Stephen Kosack

Assistant Professor of Public Affairs
Ph.D., Yale University
Parrington
207B
206.616.5817

Stephen Kosack studies comparative politics and political economy. His work focuses on understanding and explaining distributive policymaking in developing countries. He has written on human development, education, civil society, transparency and accountability, foreign aid, foreign-direct investment, and democratic governance in the British Journal of Political Science, International Organization, the Annual Review of Political Science, Comparative Education, and World Development; in two books, The Education of Nations: How the Political Organization of the Poor, Not Democracy, Led Governments to Invest in Mass Education (Oxford University Press, 2012), and From the Ground Up: Improving Government Performance with Independent Monitoring Organizations (Brookings Institution Press, 2010; with Charles Griffin and Courtney Tolmie); as well as in a number of policy pieces for organizations like the UNDP and the Brookings Institution. He received his Ph.D. in political science in 2008 from Yale University. Before joining the University of Washington, he was an economics advisor to the late Senator Ted Kennedy, a research fellow at the Brookings Institution in Washington, and taught at Brown, the London School of Economics, and Harvard. Stephen is also a nonresident Senior Research Fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School.

Areas of specialization 

Civil Society
Education
Foreign Aid
Transparency and accountability

Recent Publications 

  •  “The Logic of Pro-Poor Policymaking: Political Entrepreneurship and Mass Education,” British Journal of Political Science, Vol 44(2), 2014, 409-444.
  • “Does Transparency Improve Governance?,” Annual Review of Political Science, forthcoming.  With Archon Fung.
  • “The Tertiary Tilt: Education and Inequality in the Developing World,” World Development, Vol 54, 2014, pp. 253-272.
      With Lloyd Gruber.
  • “The Logic of Pro-Poor Policymaking: Political Entrepreneurship and Mass Education,” British Journal of Political Science, forthcoming.
  • The Education of Nations: How the Political Organization of the Poor, not Democracy, Led Governments to Invest in Mass Education, Oxford University Press, 2012.
  • From the Ground Up: Improving Government Performance with Independent Monitoring Organizations, Brookings Institution Press, 2010.  With Charles Griffin and Courtney Tolmie.
  • “Realizing Education For All: Defining and Using the Political Will to Invest in Primary Education,"Comparative Education, vol 45(4), 2009, pp. 495-523.
  • “Capital Flows for Development from Japan and the United States,” Singapore Economic Review, vol 54(4), 2009, pp. 489-527.  With Gustav Ranis.
  • “Funding Self-Sustaining Development: the Role of Aid, FDI, and Government in Economic Success,” International Organization, vol 60, Winter 2006, pp. 205-243.  With Jennifer Tobin.

Courses taught 

  • PBAF 608: Degree Project Seminar

Professor Kosack's office hours are available through his online calendar.

Learn about Professor Kosack's current research.