2013 Fall Research Conference Policy Areas


The 2013 Fall Research Conference will be held November 7 - 9 in Washington, DC at the Washington Marriott Hotel,  Westin Georgetown Hotel, and Ritz Carlton Hotel.

Cross-Cutting Policy Areas with Cross-Disciplinary Dimensions

Building upon the success of the 2012 conference, APPAM will continue efforts to offer panels that focus on multi-dimensional aspects of broad public policy problems.

Cross-cutting proposals were solicited for the five following areas:

  • Immigration: challenges of selecting and integrating new entrants into the population’s mainstream;
  • The Fall of the Middle Class: implications for social and economic policy;
  • Lost Youth: who are they, how have they changed, why have we failed them;
  • Science and Technology: their role in informing, developing and analyzing policy options; and
  • Veterans: challenges of integrating returning veterans: health, housing, income transfer, mental health, job placement, etc.

Each session is designed to offer a diversity of perspectives, disciplines, methods, policy areas and analysis, and policy management perspectives. Cross-cutting sessions will be identified in the final program with unique color coding.

Conference Policy Areas

In the past, annual conferences have been structured around, and research assigned to more than 20 discrete policy areas. For the 2013 conference, we have consolidated them into 10 broad policy areas.

This restructuring is intended to better facilitate knowledge sharing among researchers and policy makers; to explore research that advances the Association goals of integration and policy relevance; and to broaden the context of research as we look to the future state of policy research and analysis.

The 10 policy areas that will be the foundation of the 2013 conference, along with a brief set of questions establishing the context for each specific area, and a listing of previous policy area categories used in prior conferences, are below.

Environmental Policy and Natural Resource Security

How can emerging environmental and natural resource issues be approached from a variety of directions, including the assessment of regulatory reform vs. legal solutions; the role of science and technology in addressing consequences of environmental and resource challenges; and the evaluation of policy options in both national and global settings?
Previous category: Environment & Energy

Fragile, At-Risk Families and Youth

How do current policies mitigate the risk certain segments of society face? How successful are current policies in unemployment, welfare, crime, teenage pregnancy, foster care, and asset building in helping to mitigate these risks?
Previous categories: Social and Family Policy, Child Policy, Crime and Drugs, Welfare, Asset Building

Global Policy Challenges

Complex and shifting economic, political, technological, and social challenges at the international level require increasingly coordinated actions across traditional political boundaries. Such challenges also influence policy development and implementation at the national level. How do lessons learned nationally influence international policy interventions and vice versa? How are national and global needs reconciled?
Previous category: International

The Impact of Politics on the Policy Process

How does the study of political processes and the environments in which they play out inform policy evaluation, formulation, and deliberation? How can policy research and analysis benefit from the study of the dynamic interaction among policy makers, institutional structures, and the processes they use to conduct their work?
Previous categories: Political Processes

Methods and Empirical Design

What are the strengths and weaknesses of the experimental and non-experimental designs and quantitative and qualitative methods we use in our research? How can these be improved? Are we using the most appropriate methods and designs to most accurately inform policy debates? Are we examining the appropriate variables? What new types of data are emerging and how might they be used?
Previous categories: DataWatch, Methods, Policy Informatics

Poverty and Social Policy

Has our understanding of poverty and its consequences changed? What are the social implications of sustained poverty? What roles do social policy play in mitigating/eliminating the consequences of poverty?
Previous categories: Health (public and community), Social Policy (welfare), Housing, Asset Building

Public and Non-Profit Management and Finance

What implications do actions like strengthening management’s role in policy development, operating effectively with reduced budgets, ensuring success in networked government enterprises, adjusting to changing government roles, developing and utilizing effective performance management protocols, etc., have for policy outcomes? What is the role of regulation in policy assessment? How are we evaluating the impacts of budget cuts?
Previous categories: Public and Non-Profit Management, Public Finance.

Science and Technology

*Please note the previous policy area of ‘Science & Technology’ will be treated as a cross-cutting panel theme for the 2013 Fall Research Conference.

Social Equity

How have social equity issues changed? What are new challenges (e.g. LBGT)? How have recurring issues (e.g. gender, race, national origin, religious, etc.) evolved?
Previous category: Social Equity

Social Insurance and Income Maintenance

How has the use of insurance as the distribution method of choice in government assistance programs changed? What are the implications of these shifts? How successful are these programs and what implications do they have for creating a viable safety net for eligible populations?
Previous categories: Aging and Retirement, Disability, Health (Medicare/Medicaid), Housing

Social Investment

How can we grow the country’s productive capacity and enhance citizen participation in the economy? What are the consequences of the erosion of the middle class, the shift in the nature of jobs, pressures on the education system (including teacher quality), and the growing stress of immigration policies?
Previous categories: Employment and Training, Education, Immigration, Community Development

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