Comparative Governance


The goal of this course is to help students to understand how different governance systems work, how they have developed over the time, and why they are different. This is achieved through the examination and comparison of the evolution, current status, and future development of the governance system of different countries, including China, US., and a couple of other countries. Specifically, it will look at the development of key governance institutions, including administrative system, rule of law, and mechanisms of accountability in different countries. Particular attention will be paid to details pertaining to contemporary political institutions in China, comparing them with those in other countries around the world. Examples will include how municipal and provincial leaderships are chosen, how the Chinese Communist Party operates, how the various levels of China's People's Congress convene and make decisions, and what are the challenges to the system.

Applicable TowardsCore
Department Schwarzman Scholars
Credits 3
FacultyWANG Shaoguang

Course Structure

This is an eight week course (one module) divided into four sections:

  1. Why do we need governance?
  2. Institutions within a governance system
  3. Public policy development
  4. Governance within a globalized world

Teaching Style

The course will be an interactive blend of lecture and discussion and will include field trips specific to students' areas of interest. Formats may include but are not limited to: traditional lecture followed by discussion; a town hall discussion with students; or a panel discussion with other leading authorities in the field; and debates between professors and visitors.


Lead Faculty

Shaoguang Wang is Emeritus Professor of Government and Public Administration at the Chinese University of Hong Kong. He

studied for his LL.B. at Peking University and his Ph.D. at Cornell University. He taught at Tijiao High School in Wuhan from 1972 to 1977, Yale University from 1990 to 2000, and the Chinese University of Hong Kong from 1999 to 2017. He served as the chief editor of the China Review (SSCI indexed), an interdisciplinary journal on greater China, between 2000 and 2012. He has authored and co-authored more than 30 books and more than 100 journal articles in Chinese and English. His research interests include the history of democracy, comparative governance, comparative political economy, fiscal politics, and welfare politics.



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