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PPA 540 - International Policy Toolkit

  • 3 credits

For any public servant working in the international arena, the difference between efficacy and failure often comes down to deep knowledge of politics and society in foreign countries. Put simply, knowing something about other countries and demonstrating intercultural competence is an essential prerequisite for all international policy practitioners. How do countries shift from one political regime to another? What role does civil society play in mass mobilizations and popular revolutions? What are the sources of ethnic conflict and how can ethnic groups with divergent interests find common ground? Why are some countries besieged by corruption? Who participates in insurgencies and why are some intrastate wars seemingly so intractable? What can or should the international community do about fragile and failed states? Do NGOs help other countries develop and prosper more than they hinder their progress? Under what conditions is democracy promotion advisable and efficacious? Focusing on the cultivation of practical knowledge, this course will provide a valuable toolkit for anyone interested in working for an intergovernmental organization, international non-governmental organization, or for the U.S. foreign policy-making apparatus.


PPA 500 (Research Methods for Public Policy and Administration) or PPA 501 (Program Evaluation and Quantitative Methods)

Important Information

The instructor will grant overrides to all upper-division undergraduates and graduate students who want to enroll, but have not completed the prerequisites yet.


Allison White

My academic training is in Comparative Politics and International Relations with specialization in Russian domestic politics, particularly the causes and effects of electoral policy. My research is informed by domestic and international nongovernmental organizations in Russia that work to advance the country’s democratic prospects and election monitoring agencies aiming to detect electoral fraud and uncover voter coercion. My research interests also extend into the area of policies pertaining to ethnic federalism and the voting patterns of ethnic minorities in the post-Soviet space.
My practical experience includes living in Russia for extended periods of time, which has allowed me to observe Russian politics first-hand and also take time to see plenty of the world-famous ballets. Working alongside various agencies, I have witnessed the ethical dilemmas and efficacy challenges that non-governmental organizations face when carrying out their daily operations. Living in an authoritarian regime where those working with non-governmental organizations face constant harassment and are sometimes forced to shutter their operations completely has given me a profound appreciation for the tireless dedication of the community involved in political and economic development overseas.