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01 December 2021
Administrative Burdens and the Asia Pacific Region
The Asia Pacific Journal of Public Administration (APJPA) will publish a special issue focusing on the theme of administrative burdens and the Asia-Pacific region.
Administrative burdens have been conceptualized as people’s experience of policy implementation as onerous, taking the form of learning, compliance and psychological costs that people experience in their interactions with the state (Herd and Moynihan 2018, see also Heinrich 2018, Peters 2020, Masood and Nisar 2020). Such burdens can have a large effect on whether people can access benefits or rights to which they are entitled, and shape public beliefs about their relationship with government. They can also make it harder for public officials to do their jobs.
The bulk of the research on this topic has occurred in Western countries. This special issue would help to establish research from the Asia Pacific region on the topic of administration burdens by identifying what relevant knowledge already exists, considering if regional differences are relevant, and featuring new empirical research. Some research questions on this topic include, but are not limited to:
- Why do administrative burdens emerge? To what extent are burdens deliberate or an unanticipated consequence of program design and administration?
- How do burdens affect participation in programs, or access to basic rights?
- How do burdens facilitate inequality? Are they targeted toward some groups more than others? Do some groups have less capacity to overcome burdens? Which groups are the marginalized groups in different settings?
- What factors shape burden tolerance, i.e. the willingness of members of public, bureaucrats, or policymakers to accept and impose burdens on others?
- How do members of the public respond to burdens? How do they experience psychological costs? What coping mechanisms do they employ? How does it affect their perception of state actors?
- How do administrators view burdens? How do these views shape the perceptions of their jobs?
- Do issues of organizational or broader societal culture affect how burdens are imposed and experienced? In other words, are employees more likely to impose hassles, and citizens more likely to tolerate them (or find ways to work around them) in certain cultural contexts?
- What are design solutions to minimize burdens, such as nudges, providing direct help, or redesigning systems?
What type of papers might fit?:
- Systematic literature reviews or meta-analyses of non-Western/Asia Pacific research on administrative burden. Reviews could also incorporate studies not published in English.
- Thorough case studies of how burdens arise in a specific policy area, and the consequences they impose, e.g. the Chinese hukou system.
- Relationships between culture and administrative burdens.
- The nature of burdens across regime types (e.g., democratic, authoritarian), which shed light on different types of state-citizen relationships.
- Identification of types of administrative burdens not considered in existing research.
- Comparative inter-regional or intra-regional studies.
- Original research that collects the perspectives of the public, administrators, or policymakers.
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The editors of the special issue—Donald Moynihan ([email protected]) and Pamela Herd ([email protected]) —welcome questions about paper proposals and are happy to comment on draft submissions. Please direct any questions, draft proposals or draft papers to the special issue co-editors. In the subject line, please use “APJPA Special Issue”.
Deadline to submit article proposals (300-350 words) to co-editors: June 30, 2021.
Deadline to submit a working draft to co-editors (OPTIONAL): August 15, 2021.
Deadline for paper submissions to APJPA’s ScholarOne manuscript management system for consideration in the special issue: December 1, 2021. Submitted papers will undergo a peer review process to be eligible for publication.
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