The Department of Politics and Public Administration, the University of Hong Kong, is a founding department of the Faculty of Social Sciences. The teaching of politics and public administration at the University of Hong Kong can be traced back to the beginning of the last century, with the first political science course being offered in 1915. The University planned to set up an academic unit modeled after the London School of Economics and Political Science in 1937. This led to the creation of the Department of Economics and Political Science from which the Department of Political Science emerged in 1970. In September 1993, the department was renamed the Department of Politics and Public Administration to better reflect its long-standing commitment to teaching and research in both political science and public administration.

During the past four decades, the Department has contributed to advancements in its field both locally and internationally through our excellence in research, teaching, and service to the community.

Distinction in Research

The Department takes pride in the achievement of its staff in their high-quality research outputs, which appear in top-tier journals such as The China Journal, The China Quarterly, Comparative Political Studies, Ethics, European Journal of International Relations, Governance, Journal of Political Philosophy, The Journal of Politics, Philosophy and Public Affairs, and Public Administration Review, as well as leading university presses like Cambridge, Columbia, Oxford, Princeton and Stanford. Our research focuses mainly on four key areas: comparative political economy and Chinese politics, globalization and East Asian international relations, political theory and ethics, and public governance and civil society. The Centre for Civil Society and Governance, which is anchored in the Department, engages in pioneering research on civil society in Hong Kong. Our cutting-edge research is why we were ranked the best in our discipline in the previous two Research Assessment Exercises in Hong Kong. Several faculty members hold positions on the editorial committees of major academic journals, and the Department itself has been publishing a leading journal in Asia, the Asia Pacific Journal of Public Administration, since 1979.

Our Department has developed extensive academic and research collaboration with major overseas and Mainland institutions of higher education such as George Washington, Indiana, Pittsburgh, Korea, Peking, Fudan and Tsinghua universities.

Excellence in Teaching

The Department is a core teaching unit in the Faculty’s Bachelor of Social Science programme. We also offer the highly successful and competitive double-degree programme Bachelor of Social Sciences (Government and Laws) & Bachelor of Laws [BSocSc (GL) & LLB] which admits top local and overseas students. Since its inception in 1999, the admission scores of this programme have been within the top 10 in HKU. Our graduates have promising careers not only in the legal profession, but also in the public and private sectors. Many of our graduates have been recruited into the selective grade of Administrative Officers (AOs) in the HKSAR Government. Other graduates have also won prestigious scholarships such as the Rhodes, Swires, and Chevening to pursue further studies in top schools like Columbia, Harvard and Oxford.

Our professional post-graduate programmes, namely Master of Public Administration (MPA) and Master of International and Public Affairs (MIPA), are the most renowned among similar programmes in Hong Kong. Our graduates from these programmes are now serving in the top echelons of the HKSAR Government and public sector. A number of senior officers in HKSAR Government such as Mr Alan LAI Nin (Ombudsman), and Mr CHIANG Yam-wang (Privacy Commissioner for Personal Data) are graduates of our MPA programme. Mr TSANG Tak-sing, Secretary for Home Affairs, and Mr TANG King-shing, former Commissioner of Police, are graduates of the first batch of our MIPA class. In addition the Department launched the Doctor of Public Administration (DPA) programme in 2013-14.

Our Research Postgraduate programme has continued to attract outstanding students from Hong Kong, Mainland China, Canada, Japan, Spain, and other countries. They have the opportunities to attend overseas conferences during their studies, and many succeed in getting fellowships and scholarships to do overseas research. In the past six years, four of our research students have won Best Dissertation Awards offered by the Hong Kong Political Science Association.

Contribution to Our Community

Each year we host many successful seminars and forums on public affairs to enrich the public discourse in Hong Kong. We are proud to have invited a number of prominent visitors such as former Canadian Foreign Minister Dr Lloyd AXWORTHY, 2009 Nobel Laureate (late) Professor Elinor OSTROM (Indiana), Professor Larry DIAMOND (Stanford), Professor Martin REIN (MIT), Professor Bert ROCKMAN (Purdue) Professor John GERRING (Boston), Professor Roger PARKS (Indiana), Professor Leo GOODSTADT (Trinity College Dublin) and many others to offer lectures and seminars.