Main Navigation
Apply Now Request Info


PPA 544 - Ethics and Efficacy: Global Policymaking

  • 3 credits

Making policy across borders poses unique challenges in terms of both ethics and efficacy. By what right do international organizations and governments like the U.S. presume to make policies designed to change the lives of other people? Are there public policies that are suitable to all countries, cultures, and contexts? To what extent are Western governments and international organizations involved in a project of neo-colonialism? And how can international policy practitioners learn from the successes and failures of their predecessors? Answering these questions requires a mix of philosophical reflection and practical knowledge. In this course, students will consider the ethical problems that accompany efforts the transform the lives of people in other countries, generate strategies to make the practice of international policy more inclusive, cosmopolitan, and context-specific, and conduct in-depth case studies of international policy-making success and failure. The goal is to give students the expertise and awareness necessary for a successful career in international policy and management.


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.