Professor Wai-Fung LAM 林維峯

Professor and Head
Director, Center for Civil Society and Governance
Director, Doctor of Public Administration (DPA)
Director, Master of Public Administration (MPA)

Wai-Fung (Danny) Lam finished his undergraduate study at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, and received a Ph.D. in Public Policy from Indiana University, Bloomington. Professor Lam is an expert in institutional policy analysis, the commons, social innovation, civil society, and public governance. His research has focused on the design of efficient institutional arrangements for the governance and management of public affairs, a core issue in public administration and sustainable development. Professor Lam has served on the editorial committees of Public Administration Review (PAR), International Review of Administrative Sciences (IRAS),Journal of Comparative Policy Analysis (JCPA), Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly (NVSQ), and Asian Politics and Policy (APP), and is co-editor of The Asia-Pacific Journal of Public Administration. Professor Lam was Head of Department in 2008-2010, and Associate Dean (Innovation) of Social Sciences in 2013-2017. 

Selected Publications


  • Governing Irrigation Systems in Nepal: Institutions, Infrastructure, and Collective Action. Oakland, CA: Institute for Contemporary Studies (ICS) Press. 1998.
  • Asian Irrigation Systems in Transition: Responding to the Challenges Ahead (co-edited with Ganesh P. Shivakoti, Douglass Vermillion, Elinor Ostrom, Ujjwal Pradhan, Robert Yoder). New Delhi/Thousand Oaks/London: Sage Publications. 2005.
  • Improving Irrigation in Asia: Sustainable Performance of an Innovative Intervention in Nepal (with Elinor Ostrom, Prachanda Pradhan and Ganesh P. Shivakoti). Cheltenham: Edward Elgar. 2011.
  • Public Policymaking in Hong Kong: Civic Engagement and State-Society Relations in a Semi-Democracy (with Eliza Wing Yee Lee, Elaine Yee Man Chan, Joseph Cho Wai Chan, Peter Tsan Yin Cheung, and Wai-man Lam). London: Routledge. 2012
  • Revitalizing Rural Communities (with Jessica Williams, Vivian Chu, and Winnie Law). Singapore: Springer Nature. 2021.


  • “Bureaucratizing Coproduction: Institutional Adaptation of Irrigation Associations in Taiwan” (with Ching-Ping Tang and Shih-Ko Tang). Water Alternatives 14(2): 435-52. 2021.
  • “Irrigation Management in East Asia: Institutions, Socioeconomic Transformation and Adaptations” (with Raymond Yu Wang and Jinxia Wang). Water Alternatives 14(2): 319-31. 2021.
  • “Social Expectations for Charitable Giving in China” (with Lin Nie and Kwan Nok Chan). Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly. Forthcoming. 2021.
  • "Nonprofit Online Responsiveness: An Exploratory Field Experiment in China" (with Lin Nie). Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly, DOI: 10.1177/08997640211007574. 2021.
  • “Elite Bargains and Policy Priorities in Authoritarian Regimes: Agenda Setting in China under Xi Jinping and Hu Jintao” (with Kwan Nok Chan and Shaowei Chen). Governance, DOI: 10.0000/gove.12543. 2020.
  • “Online or Offline? Nonprofits Choice and Use of Social Media in Hong Kong” (with Lin Nie). Voluntas 31:111-28. 2020
  • “Bureaucratic Control and Information Processing: An Institutional Comparison” (with Kwan Nok Chan). Governance 31(3):575-92. 2018.
  • “Policy Advocacy in Transitioning Regimes: Comparative Lessons from the Case of Harbour Protection in Hong Kong” (with Kwan Nok Chan). Journal of Comparative Policy Analysis: Research and Practice 19(1):54 - 71. 2017.
  • “Institutional Nesting and Robustness of Self-governance: The Adaptation of Irrigation Systems in Taiwan” (with Chung Yuan Chiu). International Journal of the Commons 10(2):953 - 81. 2016
  • “How Authoritarianism Intensifies Punctuated Equilibrium: The Dynamics of Policy Attention in Hong Kong” (with Kwan Nok Chan). Governance 28(4):549 - 70. 2015.
  • “Giving in Hong Kong: A Growing Sector Evading Regulation” (with Elaine Chan). In The Palgrave Handbook of Global Philanthropy, eds. Pamala Wiepking and Femida Handy, 369 - 87. Palgrave Macmillan. 2015.
  • “The Tragedy of the Commons.” In Encyclopedia of Political Science, eds. B. Badie, D. Berg-Schlosser, and L. Morlino, Leonardo. Thousand Oaks: Sage Publications. 2011
  • “Governing the Commons.” In Handbook of Governance, ed. Mark Bevir, 501 - 17. Thousand Oaks: Sage Publications. 2010.
  • “Analyzing the Dynamic Complexity of Development Interventions: Lessons from an Irrigation Experiment in Nepal” (with Elinor Ostrom). Policy Sciences 43:1 - 25. 2010.
  • “Foundations of a Robust Social-ecological System: Irrigation Institutions in Taiwan.” Journal of Institutional Economics 2(2):1 - 24. 2006.
  • “Coordinating the Government Bureaucracy in Hong Kong: An Institutional Analysis.” Governance 18(4):633 - 54. 2005.
  • “Coping with Change: A Study of Local Irrigation Institutions in Taiwan.” World Development 29(9):1569 - 92. 2001.
  • “The Role of the Nonprofit Sector in Hong Kong’s Development” (with James Perry). Voluntas 11(4):357 - 75. 2000.
  • “Institutional Design of Public Agencies and Coproduction: A Study of Irrigation Associations in Taiwan.” World Development 24(6): 1039 - 54. 1996.
  • “Improving the Performance of Small-Scale Irrigation Systems: The Effects of Technological Investments and Governance Structure on Irrigation Performance in Nepal.” World Development 24(8):1301 - 15. 1996.