Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Have Topics, Will Travel

The U.S. Embassy in Beijing recently asked me to send them a list of five topics I would be willing to lecture on while in China. This list is to be circulated to universities around the country, with the idea that it will help me secure invitations to speak in front of audiences in Beijing and beyond.

So what topics should I list? The starting point, of course, is subjects I teach and do research on. (No point in embarrassing myself any more than I have to!)

But beyond that, are there ways to frame my areas of "expertise" so they appeal to non-Americans who are not necessarily specialists in my narrow fields of interest? Here is what I came up with...

(1) The 2008 United States presidential election and transition to a new administration.

(2) How health, safety, and environmental regulations are written in the United States.

(3) The diffusion of policy innovations across American cities and states.

(4) Has the Internet changed everything, or anything, about public participation in American politics and policymaking?

(5) The politics of disaster management in the United States--lessons from Hurricane Katrina, the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, and the preparation for an avian influenza pandemic.

I will be curious how much interest this list generates on the part of Chinese universities. In particular, I wonder if one of these topics will end up being much "hotter" than the others. Conversely, will there be a topic that is avoided altogether?



At 8:15 AM, Blogger birdfluman said...

Good article. We need to keep Bird Flu at the forefront of every business manager's mind. It won't go away so better start preparing.

Nigel Thomas
For free references and tools go to Bird Flu Manual Online or, if you need more comprehensive tutorials and templates, consider Bird Flu D-I-Y eManual for business preparedness and survival.


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