2019 Workshop

CALL FOR APPLICATIONS: 2019 ASIA FELLOWS
“Dynamics of Political Institutions in Asia”
June 23–29, 2019 – Penang, Malaysia

We are pleased to announce a Call for Applications for early-career scholars who would like to participate in APSA’s inaugural Asia Workshop in June 2019. The program is a unique opportunity to build connections with scholars from across East and Southeast Asia and to develop current research related to political institutions in Asia. The workshop is part of a multi-year effort to support political science research among early-career scholars in East and Southeast Asia, and to strengthen research networks linking Asian scholars with their colleagues overseas.

The workshop will be held from June 23–29, 2019 in partnership with Universiti Sains Malaysia in Penang. Leading the workshop will be William Hurst (Northwestern University, USA), Soo Yeon Kim (National University of Singapore), Benny Teh Cheng Guan (Universiti Sains Malaysia), and Meredith Weiss (State University of New York at Albany, USA). The organizers will cover participation costs (including airfare, lodging, and materials) for up to 22 qualified applicants. The working language of the workshop is English.

The deadline for applications is Friday, March 29, 2019. See the Call for Applications.pdf.

Eligible Participants
The workshop is intended for PhD students, post-doctoral fellows, and early-career scholars (less than 5 years from having earned the PhD) in political science, international relations, and other social science disciplines who are citizens of countries in East and Southeast Asia, especially those who are currently based at universities or research institutes in the region (defined as Brunei, Cambodia, China, Timor-Leste, Indonesia, Japan, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, and Vietnam). We also welcome applications from citizens of countries outside the region or who are currently based at universities or research institutes in the United States.

Scholars should apply with a manuscript or research project in progress that they will present at the workshop. Professional fluency in English is required. Applications from scholars working on topics related to the workshop theme (as described below) are especially encouraged.

Workshop Theme
This workshop will explore dynamics of domestic and regional political institutions across Asia. We adopt a broad interpretation of formal political institutions, including (but not limited to) government agencies, legislative and judicial bodies, political parties and organizations, electoral rules and systems, constitutions, international treaties and related agreements, regional associations, and supranational or international organizations. Participants will explore core questions and theories of political institutions as well as implications of these theories for political representation, interest intermediation, governance, political liberalization, and regional integration. Employing diverse theoretical frameworks and case studies, the workshop will examine four themes:

Institutions and Political Processes

  • The objectives or effects of innovations in the structure of executives, legislatures, courts, and government agencies (for instance, consolidation of cabinet ministries, reshaping of judicial tiers, or introduction of oversight bodies).
  • The implications for representation and contestation of the institutionalization or de-institutionalization of political parties and party systems.
  • The reasons behind efforts to formalize informal institutions and norms.
  • The goals and achievements of new institutional structures within or surrounding ASEAN.

Liberalization, Democratization, and Authoritarian Resilience

  • The outcomes of efforts at liberalization of domestic institutions.
  • Institutional reasons for the rise of populist or otherwise illiberal leaders, or for the failure of democratic checks and balances.
  • The effects of institutional innovations designed to consolidate an illiberal regime.

Institutional Innovation, Public Goods, and Governance

  • The character and outcomes of institutional innovations to enhance accountability, transparency, and/or openness.
  • The impetus behind and efficacy of institutional reforms to increase citizens’ involvement in policy processes (e.g., through “consultative authoritarianism” or participatory budgeting).
  • The nature of initiatives to increase institutions’ ability to represent a range of interests (e.g., targeted quotas for inclusion, mechanisms to amplify small states’ or marginalized groups’ voices).

Institutional Approaches to Cooperation and Conflict

  • The result of efforts to enhance or enfeeble regional institutions.
  • The justification for developing specifically “Asian” institutional models.
  • The nature of efforts to augment or smooth out cross-national institutional variation (e.g., diversification or harmonization of bilateral agreements).
  • The prospects for institutional remedies for domestic conflict (e.g., structures for regional autonomy).

To provide a framework for reflection and investigation, attendees will critically assess the various research designs and methodological choices used to analyze questions related to the above topics. The workshop will also include sessions on conducting fieldwork, research and publication ethics, manuscript preparation and publication, and other professional development topics. Workshop sessions will include guest lectures, small seminar discussions, and presentations of participants’ research. Following their participation in the full program, alumni will receive 2 years’ membership to APSA and will be eligible to apply for small research grants.

How to Apply
Completed applications, including all necessary supporting documents (in PDF or Word format), must be submitted by Friday, March 29. Selected fellows will be contacted in early April 2019. Applications must be in English and include:

  1. The completed online Application Form.
  2. A detailed, recent curriculum vitae/resume.
  3. A research statement (2,000 words maximum) describing the work-in-progress you propose to develop and present at the Asia Workshop. This statement should outline the main theme of the paper or book manuscript, the methods used, the data/fieldwork on which it is based, and how it relates to the workshop theme. The research statement should not be based on any part of a co-authored project. Submissions should not be an excerpt from an already completed work or one that has already been accepted for publication. Submissions may be derived from an ongoing dissertation project if also suitable for a journal article.
  4. Two letters of reference on official letterhead and scanned as electronic files. If you are a graduate student, one letter should be from your supervisor. If you are a researcher or faculty member, letters can come from a former dissertation supervisor, a colleague at your home institution, a university official, or an employer. Your letter-writers should preferably send these letters separately to asiaworkshops@apsanet.org.

 

For more information, contact asiaworkshops@apsanet.org. Please do not contact the workshop leaders directly.