Ph.D., Political Science, Yale University

Stephen Kosack is a political scientist who focuses on governance and institutions in developing countries, and in particular on how average citizens can improve their governance. 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 ScienceComparative Education, and World Development; in two books, The Education of Nations: How the Political Organization of the Poor, Not DemocracyLed Governments to Invest in Mass Education (Oxford University Press, 2012), and From the Ground UpImproving 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.

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Professional Title: 
Associate Professor
International/Global Policy & Administration
Public Policy Analysis
Recent Publications: 
  • “Which Countries’ Citizens are Better Off With Trade?,” World Development, Vol. 76, 2015, 95–113.  With Jennifer Tobin.

  • “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, Vol 17, 2014, pp. 65-87.  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 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.