Submit a Manuscript to the Journal

International Journal of Public Administration

For a Special Issue on

Network Governance of Polycentric Systems: Lessons from the Global South

Abstract deadline
31 December 2023

Manuscript deadline
31 July 2024

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Special Issue Editor(s)

Karina Retamal-Soto, Alberto Hurtado University
[email protected]

Karina Arias-Yurisch, University of Santiago of Chile
[email protected]

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Network Governance of Polycentric Systems: Lessons from the Global South

The governance of polycentric systems has emerged as a critical challenge for research and practice since the institutional complexity embedded to this kind of system implies the operation of multiple and autonomous units that become interdependent to deal with collective action problems (Ostrom 1961; 1991; Berardo & Lubell, 2019, Lubell et al., 2022). In the last decades, the extant literature on polycentric governance has evolved from a normative approach, within which polycentricity is understood as better suited than monocentric systems for providing local public goods, to more empirical perspectives calling for better explanations about how polycentricity are shaped and function in the real world (Berardo & Lubell, 2019; Lubell et al., 2022).

Different frameworks, such as Institutional Analysis and Development (Ostrom 2011, 2019), Institutional Collective Action (Feiock 2013, Kim et al., 2020), and Ecology of Games (Lubell, 2010; Berardo & Lubell, 2019), have provided testable hypotheses to understand the empirical causal processes underlying polycentric governance formation and performance. With some exceptions (among others Berardo et al., 2015; Mancilla & Bodin, 2019; Olivier y Berardo, 2021), these frameworks have been primarily applied in the Global North (Lubell, 2013) creating a research gap in relation to other regions.

This invitation is especially devoted to discussiag the complexities associated with the functioning of polycentric systems in the Global South (Latin America, Asia, Africa, and Oceania). These regions have their own unique contextual and institutional attributes (Spiller & Tommasi 2003; Dados & Cornnell, 2012; Berardo & Lubell, 2016; Olivier y Berardo, 202) which can affect the operation of the governance of polycentricity in different and unknown ways, and thus, its study has the potential to provide new insights into the theoretical building.

We invite researchers to present qualitative or quantitative empirical analyses from the Global South that contribute to both better identify the challenges posed by diverse contexts and institutional histories and to better understand the effects of various institutional designs in the context of North–South dialogues.

We encourage research to cover some of the following specific topics in the Global South:

  • Formation and operation of the governance of common resources, metropolitan areas, climate change policies, disasters and other complex network systems.
  • Network effectiveness, organizational outcomes and societal impacts of governance systems.
  • Cross-national, cross-regional, within-regional comparison, among others.
  • Importance of structural and cultural dimensions of network governance.
  • Accountability challenges of network governance in weakly institutional contexts
  • Effects of privatization, decentralization and re-centralization processes to network governance.
  • Network evolution and learning processes in governance contexts.
  • Leadership and Managerial practices underlying network governance.

This is not an exhaustive list. This special issue seeks papers that examine some of the above issues from an empirical evidence-based perspective. Manuscripts must have a clear conceptual and theoretical foundation and meet appropriate methodological standards.

Submission Instructions

Proposals shall be submitted to the guest editors directly at  [email protected] and [email protected] by December 31, 2023, with email subject title, “IJPA special issue: Network Governance GS”. The submitted proposals should be no more than 500 words (excluding references).

The guest editors will inform authors of decisions on proposals by January 20, 2024. All proposals will be reviewed and evaluated based on the following criteria:

  • The relevance of the paper to some of the major themes above
  • The research question(s) and the theoretical/conceptual foundations for the research, a brief description of methods and data
  • The results to be reported
  • The significance of the research

Please note that acceptance of an abstract does not guarantee final publication All manuscripts will be subject to peer-review by relevant subject-matter experts. Because IJPA is a global journal, authors are encouraged to engage with the prior academic scholarship on fundamental public administration issues and questions, and contribute to knowledge from a comparative perspective.

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