AGSM 653
Monday, 6:00-9:00 p.m.: Rm. 303 Mudd

Professor Fred Thompson

This course provides a broad survey of the issues in international public policy and of the management instruments that public officials use shaping that policy. The course pursues a central theme: The big questions about international public affairs are about governance -- how markets and political systems shape the lives of citizens. We will:


  • Identify and explore the major themes in international policy. Globalization has emerged as one of the touchstones of the 21st century. Often lost has been the simultaneous rise of devolution. Both trends raise tough questions about the role of nation states. The course will investigate these trends and their implications.
  • Examine the links between public management and international policy. It is one thing to make policy decisions. It is quite another to carry them out effectively -- and to ensure accountability to democratic systems.

The world of international policy and public management is often wildly varying. Students will have the chance to explore their own interests through research projects. These projects will culminate in policy presentations that students will present during the last third of the course.


Students are expected to attend all class sessions, to come to class having mastered the readings, and to participate fully in classroom discussions. The course grade will be determined as follows: 


Leading classroom discussion. By the end of January, students will sign up to lead the discussion at one of the class meetings. No later than 10:00 am on the Monday chosen, students will e-mail Professor Thompson a one-page, single-spaced analysis of key issues in the readings. The goal is not to summarize the reading. Rather, the goal is to present a point of view: agreement, disagreement, or focus on a particular point. What should a thoughtful reader draw from all or some of the readings? The students will begin the discussion that day. (25 percent).


Policy presentation. Students present in class reports on a topic of their choosing. (40 percent) There will be three kinds of policy presentations:

Each presentation should approach its topic from the standpoint of globalization and its effect.

By February 24, students will submit a one-page description of the topic for the policy presentation and the sources that will be used. I will gladly discuss ideas for presentation topics in advance. I will then organize the topics into (more or less) logical groupings and assign a date toward the end of the course on which students will present their research. Students in each group will be responsible for organizing the time at the class meeting. The goal will be to integrate the presentations, not make separate presentations for each paper. By the Tuesday before the class meeting, the student groups will be responsible for making available a total of about 150 pages of background readings. Students will send me the links and I'll make sure that they reach all of the students.


Promptness in meeting all deadlines: Jan. 31, Feb. 24, etc. (10 percent)


Contribution to class discussion. (25 percent)


Readings for the course will be available in three forms. We'll read several books. In addition, the course web page will contain additional readings. Finally, the syllabus links to supplemental readings on the Web.



Thomas L. Friedman, The Lexus and the Olive Tree: Understanding Globalization (1999)

Anthony Giddens, Runaway World: How Globalization is Reshaping Our Lives (2000).

Donald F. Kettl, The Global Public Management Revolution (2000)


Course Outline


January 14

Globalization and the Study of Public Management

Read Fordism & PostFordism

Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development

January 21


Skim Friedman, chapters 1-14

January 28

Students are encouraged to attend Rey Ramsey's presentation in KLH, 7pm Jan. 29: NonProfits and the IT Revolution

The Globalizing World & How it Affects Public Management

Skim Friedman, chapters 15-30

Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, Government of the Future; Accenture, E-government; United States, Canada; United Kingdom; Singapore; Wisconsin; Oregon; Texas

February 4

Old Public Management

Budget Preparation
Budget reform

Read Kettl, The Transformation of Governance

OMB, Workforce Planning and Restructuring


New Public Management

Read Kettl, The Global Public Management Revolution

Wollmann, Public Sector Reforms and Evaluation: An International Overview of Trajectories and Trends

OECD, Synthesis of Reform Experiences in Nine OECD Countries; OECD, Change Management, Schick, The Spirit of Reform: Managing the State Sector in a Time of Change, Kettl, Kettl, Reinventing Government: A Fifth Year Report Card

February 18

Defeating/Overcoming Corruption


Klitgaard, Fighting Hyper-Corruption

World Bank, AntiCorruption page

February 25

Public Management in Developing Nations


World Bank, Overview

World Bank, Administrative and Civil Service Reform Website

March 4

Nongovernmental Organizations


Geriffi, et al., The NGO-Industrial Complex

March 11

Managing International Organizations: EC, UN, WTO


Ten Common Misconceptions about the WTO

Wolfensohn, A Proposal for a Comprehensive Development Framework; World Bank, Experiences with National Dialogue in Latin America; WTO in Brief

March 25

Managing International Organizations: IMF, OECD, WB

April 1

Student Presentations, Reading assignments:

Jhaveri (presentation)
Koehn (presentation)
Maurer (presentation)

Violence and Terrorism PowerWeb

April 8

Student Presentations

Sadowski (presentation)
Mygrant (presentation)
Meyers (presentation)

April 15

Student Presentations

Ismailov (presentation)
Basson (presentation)


Any student eligible for and desiring academic accommodations due to a disability is requested to provide documentation to Disability Services located in the Bishop Wellness Center within the first two weeks of the semester.