The Association for the Anthropology of Public Policy (ASAP) seeks to provide an institutional framework to identify and foster the work of anthropologists studying public policies as social, political, and cultural phenomena.
The following three overall goals guide ASAP’s activities:
To support the contributions of the anthropology of policy to anthropology more generally, including: the conceptualization of the “field” as the site of anthropological research, methodological innovation, and the legitimacy of anthropologists studying policy.
To support anthropological contributions to public policy, “policy science,” public administration, and other relevant fields, as well as to policy debates. This mission is informed by the following perspectives: a) the anthropology of policy takes public policy itself as an object of analysis, rather than the premise of a research agenda, and b) public policy is dominated by economic models, many of which grow out of private-sector experience.
ASAP seeks to help connect anthropologists in different countries around policy topics of mutual research, interest, and concern. In recognition of this, ASAP recognizes the following: a) ASAP meets an important and increasingly recognized need. AAA currently lacks an institutionalized means for anthropologists studying policy issues to meet and engage in discussion, b) ASAP differs from other AAA-sponsored endeavors whose agendas may include policy (e.g. Committee on Public Policy, National Association for the Practice of Anthropology), and thus proposes that c) future conveners will be selected biannually by a vote of ASAP members.