Call for Papers

Deadline extended: 24 January 2020

The Program Committee invites proposals for individual papers and panels on any aspect of public management, governance, and policy. We encourage proposals in both of Canada’s official languages. Graduate students and non-academics are also invited to present their research at the conference.




Divides and Paradoxes in Public Administration: Challenges or Opportunities?

This year’s CAPPA conference will be held as part of the Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences, May 31 to June 2, 2020. While opened to all areas of research, we encourage the submission of papers and panels related to Congress’ overall theme, which addresses the broad concept of bridging divides (


In public administration, divides are often thought of as paradoxes. These paradoxes are embodied in the management of our public institutions and in the public policies they produce. They are present in the divides between elected representatives and administrators (e.g., decision making v. implementation), between government as an employer and public servants as employees (e.g., control v. decentralization), and between government and the social actors interested in and targeted by public policies (e.g., bureaucratic expertise v. co-production). In short, paradoxes are pervasive in the practice and study of public administration and are an important area of inquiry. Submissions that focus on these paradoxes are especially encouraged, although any other suggested topics are welcome.


As the conference is being hosted by Western University’s Local Government Program (LGP), we also strongly invite participants to submit papers that focus on municipal and other local governments.




Panel Proposals

Panel proposals should consist of three or four papers addressing the conference theme or a common problem. They should be submitted by one individual on behalf of the full panel.  Submissions should include:

  1. the names, positions, and institutional affiliations of panel members (maximum 100 words);
  2. a description of the panel theme/focus (150 words maximum); and
  3. an abstract for each paper (250 words).


Individual Papers

Individual paper proposals should explore theoretical, methodological, or empirical issues related to public management, governance, policy, and/or the conference theme. Submissions should include:

  1. the scholar’s name, position, and institutional affiliation (maximum 100 words); and
  2. an abstract (250 words) of the proposed paper. The program committee will assemble individual papers into panels.


Joint CAPPA/CPSA Workshop


Public Administration Facing Political Divides

In partnership with the Canadian Political Science Association (CPSA), we are also inviting paper proposals for a joint workshop that will be held as part of the conference. This workshop explores how public administration in Canada is being affected by divisions of race, colonialism, gender, nationality, religion, and class. These divides can be felt both in the day-to-day management of public administration and in the issues to which public policies are called upon to respond. More details about the workshop’s theme can be found at the end of the call for papers.


The workshop agendas will be put together from responses to both CPSA’s and CAPPA’s calls for papers. Proposals for the workshops should include:

  1. the name, position, and institutional affiliation of the scholar (maximum 100 words); and
  2. an abstract (250 words) of the proposed paper.


Key Dates


All proposals should be submitted as a doc, docx, or pdf file via e-mail to by Friday, January 10, 2020. Questions should be directed to the same address.


Notifications of acceptance will be sent by the program committee by Friday, February 21, 2020.

All invited presenters must respond with a notice of intent by Monday, March 9, 2020 and register for the CAPPA conference/Congress by the early-bird registration deadline of Tuesday, March 31, 2020.


Additional Information on the Joint Workshop:



TOPIC: Public Administration Facing Political Divides


Jean-François Savard (Head of the CPSA/CAPPA Section on Public Administration – ENAP)


The ideal type of public administration, as we understand it in Canada, suggests that it should be politically neutral and serve the government (and to some extent, serve Parliament). While we do not dispute the importance of a politically neutral public administration, we recognize, as Donald Savoie (2003) clearly shows, that it is not immune to political and social pressures, the sources of which may come from within public administration or outside of it. These pressures can both reveal and generate political and social divides. Building on the theme of this year’s CPSA conference, this workshop explores how public administration in Canada and the policies it implements are responding to the various political divides that are affecting them. These divides can be felt both in the day-to-day management of public administration and in the issues to which public policies are called upon to respond.


This workshop is intended as a moment to reflect on these divides and the actions that public administration undertakes either through programs or internal rules, or through its public policies. This workshop seeks to address both traditional and emerging or even latent cleavages. The objective is to show how public administration is far from being a disembodied technical machine of the society from which it stems, but rather constitutes an entity that plays an important social role by recognizing political divides and deconstructing them to better understand them and provide solutions implemented both in the very structure of public administration and in society.


Possible themes for papers and panels may include, but are not limited to, the following:

– Public Administration and Indigenous Issues

– Public administration and political divides in the digital sphere

– Public administration and traditional divides

– Public administration and emerging divides

– The role of public policies in managing political divides

Cancellation of Participation in 2020 Congress of Social Sciences and Humanities Tuesday, March 31 2020

*le français suit*

Given the ongoing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Canadian Association of Programs in Public Administration (CAPPA) has made the difficult decision to cancel its participation in the 2020 Congress of Social Sciences and Humanities.
CAPPA seriously considered the possibility of hosting an online conference, supported by the Federation of Humanities and Social Sciences. While this is an option that will work for some Associations, we are concerned that an online conference will not meet the needs of our conference participants at this time. Moving final exams and classes online in a short timeframe has had a significant impact on participants. Coupled with the cancellation of school, childcare, and other services across the country, these changes have meant that participants are facing higher levels of responsibility and stress. The uncertainty of the environment, including how the virus may develop and spread, means that it is difficult to say with certainty that a conference of any kind at the end of May/early June would be feasible.
The conference provides an important opportunity for researchers to discuss their work, consider new teaching methodologies, and consider key issues in public administration and public policy. The Board is considering options for bringing researchers, educators, and practitioners together as well as hosting our Annual General Meeting, and will be sharing these options in the near future.
All participants who have already registered for the Congress will have their fees returned. The FHSS will process individual Congress fee refunds of all associations that have withdrawn from Congress as soon as possible and send you a confirmation email. There is no need to contact them.
The conference organizers have already put in a significant amount of work in advance of the anticipated conference. We want to particularly thank Joe Lyons at Western University and his team for all of the work they’ve put in to date, as well as members of the CAPPA Board for their support along the way. We extend our thanks to those who submitted abstracts, were willing to be part of plenary sessions, and had agreed to chair these sessions.
Finally, we thank you all for your patience in the coming days as the Board consults on next steps.
Déclaration CAPPA/ACPAP
Annulation de la participation au Congrès des sciences sociales et humaines 2020
Mardi 31 mars 2020
Étant donné l'impact de la pandémie COVID-19 qui se poursuit, l'Association canadienne des programmes d'administration publique (ACPAP/CAPPA) a pris la difficile décision d'annuler sa participation au Congrès des sciences sociales et humaines de 2020.
L’ACPAP/CAPPA a sérieusement envisagé la possibilité d'organiser une conférence en ligne, soutenue par la Fédération des sciences humaines et sociales. Bien que cette option fonctionne pour certaines associations, nous craignons qu'une conférence en ligne ne réponde pas aux besoins de nos pour le moment. En effet, la mise en ligne des examens finaux et des cours dans un délai très court a eu un impact important sur les Conjugués à la fermeture des écoles, des services de garde d'enfants et d'autres services dans tout le pays, ces changements ont eu pour effet d'accroître le niveau de responsabilités et de stress des L'incertitude de la situation, y compris la manière dont le virus peut se développer et se propager,
fait qu'il est difficile d'affirmer avec certitude qu'une conférence de quelque nature que ce soit à la fin mai/début juin serait réalisable.
La conférence offre aux une occasion importante de discuter de leurs travaux, d'envisager de nouvelles méthodes d'enseignement et de se pencher sur des questions clés en matière d'administration et de politiques publiques. Le conseil d'administration étudie présentement les alternatives afin de réunir les, les et les praticien.nes et d'accueillir notre assemblée générale annuelle, et vous fera part de ces possibilités dans un avenir proche.
Les frais d’inscription des qui se sont déjà inscrits au Congrès seront remboursés. La Fédération s’occupera des remboursements individuels des frais de participation au Congrès de toutes les associations qui se sont retirées du Congrès dès que possible et vous enverra un courriel de confirmation. Il n'est pas nécessaire de les contacter.
Les organisateurs du congrès avaient déjà accompli un travail considérable en prévision de la conférence prévue. Nous tenons à remercier tout particulièrement Joe Lyons de l'Université Western et son équipe pour tout le travail accompli jusqu'à présent, ainsi que les membres du conseil d'administration de l'ACPAP pour leur soutien tout au long du processus. Nous remercions également les personnes qui avaient soumis des résumés, qui avaient accepté de participer aux sessions plénières et qui avaient accepté de présider ces sessions.
Enfin, nous vous remercions toutes et tous pour votre patience dans les jours à venir, alors que le conseil d'administration se concerte sur les prochaines étapes.