Balla Named Fulbright Distinguished Chair for China for 2015-2016 School Year

August 18, 2015

Dr. Steven Balla, Associate Professor of Political Science, Public Policy and Public Administration, and International Affairs, is serving as a Fulbright Scholar of Public Administration and Public Policy in China during this school year.

The Public Administration and Public Policy Fulbright Scholar award is given to scholars whose teaching and research focuses on issues such as the modernization of government structures, environmental policy and public health policy.

For Balla, this experience will combine and contribute to teaching and research interests he’s had for decades.

“I have been studying public participation in the making of laws and regulations here in the United States for close to two decades,” he said.  “It has been fascinating, in recent years, to study the same kinds of government consultation and citizen feedback mechanisms in the context of China, a very different type of political system. Understanding how policy is made and implemented in both countries is crucial, given how central the U.S. and China are to global outcomes in such areas as economic performance, environmental protection, the occurrence and resolution of military conflicts.”

Throughout the year, he will be teaching and working on a book on online political participation in Chinese policymaking.

“We are honored a professor heavily involved with the Trachtenberg School and the GW Regulatory Studies Center will have this opportunity,” said Trachtenberg School Director Dr. Kathryn Newcomer. “His research and experience will benefit our students as well as the governments of China and the U.S.”

“I'm based in Tianjin, at the Nankai University Zhou Enlai School of Government, and am lecturing at universities around the country,” said Balla. “As a Fulbright Scholar in Public Administration and Public Policy, I look forward to deepening my understanding of the possibilities and limitations of the Internet as a means of facilitating communication between the Chinese government and its citizens during the making of important public decisions.  In addition, given the massive explosions that occurred in Tianjin just days prior to my arrival, I am interested, as a scholar who has written about the politics of disaster management, to monitor government and society's reaction to the deadly tragedy.”