About the Journal

The Journal of Social Equity and Public Administration (JSEPA) is a peer-reviewed, open access journal sponsored by the Section on Democracy and Social Justice of the American Society for Public Administration and generously supported by three universities: University of Minnesota, Virginia Commonwealth University, and University of Nebraska Omaha. 

JSEPA seeks to be the leading voice on social equity as it pertains to the pursuit of public purposes. Publishing two issues per year, it is the outlet for cutting edge theory, research, and commentary on matters of access, process, quality, and outcomes of administrative actions, policy decisions, and administrative law. It is also a voice for reconciliation, restoration, and remediation strategies. There are no fees for publishing in JSEPA or for accessing articles.

Mission

Published for a global audience, JSEPA’s mission is to illuminate inequities and to provide a learning space. The journal’s content makes it possible for public service professionals, scholars, and students, to take note of what works, what fails, and what opportunities are available to advance justice and reduce disparity. Its pages lead the way for reforms, take account of successes and failures, and provide examples of reconciliation. 

The legacy of colonialism, imperialism, and anti-indigenous perspectives is present around the globe. Social equity issues are configured differently in each culture but they exist in every nation. JSEPA welcomes manuscripts that reflect the panoply of social equity issues, wherever they arise and in whatever form. 

Aims and Scope

The aim of JSEPA is to bridge the research – practice divide that otherwise stifles progress in overcoming social and structural inequities. The scope of coverage is broad, with manuscripts welcomed that explore, investigate, describe, explain, and critique issues pertaining to social equity in the pursuit of public purposes. Examinations of social equity in the context of management, policy, and/or law include a range of issues surrounding access, processes, quality and/or outcomes of administrative or policy decisions; rulemaking processes that enhance or hinder equity; ethical considerations; and strategies that correct inequity. JSEPA publishes “best practices” as well as equity audits and examinations of inequity, its causes and impacts, and strategies to correct it. Whether the focus is domestic, comparative, or international, manuscripts (not to exceed 9000 words) are welcomed on topics such as the following:

  • Critical examinations of structural and institutional barriers that limit full participation of marginalized communities 
  • Challenges to democratic norms and civic participation that result from marginalizing people 
  • Strategies public service professionals can use to dismantle barriers to access and participation
  • Empirical work examining issues related to social justice across all policy arenas
  • Exploration of the lived experiences of directly impacted communities
  • Best practice reports about strategies that are effective for improving social equity 
  • Theory development in regard to social equity
  • Commentary that explores cause and effects of social, political, economic, and environmental inequities
  • Evaluations of solutions
  • Pedagogical techniques for preparing students to engage in social justice work
  • Social equity assessments that take access, process, quality, and outcomes into account

Theory to Practice Features

In addition to full-length research articles, JSEPA features two sections, Racial Healing and Promoting Social Justice, which explicitly bridge the research – practice gap. Submissions to both sections may include conceptual papers, commentaries, and essays and should not exceed 5,000 words.

Racial Healing 

Contributions for this section should explore racial healing as it pertains to strategies, processes, and practices in public management sand public policy. Manuscripts that address issues of race and racism (as well as their intersections with other systems of oppression) with a focus on pathways to healing are invited. Explorations that expose and address mythical narratives of a dominant, racial hierarchy are also appropriate. The path to racial reckoning is grounded in racial healing and this section provides an outlet for manuscripts that focus on this cause. 

Promoting Social Justice 

This feature offers a platform for moving from words to action. Manuscripts reflect the obstacles and opportunities to operationalizing social equity and social justice. It is a dedicated space for contributors to discuss trends (both current and past) and promising strategies. From seeing something and saying something to doing something, examples of subject areas range from police brutality to environmental justice to educational inequity to combatting racial injustice to economic disparities, and more. Intended to be thought provoking, this feature uses innovative formats to advance dialogue. Scholar – practitioner pairings are encouraged in order to offer different perspectives on the same issue, or point/counterpoint debates, or case studies of equity and justice in action. Voices are sought in the form of notes from the field, best practices, lessons learned, and debates, among other formats. 

Reviews of Books, TOPS, and Media 

Book reviews and reviews of those other publications (TOPS) that are of interest, such as government documents, are welcome, as are reviews of how social equity is depicted in popular culture via videos, movies, music, toys, and other artifacts.