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WGAPE Call for Papers and Research Designs: 2022 Meeting at Cornell University


Release date: January 12, 2022

Submission deadline: February 6, 2022 

Notification date: February 28, 2022 (Approx)

Meeting dates: April 28-30, 2022, Cornell University



WGAPE invites interested scholars to submit a paper to present at a meeting at Cornell University from April 28-30, 2022. Africa based scholars are additionally welcome to apply as a meeting participant, with or without a paper submission. The Working Group in African Political Economy (WGAPE) brings together faculty and advanced graduate students in Economics and Political Science who combine field research experience in Africa with training in political economy methods. The group has met semi-annually to discuss the in-progress work of its core members and has invited guests since 2002. It is co-led by Daniel Posner (Political Science, UCLA), Edward Miguel (Economics, UC Berkeley), Amanda Robinson (Political Science, Ohio State University), and Amma Panin (Economics, University of Louvain), and hosted by the Center for Effective Global Action (CEGA) at UC Berkeley.


WGAPE meetings center on research discussion sessions rather than presentations. Papers are circulated and expected to be read in advance by all participants. Presenters provide brief, orienting comments before the floor is opened for an hour-long discussion of each paper or research design. WGAPE accepts working papers and research designs (see an archive of papers from past WGAPE meetings here).

  • What we’ll accept: We invite submissions that reflect WGAPE’s broad research agenda on political economy and development economics in sub-Saharan Africa, including civil conflict, decentralization and democratization, public economics, corruption, local governance, and other related topics. Submissions that deal with other topics in the applied microeconomics of development in Africa will also be considered. WGAPE commonly, but not exclusively, selects submissions with a strong focus on fieldwork and quantitative analysis.
  • Paper Submission Categories: We invite submissions of papers or research designs. Early-stage but complete papers and research designs will be prioritized for inclusion. Research design submissions should describe a fully planned research study on one of the themes listed above. A suggested format for these submissions is the Pre-Analysis Plan (please find a template here). It is not necessary to reformat a Pre-Analysis Plan to exactly match the linked template, but a strong Pre-Analysis Plan will include the elements listed in the template. Africa based scholars may also apply to be a participant without a paper.
  • Who is eligible: Priority will be given to junior faculty, post-doctoral scholars, and graduate students whose research interests are aligned with WGAPE themes. Scholars based anywhere are welcome to submit a paper or research design, although we can only guarantee full travel funding for those based in the US or Africa. To apply as a participant without submitting a paper, we require that the participant be a junior scholar based in Africa.
  • Timeline and logistics: Please submit your application by February 6th, 2022. Selected participants will arrive in Ithaca, NY by April 28. Because the WGAPE format revolves around in-depth discussions rather than presentations, authors of selected papers are expected to read the papers in advance and participate in the full April 28-30th meeting.
  • Participant costs and travel: With assistance from the Mario Einaudi Center for International Studies at Cornell, WGAPE will provide funding for travel, accommodation, and related expenses for one author of each accepted paper. Authors based outside of the US or Africa may only receive partial coverage of their travel costs.

This is an excellent opportunity for junior researchers to network with more senior faculty from the US and Africa, engaging with new ideas on cutting edge research on African Political Economy.


To submit your paper or research design, please complete the form at this URL by 11:59pm PT on February 6, 2022.  

Submissions must include:

  • Your paper or research design
  • Up-to-date Curriculum Vitae or Resume with contact information, including country of current location
  • A paragraph describing your research interests and the methods you use (or plan to use) for your research
  • A paragraph describing why you would like to attend WGAPE and what you hope to gain from it

Successful applicants will be notified within a few weeks, and will be expected to attend the full 3-day workshop.


Through the Cornell Global Hubs program, funding is available for three junior African scholars to attend the meeting with or without a paper on the program. One participant each will be selected from the University of Zambia and University of Ghana, with the third participant from any institution. The three selected fellows will be invited to remain at Cornell for additional days, to participate in other activities jointly with fellows from the Cornell STAARS program.

Desired Qualifications

We seek the following qualities in meeting attendees:

  • Experience conducting research on topics that reflect WGAPE’s broad research agenda on the political economy of African development, including ethnic politics, civil conflict and violence, decentralization and democratization, corruption, local governance, public economics, and other related topics;
  • Demonstrated experience in empirical social science research using experimental or quasi-experimental methods and the collection of original data;
  • Strong desire to actively participate in in-person discussions of African research topics with top scholars from around the world.

Submissions must include: 

  • Up-to-date Curriculum Vitae or Resume with contact information, including country of current location
  • A paragraph describing your research interests and the methods you use (or plan to use) for your research
  • A paragraph describing why you would like to attend WGAPE and what you hope to gain from it
  • [Optional] A writing sample on the themes of WGAPE

To apply, follow this link and enter your application material by 11:59pm PT on February 6, 2022 (if you are also submitting a paper or research design, you must complete both forms). 

PLEASE NOTE: Scholars who meet the criteria are invited and encouraged to apply for both this opportunity and to submit papers/research designs to the 2022 Request for Papers. A successful application to participate in the meeting does not guarantee acceptance of a paper or research design for the workshop.


If the Covid-19 pandemic prevents this meeting from happening as scheduled, we will not switch to a virtual format. The program will be held for six months. If conditions improve, we will reschedule the meeting for a different three-day period that works for the largest number of invited participants. If we are not able to reschedule before the end of October 2022, the meeting will be canceled.


If you have already applied for this RFP, and would either like to withdraw or amend your submission, please contact Please also contact this email address for any further information or clarification.

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