The CONSENSUS team met for a second time, now in the lovely city of Aarhus, Denmark. On the ample campus of the University of Aarhus, the Danish project Partners had organized a conference room with all conveniences – including very tasty catering.
At the beginning, the six project partners informed each other of the current status of data collection regarding the countries of their responsibility. All participants were pleased to notice the good progress this issue was making. It was foreseeable that the deadline end of October could be met.
A lively discussion emerged around questions regarding the coding scheme. Konstanz team member Jale Tosun presented possible solutions for the problem of coding the output data, clarifying during the discussion that the count data structure could also reflect the magnitude of individual policy change events. Additionally, the project partners agreed on preparing a rough measure of magnitude to be assigned by the coders. Further work on a draft coding manual to be prepared by the Konstanz team was scheduled to take place at the meeting of coders in Berlin in December. Regarding data structure, Jacint Jordana from the Institut Barcelona d’Estudis Internacionals convinced the participants that the best solution was to compile an event dataset which could be transformed to count data later on.
After a very tasty dinner and a recreative night, it became clear that the most appropriate strategy to elucidate the complex mechanisms of policy dismantling will be to do ex ante case studies, complementing the already agreed-on ex post case studies. So each project team was entrusted with one ex ante and one ex post case study and Berlin team member Per-Olof Busch will elaborate a framework of analysis
To sum up, the Aarhus conference contributed strongly to approaching the goal of the CONSENSUS project. Now, all team members are looking forward to the next meeting in Brussels in September 2009.