‘Public Policy & Governance Beyond Borders’ is the guiding theme of this year’s Association for Public Policy Analysis and Management (APPAM) international conference, to be held in Brussels on 13-14 July 2017. We are now delighted to announce that MGSoG/UNU-MERIT (Maastricht University, NL) and the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs (Syracuse University, USA) will be academic co-hosts of the event. In this capacity, UNU-MERIT will offer up to four minority scholarships for (Master or PhD) students from developing and transition countries to attend the conference. We spoke to one of last year’s beneficiaries, Janyl Moldalieva, to learn more about the event — particularly its added value for research and networking.
You currently study with us as a third year PhD fellow. Can you briefly explain what your research is about?
I draw on different theoretical lenses to interrogate how and under what conditions transparency and accountability in natural resource governance emerge as contested and relational spaces within neopatrimonial settings. I look at the mining sector of the Kyrgyz Republic. By contested and relational spaces, I am referring to the interplay of power relations, patronal politics, and governance networks that emerge as actors pursue their interests in natural resource governance. Within these contested and relational spaces, transparency and accountability could be seen as deeply embedded in the interactions among resource owners, resource users, regulators, citizens, and international non-profit agencies. Overall I aim to offer research and policy pathways towards the effective governance of natural resources in neopatrimonial countries.
For the 2016 APPAM Fall Research Conference, you were one of the beneficiaries of the minority scholarships, which allowed you to join the conference in Washington DC. What were your main activities during the conference, and what did you consider most useful? How did participation benefit your study?
I conducted participant observation for several sessions. Attending these sessions exposed me to the different methods and techniques used by these researchers and policy analysts to investigate, analyse and present their findings. I also took part in several sessions related to my research topic, which provided a venue for discussing questions of interest with other researchers in the field. These discussions stimulated my thinking about other interesting ways to (re)pose my research questions and (re)organise my methodology. For example, one of the presenters talked about the different ways of (re)posing research questions to increase their explanatory power. Again, I encountered different strategies for (re)organising my research questions and methods to ensure better linkages between them. These ideas, in addition to my own strategies, offered a new stream of energy to reconsider and enrich the content and layout of my work.
The Association for Public Policy Analysis and Management is dedicated to improving public policy and management by fostering excellence in research, analysis and education. It includes researchers, educators and analysts, and links research with the policy arena. How is membership useful for a PhD fellow like yourself – originally from Kyrgyzstan but currently working in the Netherlands?
APPAM connects me to the community of researchers working in the field of my specialisation and helps me stay tuned to policy analysis and management issues. The membership provided access to relevant academic events, networking opportunities, and a subscription to the Journal on Policy Analysis and Management. My institutional affiliation with APPAM empowers me to view myself not only as a PhD fellow from Kyrgyzstan working in the Netherlands, but also as a PhD researcher working on pressing public policy issues – issues that clearly transcend the boundaries of Kyrgyzstan.
FULL EVENT / SCHOLARSHIP DETAILS