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Inaugural International Workshop for Young Scholars in Public Policy and Administration Research a Huge Success

Jose Luis Irizarry, Alex He Jingwei

The Inaugural International Workshop for Young Scholars in Public Policy and Administration Research: The Role of Institutions in an Era of Change, was a great success. Over 12 countries were represented by more than 40 participants from 22 universities.

The conference was held May 31-June 3, 2011, in the beautiful city of Xiamen, the People’s Republic of China. It was sponsored by the ASIAN Society for Institutional Analysis (ASIASIA), the American Society for Public Administration (ASPA), and the School of Public Affairs, Xiamen University. Accommodations were provided by Xiamen’s National Accounting Institute.

The conference is the result of an initiative among ASIASIA, ASPA and Xiamen University. Its purpose was to provide young scholars from around the world with a high-profile,academically rigorous, platform for scholarly exchange and mutual learning.

The conference was intensive. Modeled after conferences at the Ronald Coase Institute, participants presented their work three times, each time highlighting areas of improvement. During presentations, senior scholars acted as mentors and coaches, providing feedback and suggestions to each of the young scholars on the panels. Then panelists improved their papers and presentations by incorporating suggestions and then presented their papers again. Once again, they received feedback and engaged in in-depth discussions with mentors. Then it was back to the drawing board to review, edit, improve and finalize their papers for the final round of presentations in front of all participants. The final presentations demonstrated just how valuable this intensive format was. Here is what some of the participants had to say:

“It was a great honor to present at the Inaugural International Workshop for Young Scholars in Public Policy and Administration Research in Xiamen University. This was the most fruitful workshop I’ve attended since the beginning of my PhD. The organizing committee had done an excellent job in facilitating intellectual exchange. The faculty participants gave me invaluable comments about my work. Xiamen is very beautiful and Xiamen University provided very good hospitality. It was a wonderful experience to be there…In my case, my work is about crisis management in a country specific political context and much of my work follows the area study tradition rather than based on administrative science. After the workshop, I am now much more confident in presenting this work to a wider audience…I will definitely attend this workshop again next year and would like to recommend this wonderful academic event to young scholars working in the field of public policy and administrative research.” Yuefan Xiao, PhD Candidate in Politics and International Studies, University of Warwick.

“[The] workshop at Xiamen, [is] the best workshop among the workshops that I attended before. This module must be continued in the future for young scholars.” Nur Syakiran Akmal Ismail, PhD Candidate, National University of Malaysia.

“First, I want to send my big thanks to [the] faculty and organizing committee for this excellent workshop in Xiamen. I especially appreciate your knowledge, time and experience that have been shared with us…I also want to thank all the participants in this workshop. I’m grateful that I had an opportunity to learn of the different research projects you are doing–they really opened my perspective and inspired my interest in public policy and institution analysis…I strongly suggest that you continue this workshop for young scholars in the future.” Hongmei Tong, PhD Candidate, Faculty of Social Work, University of Calgary.

This conference would not have been the success that it was without the dedication, participation, and good sportsmanship from our participants. We extend our sincerest gratitude and appreciation to them.

Additionally we would like to send a special thank you to each of the senior scholars who participated in our conference by presenting their own research and mentoring and guiding our young scholars in this week-long conference. Thank you:

  • Dr. Chen Zhenming, Professor and Dean of the School of Public Affairs, Xiamen University;
  • Dr. Eduardo Araral Jr., Assistant Dean and Assistant Professor, Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, National University of Singapore;
  • Eran Vigoda-Gadot, Head, School of Political Sciences, University of Haifa;
  • Dr. Geranda Notten, Assistant Professor, Graduate School of Public and International Affairs, University of Ottawa;
  • Dr. Mary Ellen Guy, Professor, School of Public Affairs, University of Colorado;
  • Dr. Meredith Newman, Professor and Chair, Department of Public Administration, Florida International University;
  • Dr. Olga Vasilyeva, Associate Professor, Department of Economics, Amur State University;
  • Dr. Qiushi Wang, Assistant Professor, School of Public Affairs and Administration, Rutgers University–Newark; &
  • Dr. Stephen Condrey, Vice President, The American Society for Public Administration.

This conference provided everyone with an opportunity to share their research and research interests in a safe and supportive environment. Everyone was able to engage in extensive intellectual debate and students were able to polish their dissertation research. Senior scholars not only presented their research, and talked about their experiences and their careers, but they also enjoyed the being re-invigorated and re-energized by engaging, supporting, and mentoring the young scholars who participated in the conference.

ASPA and ASIASIA are in conversations to make the second annual conference a reality and we ask for your support.

ASPA member Jose Luis Irizarry is student representative, National Council, The American Society for
Public Administration. Email: [email protected]

Alex He Jingwei is secretary general, Asian
Society for Institutional Analysis.

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