Managing at Extremes: Climate, Borders & Politics
The conference theme "Public Management at Extremes" was outlined at a time when the climate change movement and awareness, political tensions at borders, and populism and authoritarianism were on the rise around the world. At the time, this seemed an appropriate theme for Arizona, a place with limited water, extreme heat, & a quickly growing population; a US state at the northern border of Mexico (sharing the Sonora desert) and home to 22 federally recognized Native American tribes and more than 19 million acres of tribal lands; and a "swing" state in the US two party system.
While planning this conference, the COVID-19 pandemic took hold of our lives - making our theme ever more relevant. How we manage and respond to the pandemic has forced us to confront public management at extremes as the pandemic is intertwined with climate, border, and political issues. The pandemic has amplified climate change awareness and management (e.g. less driving while people work from home, cleaner air during lockdowns, new building air filtration systems, markets and food safety, supply chain issues), revealed new border management challenges (e.g. who gets to travel or enter a nation and how) and opportunities (e.g. Tribal leaders in Arizona were able to close borders for community safety measures, activating authority not previously accommodated); and political upheaval including movements against racism (e.g. worldwide Black Lives Matters movement), an insurrection in at the US Capitol, rising authoritarianism in response to COVID-19, and challenges to bureaucratic and political institutions.
Now more than ever we are called to advance public management research that helps societies respond to extreme events.
We are excited to welcome the PMRA community to a vibrant downtown Phoenix university complex — where Arizona State University’s downtown campus meets the University of Arizona’s Phoenix Biomedical campus in a growing, urban environment. Under the leadership of two strong public management programs who lead PMRA’s two journals, JPART and PPMG, the host institutions will collaborate to show visitors the best of Phoenix, Arizona, and our top ranked public management programs.
Indigenous land Acknowledgement
The physical locations of Arizona State University and the University of Arizona downtown Phoenix campuses are within the ancestral homelands of those American Indian tribes that have sustained connections to its lands and waters since time immemorial, including the Akimel O’odham (Pima), Pee Posh (Maricopa), Quechan, and Tohono O’odham peoples.