MIA ELECTIVES

Below is a list of Electives available.

Please note that not all electives will be offered in any one semester, and the elective details are subject to change without prior notice.

Politics International Relations and Law

The course explores the connections among events in Asia as they have unfolded since the end of World War II and examines them in relation to contemporary issues. It assesses competing explanations for longstanding issues, including the Taiwan issue, division of the Korean peninsula, South China Sea dispute, and trajectory of regionalism. These issues are playing out amid a major power shift, not only as a consequence of China’s rise, but also with the emergence of Asia as a global agenda-setter. The course also examines the new threats to the region, from WMD proliferation to terrorism and competition for resources.

We are all aware of the disruptive impacts of violence and conflict over the security, economic, and social wellbeing of our increasingly interconnected societies. In a time when conflicts are becoming more complex, a better understanding of their dynamics and of the peaceful means to address them is a paramount necessity for future leaders and policy makers. This course offers an opportunity to develop analytical skills to understand today’s conflicts and to learn key tools of conflict resolution.

That international politics can be conceived as a game with its own special rules is a truism for most analysts of the subject. World leaders repeatedly invoke “the rules of the game” metaphor in their diplomatic entreaties, suggesting it is one of the most beloved metaphors for the way we think about, and practice, international politics. So what are the rules of the game? No one has specified a coherent and defensible list of the key rules. As such, the instructor will provide a list of ten possible contenders, based on his understanding of what makes international politics tick. The course will examine, debate, and dissect these “rules,” with the aim of arriving at a mutually agreeable and defensible list of the key rules of the international politics game by the end of the semester.

Fragile and failed states pose unique problems to the international community. From the 1990s, wars in and among failed states have killed and displaced millions. In an increasingly interconnected world, internal insecurity fundamentally undermines international security. This module focuses on understanding the main drivers of state fragility and the impact on global security. In understanding the root causes and consequences of state fragility, students will work through appropriate and practical policy responses. The module draws on contemporary case studies of contested states and explores the issues through the lenses of political science, international relations, history, geography, sociology and public policy.

Economies succeed not just from generating ever improved domestic social outcomes, but also by navigating successfully their foreign relations. Nation states commit a dangerous error if they situate injudiciously in world order, not least with the current model of global power relations under ongoing stress. Against a background of conventional approaches, this module provides an economic perspective on rethinking world order. It asks what a rational world order is and investigates the role of smaller states in it. The course compares current reality to a rational world order, and analyzes how critical elements of such a new order might emerge.

This module will introduce students to international and strategic thought in four Asian countries – China, India, Japan, and Singapore. As world power shifts towards Asia, it is vital to provide students with insights into how key Asian societies have thought about the nature of international life and how to deal with the threats and opportunities to their countries. Students will read key texts and thinkers, will make comparisons across the four sets of thinkers and will critically assess the relevance of the ideas they encounter for contemporary foreign and security policy.

This module gives an overview of global health policy and issues, with special focus on changing social, economic, technological and political conditions across the diverse countries and populations of Asia. It examines the roles and relationships among major players at the global level, and different approaches taken by various international organisations and national governments in tackling health and related problems. This module will examine global health trends and issues using a macro policy framework. Significant challenges in the organisation of global health programmes and the complexities involved in international cooperation will be analysed through selected case-studies. Topics on current issues will include:- population health and development, role of international health organizations, international aid and development assistance, emerging epidemics and disasters, cross-border health issues, migration of health human resources (brain drain), international trade in health services and the future of global health.

This module addresses the rise of political Islam and Islamism, and its impact on governance in the contemporary Muslim world. It aims to deepen our understanding regarding the inherent complexities of the Islamist movement and heighten our awareness of this new global political and policy issue. The module begins with a brief overview of rise of political Islam and Islamism and examines the potential reasons for its success. We then examine the impact of political Islam on governance in various Muslim countries. We will consider the different strategies embraced by states towards the Islamist movement – ranging from total exclusion to full incorporation into the governance structures. Finally, the module will consider the more transnational manifestations of these movements including those which are clearly more militant and politically violent, and question the resulting policy implications for the state.

This project-based module allows students to develop innovative solutions to real-world policy problems. Students work in teams with external partners (government, corporate, incubators, non-profit organizations, foundations, etc.) to develop a concrete innovative “product" that addresses a specific public policy issue. Students work with their partner on a project. They participate in workshop-style lectures on key issues related to innovation including diffusion, disruption, and policy application, and on practical skills for policy innovation including design thinking, human-centered design, stakeholder analysis, and problem-solving processes. External partners reserve the right to select the student teams working on their proposed projects.

This module will provide an overview of the contemporary U.S.-China relationship with particular focus on U.S. policymaking towards China. The module will review key issues that define the relationship, analyze U.S. security policy decision-making structures and consider how they shape the relationship. The course will conclude by discussing other Asian perspectives of the U.S.-China dyad and how third countries respond to shifts in the U.S.-China relationship.

This course focuses on how states formulate and implement their foreign policies. It is structured based on different levels of analysis: systems, state, leaders, bureaucracies/institutions, and society. The course analyses the various constraints that each of these actors face, how they interact with each other, and the processes and mechanisms through which they resolve their differences and formulate policy. It also examines the conditions in the implementation process that impact policy outcomes. Major themes include the state as rational actor, the role of personalities and their psychology, the impact of ideas and cultures, bureaucratic politics, and the role of interest groups and coalitions.

The Asia-Pacific is the most important region of the world with its economic vibrancy and strategic importance, and presents a plethora of important and puzzling security and economic challenges. In this course we will utilize various theoretical approaches to examine and explain a set of substantive issues in the international relations of the Asia-Pacific: US-China rivalry; territorial disputes; Taiwan issue; North Korean nuclear threat; Japan’s foreign policy; the so-called ‘history problem’ issue; ASEAN; security institutions; economic patterns; human rights; and environmental and aging society problem. In addition, we seek to understand the future trajectory of the Asia-Pacific.

International Security

The course explores the connections among events in Asia as they have unfolded since the end of World War II and examines them in relation to contemporary issues. It assesses competing explanations for longstanding issues, including the Taiwan issue, division of the Korean peninsula, South China Sea dispute, and trajectory of regionalism. These issues are playing out amid a major power shift, not only as a consequence of China’s rise, but also with the emergence of Asia as a global agenda-setter. The course also examines the new threats to the region, from WMD proliferation to terrorism and competition for resources.

We are all aware of the disruptive impacts of violence and conflict over the security, economic, and social wellbeing of our increasingly interconnected societies. In a time when conflicts are becoming more complex, a better understanding of their dynamics and of the peaceful means to address them is a paramount necessity for future leaders and policy makers. This course offers an opportunity to develop analytical skills to understand today’s conflicts and to learn key tools of conflict resolution.

That international politics can be conceived as a game with its own special rules is a truism for most analysts of the subject. World leaders repeatedly invoke “the rules of the game” metaphor in their diplomatic entreaties, suggesting it is one of the most beloved metaphors for the way we think about, and practice, international politics. So what are the rules of the game? No one has specified a coherent and defensible list of the key rules. As such, the instructor will provide a list of ten possible contenders, based on his understanding of what makes international politics tick. The course will examine, debate, and dissect these “rules,” with the aim of arriving at a mutually agreeable and defensible list of the key rules of the international politics game by the end of the semester.

Fragile and failed states pose unique problems to the international community. From the 1990s, wars in and among failed states have killed and displaced millions. In an increasingly interconnected world, internal insecurity fundamentally undermines international security. This module focuses on understanding the main drivers of state fragility and the impact on global security. In understanding the root causes and consequences of state fragility, students will work through appropriate and practical policy responses. The module draws on contemporary case studies of contested states and explores the issues through the lenses of political science, international relations, history, geography, sociology and public policy.

Economies succeed not just from generating ever improved domestic social outcomes, but also by navigating successfully their foreign relations. Nation states commit a dangerous error if they situate injudiciously in world order, not least with the current model of global power relations under ongoing stress. Against a background of conventional approaches, this module provides an economic perspective on rethinking world order. It asks what a rational world order is and investigates the role of smaller states in it. The course compares current reality to a rational world order, and analyzes how critical elements of such a new order might emerge.

This module will introduce students to international and strategic thought in four Asian countries – China, India, Japan, and Singapore. As world power shifts towards Asia, it is vital to provide students with insights into how key Asian societies have thought about the nature of international life and how to deal with the threats and opportunities to their countries. Students will read key texts and thinkers, will make comparisons across the four sets of thinkers and will critically assess the relevance of the ideas they encounter for contemporary foreign and security policy.

This module addresses the rise of political Islam and Islamism, and its impact on governance in the contemporary Muslim world. It aims to deepen our understanding regarding the inherent complexities of the Islamist movement and heighten our awareness of this new global political and policy issue. The module begins with a brief overview of rise of political Islam and Islamism and examines the potential reasons for its success. We then examine the impact of political Islam on governance in various Muslim countries. We will consider the different strategies embraced by states towards the Islamist movement – ranging from total exclusion to full incorporation into the governance structures. Finally, the module will consider the more transnational manifestations of these movements including those which are clearly more militant and politically violent, and question the resulting policy implications for the state.

This module will provide an overview of the contemporary U.S.-China relationship with particular focus on U.S. policymaking towards China. The module will review key issues that define the relationship, analyze U.S. security policy decision-making structures and consider how they shape the relationship. The course will conclude by discussing other Asian perspectives of the U.S.-China dyad and how third countries respond to shifts in the U.S.-China relationship.

This course focuses on how states formulate and implement their foreign policies. It is structured based on different levels of analysis: systems, state, leaders, bureaucracies/institutions, and society. The course analyses the various constraints that each of these actors face, how they interact with each other, and the processes and mechanisms through which they resolve their differences and formulate policy. It also examines the conditions in the implementation process that impact policy outcomes. Major themes include the state as rational actor, the role of personalities and their psychology, the impact of ideas and cultures, bureaucratic politics, and the role of interest groups and coalitions.

The Asia-Pacific is the most important region of the world with its economic vibrancy and strategic importance, and presents a plethora of important and puzzling security and economic challenges. In this course we will utilize various theoretical approaches to examine and explain a set of substantive issues in the international relations of the Asia-Pacific: US-China rivalry; territorial disputes; Taiwan issue; North Korean nuclear threat; Japan’s foreign policy; the so-called ‘history problem’ issue; ASEAN; security institutions; economic patterns; human rights; and environmental and aging society problem. In addition, we seek to understand the future trajectory of the Asia-Pacific.

International Economics and Development

The purpose of this course is to prepare students for becoming both critical consumers and competent producers of quantitative evidence used in the public policy arena. This course provides students with a solid grounding on economic theory and statistical techniques used to analyze public policy. At the end of the course, students will be able to use advanced econometric tools on real world policy problems and draw policy implications. The major topics covered include: inference and hypothesis testing, simple regression analysis, multiple regression analysis, non-linear regression models, binary dependent variable models, program evaluation, panel data analysis, and time series analysis and forecasting.

This course takes a multi-disciplinary, practitioner-driven approach to analyse Singapore’s public policies. It does this by integrating and applying three conceptual lenses, namely standard economics, the cognitive sciences, and organisation behaviour. We will first examine policies in Singapore through the lens of market failures and how economists have traditionally viewed the role of governments. We then examine the cognitive limits of economic agents and consider how behavioural economics offers the possibility of better policy design by taking into account people’s cognitive biases and limitations. In the third segment, we analyse the Singapore government through the lens of organisation behaviour. Throughout the course, we apply these lenses to various policy successes and failures in Singapore.

This module is based on the premise that the sustainability of the natural environment is a necessity for the sustainability of the economic system. Hence the module commences with how specific definitions and models in economics need to be modified in cognizance of certain laws of thermodynamics. The module is divided into four blocks. The first block concerns the introduction of pertinent concepts in economics and their adaptation in the context of the relevant laws of thermodynamics The second and third blocks deal with the application of the adaptations to policy issues respectively at the microeconomic level and the macroeconomic level. The fourth block deals with the synthesis between microeconomic and macroeconomic analyses and the synergy between policies at the different levels.

This module is intended for individuals who are interested in the functions of the market in modern economies and who in the course of their careers may be in positions of regulating market behaviour for public policy purposes. The focus is to identify what makes the market imperfect or cause market failures. The course will also examine the appropriate form of governmental intervention.

In recent years, China has emerged as a major global economic power. Moreover, China has become increasingly integrated with the rest of the global economy. It is important to have a good understanding of China’s increasing importance to global economic growth. This course is intended to provide students with an intensive overview of China’s growing role in the global economy with focus on the interactions between China’s domestic economic reform and its cross-border trade and investment. The impact of China’s Belt and Road Initiative on both domestic economic growth and other developing, as well as developed economies are also discussed.

The course links trade policy to global value chains (GVCs), which are the driving forces of 21st-century international trade. The first part addresses specific issues in trade policy, such as trade in goods and services, foreign direct investment, intellectual property rights, trade and standards, free trade agreements (FTAs), and the WTO. The second part focuses on GVCs. First it covers GVCs from economic and business perspectives, and examines how they work sectorally and geographically. Then it links GVCs to trade policy – at the national and sub-national levels, and how GVCs are covered in FTAs and the WTO.

In an interconnected and interdependent world with business, governments and civil society institutions converging and collaborating on projects and solving issues, with international corporations expected to share leadership, new mindsets, new tools and new narratives are required. This course is an opportunity to learn more about public diplomacy as a conceptual tool linked to other disciplines such as public relations, public affairs, corporate responsibility, strategy, sustainability, social psychology and governance.

This course seeks to explore the role of political leadership in economic policy and performance. It starts with a discussion of politics at the central level and introduces the merits and problems in the Chinese economic context. Students will be exposed to two major debates about control mechanisms in managing central-local relations: fiscal decentralization and promotion tournament. They will critically engage these two theories by examining some recent empirical works. This course concludes with four important issues facing today’s Chinese economy: urbanization, pollution, financial policy and corruption. Students will gain insights about policies that are crucial to China’s future growth.

Corruption is now perceived as a major challenge to public policy and governance facing many countries, especially in the developing world. This module, which focuses on efficiency consequences of corruption, provides students with quantitative tools to analyze the essence of corruption. Through lectures and class discussions, students will learn how to interpret the incidence, existence and persistence of corruption as an economist and policy maker. Students will be exposed to the most recent empirical studies to comprehensively understand the influence of corruption on economic growth. Finally, this module will examine policy issues and evaluate the anti-corruption efforts in different countries.

This course is an introduction to selected aspects of Asian economic development and the region’s interactions with the rest of the world. It will focus on developing simple analytical tools to understand key trends and macroeconomic, financial and trade policy issues that confront Asia in the world economy. Topics covered include sources of growth in the Newly Industrializing Economies (NIEs) in East Asia, the rise of China and India and their impact on the global trading system, foreign direct investment to Asia, currency crisis in Asia, Asia in the global financial system, and issues relating to Asian economic regionalism.

The module provides a comprehensive view with rigorous comparative analyses that are essential for understanding the dynamics of economic growth in developing Asia. The module also introduces to students concepts and analytical frameworks that enhance their competence in policy analysis for the issues related to economic growth and competitiveness.

This is a topics course on Innovation in networks. In particular the focus is on innovation in two-sided markets (or platform mediated networks). These are usually associated with what used to be called information and communications technology and is now referred to as ‘tech’; but they need not be, since newspapers are also two-sided markets. These markets pose bigger hurdles for innovators as well as regulators since they are (potentially) characterized by more market failures than what are thought of as ‘traditional’ industries. Success is neither determined by private (and/or public) R&D spend nor even by a superior product offering. Pricing or value appropriation is also a challenge since below-cost pricing is often optimal in two-sided markets.

This course examines the contribution of science and technology (S&T) to national economic development and identifies the public policy roles of government in science and technology. It develops the concepts and analytic techniques for formulating and evaluating public policy towards science and technology, and analyses alternative institutional structures and processes for policy implementation. Comparative case studies on actual national S&T planning systems as well as specific policy experiences in selected advanced industrialised countries and newly-industrialised economies will be examined and their lessons and relevance for Singapore discussed.

This course deals with social policy issues with special reference to Southeast Asian countries. The policies analysed include those relating to ethnicity, urbanisation, housing, migration, labour, poverty and its alleviation, education and health. The ideas of state responsibility to provide for basic needs and of a social safety net are considered.

The objective of this module is to get an understanding of what is poverty, how to measure poverty, who is poor, what causes poverty, and what are the policy responses to poverty alleviation. In addition, the module will also examine the concept of inequality and its interlinkages with poverty. The module will combine theory, measurement, and policy with an emphasis on policy examples from Asia. In addition to introducing students to mainstream conceptualizations of poverty and inequality such as pre-determined poverty lines and Gini index, this module will bring in contemporary and alternative paradigms such as multi-dimensional poverty, capability deprivation, and inequality of opportunity.

This module is based on the premise that the sustainability of the natural environment is a necessity for the sustainability of the economic system. Hence the module commences with how specific definitions and models in economics need to be modified in cognizance of certain laws of thermodynamics. The module is divided into four blocks. The first block concerns the introduction of pertinent concepts in economics and their adaptation in the context of the relevant laws of thermodynamics The second and third blocks deal with the application of the adaptations to policy issues respectively at the microeconomic level and the macroeconomic level. The fourth block deals with the synthesis between microeconomic and macroeconomic analyses and the synergy between policies at the different levels.

This course equips students with the fundamental concepts and techniques of financial management with a special focus on their applications and implications for policy making and public management. The main topics covered in this course include: Fundamental Concepts in Financial Management, which includes Time Value of Money, Interest Rates and Bond Rating, Risk and Rates of Return, and Capital Asset Pricing Model; Assessment of Business Performance Valuation of Bonds and Stocks; Capital Budgeting; Derivatives and Risk Management; Mergers and Acquisitions; Investment Strategy; Applications of financial management concepts and techniques to policy analysis and public management.

This course explores the determinants of national and regional competitiveness from a bottom-up, microeconomic perspective. The course probes the ultimate determinants of a nation’s or region’s productivity, rooted in the strategies and operating practices of locally-based firms, the vitality of clusters, and the quality of the business environment in which competition takes place. The course examines both advanced and developing economies and addresses the competitiveness of nations and particular clusters. It also examines the role that economic coordination among neighboring countries plays in competitiveness. The course is concerned not only with government policy but also with the roles that firms, industry associations, universities, and other institutions play in competitiveness. In modern international competition, each of these institutions has an important role that is shifting. Moreover, the process of creating and sustaining an economic strategy for a nation or region is a daunting challenge. The course explores not only theory and policy, but also the organisational structures, institutional structures, and change processes required for sustained improvements in competitiveness.

This module provides a survey of Singapore’s practices in public management and policy development from a comparative perspective. We will focus on innovations in public sector governance as main contributing factors for Singapore’s strong economic growth in the last four decades, and discuss underlying principles and rationale for these innovations. The course consists of two parts. The first part of the course introduces to students key elements of public sector governance in Singapore, including governance structure, civil servant system, policy development, policy implementation, and financial management. The second part of the course examines Singapore’s experience in policy development and implementation in selected sectors such as health care, housing, water supply, land transport, industrial development, information technology and telecommunication.

Regional Studies: The Asia Pacific

An unprecedented level of urbanization is expected worldwide, presenting immense resource challenges as well as opportunities for cities. It is critical that the future city leaders learn from urban pioneers and case examples, to gain insights into the urban development challenges of cities, and to make informed decisions based on the principles and practice of dynamic urban governance. Singapore is an example of a very dense city that is also highly liveable. The module will therefore focus on Singapore, analysed through the lens on the Liveability Framework, and brought to life by experts in various fields of urban development.

In today’s globalization, many of the policy challenges are becoming urban issues, especially in the rapidly urbanizing Asia. This module focuses on examining the new policy challenges and opportunities of Asian global cities that are increasingly strengthening their presence in the world. It studies a number of rising and transforming global cities in East, Southeast and South Asia, in order to understand their experiences of globalization and urban policy priorities. A number of key policy-related topics will be covered, including global urban networks, urban gateways, megaprojects, privatization, land governance, housing development, informal economy, and participatory development.

How is social welfare organised in East Asia? What are the unique strengths and vulnerabilities? This course examines the origins, structure, and performance of social welfare systems in Hong Kong, Singapore, Taiwan, and Korea, and analyses their distinctiveness relative to the mature welfare states of Europe and other developed economies. Students will be trained to combine major theoretical perspectives such as developmentalism, neoliberalism, and welfare regimes with empirical understanding of country cases using a critical and comparative approach.

The course explores the connections among events in Asia as they have unfolded since the end of World War II and examines them in relation to contemporary issues. It assesses competing explanations for longstanding issues, including the Taiwan issue, division of the Korean peninsula, South China Sea dispute, and trajectory of regionalism. These issues are playing out amid a major power shift, not only as a consequence of China’s rise, but also with the emergence of Asia as a global agenda-setter. The course also examines the new threats to the region, from WMD proliferation to terrorism and competition for resources.

This module will introduce students to international and strategic thought in four Asian countries – China, India, Japan, and Singapore. As world power shifts towards Asia, it is vital to provide students with insights into how key Asian societies have thought about the nature of international life and how to deal with the threats and opportunities to their countries. Students will read key texts and thinkers, will make comparisons across the four sets of thinkers and will critically assess the relevance of the ideas they encounter for contemporary foreign and security policy.

This course seeks to explore the role of political leadership in economic policy and performance. It starts with a discussion of politics at the central level and introduces the merits and problems in the Chinese economic context. Students will be exposed to two major debates about control mechanisms in managing central-local relations: fiscal decentralization and promotion tournament. They will critically engage these two theories by examining some recent empirical works. This course concludes with four important issues facing today’s Chinese economy: urbanization, pollution, financial policy and corruption. Students will gain insights about policies that are crucial to China’s future growth.

This course is an overview of opportunities taken and the strengths obtained in the changes of the political economy of Singapore. It will cover Singapore from an East India Company settlement to its status as a Straits Settlement colony and then as a colony by itself, full internal self-government, merger with Malaysia and now an independent republic. Topics covered include how the political economy of Singapore coped with changes in the region, new commodities in the hinterland, population movements, global ideology, national aspirations, international finance, multinational corporations and economic volatility.

Education is a significant area in public policy impacting individuals, families specific communities and society as a whole. It is widely seen as crucial to economic competitiveness, social cohesion and human development. In this module, students will learn about policy dilemmas, choices and consequences both in Singapore and in East Asia. Topics covered include access and equity issues, medium of institution, values and citizenship education and higher education.

This module addresses the rise of political Islam and Islamism, and its impact on governance in the contemporary Muslim world. It aims to deepen our understanding regarding the inherent complexities of the Islamist movement and heighten our awareness of this new global political and policy issue. The module begins with a brief overview of rise of political Islam and Islamism and examines the potential reasons for its success. We then examine the impact of political Islam on governance in various Muslim countries. We will consider the different strategies embraced by states towards the Islamist movement – ranging from total exclusion to full incorporation into the governance structures. Finally, the module will consider the more transnational manifestations of these movements including those which are clearly more militant and politically violent, and question the resulting policy implications for the state.

This module provides a survey of Singapore’s practices in public management and policy development from a comparative perspective. We will focus on innovations in public sector governance as main contributing factors for Singapore’s strong economic growth in the last four decades, and discuss underlying principles and rationale for these innovations. The course consists of two parts. The first part of the course introduces to students key elements of public sector governance in Singapore, including governance structure, civil servant system, policy development, policy implementation, and financial management. The second part of the course examines Singapore’s experience in policy development and implementation in selected sectors such as health care, housing, water supply, land transport, industrial development, information technology and telecommunication.

This module will provide an overview of the contemporary U.S.-China relationship with particular focus on U.S. policymaking towards China. The module will review key issues that define the relationship, analyze U.S. security policy decision-making structures and consider how they shape the relationship. The course will conclude by discussing other Asian perspectives of the U.S.-China dyad and how third countries respond to shifts in the U.S.-China relationship.

Singapore is a small postcolonial multicultural nation-state and a cosmopolitan global city. Its experience of rapid development led by a clean, elite, and pragmatic state has been codified into a model and in fact a nation brand, admired by developing and advanced countries alike. This module focuses on how Singapore’s transformation into a top-rank global city has affected its policies surrounding social cohesion, urban development, social development, and foreign affairs. It examines the viability of the Singapore model in the face of complex global challenges, which may require fundamental adjustments to Singapore’s strong state model.

This course focuses on how states formulate and implement their foreign policies. It is structured based on different levels of analysis: systems, state, leaders, bureaucracies/institutions, and society. The course analyses the various constraints that each of these actors face, how they interact with each other, and the processes and mechanisms through which they resolve their differences and formulate policy. It also examines the conditions in the implementation process that impact policy outcomes. Major themes include the state as rational actor, the role of personalities and their psychology, the impact of ideas and cultures, bureaucratic politics, and the role of interest groups and coalitions.

The Asia-Pacific is the most important region of the world with its economic vibrancy and strategic importance, and presents a plethora of important and puzzling security and economic challenges. In this course we will utilize various theoretical approaches to examine and explain a set of substantive issues in the international relations of the Asia-Pacific: US-China rivalry; territorial disputes; Taiwan issue; North Korean nuclear threat; Japan’s foreign policy; the so-called ‘history problem’ issue; ASEAN; security institutions; economic patterns; human rights; and environmental and aging society problem. In addition, we seek to understand the future trajectory of the Asia-Pacific.

International Public Management and Leadership

This module is based on the premise that the sustainability of the natural environment is a necessity for the sustainability of the economic system. Hence the module commences with how specific definitions and models in economics need to be modified in cognizance of certain laws of thermodynamics. The module is divided into four blocks. The first block concerns the introduction of pertinent concepts in economics and their adaptation in the context of the relevant laws of thermodynamics The second and third blocks deal with the application of the adaptations to policy issues respectively at the microeconomic level and the macroeconomic level. The fourth block deals with the synthesis between microeconomic and macroeconomic analyses and the synergy between policies at the different levels.

This course discusses the fundamentals of logic, moral philosophy and the art of policy communications. It has a theoretical component in political and moral philosophy and a practical component in policy communications. It provides a foundation for the tool of moral reasoning, the processes of public decision-making and the criticaland analytical tools for public discourse.

This module is intended to examine the leadership and decision-making skills relevant to public policy formulation and implementation. It will be structured into 3 segments, namely: (a) the role and nature of leadership to public policy success; (b) the range of decision-making tools used in environmental analysis and the identification of the strategic objectives and policies, and (c)the role of behavioural economic insights and cognitive biases that public sector managers have to take into account in the choice and implementation of public policies. The approach will be multi-disciplinary, and Singapore’s experience will be used to illustrate the application of general analytical tools and approaches to public policy.

Public policy is not just made. It must also be explained. To be effective in positions of authority, public leaders should be able not just to analyse policy, but to talk and write about it as well — to communicate succinctly and persuasively, to frame issues, and to grapple with the worlds of ideas and perceptions, all taking place within a fast-moving digital media environment. This course is designed to help future leaders improve their ability to speak and write in challenging situations, from winning over hostile audiences to giving TED-style talks and writing punchy op-eds suitable for publication in global media outlets. Having taken it, students will emerge with a deeper understanding of differing styles of communication in public life — and the ability to begin to develop their own.

This is a course for changemakers – those committed to addressing world issues, interested in learning tools and concepts to maximize positive impact with limited resources by focusing on value creation. The course helps students get familiarized with social entrepreneurship concepts and practices, and build awareness of their multiple applications in the public and the private sectors. Topics include: problem and solution identification, business model innovation, piloting, impact assessment, scaling impact, funding, pitching, social entrepreneurship ecosystems and public policies. This is an applied course: students will choose a real-world social venture project and work on it in teams during the semester.

This course considers theories and concepts in conflict and conflict resolution, and examines the processes of negotiation and mediation. It seeks to apply principles in conflict management and negotiation to specific case situations and cultural contexts. This course is experiential-based and students will have the opportunity to participate in negotiation and conflict management exercises, case discussions and practice sessions.

Public policy is not just made. It must also be explained. To be effective in positions of authority, public leaders should be able not just to analyse policy, but to talk and write about it as well — to communicate succinctly and persuasively, to frame issues, and to grapple with the worlds of ideas and perceptions, all taking place within a fast-moving digital media environment. This course is designed to help future leaders improve their ability to speak and write in challenging situations, from winning over hostile audiences to giving TED-style talks and writing punchy op-eds suitable for publication in global media outlets. Having taken it, students will emerge with a deeper understanding of differing styles of communication in public life — and the ability to begin to develop their own.

Singapore is a small postcolonial multicultural nation-state and a cosmopolitan global city. Its experience of rapid development led by a clean, elite, and pragmatic state has been codified into a model and in fact a nation brand, admired by developing and advanced countries alike. This module focuses on how Singapore’s transformation into a top-rank global city has affected its policies surrounding social cohesion, urban development, social development, and foreign affairs. It examines the viability of the Singapore model in the face of complex global challenges, which may require fundamental adjustments to Singapore’s strong state model.

Energy, Environment, Water

This module is designed to provide students with a knowledge of natural disasters and climate change. It begins by establishing a link between climate-related disasters and human activity. It then considers the joint challenges of disaster risk reduction and management, and provides lessons for policy and investments. The module likewise examines the issue of climate change as an externality that can be addressed through policy tools geared towards mitigation and adaptation.

This module will provide a fundamental understanding of the root causes of current mismanagement of water at a massive scale, both in terms of quantity and quality, as well as in terms of economic, environmental and health implications. It will explore the direct interrelationships between water and population dynamics, urbanization, ruralisation, globalization, free trade, technological developments, economic growth and other similar issues. The course will assess the impacts and relevance of current global water policy dialogues on issues like poverty alleviation, environment conservation and regional income distribution. Issues like improper and inadequate water quality management in the entire developing world, management of transboundary and interstate rivers and lakes, economic instruments, legal frameworks and institutional arrangements will be considered. The roles of stakeholder participation, public-private partnerships and non-governmental organizations will be explored.

This module is based on the premise that the sustainability of the natural environment is a necessity for the sustainability of the economic system. Hence the module commences with how specific definitions and models in economics need to be modified in cognizance of certain laws of thermodynamics. The module is divided into four blocks. The first block concerns the introduction of pertinent concepts in economics and their adaptation in the context of the relevant laws of thermodynamics The second and third blocks deal with the application of the adaptations to policy issues respectively at the microeconomic level and the macroeconomic level. The fourth block deals with the synthesis between microeconomic and macroeconomic analyses and the synergy between policies at the different levels.