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16 August 2021
02 January 2022
The Time Has Come: Broadly Integrating Critical Race Theory as an Analytic Lens in Public and Nonprofit Management
Over the last few years, the disciplines of public administration (PA) and nonprofit management (NP) have contributed to the rhetoric surrounding the importance of both documenting and understanding historically marginalized voices. This rhetoric is not only a byproduct of these disciplines' focus on social equity, but their more concerted effort to more officially engage with the effects of historical discriminatory and/or oppressive institutional structures as a means of promoting social equity. This interest has become even more salient in the past year with the prominence of situations requiring public and nonprofit solutions to address the desperate impacts of COVID-19, state enabled police brutality, climate change, depressed economic conditions, and many other wicked social problems. Along these lines, at the American Society for Public Administration’s 2021 meetings, one of the overarching themes of the conference related to the need for applying new theoretical lenses for understanding Black, Indigenous and People of Color’s (BIPOC) experiences in their interactions with public administrators and nonprofit organizations. One such example is Critical Race Theory (CRT).
To this point, CRT has not been broadly applied within the field of public administration nor nonprofit management as an analytical lens through which to evaluate polices, programs, organizations, nor services. Although the reason for this can be linked to arguments surrounding institutional racism or the perpetuation of social, political and economic power dynamics, from a research perspective, many continue to be ignorant of its value in helping to understand how large segments of our population interact with and are affected by public administrative and nonprofit practices. As a result, our understanding of BIPOC experiences is based in and continually compared to that of White heterosexuals as opposed to within-group minority experiences. This situation provides a perpetual “othering” to trials and challenges that historically marginalized groups continue to deal with. However, even when researchers value CRT as a framework for understanding, many do not know how to collect or analyze data that is based in this theoretical orientation. Moreover, the traditional types of data that have been used in the analysis of policies and programs also potentially limit the value and usage of CRT as a framework, which begs for the use and disciplinary acceptance of untraditional data sources to better understand the experiences, perspectives and values of historically marginalized and oppressed groups.
In response to these disciplines’ interest, in addition to the political and social need to better understand BIPOC interactions with government and nonprofit organizations, we invite empirical, theoretical and/or applied papers that explore the use of Critical Race Theory (CRT) as a framework in public administration, public policy, and nonprofit management research. We are especially interested in papers that use CRT as a framework for examining social and political issues that have become prominent in discourse over the last year (2020-2021). Along these lines potentially appropriate topics include, but are not limited to:
• Using CRT to understand the desperate impact of COVID-19 and vaccination, climate change, and/or other disasters/pandemics on BIPOC.
• Using CRT as a framework to investigate the administration of policing and/or justice.
• Applied examples demonstrating the implementation of various methodological techniques and/or research designs informed by CRT in public administration or nonprofit scholarship?
• How does the use of CRT as a framework for investigating public administration and policy topics bring us closer to social equity?
• Pedagogies for training future public administrators and nonprofit managers in CRT.
• What new sources of data (i.e. music, poetry, visual aesthetics, etc.) that can be used in public administration, public policy and/or nonprofit management research to evaluate the effectiveness of policies, programs, or services when using CRT as a framework of investigation?
• Applying CRT in historical analysis to understand policy decisions.
• Case examples of how CRT has been applied in the field of public administration and/or nonprofit management.
• Practitioner challenges in applying CRT within public sector agencies and/or nonprofits, and how practitioners have overcome those challenges to pursue social equity.
• What does CRT as a theoretical lens offer the future for promoting and affecting socially just public and nonprofit practices?
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Proposals of no more than 500 words should be submitted by 11:59pm (Eastern Time) on August 16, 2021 to both Dr. Jason Rivera ([email protected]) and Dr. Kirk Leach ([email protected]) with the email subject line, “CRT Special Issue”. Editors will inform authors of decisions on proposal by 11:59 pm on August 31, 2021. Acceptance of a proposal does not guarantee publication.
Full papers accepted for development will be due in Public Integrity’s Editorial Management system by 11:59pm January 2, 2022. Please select "Special Issue Title" when submitting your full manuscript in the electronic system.
Questions should be directed to either Dr. Jason Rivera or Dr. Kirk Leach.
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