Call for Papers

Real Governance in India: The Game of Norms

Annual Conference of the Institute of Public Policy, NLSIU

27-28 November 2021


Concept Note

Public policy discourses across the world, predominantly hold an economic perspective to monitor, analyse, and understand policy implementation. Performance indicators led analysis of public policies, that have an often envisaged a set of linear outcomes, arising out of formation and change in rules, tends to create a binary delusion to the world of social change. The western democracies in the global north have public policies driven by institutionalized market forces and homogenous political competition which form the backbone of policy making; whereas the global south immerses itself in many informal institutions, often varying across heterogeneous subcultures that call for methodologies beyond the standardized and parametrized outcome-oriented comparisons towards social change. This social change is instead guided by several underlying norms that lie outside the mandate of economic incentives and rule of law, and therefore need a closer anthropo-socio-political analysis of policy making. We challenge two widely accepted notions in the public policy domains in this conference:

The role of evidence in policy making: Using case studies across different policy domains, we analyze whether standardized parameters towards compliance of the rule of law is unboxing the back hole of wicked cultural, sociological, political issues that continue to inhibit inclusive development.

Prescriptive notion: We challenge the prescriptive idea of good governance as promoted by international governmental organizations on how policy should be compared to how it is while bringing in a scientific temper to understand the deviations from the rule of law as observed in the functioning of governance in the real world.


Over two days, two types of academic discussions and debates are planned: First, academic written papers, submitted prior to conference, will be presented by a discussant followed by a discussion. Second, practitioners will have opportunity to submit abstracts which will be presented and discussed.

Call for Papers:

  • We are soliciting individual papers to be presented during the conference for which a short paper (about 4000 words) should reach conference organisers before 10 November 2021.
  • Practitioners who would like to make a presentation should send abstract of not less than 200 words to conference organisers before 1st November 2021.

Papers and abstracts to reach conference organisers at: