Stephen Kosack

Associate Professor
Faculty Council Chair

Stephen Kosack is Associate Professor of Public Policy and Governance at the University of Washington, Seattle, and Senior Research Fellow at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard. He is a political scientist who focuses on how governments become more responsive and effective for citizens without unusual wealth or other advantages. 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 ScienceInternational Organization, the Annual Review of Political ScienceWorld Development, and Comparative Education; in two books, The Education of Nations (Oxford University Press, 2012), and From the Ground Up (Brookings Institution Press, 2010; with Charles Griffin and Courtney Tolmie); and in policy papers for organizations including the UNDP and the Brookings Institution. He received his Ph.D. in political science in 2008 from Yale University, was previously a labor policy advisor to the late Senator Ted Kennedy and a research fellow at the Brookings Institution in Washington, and taught at Brown, the London School of Economics, and Harvard.

  • “Functional Structures of U.S. State Governments,” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, forthcoming. With Michele Coscia, Evann Smith, Kim Albrecht, Albert-László Barabási, and Ricardo Hausmann.
  • “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.