorship Package $3,000 
Bronze Sponsorship Package $2,000
Contribution to Travel Grants $1,000
Conference Keynote Session $500


Promotional email to conference delegates and IPSA members $1,000 
Banner on the IPSA website for 30 days $750
Onsite exibition table $500
Newsletter Banner Advertisement $250
Video ads $300 or $200



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