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APS hosted 6th AP-PPN Annual Conference in March to address crises caused by COVID-19 pandemic




The Department of Asian and Policy Studies (APS) hosted the 6th Asian Pacific Public Policy Network (AP-PPN) Annual Conference from 3 to 5 March 2021 online at The Education University of Hong Kong. The conference used “Resilient and Inclusive Governance in the Age of Crisis” as this year’s theme to reflect the need for the public policy sector to address a range of crises caused by COVID-19. In total, more than 330 attendees from Hong Kong, East Asia, South Asia, North America, Europe and South America joined the three-day event.

The online conference received tremendous support from the academic community. Scholars from different policy subfields spoke at the conference about how the pandemic reshaped their work and how their work in turn reshaped the crisis. At the main conference organised on 4 and 5 March, a total of 19 speakers delivered their speeches at the two plenary sessions, each of which drew over 50 participants. Two rounds of panel sessions were arranged after each plenary session. Each of the four rounds of the panel sessions saw 80 participants in attendance. The high turnout reflected the academic community’s interest in the conference and the relevance of the theme.

As part of the pre-conference events, two workshops on topics especially relevant for research students and young scholars were held on 3 March. Nine speakers spoke about various topics, including academic writing, job hunting, career planning, and how to convert research works into publications. More than 100 participants attended each of the two workshops.

In his welcome speech at the conference, Professor Lui Tai-lok, the then Vice President (Research and Development) and Chair Professor of Hong Kong Studies, said, "An important role of being an academic and researcher is to respond to current and long-term challenges that Hong Kong society and the greater international community are facing. I am delighted that the conference covers a wide range of engaging topics which address both long-term issues surrounding digitalization, big data, disclosure and transparency of information in the context of health crises as well as immediate issues like inclusive governance, resilience and response, and social protests."

Professor Lui Tai-lok

Professor Michael Howlett

Professor Michael Howlett, Burnaby Mountain Professor and Canada Research Chair, Department of Political Science, Simon Fraser University, also made an opening remark at the conference.

We are thankful for the support given by several academic journals to the conference. These include Asian Public Policy, Policy Design and Practice, Policy and Society, and Globalisation in Asia. Those who are interested can listen to opening remarks as well as the presentations at the plenary sessions and pre-conference workshops at https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLVxM1UCTW2IjLNAD23Dl6UNkiO7kMOpsg.