China-Australia Dialogue on Public Administration will be holding its sixth annual Workshop at Sun Yat Sen University in Guangzhou on 30-31 October 2016.


The general theme for the workshop will be:

‘Improving Public Policy Decision-making’.


The organisers of the Dialogue plan to arrange for publication of a university press book of selected papers from the Workshop for an audience of academics and practitioners across Mainland China, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Australia, as well as interested scholars from elsewhere. Some papers will be commissioned from respected scholars and practitioners, others will be selected from responses to this Call for Papers.


We suspect that case studies may well play an important role in the workshop deliberations, but those proposing to present case studies need to be careful to focus on the insights they provide into the public policy decision-making process (and one or more of the sub-themes) and not to be drawn too far into the case study subject matter.


The following sets out initial suggestions for papers that might address the Workshop theme and sub-theme.

  1. Institutional Adaptations (including processes within the executive and legislature and how these have evolved in recent years)
    1. National and provincial developments in Mainland China including any new CPC institutions and evolving decision-making processes within the Executive and with the Legislature.
    2. National developments in Taiwan, including Cabinet processes and legislative arrangements
    3. Hong Kong’s evolving institutional arrangements
    4. Australia’s Cabinet and Cabinet committee processes, public service advising arrangements, ministerial office arrangements and the role of the Parliament particularly where the Government lacks control.
  2. External Involvement in Policy Advice (including clients, interest groups, international advisers, think tanks, academics and consultants and the media)
    1. The role international organisations and advisers play in Mainland China, how China uses international expertise.
    2. The increasing role of the media and civil society, and academia, in policy advising in China, and the impact in practice.
    3. The role of external experts, and of interest groups, in Taiwan.
    4. Recent more systematic processes for client and interest group engagement in Australia, including co-design and co-production.
    5. Developments in policy influence in Australia including the role of think tanks and professional lobbying.
  3. Capability in Policy Advising (including skills, data, processes etc.)
    1. Developments in Mainland China to strengthen policy capacity, including through executive development, recruitment of expertise, building of networks of experts.
    2. Developments in Taiwan through training and development, recruitment and networking.
    3. Developments in Australia, including evidence from capability reviews and more recent responses, changes in data access for external analysis, use of public inquiries etc.
  4. Devolved Implementation (the relationship between policy design and policy implementation)
    1. The role of local government (provincial, county etc) in translating central policy pronouncements in Mainland China into specific policies implemented on the ground
    2. The experience in Mainland China of policy experimentation, trialling policy initiatives in different localities with systematic feedback and dissemination of policy learnings.
    3. How implementation issues and risks are taken into account in Taiwan’s policy processes.
    4. The increasing focus on implementation risks in Australia’s policy decision-making processes
    5. The role of local discretion and policy learning in Australia.

Abstract proposals should refer to the relevant sub-theme(s), and may or may not relate to one or more of the specific suggestions listed above. They should have no more than 500 words, in English, and should be submitted by 19 August 2016 to one of the following, and also copied to Professor Andrew Podger:

Selections of papers for the workshop will be decided by early September and final papers (around 4,000-5,000 words) will be required to be submitted by 7 October 2016. Papers will be circulated to Workshop participants ahead of the Workshop to limit the need for long presentations and to ensure maximum time for informed discussion.

Andrew Podger

29 April 2016