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Course Descriptions

HA7404 20th Century Political Thought

This course is designed to provide students with an introduction to certain of the most important contributions to political theory made in the 20th century.  Although the texts studied may vary from year to year depending upon the interests of the students enrolled in the course, a sample of the thinkers studied could include John Dewey, Carl Schmitt, Sigmund Freud, Max Horkheimer & Theodor Adorno, Hannah Arendt, Frantz Fanon, Michel Foucault, and John Rawls.  Throughout the course of the semester students will be encouraged to put each of the thinkers into dialogue with one another, interrogating the ways in which the construction of specific theoretical constellations is able to reveal to us potential textual gaps and inconsistencies, but also new perspectives on how we think about political reality that might otherwise remain obscured.  Students will also be required to continually put the texts studied to work, that is, utilize them in order to attempt to shed critical light on their own political worlds and how they think about the nature of human existence and interaction. 


HA9001 Theories of Public Policy

This course addresses the theoretical underpinnings of public policy. It discusses the role of different theories in understanding public policy, including institutional theory, group theory, elite theory, system theory, rational theory, incrementalism theory, and public choice theory.


HA9002 Theories of Public Administration

This course discusses the intellectual development of public administration as a discipline. It will discuss the theory of bureaucracy, politics and public administration, theory of public management and theories of public organizations, postmodern theory, critical theory, public institutional theory, theories of governance, decision theory, and rational choice theory.


HA9003 Research Methods

This course aims to provide researchers and practitioners with the essential knowledge and skills about how to conduct empirical research in the field of public administration.

Topics include: ontology and epistemology of social sciences, research ethics, research design, research strategies and procedures for quantitative research, qualitative research and mixed methods research. In addition, specific popular analytical techniques of quantitative methods and qualitative methods such as multiple linear regression, factor analysis and survey data analysis will be discussed.


HA9004 Quantitative Methods in Global Affairs & Public Administration

This course is a mandatory course for PhD students in PPGA. It aims to 1) acquaint students with ontology and epistemology issues of conducting quantitative research, 2) equip students with a thorough understanding of how to conduct rigorous research in the field of PPGA using cutting-edge quantitative methods, 3) train students to master essential and advanced statistical techniques to conduct quantitative research in PPGA, 4) teach students to use one of the most popular statistical packages, STATA to conduct statistical analysis and carry out quantitative research in the field of PPGA.


HA9005 Qualitative Research Methods

This course is designed to help graduate students understand the key conceptual and methodological issues in doing research in the discipline of political science.  Attention is given not only to the way we 'view' the study of politics and government, but also to various approaches to methodology, methods and research design.  In addition to demonstrating a grasp of these issues, students are expected to be able to apply them in developing a research plan for their thesis.


HA9006 Introduction to History of Political Thought

This course will introduce students to the political philosophies of the leading representatives of the history of political thought. Authors studied will include figures such as Plato, Aristotle, Machiavelli, Locke, Hobbes, Rousseau, Mill, and Marx. The course will consider the unique philosophical contributions of each author in the context of his historical situation, thus looking to clarify and articulate the relation between philosophy and political reality. Students will also, however, be encouraged to reflect upon the continuing practical relevance of the canonical texts, interrogating the conceptual material with respect to their potential application to the study of current political realities. Some of the issues which will be focused on include the nature of the human being, the status of individual rights, the foundation of state authority, and the meaning of such concepts as equality, freedom, and justice.


HA9007 Theories of International Relations

This course is a mandatory course for PhD students in PPGA. It aims to 1) acquaint students with knowledge of social science theories, 2) train students to gain in-depth understanding of mainstream IR theories: realism, liberalism, and social constructivism, 3) enable students to grasp the academic development of IR theories, and 4) teach students to apply various IR theories to explain global affairs, especially East Asian regional affairs.


HA9101 Policy Analysis

This course discusses analytical approaches and methods that are intended to guide policy design and structure policy choices. 

Topics include: argumentation analysis, stakeholder analysis; economic cost-benefit analysis and related methods. It enables students to analytically prepare, design and select public policy, and seeks to improve students’ basic skills in analytical thinking, information gathering, and writing. Students are required to complete a term paper and in class oral presentation.


HA9102 Public Policy Formulation & Implementation

This course is a research seminar focusing on public policy in selected countries, paying particular attention of how policies are made and how they are implemented.  

In the course students will read seminal works on models of the policy formulation/design and implementation processes, and they will apply what they have learned to address a research question or questions. Students are required to complete a term paper and in class oral presentation.


HA9103 Politics of Policymaking

This course examines the politics of public policy-making from both a theoretical and empirical perspective.  

Among the questions asked are the following: What determines how policy is made? Whose interests are represented in policy-making? When and why do policies get changed or stay the same across time and space? The focus will be on the political variables that affect policymaking. Written project involves either an analysis or a critical review on reading materials or on particular aspect of student’s research interest.


HA9104 Comparative Public Policy

This course is about the study of how and why different governments pursue particular courses of action or inaction. 

It focuses on some of the major theoretical and methodological approaches to the comparative study of public policies and programs, helping students develop the skills needed to study and explain convergence and divergence in government policy and program choice, implementation, and outcomes.  Written project involves either an analysis or a critical review on reading materials or on particular aspect of student’s research interest.


HA9105 Seminars on Singapore Public Policies

The Singapore government has often gone against conventional wisdom in the formulation of its innovative public policies.

The seminars are designed to provide students with an overview of Singapore's public policies by providing an in-depth analysis of local politics and public policy considerations.  Eminent speakers from the government or other decision‑making bodies will be invited to participate in discussions on their approach towards public policy making and the competitive advantages of its system of governance.


HA9106 Advanced Seminars on Policies

This course presents a selection of advanced topics on public policies. 

Through case studies, participants will be introduced to thematic topics in policy making, implementation, and evaluation. The course will examine policy issues from an international perspective, with particular focus on the Singapore experience.


HA9201 Public Management & Institutional Analysis

This course aims to help students understand and analyze public management issues from the perspective of institutionalism.

Theories about the three most significant approaches to institutional analysis are covered, which include the institutional analysis and development framework, legal institutional analysis and the advocacy coalition framework. Based on the three frameworks, a variety of public management and public policy issues including environmental protection, urban planning, citizen participation, economic development, policy agenda setting in Southeast Asia are covered.


HA9202 Ideas & Issues in Public Administration

This course consists of several seminars on a variety of cutting-edge ideas and issues in public administration. 

It will be delivered by faculty members and guest speakers. It will survey ideas and issues in the field of public administration from historical and comparative perspectives. Topics covered include classic public administration theories, postmodern public administration theories, discursive public policy making,  governance,  network management, citizen participation, organization behavior in public organization, public service motivation, public sector human resource management, public performance management,  public finance, administrative law.


HA9203 Organisational Behaviour in the Public Sector

This course exposes participants to advanced behavioral science theories and applications in public administration in this era of evolving work force and technology. 

It incorporates concepts and methods from the behavioral and social sciences to help participants understand workplace behavior and how that ultimately relates to organizational success or failure. Topics will include group dynamics and teams, conflict management and negotiation skills, power and politics, organizational change and development, motivation, work attitudes, leadership, decision making, and organizational culture.


HA9204 Political Economy of Globalisation

This is an interdisciplinary graduate seminar.

The objective is to examine the ways in which changes in the international economy and the regimes that regulate it interact with domestic politics, policy-making, and the institutional structures of the political economy in industrialized democracies and developing nations. The course will examine how the powerful forces of international capital flows are shaping public policy decisions at the national and the international level. Class discussions will be based on selected theoretical and policy articles. Students are required to complete a term paper and in class oral presentation.


HA9205 Public Budgeting & Financial Management

This course examines the critical issues in public budgeting and financial management, and how they interface with public management drawing on comparative experience in various countries. 

Topics include theories of budgeting, intergovernmental fiscal relations, performance budgeting, budgetary reforms, accounting and auditing in the government, taxation, financial management in government and non-profit organizations, public debt and capital budgeting.


HA9206 Comparative Public Administration

Comparative public administration is the study of how, why and to what effect governments choose certain policy instruments and organizational arrangements to implement decisions. 

This graduate seminar focuses on public sector reform in comparative context, the varying impact of globalization on developed and developing countries, emerging supra-national and global bureaucracies, and the role of international organizations in public administration and public sector reform. Final course grade will be based on the evaluation of writing assignments / oral presentation / research paper.


HA9207 Advanced Seminar on Public Management

This course focuses on various tools for the daily and on-going management of public and non-profit organizations. 

Topics include management theories, change management, strategic management, performance management, restructuring, reengineering, conflict management, learning organizations, management of innovations, management of culture and ethics.


HA9888 Independent Study

This course provides students with an opportunity to engage in independent research related to their proposed thesis/dissertation. The content and requirements of each Independent Study module is determined by the student and assigned faculty member. The actual topics in each syllabus will depend on the area of interest of the student and faculty member. In this course, students are expected to read widely both classical and contemporary readings under guidance of the faculty.

Notes: 
  • Courses and requirements are subject to review and change. 
  • Not all courses are available in one given semester. 
  • ​Courses will be offered on the basis of student intake, research areas and availability of faculty. 
  • Please click here​ for the courses that will be offered in a particular semester.​