The 31th NISPAcee Annual Conference

Conference 2023 Beograd, Serbia, May 25-27, 2023

Excellent conference. I really enjoyed the papers, speakers, schedule and location and great staff!

D.B., United States, 27th NISPAcee Annual Conference 2019, Prague

...relating to public administration and policy. Good opportunities for networking.

N.D., Georgia, 27th NISPAcee Annual Conference 2019, Prague

Excellent participants, argument-driven discussions, impartial and supportive Chairs in the Working Group.

D.G., Republic of North Macedonia, 27th NISPAcee Annual Conference 2019, Prague detail and I really enjoyed the supportive and encouraging atmosphere there. Thank you!

R.B., Lithuania, 27th NISPAcee Annual Conference 2019, Prague

...both in terms of academic quality and logistics, and also social events. It was a true joy.

E.Z., Bulgaria, 27th NISPAcee Annual Conference 2019, Prague

...The special programmes were really excellent and we took home many varied experiences.

P.N., Hungary, 27th NISPAcee Annual Conference 2019, Prague

...Sessions were interesting, scholars were engaging and all the social events were amazing!

B.K., Kazakhstan, 26th NISPAcee Annual Conference 2018, Iasi

Excellent organization, excellent food. Compliments to the organizers, they did a wonderful job!

V.J., Netherlands, 26th NISPAcee Annual Conference 2018, Iasi

...I must say that the PhD pre-conference seminar was the most useful seminar of my life. Very well...

K.V., Czech Republic, 26th NISPAcee Annual Conference 2018, Iasi

... I would even argue that they are the very best - both in terms of scientific content and also entertainment…

P.W., Denmark, 26th NISPAcee Annual Conference 2018, Iasi

An opportunity to learn from other researchers and other countries' experiences on certain topics.

G.A.C., Hungary, 25th Conference 2017, Kazan

Very well organised, excellent programme and fruitful discussions.

M.M.S., Slovakia, 25th Conference 2017, Kazan

The NISPAcee conference remains a very interesting conference.

M.D.V., Netherlands, 25th Conference 2017, Kazan

Thank you for the opportunity to be there, and for the work of the organisers.

D.Z., Hungary, 24th Conference 2016, Zagreb

Well organized, as always. Excellent conference topic and paper selection.

M.S., Serbia, 23rd Conference 2015, Georgia

Perfect conference. Well organised. Very informative.

M.deV., Netherlands, 22nd Conference 2014, Hungary

Excellent conference. Congratulations!

S. C., United States, 20th Conference 2012, Republic of Macedonia

Thanks for organising the pre-conference activity. I benefited significantly!

R. U., Uzbekistan, 19th Conference, Varna 2011

Each information I got, was received perfectly in time!

L. S., Latvia, 21st Conference 2013, Serbia

The Conference was very academically fruitful!

M. K., Republic of Macedonia, 20th Conference 2012, Republic of Macedonia

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Panel: The Rule of Law & Public Administration
Panel chairs

•    Polonca Kovač, Faculty of Administration, University of Ljubljana, Slovenia,
Polonca Kovač is a full professor of administrative law and public administration at the Faculty of Administration, University of Ljubljana, Slovenia. She is as a steering committee member of the NISPAcee and a co-director of the Law and Administration panel of the European Group of Public Administration (EGPA). Her research and expertise are focused primarily on good governance principles, particularly rule of law, transparency and participation, administrative procedural law, inspection supervision and tax procedures, and reforms related to Europeanisation of public administration. She is an editor and author of numerous scientific articles, conference papers and edited books, editor-in-chief of the Central European Public Administration Review (CEPAR), and acts as an OECD/SIGMA expert.
 •    Anamarija Musa, Faculty of Law, University of Zagreb, Croatia,
Anamarija Musa is an assistant professor and senior research associate at the Faculty of Law, University of Zagreb, Croatia. Her research and teaching topics include public administration reform and Europeanisation, regulation and regulatory governance, transparency and participation, e-government, local government and organisation theory. Besides academic work, she gained wide practical experience in projects and law drafting in Croatia (access to information, RIA, ombudsman, state administration, civil service, and administrative procedure) and SEE region, as well as the Croatian Information Commissioner 2013-2018.
Call for papers

Aims of the panel

The aim of the panel is to discuss the specific elements and sub-principles of the rule of law, their application and effects related to the administration and governance, as well as broader economic, political and societal settings. The rule of law is a traditional legal and administrative principle, aimed at limiting the power of the state toward citizens. It ensures that authoritative decisions are legally based and generally sound, prevents authorities from misusing their superior position, and enables citizens and business to act under equal terms. It frames the rule-making (regulatory design), individual proceedings and implementation of authoritative decisions and legislation, as well as any other administrative actions.

Known in various administrative and political-legal legacies, from Aristotle’s recitals and British Middle Ages theory to the 19th century German Rechtsstaat or French Etat de droit, the principle evolved over time within different cultural and political-administrative systems. Nowadays it represents a set of complementary (sub)principles and special guarantees, such as proprietor rights, access to information, right to be heard and participate in public matters, judicial review, etc. The rule of law is a "supra” principle of good administration and public governance, and therefore inevitably related to other administrative and broader societal principles, such as liberal democracy, proportionality, legal certainty, transparency, participation, accountability, efficiency and effectiveness, and innovation.

The rule of law in administrative relations is also one of the salient elements of the ongoing transitional development in CEEs where, in contrast to the traditional democracies, it especially relates to human and minority rights, separation of power, participative authoritative procedures, transparent and accountable governmental actions, anticorruption, etc. Moreover, it is perceived as a basic requirement for any country to act as a part of the European Administrative Space. However, legal aspects of the rule of law tend to gain a central position, leading occasionally to an overly ‘legalistic culture’ that does not correspond to the economic and societal aspects of administrative action and complex policy problems of contemporary societies (such as digitalisation, migrations, or ecological changes).

The panel intends to bring together scholars and practitioners with those interested in the rule of law from the perspective of law and regulation, public policy, economics and public administration, as well as the democratic politics and economic aspects in general. The panel’s aim is therefore to enlighten eclectic views on the above mentioned topics in terms of content, research methods and developmental dimension to maximise its understanding in the NISPAcee region and EU frameworks.

Main focus, expectations and topics

The main focus of this newly introduced panel is on the procedural side of administrative action, both at the regulatory level, as well as the level of individual administrative decision-making. Namely, it is possible to distinguish between two integral approaches to the rule of law - formal (e.g. publicity, generality, consistency and comprehensibility, equality, certainty, etc.) and substantive (protection of rights, equality). Nevertheless, as seen in the EU (e.g. in the Regulation on open, independent and efficient administration) and elsewhere, particularly procedural rights are put forward to enhance people’s sense of the rule of law: people are likely to accept the decisions of administrative authorities in so far as they trust the basic procedural guarantees, the functioning of the institutions, and the rule of law as a whole. However, within the processes of privatisation, globalisation and marketisation in contemporary governance, the rule of law is challenged by both the delegation of regulatory powers of economic and social regulation to state and non-state actors, as well as by the responses to these processes by the governments that might undermine the core principles of democratic governance. Thus, the quality of the regulatory process may be considered as a safeguard of the rule of law and a way to prevent state capture and corruption.

The topics of the Panel at the 2019 NISPAcee conference include (but are not restricted to): the challenges to the rule of law in complex governance settings; economic and social regulation and regulatory practices that affect or are conditioned by the rule of law; individual rights in administrative procedure and legal remedies, in general or particular, e.g. asylum, access to information, etc.

Requirements for contributions
The panel welcomes both theoretical and empirical papers. We encourage submissions presenting national case studies, as well as comparative papers on the specific rule of law sub-topics, for instance, on the legitimacy of the rule-making process, protection of rights in administrative procedures, law implementation, sectoral regulation, or legal aspects of prevailing governance models. Papers focusing on recent challenges to the rule of law in the CEEs or evolution of the rule of law as a part of administrative reforms in the EU candidate countries are especially welcome. Prospective authors are encouraged to submit applications and full papers compliant with NISPAcee guidelines and based on the IMRaD structure.