Punjab Research Group

cfp: International Conference at Department of Political Science, GC University, Lahore, Pakistan. November 12–14, 2014

Posted in Conferences by Pippa on July 30, 2014


The Department of Political Science, GC University, Lahore, is organizing a Three-Day International Conference on Local Representation of Power in South Asia to be held on November 12–14, 2014. Scholarly traditions often associate improved governance outcomes with the devolution of fiscal, political, and administrative responsibilities to lower tiers of government (Laerhoven, 2008; Ostrom, 2001). Theoretical and empirical studies hypothesize that decentralization of power is expected to be directly proportionate to increased public sector efficiency and local development through strengthened local governance. It is supposedly done through citizens’ direct participation in governance, public delivery, dispute resolution, revenue generation, and spending functions by bringing legitimate power of the state ‘closer to the people’. It is therefore, important to explore who gets to represent whom at local level in ‘developing’ countries of world’s most populous region – South Asia – with comparatively less stratified governmental structures.

Devolution of power – primarily that of administration and finance – to local level helps orderly provision of goods and services at grass root level. Most of public issues that local governments aim to address are manageable within their particular jurisdiction; and benefits from their actions and delivery of services or safety is limited to a specific area and confined to the populous of that area. However, many public issues at local level do not fall so easily into geographic jurisdictional limits. They are either impossible to tackle or are severely limited or degraded by the presence of geographic jurisdictions. Hence defining this ‘localness’ of issues and that of geographic area is of crucial importance and varies from country to country (Perlman & Jimenez, 2010).

Local self government units fulfill their existence with providing participation, autonomy and efficiency as three main principles of local democracy (Rozen, 2013). Research now focuses local governance and representation of power in terms of “diverse and varied set of institutions and processes” (Stoker, 2004). South Asia exhibits a variegated spectrum of forms of local representation of power ranging from colonial legacies and traditional/indigenous power structures to borrowed and innovative systems of local self governments with varying degree of success, public delivery, and local acceptance. These structures are shaped and in turn shape social structures.

The conference seeks to explore various forms of local representation of power in South Asia, their degree of success in providing public services and safety, their role in arbitration and adjudication, and the issues like electoral process, administrative capacity, financial autonomy, and accountability of local governments.

For submission, kindly send a short CV and an abstract of 250­–400 words, clearly indicating objectives, methodology, results, and conclusions to Mr. M. Usman A. Siddiqi (Email: write2siddiqi@live.com) on any of the following themes:

Theory of Local Representation of Power

Concepts and Theories of Power and Local Government

Theories of Devolution, Decentralization, and Delegation

Devolution and Governance

Federalism and Intergovernmental Relation

Governing Spaces and Populations

Urban versus Rural Governed Spaces

Citizenship and Urban and Rural Politics

Leadership and Political Will

Gap between Theory and Practice

Traditional Power Structures and Local Governments

Indigenous/Traditional Local Power Structures

Informal Power Structures and Local Politics

Who Gets to Represent Whom in Local Governments

Conflict and Conflict Resolution at Local Level

Criminality and Local Politics

Local Governance and Social Capital

Comparing Local Governments in South Asia

Local Government Systems in Countries of South Asia

Realities, Successful Models and Best Practices

Local Representation of Power: Democratic versus Authoritarian Regimes

Intervention of Central and State Governments in Local Bodies

Single versus Multi Member Ward Systems

Participative Democracy, Representation, Elections, Politics and Local Governments

Democratic Process and Politics at Local Level

Local government electoral system

Issues in Local Bodies Elections

Party Basis versus Non Party Basis Elections at Local Level

Legal and Constitutional Matters related to Local Bodies Elections

Maximizing People Participation in Local Affairs

Provision of Services: Management and Performance

Localness of Issues and Geographic Area (Jurisdiction of Local Governments)

Local versus Regional Problems

Areas of Public Delivery at Local Level

Administrative and Management Capacity of Local Governments

Governance Challenges at Local Level

Health, Education, Solid Waste Management, Energy Development etc.

Security, Conflict Resolution, Arbitration and Adjudication

Finance and Accountability

Revenue Generation and Spending Functions of Local Governments

Issues related to Financial Autonomy

Development and Implementation of Accountability Mechanisms at Local Level

Political Accountability

Administrative Accountability

Capacity Building, Development, and Reforms

Deepening Democracy: Innovations in Empowered Participatory Governance

Building Constructive Relationships among Central, State, and Local Governments for Creating and Maintaining High Standard of Services

Promoting Social and Economic Development at the Local Level

The Challenges of the Future: Change, Transformation, and Sustainability

Best Practice and Lessons: Proposing New Structures and Better Governance

Framework for Administrative and Regulatory Reforms

Postcolonialism & Islam – Call for Papers

Posted in Conferences by Pippa on August 11, 2009

The Northern Association for Postcolonial Studies (NAPS) and Culture Team of the Faculty of Education and Society at the University of Sunderland are inviting abstracts and expressions of interest for a conference to be held at the University of Sunderland, UK, from the 16th to the 17th of April 2010.

Postcolonialism and Islam are two terms that frequently appear in tandem; however, the relationship between the two and the question of their compatibility has never been extensively investigated.  The speed and intensity of changes characteristic of late modernity under the pressure of cultural and economic globalisation has traumatised Muslims and non- Muslims alike.  Hybrid identity formations, very often provisional, are generated in the articulation of differences marked by imaginary relations to faith, nation, class, gender, sexuality and language.  Postcolonialism might seem to provide a framework for approaching the experiences of not only formerly colonised subjects, but emigres, exiles and expatriates and their host societies.  However, Muslim writers and intellectuals have both adopted and rejected postcolonial theory as an effective tool for analysing and accounting for the experience of Muslims in the modern world.

This multidisciplinary conference will be relevant to specialists in postcolonial theory and cultural, historical, political, sociological, literary and religious studies who seek to problematise the terms themselves and their juxtaposition.  It will mainly focus on these six themes:

– Muslim identity and its connection to race, cultural politics, integration
– The experience of Muslim communities in Britain and elsewhere in the West particularly as representative site(s) of settlement, networking, and diasporic mobility
– Terms such as multculturalism, citizenship, secularism, ethnicity
– The way in which Muslim culture(s) become(s) embedded in and thematised by Muslim and non-Muslim writers in English and other literatures in translation;
– The connection between Muslim women and the activities of western orientalism;
– The conditions of possibility for ‘Islamic’ feminism; its response to the way in which Muslim women have often been represented and theorised according to western, Christian and white feminist versions of female experience.

Other related topic will also be considered.  The intension is to publish an edited volume based on the theme of the conference to which a selection of participants will be invited to contribute.  Speakers and non-speakers are all very welcome to participate.

Confirmed speakers so far include:
– Dr. Tahir Abbas, FRSA, currently principle analyst at Deen International
– Prof. Ceri Peach, Emeritus Professorand Research Associate at the Oxford School of Geography
– Prof. Patrick Williams, Professor of Literary and Cultural Studies, Nottingham Trent

If you wish to contribute a paper please submit a proposal (300 words maximum) to one of the following no later than October 30th, 2009:
Dr. Geoffrey Nash (geoff.nash@sunderland.ac.uk)
Dr. Sarah Hackett (sarah.hackett-1@sunderland.ac.uk)
Faculty of Education and Society
University of Sunderland

Call for Papers – International Conference on Migration, Citizenship and Intercultural Relations

Posted in Conferences by Pippa on June 2, 2009

We invite proposals for papers that address the following questions:
• With increasing diversity in a globalised world, what kinds of multicultural societies can we envisage for our increasingly diverse communities?
• What kind of cultural and national identities will be formed within these societies and what role will they play in the public sphere?
• Do transnational connections translate into weaker notions of local belonging or can they be used as a resource to strengthen local communities?
• Do migrant and minority ethnic groups experience a sense of inclusion?
• How is this sense of inclusion recognised or manifested in a multicultural society?
• Does government policy contribute to building a sense of belonging and inclusion among recent migrants and other ethno-cultural groups?
• What types of intercultural relations exist in a culturally diverse society?
• What is the role of these intercultural relations in fostering inclusive and ethical visions of citizenship?

Suggested topics include, but are not limited to:
• Multiculturalism, Identity and Citizenship
• Race, Ethnicity and Intercultural Relations
• Transnational Work and Temporary Migration
• Muslim Diaspora in the West
• Moving Beyond Xenophobia: Race Relations and Social Inclusion
• Transnationalism and Global Ethics

Please send 250 word proposals/ abstract by 15 August 2009 to:

Further details: http://www.deakin.edu.au/arts-ed/icg/events/conf-2009.php

Ms Chippy Sunil, Coordinator
International Conference on Migration, Citizenship and Intercultural Relations
Institute for Citizenship and Globalisation.
Email: chippy.sunil@deakin.edu.au

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