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Association for Middle Eastern Public Policy and Administration Releases Call for Proposals

The Association for Middle Eastern Public Policy and Administration (AMEPPA) is pleased to announce the convening of its Inaugural Conference on November 8 and 9, 2012. in Rabat, Morocco. The conference is also the First Global Conference on Public Policy and Administration in the Middle East.

We are asking scholars both in the Middle East and around the world to participate in this important conference and be part of a scholarly movement dedicated to public service and public interest in the Middle East.

Scholars are encouraged to submit their proposals to the conference co-chairs, Dr. Jennifer Bremer at [email protected] and Dr. Mohamed Harakat at [email protected] no later than August 31st, 2012. Please limit your abstracts to no more than 500 words.

Abstracts that have been accepted should be submitted as full papers to the conference co-chairs no later than 15 October 2012. Since the conference will be organized in two tracks (Arab Spring and Sound Governance), the reviewers will be looking for a number of key features in proposals for papers:

  • Abstracts should be directly related to one of the themes within a track and strongly related to one or more Middle Eastern countries.
  • Abstracts should show evidence of theoretical and conceptual underpinning for the proposed paper.
  • Papers should be empirically based with evidence of new findings from research by the author(s) or direct involvement with the experience being reported; purely reflective/theoretical/conceptual/hypothetical papers are strongly discouraged and will not be accepted.
  • There should be evidence that the proposed paper emerges from contemporary debate within the public policy and administration sphere, broadly defined.
  • It is not necessary for a proposal to have all of these features, but it should have most of them.

Sound Governance: the Key to Peace and Prosperity in the Middle East
The Arab Spring has created new openings for policy reform and for accelerated progress toward sound governance throughout the Middle East. After decades of slow and unsteady progress on governance reform, the region is heading into what many hope will be a new era of greater accountability to citizens, demand for improvement in government services, increased transparency, and real progress on social justice. To meet these demands, government decision- makers need evidence-based policy analysis, better knowledge of how to improve government effectiveness, and practical guidance in achieving proactive reform of the public sector. These needs demonstrate the renewed importance of public policy and public administration not only as a professional discipline but as a key determinant of democracy’s success or failure in the greater Middle East.

AMEPPA’s inaugural conference will provide a welcoming venue for academics and practitioners to come together to explore how public policy and administration professionals can contribute to the region’s transformation. The conference will present emerging ideas, new lessons from experience, and timely research findings to shape public policy and administration.

Within each of these areas, AMEPPA’s Inaugural Conference will explore the dynamics of emerging governance models that can address the uncertainty and turbulence gripping the region in the aftermath of the Arab Spring. Leading voices in public policy and administration will present their perspectives on these challenges. Panels of scholars and practitioners will present the results of recent research and practice.

Papers and proposals for panel presentations are welcomed, including case studies, survey research, best practices, and comparative analyses between and among countries. We particularly welcome evidence-based proposals that focus on themes and the sub-themes within the public policy and public administration tracks identified below as well as perspectives from practitioners that highlight experiences in innovation and change management.

Arab Spring Track

Themes:

1. Origins of the Arab Spring: What were the political, socio-economic and historical factors that led to the Arab Spring; how did such phenomena as tyranny, challenges to autocracy, demographic changes, and corruption create the conditions for the Arab Spring?

2. Implementing the Arab Spring: What role did civil society, youth organizations, social media, and governmental responses play in determining the course of the Arab Spring? What lessons for the conduct of the Arab Spring can be drawn from international experience with revolutionary change?

3. New and Old Actors in the Arab Spring: How will the changing role of Islamist political forces, the Arab feminist movement, the labor movement, new leftist/liberal parties, emerging civil society organizations, old elites, and the military affect and be affected by the Arab Spring?

4. The Arab Spring in the Global Arena: How will the Arab Spring affect foreign policy concerns in the Middle East, such as management of WMD, the peace process, the role of Arab leadership in the region, etc.?

Note: Although the Arab Spring occurred recently and events are still unfolding, prospective authors are strongly encouraged to propose evidence-based papers that draw on research, comparison to other international or historical developments, and rigorous analysis.

Sound Governance Track

Themes:

1. How can we address the key governance challenges of accountability, ethics, and transparency that face the countries of the Middle East, both those emerging from the Arab Spring and those where established governments remain in place?

Subthemes: • Building organizations of integrity • Causes and consequences of a culture of corruption • Ethics in public service • Human rights • Islam, religion and public administration • Leadership styles • Mechanisms for accountability to citizens and legislatures

2. How can governments raise the level and quality of services delivered to citizens to achieve social justice?

Subthemes: • Community participation in program delivery • Cost-Benefit Analysis • Disaster, risk management and emergency response • Education and health services • Environment and sustainability • ICT, e-governance, social media • Innovation in service delivery (social and infrastructure services)

3. How can the productivity and performance of governments’ human and financial resources be improved?

Subthemes: • Acquiring and building a capable civil service • Building a sustainable, equitable and efficient revenue base • Building professional administration and merit-based employment • Comparing compensation and benefits across and within work specialties • Diversity in the civil service (ethnicity, gender, other)Balancing revenue generation and expenditures • Influence of demographic change on recruiting and retaining public employees • Linking policies to financial implications and setting priorities • Strengthening accounting and forecasting techniques, budget cycles

4. How can decentralization and partnering with nonprofit organizations, civil society, and the private sector make a greater contribution to good governance, government effectiveness, and service delivery?

Subthemes: • Civil society and promoting diversity • Decentralization and devolution • Democracy and civic engagement • Local governance • Metropolitan governance • NGOs and NPOs • Relationship between politics and administration

About AMEPPA
The Association for Middle Eastern Public Policy and Administration (AMEPPA) was launched in 2011 as an initiative of professionals and academics in the fields of public policy and public administration who work in or on the Middle East.

The Association for Middle Eastern Public Policy and Administration (AMEPPA) is a global scholarly professional network for public policy and administration issues in the Middle East. It adopts an inclusive definition of the Middle East that does not exclude particular countries, culture or religious traditions. It encourages global participation and organized for the following educational and scientific purposes related to the Middle East:

  • Promoting peace and prosperity in the Middle East through sound governance.  Function as a professional organization of both academics and practitioners of public policy and public administration
  • Provide a medium for public policy experts and public administrators to share their expertise and experiences with each other
  • Devise mechanisms to help the public of Middle Eastern countries to participate in the improvement of public services.
  • Build relationships with other international and national professional organizations devoted to public service.
  • Help increase the representation of different ethnic, religious, and other groups in the public services of the countries involved
  • Help increase the quality of teaching and education in public policy and administration by encouraging its members to share their experiences and expertise
  • Collecting, compiling, and disseminating of information on matters relating to public policy and administration in the Middle East.
  • Encourage and help its members develop and advance active research agendas on public policy and administration
  • Encourage the application of rigorous ethical and intellectual standards in the research applications and professional practice of public policy and administration.

Consistent with the above stated goals, AMEPPA carries out its functions in the following ways:

  • Organizing and participating in the organization of global and regional conferences on the issues of public policy and administration in the Middle East.
  • Conducting workshops and training sessions for practitioners of public policy and administration in the Middle East.
  • Publishing and contributing to the publications of journals and books on issues related to public policy and administration in the Middle East.
  • Provide a partnership with public organizations seeking to improve the following in the Middle East:

1. Policy issues dealing with professional standards and the image of the public service.

2. Policy issues with implications for the management of public organizations and the workplace environment.

3. Policy issues relating to major program areas of public agencies.

AMEPPA’s inaugural conference carries forward one of the organization’s central aims: to provide a medium for public policy experts and public administrators to share their expertise and experiences with each other.

Please join us in Rabat, Morocco on November 8 and 9, 2012 for two days of exciting conversation, professional interaction, new ideas, warm hospitality, and friendship.

For more information visit www.ameppa.org.

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The American Society for Public Administration is the largest and most prominent professional association for public administration. It is dedicated to advancing the art, science, teaching and practice of public and non-profit administration.

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