Course Descriptions 

HA1001 Introduction to International Relations [click here for syllabus]
This subject provides students with the core concepts, processes, and issues of international relations. It examines the actors in international relations, how foreign policy is made, and the role of great powers. In addition, it deals with contemporary and future problems in the international system, including military conflict, demography, the trading system, and the environment. It will also review major schools of thought on the causes of international conflicts, and the means of resolving them.

HA1002 Introduction to Political Theory
This course examines major texts and thinkers in the Western history of political thought and the questions they raise about political order and authority. We will study many of the great texts of the Western tradition. These texts raise important questions about the nature of individual rights, the roots of government authority, the circumstances of legitimate revolution, the justification of religious tolerance, and the meaning of political ideals such as liberty, equality, and justice. We will study political thinkers like Plato, Aristotle, Machiavelli, Hobbes, Locke, Rousseau, Marx, and Tocqueville. It considers the ways in which thinkers have responded to the particular political problems of their day, and the ways in which they contribute to a broader understanding about human goods and needs, justice, and democracy, and how they continue to shape, inform, and challenge the analysis of current political phenomena. The aim of this course is to understand the strengths and weaknesses of various thinkers and their philosophical approaches in order to gain a critical perspective on our own.

HA1003 Introduction to Public Administration [click here for syllabus]
This subject is an introductory overview of the historical development – and the fundamental intellectual contributions – of public administration as a discipline and profession. Topics cover all major subfields of public administration, including paradigms of public administration, public organizations, public management (problems of public management, performance measurement, public budget and human resources management in the public sector), intersectoral administration and intergovernmental administration.

HA1004 Introduction to Public Policy [click here for syllabus]
This subject provides an introductory overview of the field of Public Policy. It examines the evolution of Public Policy as a discipline and presents the institutions and processes, as well as the political, economic, cultural, and bureaucratic contexts, in which government makes public policies. It also introduces various theoretical models – for example, institutionalism, elitism, public choice, game theory, and interest group conflict – in the analysis of public policy. It further provides a general overview of techniques in policy analysis and evaluation as well as substantive policy areas such as education, environment, energy, social welfare, and so forth.

HA1005 Comparative Politics in Asia
The course introduces students to the field of comparative politics that gives students a basic understanding of the political development of the countries of the East Asian region on three main levels: (1) The domestic political systems of the key states of Japan, China and Southeast Asia, particularly their governance of the economy. (2) The emergence of regional integration in East Asia and the significance of regional factors in state development. (3) The place of East Asia in a globalizing world. The course will survey contemporary politics and political trends in selected Asian countries; compare and contrast the variety of ways that different Asian countries have chosen to shape their political institutions and processes; acquaint students with important perspectives and theories which inform the understanding of comparative politics. The unit will enable students to analyse different interpretations of
political development in Asia; understand the role of the US in shaping Asia into a hegemonic order; to grasp the basic features of the Japanese model of the developmental state and its influence in East Asia; to understand the key features of China’s political reform and its rising economic and strategic influence; to evaluate the fragile political development of Southeast Asian states; to understand the fundamental effects of the 1997 financial crisis in Asia; and to evaluate the character and prospects of Asian regionalism at economic, political and security levels.

HA1006 Public Administration in Singapore
This subject introduces the issues of public administration in Singapore. It covers the historical evolution of public administration in Singapore, public organizations, the civil service system, public budgeting and financial management, public management reform and some specific areas of public administration in Singapore. The course highlights the unique aspects that made Singapore’s public service efficient and clean.

HA1007 Public Policy-making in Singapore
This subject provides students with a basic understanding of Singapore’s public policy-making process in the political, social, economic, and cultural context. The different stages of policy-making: problem definition, agenda-setting, issues expansion, formulation, legitimation, budgeting, implementation and evaluation will be discussed. It will also examine the roles of the executive, legislature, bureaucracy, the judiciary and the citizenry in the policy-making process in Singapore.

HA1008 Comparative Public Policy
This subject compares the public policy making institutions and processes in several countries including the U.S., China, Singapore, and so on. It further compares and evaluates the public policy choices adopted in certain policy areas. In particular, it examines the role of different cultural, historical, economic, political, and institutional influences on the unique characteristics of policy-making and policy outcomes. It also discusses “policy transfer”, “policy borrowing”, and “policy learning” in the formation and development of national public policy.

HA2001 Making Sense of Politics
The purpose of this course is to introduce students to a way of thinking seriously about politics, and the ultimate goal is for students to have a better grasp of essential political ideas and principles. It will explore public opinion, electoral processes, voting behaviour, institutional processes, international law, international organizations, and other areas in political science discipline. This course will also help students to understand controversial issues in our society today and to draw a distinct line between subjective opinion and empirical knowledge.

HA2002 Politics of Singapore
This subject provides an introduction to Singapore’s politics and government. It will critically examine various theoretical approaches to understand Singapore’s political system; the structure, functions and process of Singapore’s government; the development of the Constitution; the functions of the legislature, the executive, the bureaucracy and the judiciary. It will also focus on the major issues in Singapore’s governance such as political culture, general elections, town councils, cyber-politics and emergence of civil society.

HA2003 Politics and Government in Southeast Asia
This course will provide a broad survey of the domestic politics of the Southeast Asian region. Nations studied will include Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam. It will also examine the important factors that shape the political landscape of Southeast Asia, paying particular attention to the historical conditions (colonialism, modernity, nationalism, war etc) which gave rise to the construction of Southeast Asia as a geo-political entity.

HA2004 Theories in International Relations
The subject introduces students to influential theories of international relations, focusing on a selection of classic and contemporary theories. It will explore the main theoretical paradigms of international relations (realism, liberalism, and constructivism) and their empirical applications in world politics. Some of the major themes that will be discussed include morality and politics; debates over methods and theory; foreign policy and global conflict; terrorism; and the search for peace. It will critically appraise the claims of these theories for explaining, understanding and shaping the course of events.

HA2005 Modern Political Ideologies
This course examines the historical emergence of modern political ideologies and debates surrounding the concept of ideology. It surveys the development of modern ideologies from the Eighteenth Century to the present, and analyzes the motives and goals of their major proponents. Topical areas include: socialism, anarchism, Marxism, liberalism, conservatism, feminism and nationalism. The history of each of these contending ideologies will be studied and analyzed along with the major works of their most important proponents.

HA2006 The Rise of China
What is being referred to as the rise of China is a very complex subject. It involves the ongoing evolution of the domestic political system and economy, and in the role and impact of China in the international system. This course considers the domestic and international aspects of the rise of China, examines the actors and instruments that constitute the Chinese political and foreign policy system, and discusses the implications of China’s rise in regional and global terms. The aims of the course are to introduce students to the issues involved in the rise of China; to critically analyze the factors underlying China’s political and military development; to explore trends and developments in the rise of China; to provide a systematic framework for assessing the regional and global implications of China’s rise; and to encourage discussion and debate of the issues involved in the rise of China.

HA2007 Human Resources Management in the Public Sector
This subject introduces the structure, operation, design, and techniques of effective public personnel management. Topics include examination and recruitment, classification management and training programmes, performance measurement and promotion, and the relationship between personnel values, operations, and practices and the development of public organisations.

HA2008 Government, Nonprofits, and Society
This subject introduces how government and nonprofits interact to provide public services and influence society. Topics include the roles of government in a society, the roles of nonprofits in a society, the history of government and nonprofits, government failure, government-nonprofit cooperation, collaborative governance, and network theory. This course helps students understand that both government and nonprofits are equally important in maintaining the
stability of a society.

HA2009 The Making of E-government
This subject focuses on the following issues: network and national information policy; principal theories of e-governance; the analysis of e-government in Singapore; information technological policy and egovernment of China; and the practice of e-government in other countries. As governmental institutions apply new technological advances in communication and policy development, the evolution of e-government spells important changes in how they operate and relate to constituents. Using technology effectively and ethically is a new and important challenge to democratic institutions.

HA2010 Public Administration in Southeast Asia
This subject introduces the issues of public administration in Southeast Asia. Southeast Asia covers an area of about 4,100,000 square kilometres containing the following countries: Brunei, Burma, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam. This course compares and contrasts the arenas of public bureaucracy, human resource management, public budgeting and financial management and policy implementation among these Southeast Asia nations.

HA2011 Cost-Benefit Analysis in Public Policy [click here for syllabus]
This course introduces the application of cost-benefit analysis to the study of public policy. Topics include: market failure and non-market failure, net present value analysis, resource allocation decisions in the public sector. This subject also introduces other criteria of philosophical and political analysis, such as rational and non-rational decision making, and the balance between economic and political concerns. The course is quantitative in nature.

HA2012 Global Problems and Policy
This subject analyzes the critical issues and events of global significance, including terrorism, drug trafficking, money laundering, transmission of infectious diseases, global warming, energy, democratization, globalization and economic development. It explores how public policies, both national and international, address these global problems and offer policy alternatives as solutions.

HA2014 Public Organisation and Management
This subject introduces organisation theory and behaviour in public organisations. Topics include organisational environment, goals and effectiveness, strategic planning, power and decision-making, culture and value, structure and control, leadership, motivation, and communication. It also analyses the strategies of organisational change and development that make public organisations more efficient, effective, responsive, accountable, and innovative in complex and dynamic environments to meet the challenges confronting government today.

HA2015 China in Africa
This course provides the students with a comprehensive understanding of China-Africa contemporary relations and of the main debates in the field in the framework of International relations and Foreign policy analysis theory. It unpacks the foundations of China’s foreign policy towards Africa, the main features of relations, the achievements and challenges and how it impacts the continent’s development and its international relations.

HA2016 Global Governance and Regulation
This course examines the New Modes of Global Governance. The course explores the structures, actors, and processes of global governance in areas such as trade, social, health, and developmental policies. We will explore the key debates in global governance, and the relationship between global governance and national politics and policy making It covers a wide range of urgent topics like multilateralism, international institutions such as WTO, global networks, transitional activism, the role of private actors in global governance, multilevel governance, and many global issues like human rights and poverty. It will introduce a number of new theoretical developments and discuss how they impact on the study of global governance.

HA3001 Power, Politics and the State
Power is a fundamental feature of political life, and it is manifested most obviously in the role of political institutions, especially in the modern nation-state. This subject examines the nature and exercise of power and political control. In tracing the making of the modern state, it considers the ideological processes that legitimise political rule and government authority, especially in relation to nationbuilding and citizenship. In drawing contrasts between "fascist" and "democratic" states, it discusses the processes of democratisation, including the changing relations between state and civil society, the role of social movements, the protection of human rights, and the mechanisms of conflict resolution.

HA3002 Research Methodology in Social Sciences
This subject introduces basic research methods in generating accurate and useful information for social science research. Topics include the theoretical foundation of social research, various techniques for research design, the conceptualization and definition of social and policy problems, the methods of data collection including sampling, interviewing, survey questionnaire, analysis and organisation of both qualitative and quantitative data (including descriptive and regression analysis), and the interpretation and presentation of research results.

HA3003 The Politics of Ethnicity
This subject will examine the intersection of ethnicity and politics by drawing on a combination of theory and case study to answer the questions of ethnic conflicts. Case studies will be drawn from Southeast Asia (Thailand, Indonesia and the Philippines) and elsewhere (such as Muslims in Western Europe, Miskito Indians in Nicaragua; the Kurds in the Middle East; ethnic tensions in Russia; and the Tamils’ fight for secession from Sinhalese-controlled Sri Lanka.)

HA3004 United States and East Asia
The subject introduces and analyzes the international relations between the United States and East Asia. The United States remains the only superpower in the world today and East Asia is one of the most dynamic and consequential regions in world politics. Their interactions are of major consequences to the conduct of world diplomacy and the developments of their foreign policies pose mutual challenges to each other. Topics will include: United States and China, the US -Japan Alliance, US-Korea relations, and USASEAN relations.

HA3005 Politics of the Developing World
This subject provides students with an understanding of the developmental issues confronting the developing world. It will examine the political actors, political systems, political history, economic processes, social movements and current issues that affect these peoples’ lives. Topics explored will include the impact of colonialism on current political systems, revolution, democratization, women, religion and politics, strategies of economic growth, ethnic conflict and the dilemma of pluralism. To explore these topics, particular cases will be drawn from Latin America, Africa, the Middle East and Asia.

HA3006 Asian Political Thought
The objective of this course is to familiarize students with some of the key texts and debates in Asian political thought. Chinese political thought will be the main focus, with some reference to other traditions in Japan, Korea and Taiwan. The period covered will be from the beginnings of Chinese statehood to the twentieth century. The thinkers considered include Confucius, Mencius, Hsun Tzu, Chuang Tzu, Lao Tzu, and Han Fei Tzu. The contemporary ideologies such as liberalism, nationalism and regionalism, and current hot topics such as human right and democracy will also be examined. Asian political thought is the foundation of Asian government with an influence still apparent today. It is also a body of theorizing as rich and diverse as Western political thought, to which it provides an essential complement.

HA3007 Public Budgeting and Financial Management
This subject introduces the institutional, political, and administrative aspects of government budgets and the budgeting process, including revenue and expenditure patterns. It also discusses taxation, public borrowing and debt administration, capital budgeting and urban development, and intergovernmental fiscal relationships. In addition, it explores the basic concepts and principles of government accounting and auditing as part of the comprehensive control system of government.

HA3008 Nonprofit Management and Social Entrepreneurship
This subject involves studying the organization, operations, planning and analysis of managing in the nonprofit environment. The course covers a variety of  themes, such as managing volunteers, fundraising, lobbying, public education, publicity, marketing, and most importantly, how to create a new nonprofit organization. Analysis is based on lectures, guest speakers, textbook, and on-site student observations. In nonprofit organizations, managers confront the challenge of pursuing a social mission while operating within the constraints of highly competitive markets. To manage well under these circumstances requires both rigorous analytical tools and a sophisticated understanding of how to balance the demands of times conflicting constituencies. This course uses a mix of theory and case studies to develop the rich set of tools required to manage in this environment.

HA3009 Comparative Public Administration
This subject is focuses on a comparison of administrative systems in developing and developed countries. The areas to be compared cover personnel administration, public finance, political and economic contexts, intergovernmental relations, and public policy problems.

HA3010 Mass Media and Public Policy
This subject discusses the role of mass media in politics and public policy making. It introduces the organization and operation of contemporary mass media. It examines the functions of mass media as the watchdog of government and the entailing effects on government transparency and freedom of information. It investigates the impact of mass media on policy making, particularly in the definition of social problems or demands, the discussion of controversial public issues, and the political campaign. This subject also examines the effects of public policies on the mass media with special focus on the media regulation policy of media structures and programming.

HA3011 Science, Technology & Public Policy
This course provides an overview of the relationship between science, technology and government. It explores two issues: the role of institutions and public policy in the development of science and technology, and the influence that science and technology, such as the Internet and media, have on policy making. It also discusses historical and current science and technology policy issues.

HA3012 Policy Evaluation
Policy evaluation is the last stage of a policy process, referring to the analysis that determines the effectiveness of public policy. This subject introduces the concepts, tools, and techniques in public policy evaluation. It helps develop skills required to define and critically analyze policy issues and problems, measure critical policy variables and factors, evaluate alternative policy solutions, and assess the means and costs of implementation. Topics include the logic of causality, impact definition, evaluation design (e.g. experimental and quasi-experimental designs), cost-benefit analysis, and the practice of data collection and analysis through the use of statistical tools.

HA3013 Government & Business in East & Southeast Asia
This subject explores the nature of the relationship between the private sector and the public sector with a focus on governmental regulatory policy in East and Southeast Asia. This subject discusses the concepts and functions of business, government, and other stakeholders and how their competing interests create difficult economic, political, and legal challenges for managers and policymakers in these countries. It further examines the prospects for business and government to work together to achieve balance in society and global competitiveness through certain public policy arrangements.

HA3014 Singapore's Foreign Policy [click here for syllabus]
This module is to understand Singapore’s foreign policy and, through which, the dynamics of the regional international relations. Through examining the developments in the current international relations in Southeast Asia (The ASEAN grouping and regional multilateralism), external powers’ (US, China, Japan, India and Australia) influence in the politics in the region and how Singapore handles these challenges and opportunities, the students, as hoped, will get solid understanding of not only the rationale of Singapore’s foreign policy and challenges it faces in the years to come, but also the on-going geo-political game in the Southeast Asian region. The module focuses on the key issues in the contemporary and on-going political and security developments in the region that affect Singapore’s foreign policy.

HA3015 Media and Politics
This module examines cases in various countries in the West and the East to provide students with an understanding of the relationship between the mass media and politics in contemporary society. This module seeks to equip students with a basic understanding of the complex and dynamic relationships between the government, politicians and the media. At the end of the course, students would have gained an insight into and be able to appreciate these subtle relationships, an understanding of newsroom operations and the various ways through which news are presented to the public.

HA3016 China's Foreign Policy [click here for syllabus]
The rise of China is one of the most important developments in regional and global affairs. China’s increasing international activities and presence in different parts of the world would require students, or for that matter, policy makers, to have a better assessment of China’s foreign policy. This module will examine China’s ascent from an isolated state to a regional power and to a potential great power. It aims to provide students with a fuller understanding of China’s regional and global behavior and implications for other states in the Asia-Pacific.

HA3017 Governance and Politics of China [click here for syllabus]
This course will examine Chinese political culture and tradition, political development from 1949 to the present, the role of Chinese Communist Party in Chinese politics, political institutions, leaders and leadership politics, the Chinese state and society, political challenges, political reform and the prospect of Chinese politics in 21st century.

HA3018 Borderless Migration?
The explosion in the movement of people in recent decades has transformed traditionally sending countries into receiving states. While many people will continue to cross national and regional borders at unprecedented speed, governments around the world and their citizens are still adjusting to these very rapid changes and learning how to address their effects through public policy. By focusing on the political, economic, social and security determinants of refugee and migration flows, students in this course will analyse the causes and consequences of modern population movement. The course is structured according to different migration groups (talent; family members; asylum seekers; refugees; irregular and undocumented migrants; victims of trafficking and smuggling) and students will learn about how and why certain migrant groups are ‘included’ while others are ‘excluded’ from entry and access to citizenship.

HA4002 Politics of Democratization in East and West
The course will discuss the historical, cultural, social and political preconditions for democratisation and the processes and problems associated with democratisation in both Asia and Europe. The "transition to democracy" literature and various theoretical frameworks to analyse democratisation will be introduced and discussed. East Asian democratisation will also be compared with recent democratisation in Eastern and Western Europe and analysed in the context of global democratisation in the world of post-cold war era. We shall consider political change in Singapore, Malaysia, Cambodia, South Korea, Japan, China and Taiwan together with changes in Western and Eastern Europe as case studies either confirming or contradicting this apparently global tendency.

HA4003 Globalization and East Asian Politics
This course aims to introduce students to globalisation and its implications both conceptually and empirically. Students will also be able to assess: theoretical frameworks to understand modes of economic-social regulation; forces that shape government policies in regard to trade, finance and other distributional issues; the structural changes occurring between world regions and among international financial institutions, such as the World Trade organization, the International Monetary Fund, and the World Bank. It is also designed to give students a basic understanding of the political development
of the countries of the East Asian region on three main levels:
1) The domestic political systems of the key states of Japan, China and Southeast Asia, particularly their governance of the economy.
2) The emergence of regional integration in East Asia and the significance of regional factors in state development.
3) The place of East Asia in a globalizing world.

HA4004 Terrorism and Security
This course examines the nature of security and terrorism from military, legal, political, economic, psychological and sociological perspectives. The students will learn about the protection of individuals, their values, norms, rules, institutions and property from military and non-military sources, as well as the causes and the effects of terrorism and counter-terrorism measures at home and abroad.

HA4005 Constitutional and Administrative Law in Singapore
This subject explores the legal framework guiding and constraining public administration and public policy in Singapore. It focuses on the procedural dimension of public administration. Particular emphasis will be placed upon the Constitution and Administrative Law in Singapore and their impact on the development of Singapore’s administrative system.

HA4006 Special Topic in Public Administration
This subject focuses on various challenging issues for contemporary public administrators. These issues include (but are not limited to) building governance capacity, administrative innovation, performance measurement and management, emergency and crisis management, antiterrorism administration, sunshine government, service oriented government and so forth.

HA4008 Ethics of Public Administration and Policy
This course is mandatory for all senior level students. Core courses equip students with necessary knowledge of politics and skills of management as well as policy analysis. However, when knowledge and skills are used in the wrong way, they can become detrimental. Ethics training includes understanding good and bad, right and wrong, and concepts beyond self-interest, such as love, benevolence, obligation, reliability, honesty, and justice.

HA4009 Special Issues in Public Policy
This subject provides advanced understanding of certain substantive policy areas such as economic policy, defense policy, population policy, environmental policy, health policy, education policy, foreign policy, welfare policy, housing and urban development policy.

HA4010 Technology, Innovation & Policy
Technological innovation has been a critical driver for economic growth and social change. This course introduces theories and concepts of technological innovation, diffusion, and economic development. It explores the role of state in stimulating innovation, technology transfer and industrial productivity, and examines the influence of technology policy in different international and industrial contexts.

HA4099 Graduation Project (8 AUs) – Compulsory
The objective of HA499 Graduation Project in Politics and Public Administration is to provide training in independent research work. With the guidance of a supervisor, each student will identify a research problem, formulate research questions, develop a theoretical framework and design a methodological approach. By the completion of the project the student will have gained experience in theoretical reasoning, empirical research (especially the collection, interpretation and analysis of data), and the writing and presentation of research findings.