Publicness, Accounting and Budgeting in Emerging Economies

Call for papers for: Journal of Public Budgeting, Accounting & Financial Management

Guest Editors
Kelum Jayasinghe, Pawan Adhikari, Stephen K. Nkundabanyanga, Teerooven Soobaroyen

Background to the Special Issue
The public sector in emerging economies has witnessed at least three phases of development underpinned by different accounting and budgeting technologies in the post-colonial era (Hopper et al., 2009; Jayasinghe and Uddin, 2019; Van Helden and Uddin, 2016). The development discourses pursued under the state capitalism in the 1960s and 70s resulted in emerging economies focusing on cash control and budget planning and performance. The ascendency of New Public Management in the 1980s resulted in the introduction of accounting and budgeting technologies such as accrual accounting, international accounting standards, the medium-term expenditure framework and performance reporting, all of which were promoted as being learnt from the ‘best practices’ of Western countries (Polzer et al., 2019). The emerging development discourses are aligned with the ideas of New Public Governance, prioritising democratic renewal, emancipation and social accountability (Alawattage and Azure, 2019). While still underpinning the NPM-led accounting technologies and reforms the alternating development discourses have introduced additional accounting and budgeting measures to emerging economies, participatory budgeting serving as an example. 

Despite the efforts over the decades led to by varied development discourses and accounting technologies, the goal of achieving good governance and accountability in emerging economies has remained underachieved and elusive (Adhikari and Jayasinghe, 2017; Adhikari et al., 2019). Overall, the result of public sector accounting and accountability reforms in emerging economies has been largely unintended and disruptive impinging on in some contexts cultural disruption, patronage politics and corruption (Hopper et al., 2017). A voice has been echoed emphasising the need for defining the remit of the public sector in emerging economies and identifying specific accounting technologies that fit within that boundary. This call for redefining and extending the scope of publicness (Steccolini, 2019), in emerging economies has brought several previously marginalised issues at the forefront of discussion, including identifying and preserving indigenous accounting practices, localising reforms, collaborative governance and accountability and promoting the digitalisation of public services. There is also a need for situating public sector accounting and budgeting in emerging economies within a wider policy and public administration literature, making public sector accounting and budgeting research interdisciplinary and the theorisation of public sector accounting and budgeting practice drawing on more interpretative and critical approaches (Van Helden and Uddin, 2016; Soobaroyen et al., 2017). The main aim of the special issue is to collaborate in the analysis of how public sector accounting and budgeting in emerging economies are implicated in the management of complex social, economic and environmental issues, including the government responses to COVID-19. We encourage theoretical, conceptual and empirical submissions that result in the generation of additional insights into the role of public sector accounting and budgeting in the reinvention of publicness in a wider emerging economy context. 

Relevant themes for the papers include (but are not limited to):

  • Changing definition and remit of publicness in emerging economies and the implication of these changes in accounting and budgeting
  • Connection between public sector accounting and budgeting reforms, accountability and economic development
  • Achieving sustainable development goals through public sector accounting and budgeting
  • The role of public sector accounting and budgeting in generating ‘Big Data’
  • Social media, smart technologies and the digitalisation of public sector accounting and budgeting practices
  • New public governance, collaborative accountability and participatory budgeting
  • The role of agency in implementing public sector accounting practices and redefining publicness
  • Public sector accounting, transparency and corruption
  • Identifying indigenous accounting practice and the localisation of public sector accounting and budgeting
  • Critical research in public sector accounting and budgeting
  • Theorisation of public sector accounting and budgeting within the remit of publicness.

Deadline and contacts 

  • The deadline for the submission of full papers via the JPBAFM online system is the 31st December 2020. All papers will be reviewed in accordance with the normal review processes of JPBAFM.
  • Any queries or enquiries about the special issue should be directed to Pawan Adhikari, [email protected]

References
Adhikari, P. and Jayasinghe, K. (2017), “‘Agents-in-focus’ and ‘Agents-in-context’: the strong structuration analysis of central government accounting practices and reforms in Nepal”, Accounting Forum, Vol. 41 No. 2, pp. 96-115.
Adhikari, P., Kuruppu, C., Grossi, G. and Ambalangodage, D. (2019), “Unintended consequences in implementing public sector accounting reforms in emerging economies: evidence from Egypt, Nepal and Sri Lanka”, International Review of Administrative Sciences (in press).
Alawattage, C. and Azure, J. (2019), “Behind the World Bank’s ringing declarations of “social accountability”: Ghana’s public financial management reform”, Critical Perspectives on Accounting (in press).
Hopper, T., Lassou, P. and Soobaroyen, T. (2017), “Globalisation, accounting and developing countries”, Critical Perspectives on Accounting, Vol. 43 March, pp. 125-148.
Hopper, T., Tsamenyi, M., Uddin, S. and Wickramasinghe, D. (2009), “Management accounting in less developed countries: what is known and needs knowing”, Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, Vol. 22 No. 3, pp. 469-514.
Jayasinghe, K. and Uddin, S. (2019), “Continuity and change in development discourses and the rhetoric role of accounting”, Journal of Accounting in Emerging Economies, Vol. 9 No. 3, pp. 314-334.
Polzer, T., Gårseth-Nesbakk, L. and Adhikari, P. (2019), “‘Does your walk match your talk?’ analysing IPSASs diffusion in developed and developing countries”, International Journal of Public Sector Management (in press).
Soobaroyen, T., Tsamenyi, M. and Sapra, H. (2017), “Accounting and governance in Africa – contributions and opportunities for further research”, Journal of Accounting in Emerging Economies, Vol. 7 No. 4, pp. 422-427.
Steccolini, I. (2019), “Accounting and the post-new public management: Re-considering publicness in accounting research”, Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, Vol. 32 No. 1, pp. 255-279.
Van Helden, J. and Uddin, S. (2016), “Public sector management accounting in emerging economies: a literature review”, Critical Perspectives on Accounting, Vol. 41 December, pp. 34 – 62.