The Department of Government
The Department of Government

Xiaobo Lü


Assistant ProfessorPh.D., Yale University

Xiaobo Lü

Contact

  • Phone: 512-232-7257
  • Office: BAT 3.152
  • Office Hours: Monday/Wednesday 12:30-2:00PM, or by appointment
  • Campus Mail Code: A1800

Interests


Distributive politics of development; Chinese politics; comparative and international political economy

Biography


Professor Lü's research focuses on distributive politics of development and Chinese politics, as well as comparative and international political economy. Professor  is particularly interested in the politics of social spending and taxation, and their political consequences. His publications have appeared in the American Political Science Review, American Journal of Political Science, Comparative Political StudiesQuarterly Journal of Political Science, among other academic journals. He received his Ph.D. degree in Political Science from Yale University in 2011.

Courses


GOV 365L • State Build In China/Taiwan

38540 • Fall 2016
Meets MW 2:30PM-4:00PM SZB 524
(also listed as ANS 361)

GOV 365L/ANS 361: State Building in China and Taiwan

 

Course Description:

 

This course compares and contrasts the state building process in mainland China and Taiwan from 1950 to today. While both regimes were under the authoritarian rule at the beginning of the 1950s, why did Taiwan democratize but not China? Meanwhile, does the democratic politics in Taiwan generate any implications for the democratic future of China? By comparing the state building process under the Chinese

Communist Party (CCP) and Kuomingtang (KMT), students will gain a better understanding of the theories and implications of the interaction between political development and economic development. This course aims to provide students a deeper understanding of theories of state building with regional knowledge of greater China.

 

Prerequisite:

 

None

 

Grading Policy

 

Course attendance   20%

In-class debate        25%

Midterm exam         25%

Final exam              30%

 

Flags: Global Cultures.

GOV 365N • Politics Of Devel Policies

38555 • Fall 2016
Meets MW 4:00PM-5:30PM MEZ 1.210

GOV 365N : Politics of Development Policies

 

Course Description:

 

Why do some development policies succeed but others fail? What are the political processes behind these policies in developing countries, particularly those countries with weak political institutions? How can understanding the political aspects of decision-making and implementation improve policy design and sustainability?

 

By examining these questions, this course analyzes the political economy of policies for economic and social development in developing countries. This course will first discuss the building blocks of political economy analysis by studying several key factors determining the policy making and implementation process. For example, what are the dominant cleavages in different societies, and how do different cleavages shape the policymaking process? What are the formal and informal institutions that aggregate these interests into policy-making? How do domestic actors and international players affect the design and implementation of development policies? Finally, we will discuss the effects of local elite capture and corruption, which are prevalent problems in many developing countries.

 

After laying down the foundation of political economy analysis, this course then turns to various specific issues related to development policies around the world. Specifically, we will spend time evaluating the successes and failures of a number of policies, such as privatization, foreign aid, education policies, and poverty alleviation programs.

 

 

Prerequisite: Although I don’t have a formal prerequisite for this course, familiarity with microeconomics and macroeconomics as well as quantitative methods would enhance your learning in this course. This course is only open to juniors and seniors. If you are a freshman or sophomore, you need my approval before you can enroll in this course.

 

Grading Policy

 

Course attendance    15%

Policy debate                         25%

Weekly Reading Presentation 25%

Class Project              35%

GOV 322M • Politics In China

37850 • Spring 2016
Meets MWF 2:00PM-3:00PM PAR 101
(also listed as ANS 322M)

Politics in Contemporary China

GOV 322M

 

Prerequisite:

Six semester hours of lower-division coursework in government.

 

Course Description:

 

This Course is designed as an introductory course in Chinese politics primarily for upper-level undergraduates with a good background in political/social science, but not necessarily any background on China. The aim of the course is to provide a foundation that will enable the

non-specialist to make informed use of China as a case in more general arguments and give the intended China specialist a solid footing from which to pursue more in-depth study of particular topics.

 

This course primarily focuses on domestic politics in post-1978 China. We start the course by introducing the key institutions and players in order to understand the distribution of political power in China. We then detail various forms of political participation by different individuals, which allow us to understand the political logic and consequences of policymaking and selective policy issues in China. We conclude the course by discussing the political reforms implemented in the last three decades and contemplating the potentials political development in the future. The course consists of lectures and in-class discussions in order to enhance students’ learning.

 

Course Requirement and Grading:

 

1.         Four (randomly scheduled) quizzes                                                                           15%

2.         First in-class midterm exam (Feb. 22):                                                                      20%

3.         Second in-class midterm exam on material covered since first midterm (Mar. 28):        25%

4.         Final (cumulative) exam (TBD):                                                                                40%

 

Course Materials:

 

The readings for this course are based on book chapters and articles. All the readings, except for the required textbook, can be accessed through the Canvas website for this class.

 

Required Textbook:

Lieberthal, Kenneth. 2004. Governing China: from revolution through reform. 2nd ed. New York: W. W. Norton.

 

Optional Textbook:

Wasserstrom, Jeffrey. 2013. China in the 21st Century: What Everyone Needs to Know, 2nd edition. New York, N.Y.: Oxford University Press.

GOV 390L • Comparative Political Economy

38195 • Spring 2016
Meets M 9:30AM-12:30PM BAT 5.102

Comparative Political Economy

GOV 390L

Prerequisite:

This is a course in research methods and practice, designed to help PhD students progress to a dissertation. This course is open to PhD students only, unless you obtain the approval from the instructor. I assume that you have received the training in quantitative methods of a first year PhD student in Political Science or Economics. Only PhDs with that level of preparation should attend. First year PhD students are welcome, and may find the material challenging, but should be able to perform well.

 

Course Description:

 

This course provides an overview of advanced contemporary research on comparative political economy. This course has three goals: First, this course introduces the foundational models and empirics that inform contemporary work in the field; second, this course aims to strike the right balance between substance and method. Although methodology training is increasingly important in Political Science, these skills are for naught if you lack the ability to identify a core substantive problem on which to apply them. Consequently, we will pay close attention to linkages between theory, research strategy, and data. The third goal is to introduce some “frontiers” of the field. The field of political economy is undergoing rapid changes in recent years, and it is an exciting field that generates a lot of interests among political scientists and economics. Hence, the “frontiers” studies introduced here contains both political science and economics paper.

 

My aim in this course is to get you to the frontier of the field, and thereby teach as best I can research methods, approaches, and pitfalls, and help you generate and develop paper critiques and ideas.

 

Course Requirement:

 

40%    Weekly Memos (2 Pages)

            You are required to write FOUR weekly “intellectual reaction” memos. These memos should be posted onto Canvas by 5:00pm on the Sunday before we meet. Late submission will not be accepted. You have the choice to sign up for the week in which you will submit the weekly “intellectual reaction” memos, and the sign-up sheet will be available on Canvas (First come, first serve). This memo should briefly summarize the reading, and then provides a critical review of them.

 

 

50%    Research Proposal for the NSF Dissertation Improvement Grant

            You are required to develop a compelling research proposal as if you were going to submit to the NSF Dissertation Improvement Grant, which is due June 15 every year.

 

Imagine you are seeking funding to enhance your dissertation in the field of political economy. Your proposal will be judged on “fit” and novelty within the field, and ability to advance the discipline. If you have another research project idea not related to this subfield, then you should not write on that project. I recognize that it would be useful to you to get feedback in this class on that proposal, and save you time, but ultimately this is a course in comparative political economy, and you will benefit from having to come up with and develop a new or complementary question. No exceptions.

 

The official NSF proposal you are required to prepare are:

 

  1. Project Summary (1-page)

This section consists of an overview, a statement on the intellectual merit of the proposed activity, and a statement on the broader impacts of the proposed activity.

 

  1. Project Description (10-page)

This section should describe the scientific significance of the work, including its relationship to other current research, and the design of the project in sufficient detail to permit evaluation. It should also present and interpret progress to date if the research is already underway.

 

To be competitive for Political Science Program funding, the project description should provide clear descriptions of relevant literature and theoretical frameworks within which the project is set, a complete description of the research methods that will be used, and discussion of the expected intellectual merit and broader impacts that may result from the project. A Research Schedule should be included and should indicate the date that funds are required.

 

  1. References (No limits)

 

 

You will have several opportunities to receive feedback on your ideas for this proposal. You will also formally give feedback to your peers.

 

Feb. 22: 2-3 page description of NSF proposal idea or ideas, for discussion with instructor and peers

Apr. 18: Draft project description for instructor and peer feedback

Apr. 25: Referee reports due (10%)

May 7: Final proposal due. (40%)

 

10%    Class Participation

            Active participation in class is essential to the learning process. You will be graded for both class attendance and the level of participation in class discussion.

 

Course Materials:

 

There is no required textbook for this course and we will be reading mostly articles. I expect you to carefully read all the articles for any given week. The additional readings are recommended, but not required. 

 

There are, however, a number of good books that you should consider to purchase to further your learning in the field of political economy. I list the books here, but it is unlikely that we will have detailed discussions on these books, but I may still refer to time from time to time.

 

Angrist, Joshua D., and Steffen Pischke. 2009. Mostly Harmless Econometrics. Princeton: Princeton University Press.

 

Besley, Timothy. 2006. Principled agents? : the political economy of good government. Oxford ; New York: Oxford University Press.

 

Besley, Timothy, and Torsten Persson. 2011. Pillars of prosperity: the political economics of development clusters. Princeton N.J.: Princeton University Press.

 

Bueno de Mesquita, Bruce, Alastair Smith, Randolph M. Siverson, and James D. Morrow. 2003. The Logic of Political Survival. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press.

 

Diamond, Jared M., and James A. Robinson. 2010. Natural experiments of history. Cambridge, Mass.: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press.

 

Dunning, Thad. 2012. Natural experiments in the social sciences : a design-based approach. Cambridge ; New York: Cambridge University Press.

 

Gerber, Alan S., and Donald P. Green. 2012. Field experiments: design, analysis, and interpretation. 1st ed. New York: W. W. Norton.

 

Persson, Torsten, and Guido Enrico Tabellini. 2003. The Economic Effects of Constitutions. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press.

GOV 322M • Politics In China

38790 • Fall 2014
Meets TTH 11:00AM-12:30PM WAG 201
(also listed as ANS 322M)

 

Course Description:

This Course is designed as an introductory course in Chinese politics primarily for upper-level undergraduates with a good background in political/social science, but not necessarily any background on China. The aim of the course is to provide a foundation that will enable the

non-specialist to make informed use of China as a case in more general arguments and give the intended China specialist a solid footing from which to pursue more in-depth study of particular topics.

 

This course primarily focuses on domestic politics in post-1978 China. We start the course by introducing the key institutions and players in order to understand the distribution of political power in China. We then detail various forms of political participation by different individuals, which allow us to understand the political logic and consequences of policymaking and of selective policy issues in the China. We conclude the course by discussing the political reforms implemented in the last three decades and contemplating the potentials for future political development in China.

 

Prerequisite:

Six semester hours of lower-division coursework in government.

 

Course Requirement and Grading:

 

1.         Four quizzes on assigned readings.                                                                           15%

2.         First in-class midterm exam (Oct. 2):                                                                         20%

3.         Second in-class midterm exam on material covered since first midterm (Nov. 4):             25%

4.         Final (cumulative) exam (Dec. XXX):                                                                          40%

 

Course Materials:

 

The readings for this course are based on book chapters and articles. All the readings can be accessed through Documents on the Blackboard site for this class or online via our UT library website (www.lib.utexas.edu).

 

Textbooks: 

Required-

Lieberthal, Kenneth. 2004. Governing China: from revolution through reform. 2nd ed. New York: W. W. Norton.

 

Optional- 

Fewsmith, Joseph. 2013. The logic and limits of political reform in China. New York: Cambridge University Press.

 

Flag:

Global Cultures

Curriculum Vitae


Profile Pages


External Links



  • Department of Government

    The University of Texas at Austin
    158 W 21st ST STOP A1800
    Batts Hall 2.116
    Austin, TX 78712-1704
    512-471-5121