Nervous Areas of Governments: Addressing Inequities around the World

Susan T. Gooden, PhD, editor
Interim Dean and Professor, Wilder School of Government and Public Affairs Virginia Commonwealth University

Call for Proposals

Governments around the world face the challenge of espousing principles of fairness but practicing inequity in their administration. Nervousness is an emotional and physical reaction that can interfere with one’s ability to perform critical tasks. Both individuals and organizations can experience nervousness. In government, it becomes harmful when it debilitates actions that are needed to promote social equity and justice. “The nervous area of government is how an organization considers, examines, promotes, distributes, and evaluates the provision of public justice in areas such as race, ethnicity, gender, religion, sexual orientation, class, and ability status” (Gooden, 2015, 9).

Contemporary inequities are often the result of previous state-caused discrimination. Each of the chapters in this edited volume focuses on a single country and examines a specific nervous area of government. Together, this volume expands our understanding of nervousness in the administration of government services around the world, important historical and political considerations, and specific evidence of promising progress. It considers the complexity of nervous areas of governments around the world, while identifying encouraging approaches and initiatives.

Paper proposals are due no later than December 15, 2018 and should include a working title, a two-page description of the proposed content, organizational affiliation and contact information for the author(s). Additional proposal guidelines are included below. Authors will receive notification of their submission status by February 1, 2019. Selected authors will be invited to submit their full-length (30-35 page) manuscript with a firm submission deadline of June 1, 2019.

Submitted paper proposals should clearly include:
1. Identification of the country and specific “nervousness” issue
2. Explanation of why it is a nervous area of government (brief historical and political context)
3. Identification of a promising practice by government to reverse prior and current inequities and promote equity (e.g., case study, public policy, legal decision)
4. Assessment and evidence of progress
5. Note: Each proposal should focus on a single country, rather than a cross-national or comparative perspective. The promising practices identified should derive from governmental actions (rather than private sector or NGO initiatives).

Please submit questions or proposals to Susan Gooden at stgooden@vcu.edu. When submitting proposals, please include “NervousChapterProposal_AuthorLastNames” in the subject line of the email. The book publisher for this edited volume is Routledge, a division of Taylor & Francis.