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Working Group in African Political Economy 2020 Annual Meeting at AAU

Conference   |   Jul 22 2020 - Jul 24 2020

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 invited guests since 2002. It is co-led by Daniel Posner (UCLA), Edward Miguel (UC Berkeley), Brian Dillon (Cornell), Amanda Robinson (Ohio State University), and Amma Panin (World Bank). Our second annual meeting hosted in Africa will take place at Addis Ababa University in July 2020.


***It is possible that this conference will be postponed or cancelled because of travel restrictions related to the novel coronavirus COVID-19. We are proceeding for now as if the conference will happen on schedule. If you are potentially interested, please apply. As plans evolve, we will post updates on this webpage and the email list.***


Meeting Information

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 early working papers, near-complete drafts, and research designs (see an archive of papers from past WGAPE meetings here).


Submission Categories

We invite paper and research design submissions 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. Submissions outside of these areas are very unlikely to be selected regardless of their quality. WGAPE commonly, but not exclusively, selects submissions with a strong focus on fieldwork and quantitative analysis. Graduate students and junior faculty are particularly encouraged to apply.

WGAPE particularly encourages submissions from applicants who teach, study or have completed a degree at an African university.

We invite submissions of papers or research designs. Early-stage papers and research designs will be prioritized for inclusion. Highly polished papers are unlikely to be selected. These submissions should describe a fully planned research study on topics relevant to WGAPE, as listed above. A suggested format for these submissions is the Pre-Analysis Plan (please find a template here). It is not necessary to reformat your Pre-Analysis Plan to fit the linked template, but a strong Pre-Analysis Plan will include the elements listed in the template.

To submit your materials, please submit to the form at the following URL by 11:59pm PT on April 12, 2020:


Apply to Attend as a Participant (non-paper presenter)

For the 2020 WGAPE Annual Meeting, a select subgroup of participants from Africa-based institutions will be invited to AAU to participate in WGAPE. This opportunity may also include participation in networking events and research methods trainings. This fully funded opportunity is limited to graduate students, post-docs, and junior faculty working in political economy or development who either a) currently hold a faculty or research position at an African institution, b) received or are actively pursuing a graduate degree at an African institution, or c) received an undergraduate degree from an African institution and are currently in graduate school elsewhere.

Selected participants will arrive in Addis Ababa by July 21, and may also be invited to arrive a day earlier to assist with pre-meeting programming (workshops, networking opportunities with local faculty and graduate students, and training on research methods). 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 July 22-24 meeting.

This is an excellent opportunity for junior researchers to network with more senior faculty from the US and Africa, engage with new ideas on cutting edge research on African Political Economy. Acceptance to attend as a participant does not guarantee acceptance of a paper or research design for the 2020 WGAPE Annual Meeting. Travel costs will be covered for the selected participants.

To apply as a participant, please submit materials to the following URL by 11:59pm PT on April 12, 2020:


For further information, please contact

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Date & Time

Jul 22 2020 - Jul 24 2020

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