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Working Group in African Political Economy (WGAPE) 2024 Meeting

Seminar   |  past event  |  Mar 20 2024

CEGA Fellow Ashagrie Demile Moges (left) and UCLA Doctoral Student Jennifer Hamilton (right) at UC Berkeley’s 2023 Regional WGAPE Meeting

The Working Group in African Political Economy (WGAPE) Annual Meeting was held this year in Accra, Ghana from March 20-23, 2024. 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. WGAPE is currently 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.

In 2024, WGAPE will transition to a co-led model between East and West African Institutions, CEGA, and the current WGAPE Organizing Committee. Our first meeting in West Africa will be hosted by the University of Ghana Business School (UGBS) and led by Edward Asiedu (Development Economics and Finance).

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 working papers and research designs (see an archive of papers from past WGAPE meetings here). We have accepted 9 papers/research design, and will have training and networking sessions alongside the paper discussions. Please see here for the agenda.

Paper Categories

We invited 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 were 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 were particularly encouraged to apply as well as applicants who teach, study or have completed a degree at an African university.

We invited submissions of papers or research designs. Early-stage papers and research designs were prioritized for inclusion. Highly polished papers were unlikely to be selected. Research design submissions described a fully planned research study on topics relevant to WGAPE, as listed above.

Participant Costs and Travel

With assistance from the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, WGAPE provided funding for travel, accommodation, and related expenses for one author of each accepted paper. Applicants whose papers were not accepted to be presented were still be considered for general attendance.

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