How Chinese policies are made

Crawford School of Public Policy | Executive course
Public Sector Leadership for Senior Executives


China’s growth is mediated, regulated, overseen and guided by a wide array of policymakers, institutions, rules, and bodies, all of whom reform and guide China’s economy and help China interact with the region and the world. This program will pull back the curtain to reveal what and who is behind this complex economic, social and political system.

Despite considerable public interest in China, there is still little knowledge about how policy decisions are made. This program will build greater Australian capacity to analyse China’s economy, finance and business, social policies and defence. Participants will examine how Chinese policies are made, who makes them, and how disputes are resolved.

Refer PDF at bottom for detailed course schedule.

Registration closes 30 September 2019.

Course date: 
9am–7.30pm 22 October 2019
9am–5pm 23 October 2019
9am–8.30pm 24 October 2019
9am–5pm 25 October 2019
9am–5.30pm 26 November 2019
9am–8.30pm 27 November 2019
9am–5pm 28 November 2019
#132 Crawford Building, Lennox Crossing, ANU


Course overview

Almost every public policy decision made today has a China dimension to it. Therefore, knowledge of Chinese policymaking is an essential qualification in the effective fulfillment of public servants’ responsibilities. Without a deeper understanding of policymaking within China, misunderstandings with severe implications can impact the decisions of Australian public servants, business, security, defence, and media communities as well as the greater Australian public.

This program will pull back the curtain to reveal what and who is behind this complex economic and political system. Current and future Australian decision makers will be provided with the knowledge and tools to make more informed and better public policy related to the bilateral relationship.

Over two intensive periods, participants will learn how Chinese policies are made, who makes them, and how disputes over them are resolved. Each session will be unique, with in-depth tutorials and participant-led discussions about how Chinese policies are constructed and implemented.

By the end of the program, participants will have the knowledge and the tools to understand not only how policies in China are made, but also will have developed their own framework of Chinese policymaking which they can apply in their own relevant area of work.

Core topics:

The course is divided into several sessions covering such topics as: public & private ownership in China, social-welfare policymaking, minority policy, financial and banking institutions, military-civilian integration, technological policy and Chinese foreign policy.

Each session will include a presentation by relevant experts including academics, researchers, senior public servants and business leaders. Each presentation will be followed by participant-led workshops facilitated by presenters and program academic leads.

Learning outcomes

  • Understand the actors involved in Chinese policymaking.
  • Understand the process by which policies are made at all levels of government
  • Apply knowledge in research relevant to field.
  • Be able to discuss Chinese economic decision making with a clear framework and knowledge base.
  • Gain a deeper understanding and be able to critically analyse, discuss and debate China’s changing role in the world and relations with other states.

Who should attend?

This program is designed for mid/senior level public servants whose work duties would be aided by a more informed understanding of the peculiarities of Chinese policymaking. Australian government will be able to make more accurate assessments of China’s policy strategies and realise Australia’s interests in its engagement on all areas including trade, the environment, healthcare, energy and education. Participants should be prepared to frame their particular interest in Chinese policy in conjunction with their employer, with the aim to complete a research project related to that interest.

It is also suitable for participants in not-for-profits and media industry. Participants will be able to provide better analysis of Chinese policy announcements, providing the public with more informed understanding of the country and its policies.

Indicative assessment

Details of the final assessment will be provided on the course home page. Participants are supported to think about the course content in relation to their area of professional interest, producing a tailored 3000 word research project to be submitted in early December.

Course convenor

David M Lampton

School of Advanced International Studies, John Hopkin’s University

David M. Lampton is Professor Emeritus and former Hyman Professor and Director of SAIS-China and China Studies at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies, having also served as Dean of Faculty from 2004-2012. Formerly President of the National Committee on United States-China Relations, he is the author of many books including, The Three Faces of Chinese Power: Might, Money, and Minds (University of California Press, 2008) and Following the Leader: Ruling China, from Deng Xiaoping to Xi Jinping (University of California Press, 2014). Having received his doctorate from Stanford University, Professor Lampton went on to head the China Studies programs at the American Enterprise Institute and at The Nixon Center (now The Center for National Interest). He is an Honorary Senior Fellow of the American Studies Institute of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences and was the inaugural winner of the Scalapino Prize in July 2010 awarded by the National Bureau of Asian Research and the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. He consults with government, business, foundations, and is on the board of several non-governmental and educational organizations, including the Executive Committee of the National Committee on US-China Relations.

Ryan Manuel

Asia Global Institute, The University of Hong Kong

Ryan Manuel is Director of Policy Research, and a former Asia Global Fellow, at Asia Global Institute. He was previously an academic at Oxford University and The Australian National University, a Senior China Analyst with the Australian government and a management consultant with the Boston Consulting Group. Dr. Manuel’s most recent work is a book called How to Rule in China, which created large databases of Chinese government and Party documentation and other primary source material in order to analyze how rules are made and followed in various parts of the Chinese political system. He holds a doctorate from Oxford University, where he was a Rhodes Scholar.

Course presenter(s)


Updated:  16 September 2019/Responsible Officer:  Crawford Engagement/Page Contact:  CAP Web Team