Ash Center Director Anthony Saich typically teaches the following classes in the spring semester:
DPI-450: The Political Economy of Transitions: Cases from China
China's incremental reforms have been compared favorably as a transition strategy with the "shock therapy" attempted in Eastern Europe and Russia. Reality is more complex, with progress mixed and the country now facing major challenges from delayed reforms, especially in the industrial and financial sectors. How are the state's priorities set? Relevant theories on socio-economic development and transitions will be analyzed through a detailed analysis of the policymaking process in China. China provides an interesting empirical testing ground for comparative theory, as it has moved from a statist model of development to one that makes greater use of market forces within an authoritarian political structure. The course first evaluates China's evolving development strategies. Second, it analyzes the politics of the current transition, with detailed discussion of economic and social policy formulation and implementation. Finally, the course reviews future challenges for equitable economic growth.
PAL-110D: Comparative Political Institutions, Development and Public Policy
This is a course about fundamental problems of participation, democratic governance, and conflict in contemporary political systems. It will provide you with an analytical toolkit for understanding and acting on the political dimensions of policy problems. The A and B sections consider these questions primarily through the prism of American political institutions and the context they create for policy making. The C and D sections look at systematic variations across different sorts of political institutions in both advanced and developing democracies, as well as in countries that are not democracies. The class develops the skills for effective political analysis and advocacy, including memo- and op-ed writing, as well as the skills to brief actors who need to know everything about the politics of a situation in a short period of time.