Call for Papers: Innovation Labs and eGovernment

European Group of Public Administration Permanent Study Group on eGovernment

The 2019 Annual Conference of the European Group for Public Administration (EGPA) will be held in Belfast, North Ireland from 11-13 September 2019. The Conference is being organised in collaboration with Queen’s University Belfast. For this conference, the Permanent Study Group on e-Government requests (1) abstracts for papers relating to the meeting theme of innovation labs, and (2) those drawing on current research which is relevant to the interests of this Permanent Study Group on e-Government.

(1) Themed Sessions: Innovation Labs
In 2019, we will host dedicated themed panel sessions of the Study Group for papers about innovation labs. Government organizations all around the world are setting up innovation labs to test and develop new technologies for the public sector. Innovation labs are widely regarded as a means to support innovation processes and to develop technologies for public service settings. Well known innovation labs are Mindlab in Denmark and NESTA in the UK, but there are many others (for an overview see: Whilst these labs offer a lot of promise and are incubators for innovative technological development, relatively little is known about their actual contribution to facilitating working solutions for the public sector. In addition, these labs also raise questions about their links to systems of democratic control, to accountability practices and traditional mechanisms for checks and balances. For this reason, strong empirical and theoretical analyses of the functioning of innovation labs and the relationships between innovation labs and e-government is needed.

For the dedicated panel session of the Study Group, we are especially interested in papers that examine the role of innovation labs in e-government. Topics for consideration include:

  • Effectivenessofinnovationlabs
  • Legitimacy of innovation labs
  • Types of innovation labs
  • Stakeholder engagement in innovation labs
  • Relations between innovation labs and public service delivery
  • Research methods in innovation labs

For these themes sessions of the Study Group we are looking for theoretical, empirical and critical papers exploring aspects of innovation labs. Our intention is to collect the papers together for a special issue of the journal Information Polity, to be published in 2020.

(2) General Sessions: Papers on e-government
For those who may be new to the group, please note that it is not necessary to address the workshop theme in your submission. This Permanent Study Group is a podium for broad discussion about e-government with a specific interest on the administrative, political and organizational aspects of service delivery, as well as information flows in and around government, public services and policy. Papers on other topics in the broad area of e-Government, ICT in public administration and e-democracy, and on your current research in these areas are welcome. In recent years, papers have been presented on a range of topics, including: smart cities, big data, regulation, privacy and surveillance, accountability andnational and international policy and practice around e-government.

Publication of Papers
We aim to bring a collection of papers, around the theme of innovation labs, together for a special issue of Information Polity in 2020. Papers not relating to this theme may also be published in Information Polity, as well as in other academic journals such as the Electronic Journal of e-Government and in the International Review of Administrative Sciences. Subject to editorial review, the best paper from the conference will be fast-tracked for publication in Information Polity.
Further Information

Up to date information on the workshop, as it becomes available, will be mailed to you directly. The conference website can be found at:

As for last year, submissions should preferably be uploaded directly to the EGPA site, but if you are having problems with the EGPA site, you can mail your abstract directly to any of the Co-Directors (see below) if you wish.

As in previous years, we will try to organise our time so as to maximize our opportunities to reflect on and discuss papers in depth. The EGPA Study Group on e-Government is dedicated to providing the strongest possible discussion forum for both established and new scholars in this field and to give a good opportunity for scholars to present new ideas and have those ideas discussed and debated by their peers.

This call is for abstracts or proposals. In keeping with Study Group aims, the co-conveners will be looking for a number of key features in proposals for papers. These features are as follows:

  • Abstracts should show evidence of arguments that authors will make in the proposed paper;
  • The papers should show evidence of innovative and creative thinking which is well grounded in theory or well argued;
  • Reflective/theoretical papers should preferably be related, even if indirectly, to the workshop theme, but this is not mandatory;
  • For empirically based papers, adherence to the workshop theme is less important, but there should be evidence of new findings from research being undertaken;
  • Innovative case studies are also welcome.

Abstracts should be no more than 500 words long and include full contact details. In all cases, there should be evidence that the proposed paper emerges from contemporary debate within the public administration sphere, broadly defined.

Key Dates
The following are the key dates:

  • Proposals should be uploaded through the submission website by 15th April 2019
  • Decision on selected papers by Co-Chairs notified to authors May 15th, 2019
  • Deadline for submitting the complete papers: August 12th, 2019

Please submit your abstract online through the Conference Website: https://www.egpa- or directly through Conference Management System: More information on the 2019 EGPA conference can be found at:

Papers should ideally have a maximum length of about 8,000 words and should be submitted in PDF or Microsoft Word or RTF format. We will be asking some lucky participants to act as discussants for each of the presented papers. Discussants provide a further stimulus to valuable discussion on each of the papers presented. Please note that we are keen to encourage new and existing scholars in the field to contribute to the Study Group. The group is open to new members and we would ask senior members of the group to encourage younger colleagues and PhD students to consider submitting proposals. Please do not hesitate to contact us with any questions regarding the conference and/or the permanent study groups. We look forward to hearing from you.

Contact Information
If you have any questions about this, please contact us, Co-chairs of Permanent Study Group I: 

Professor Albert Meijer, Utrecht University - The Netherlands

Professor William Webster, University of Stirling - UK