Teaching policy analysis in China and the US: Public policy education in the era of globalization

Xun WU, Jingwei Alex HE, Allan LAI

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper


Public policy education has been growing rapidly worldwide, providing excellent opportunities to assess the development of the field from a comparative perspective. This paper aims at examining recent trends in public policy training by comparing courses in public policy analysis taught in professional degree programs in China and the United States. While our analysis shows considerable disparities in teaching policy analysis between China and the US, such differences are driven primarily by disciplinary focuses, expertise in policy analysis, and practical experiences of instructors, instead of differences in social, political, institutional and historical characteristics between the two countries. Our findings also suggest that a positivist approach to policy analysis continues to dominate the classrooms in the US despite of intense debates in the literature on the utility of such an approach in guiding practices of policy analysis, and that limited progress can be expected in the near future unless significant changes are introduced in the training, recruitment and promotion of faculty members involved in public policy education.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2016


public policy


Wu, X., He, J., & Lai, A. (2016, June). Teaching policy analysis in China and the US: Public policy education in the era of globalization. Paper presented at the HKU-USC-IPPA Conference on Public Policy: Coping with Policy Complexity in the Globalized World, The University of Hong Kong, China.