Public Voices is a unique journal that focuses on historical, artistic and reflective expression concerning public administrators and the public service. Unlike traditional social science journals, Public Voices publishes unorthodox, controversial perspectives on bureaucracy in particular and the public sector in general. The material is not limited to analytical articles but also includes original fiction, poetry, photographs, art, critiques of existing works, and insights based on experience, observation and research. Among the journal’s contributors are public servants, writers, artists, and academics in all fields.
Public Voices Symposium:
Government at the Margins: Locating/Deconstructing Ways of Performing Government in the age of Excessive Force, Hyper-Surveillance, Civil Disobedience, and Political Self-Interest – Lessons Learned in a “Post-Racial” America
Valerie L. Patterson, PhD, Guest Editor – Clinical Associate Professor, Public Administration, School of International and Public Affairs, Florida International University
Recent events in Missouri, South Carolina, and Baltimore offer examples of social inequalities that exist in the delivery of government services to those who find themselves profiled and relegated to the “margins” of society. Reactions to fatal police interventions have resulted in civil unrest and civil disobedience. Government actors frequently find the legitimacy of these interventions and their inability to demonstrate cultural competency questioned and challenged.
Farmbry (2009)* argues that “the public servant of the future will have to work with an increasingly diverse population in mind and with a better understanding of his or her processes of constructing images of the Other as someone influenced by his or her actions.” Intervention can occur across multiple settings including the scholarly, the academic, and the practical.
This is a call for papers that locate, interrogate, and deconstruct the ways in which government actors “perform” government in the delivery and implementation of rules, regulations, and services to those groups who are labeled as “Other” or those who are categorized and/or located at the “margins.” This symposium aims to explore the multiple and complex dimensions of diversity encountered in the delivery of public services.
Whether through hip-hop culture, immigration reform, the Occupy movement, or the hypercriminalization of black bodies, this symposium asks responders to locate and examine the political, social, and economic context of social equity as it is performed and/or advanced by government administrators and as relative to, on one hand, increased marginalization and exclusion and, on the other, normative calls for social equity, more inclusive bureaucracies, and more culturally competent administrators.
The goal of the symposium is to solicit articles that investigate and question and ultimately lead to imagining new and useful strategies for intervention and impact. In the spirit of the mission of Public Voices to publish unorthodox and controversial perspectives on bureaucracy in particular and the public sector in general, one aim is to identify lessons learned and to theorize and predict future trends and useful strategies.
*Farmbry, K. 2009. Administration and the Other: Explorations of Diversity and Marginalization in the Political Administrative State. Lexington Books, xxiv.
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