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

Dr. Xue Lan is Executive Vice President of the Development Research Academy for the 21st Century, and Director of the China Institute for Science and Technology Policy at Tsinghua University. He is also an adjunct professor at Carnegie Mellon University and a Non-Resident Senior Fellow of Brookings Institute. Dr. XUE has worked extensively in areas including public policy analysis, innovation policy, and crisis management. His many public service appointments include a member of the Expert Committee on Emergency Management of the State Council of China, Vice President of China Association of Public Administration, a member of the Visiting Committee for the Harvard Kennedy School of Government and a member of the Academic Advisory Board for the Blavatnik School of Government at University of Oxford. He is also the Vice Chairman of the National Steering Committee for MPA Education. Dr. XUE has a PhD from Carnegie Mellon University in engineering and public policy and taught at George Washington University before returning to China in 2006.