CALL FOR PAPERS: 7 – 10 May 2019
Public Affairs, Governance and the
Fourth Industrial Revolution
The nature of Public Affairs and Governance is embedded in the question of harnessing public resources to resolve the most pressing needs of society. Abraham Maslow’s paper presented in 1943 on the hierarchy of human needs remains compelling to understand the human behaviour and needs in this context. These needs include physiological, safely, affiliation, self-esteem and self-actualisation. In essence, political parties in government are often considered catalysts in providing interventions to addressing some of these basic human needs issues in cases where they have collective value for a society. Classification of government in ministries and departments is an example of providing a focused approach to identify those needs which are inherently to the benefit of society as opposed to individual or private. Often a classification of this nature considers areas such as (public) health, (public) education, (public) policing, (public) arts and culture and (public) enterprises, among others. This kind of a situation begs for an art of public affairs and governance to provide institutional mechanisms to realise set goals for each area. In his seminal work on ‘What is governance?’, Francis Fukuyama’s 2013 paper refers to this kind of a classification as the ‘functioning of executive branches and their bureaucracies’. This is an important discourse on governance matters because a question of state capacity, meritocracy, deployment are among those which form critical aspects of maximising public resources in policy making and implementation of governments activities. This kind of a discourse undertakes an organising role where members of society with knowledge and expertise are considered to drive the agenda of political parties in government to realise their electoral promises to the populace. This is also to ensure that both the private sector and individuals find opportunities to realise their goals which would serve to advance society is various forms which are considered competitive both locally and abroad.