The Decline of the Middle Classes

in the

Developed World?

Madrid, Spain

September 28–30, 2014

Conference Website

In the wake of the 2008/2009 financial crisis have come increasing concerns that we may be witnessing the decline of the middle classes across the developed world. The forces underlying this uneasiness, of course, were at work before the crisis, but it seems to have hastened and aggravated their impact. Is the decades-long period of relative middle-class affluence at an end? Or will current difficulties pass as national economies strengthen?

In order to explore these and related issues, the Universidad Nacional de Educación a Distancia (UNED), the University of Maryland School of Public Policy (UMD), and the Association for Public Policy Analysis and Management (APPAM) will hold a conference in Madrid, Spain, September 29–30, 2014. (An opening reception will take place the evening of September 28.)

The conference is designed to attract a worldwide audience, including academics and professionals from universities, think tanks, government agencies, nonprofits, and the private sector. Paper and panel submissions are welcomed on:

  • the social and economic condition of the middle class in individual or groups of countries (including trends over time),and on the contributing and countering factors, including:
  • macroeconomic policy;
  • labor market conditions;
  • family structure;
  • work/family issues;
  • demographics (such as aging and disability);
  • immigration and migration;
  • government cash transfer programs;
  • social welfare; and
  • workforce development efforts (including remedial education programs, such as basic, secondary, post school and career-related education; and higher education).

Proposals should be submitted through the APPAM website here from January 23, 2014 through March 31, 2014. Proposal reviews will be completed by May 2, 2014 and notifications will be sent directly thereafter. If a proposal is accepted, the presenter will need to register for the conference in order to participate (see “registration” below).

A person may submit no more than two proposals (including both single-authored and co-authored papers). Individuals will be limited to two acceptances (at least one of which must be multi-authored) and only one opportunity to present at the conference.

Keynote speaker:

Amitai Etzioni, University Professor and Professor of International Affairs; Director, Institute for Communitarian Policy Studies, Elliott School of International Affairs, George Washington University.

Program cochairs:


Prof. Antonio López Peláez

Department of Social Work, Faculty of

Law, National Distance Education University (UNED)

Director of the University Center of UNED at Segovia

Editor, Comunitania: International Journal of Social Work and Social Science

Prof. Douglas J. Besharov

School of Public Policy, University of Maryland

Chair, International Activities Committee, Association for Public Policy Analysis and Management

Coeditor, International Policy Exchange Series, Oxford University Press

Program committee:

Sandra Archibald, dean, Evans School of Public Affairs, University of Washington;

Andrés Arias Astray, vice-chancellor of institutional relationships and international relationships, Universidad Complutense de Madrid;

Richard Burkhauser, professor, Department of Policy Analysis and Management, Cornell University;

Kenneth Couch, professor, Department of Economics, University of Connecticut; editor-designate, Journal of Policy Analysis and Management;

Angela Evans, professor, Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs, University of Texas; president, Association for Public Policy Analysis & Management;

Jorge M. L. Ferreira, professor, Political Science and Public Policy Department, University Institute of Lisbon; executive editor, Intervençao Social;

Neil Gilbert, professor, School of Social Welfare, University of California, Berkeley;

Mercedes Gómez Adanero, dean, Faculty of Law, UNED;

David Johnson, chief, Social, Economic and Housing Statistics Division, U.S. Census Bureau;

Robert Lerman, professor, Department of Economics, American University; institute fellow, Urban Institute;

Samuel Myers, Jr., professor, Humphrey School of Public Affairs, University of Minnesota;

Enrique Pastor, dean, Faculty of Social Work, Universidad de Murcia; executive editor, Azarbe: Revista Internacional de Trabajo Social y Ciencias Sociales;

Sagrario Segado Sánchez-Cabezudo, director, Gregorio Marañon Center, UNED; English editor, Comunitania: International Journal of Social Work and Social Sciences;

Katherine Swartz, professor, Department of Health Policy and Management, School of Public Health, Harvard University;

José Felix Tezanos Tortajada, professor and director, Department of Sociology III, Faculty of Political Sciences and Sociology, UNED; executive editor, Sistema: Revista de Ciencias Sociales; and

David Weimer, professor, Robert M. La Follette School of Public Affairs, University of Wisconsin.

Proposal submissionsThe deadline for submissions is March 31, 2014. Decisions will be announced around May 2, 2014. 

Post-conference publication: Papers from the conference will be considered for publication in the Oxford University Press International Policy Exchange Series.

In addition, all relevant conference papers may be submitted for consideration to the Journal of Policy Analysis and Management.

Language: English will be the official language of the conference. Abstracts, papers, and presentations are expected to be delivered in English.

Conference registration: Early registration for the conference will begin on February 17, 2014 and will continue until July 1, 2014. Regular registration will begin on July 2, 2014 and will continue until September 9, 2014. There will also be on-site registration for the conference. Please see the table below for registration costs. Instructions for registering can be found at the APPAM website here.


Early registration

(by July 1)

Regular registration (by September 9)

On-Site registration

Student Members of APPAM




APPAM Members




All Others




Conference schedule: An opening reception for all registrants will be held on the evening of September 28. There will be an optional dinner for program participants on September 29. There will be a separate charge for the dinner: $50 for early registrants and $65 for regular and on-site registrants (payment for the dinner can be made at registration). Coffee and light lunches will be provided during the conference.

Hotels: Hotel information will be made available at the conference website after March 15 here.

Side trips: Two side trips are being planned for the conference: a city tour of Madrid and a trip to Segovia or Toledo. More information about these trips will be available at the conference website after March 15 here.

For questions about abstract submissions and registration, please contact Jocelyn Mason of APPAM here.

For other non-registration questions, please contact Xavier Dólera Castells of UNED here.