Report for 1st EASP Postgraduate Paper Award

June 2022

A total of 14 papers were received for the 1st EASP Postgraduate award. The papers were reviewed by a judging panel made up of EASP committee members. The papers were reviewed according to the criteria of originality, analytical rigour, appropriate methodology and sources, clarity of writing and coherence of argument. Five papers were shortlisted. Each panel member read all short-listed papers and came to a unanimous agreement that, while each paper has their merits, ‘Public Service Resilience on the Cloud: State Mobilization and Digital Self-Governance in China’s COVID-19 Response’ by Xin Han stands out.

The paper examines the role of online communities in collaborative governance for emergency management and public service provision. For this purpose, it examines the case of online self-governance in China during and after the COVID-19 pandemic. Through intra and inter-case comparisons of different types of digital communities, it concludes that centralized online collaboration may initially be more efficient, while decentralized collaboration is more sustainable over time due to extensive networks.

The judging panel was impressed with the paper’s solid literature review which clarified the contribution of the research, the well-designed methodology involving both interview and survey data, as well as the clear writing and coherent structure of the paper. Most of all, the paper makes original contributions to the literature on collaborative and interactive governance on multiple dimensions. First, it highlights the little-understood role of emergent self-governed online communities in public service provision. Second, it empirically shows the different ways communities have participated in the production of public services even in a highly constrained physical and institutional environment. In doing so, it adds a novel dimension to existing theories of governance and gives practical implications for how to design effective and sustainable public services. What is more, it tells a compelling story of ordinary people’s ability to organise and overcome difficulties in times of emergency. 

This paper is awarded for its theoretically grounded novelty, thoughtful research design and analyses. In addition, crisis management is an increasingly important topic for social policy and human well-being in today’s world. We are delighted to see an early career researcher being able to produce this piece of exciting research. We hope this award will encourage earlier career scholars to do excellent research and contribute to social policy and society.

Judging panel members: Alex Jingwei He, Bingqin Li, Ijin Hong and Chikako Endo

Short-listed papers (in alphabetical order by author’s last name)

  • Kaitlyn Juryung Cho and Joonbeom Lee ‘Personal Development and Civic Engagement of Older Adults: Impacts of Active Ageing Policies with a Focus on Socioeconomic Status’
  • Dilshan L. Fernando ‘The Limited Use of ICT Solutions for Peripheral Inaccessibilities Faced by People with Disabilities in Myanmar’
  • Shian Yin ‘How Do Young People Leave the Care System in China? A Scoping Review on Governmental Support for Care-experienced Youth in China’
  • Jinbao Zhang, Julia Shu-Hua Wang, Wing-kit Chan, Yongen Chen and Danhong Lan, ‘Policy Designs and Consumer Direction in Home-based Care: Experiences of Older Chinese and Family Members’
The 1st EASP Postgraduate Paper Award announced!