Comparative Public Policy

Instructor Name

Iza (Yue) Ding

Instructor Biography

Iza Ding (Ph.D. Harvard, 2016) is an Associate Professor of Political Science. Her research explores the paradoxes and pushbacks attending economic, political, and cultural modernization, such as creative resistance against institutional rigidities, lingering moral traditions against legal development, enduring historical memories against rapid socioeconomic transformations, and humans’ simultaneous degradation of nature and attachment to nature. Ding is the author of The Performative State: Public Scrutiny and Environmental Governance in China (Cornell University Press, 2022). She is currently working on a monograph on global historical waves of environmentalism.

Course Description

This course introduces students to important theories and concepts in comparative public policy, as well as foundational tools of comparative policy analysis. In each session, we will explore debates about an important public policy issue, such as economic development, political modernization, identity politics, accountability, state building, social welfare, and inequality, as well as policy solutions to these issues. These policy issues are examined through analyses of cases from across the globe, including countries in Africa, the Americas, Asia, Europe, and the Middle East. This course concludes with implications for development policy along the Belt and Road.

Course Schedule

Ten Session Topics

  • Introduction: Why and How to “Compare”?

  • Theories of Economic Development: Europe & U.S.

  • Policies of Late Development: Asia

  • Policies of Late Development: Latin America & Africa

  • Social and Political Modernization

  • Representation and Accountability

  • Bureaucracy and State Capacity

  • Identity Politics and Policy

  • Inequality and Social Welfare Policies

  • Conclusion: Implications for the Belt and Road

Learning Outcomes

  • TBD