M Ramesh

UNESCO Chair on Social Policy Design in Asia

M Ramesh
Contact Details

DID: +65 6516 4204


Office Location

469B Bukit Timah Road
#02-12, Li Ka Shing Building
Singapore 259771


Ramesh has served as the Founding Head of the Department of Asian and Policy Studies and Chair Professor of Governance and Public Policy at the Hong Kong Institute of Education; Professor of Social Policy at the University of Hong Kong; and Chair of the Department of Government and International Relations at the University of Sydney. He has also held teaching positions at the University of New England and Victoria University of Wellington. Specialising in public policy and governance in Asia with a particular focus on social policy, Ramesh has authored and edited many books. His co-authored textbook Studying Public Policy has been translated into over a dozen languages and is used throughout the world. His books and journal articles on social policy in Asia are the standard starting points for research on the subject. He has also published extensively in reputed international journals. He is the Co-Editor of Policy and Society as well as World Political Science Review and serves on the editorial board of several reputed journals. Moreover, he has served as consultant to prominent international organizations.

Research Areas

  • Ageing
  • Development policy
  • Education policy
  • Health policy
  • Pensions and social security policy
  • Policy design and implementation
  • Social policy

Media Expertise

  • Governance in East and Southeast Asia
  • Social policy in East and Southeast Asia



  • Eduardo Araral, Scott Fritzen, Michael Howlett, M Ramesh, Xun Wu (eds.) Routledge Handbook of Public Policy, Routledge, 2013.
  • Darryl Jarvis, M Ramesh, Eduardo Araral, Xun Wu (eds.), Infrastructure Regulations: What Works and Why. World Scientific, 2011.
  • Xun, M Ramesh, M Howlett, Scott Fritzen, The Public Policy Primer: Managing the Policy Process, Routledge, 2010.
  • M Ramesh, E.Araral and Wu Xun (eds.), Reasserting the Public in Public Services.Routledge, 2010.
  • Fritzen, Scott and M Ramesh (eds.), Transforming Asian Governance: Rethinking Assumptions, Challenging Practices, Routledge, 2008.
  • Michael Howlett, M Ramesh, and Anthony Perl, Studying Public Policy: Policy Cycles and Policy Subsystems, 3rd edition, Toronto: Oxford University Press, 2008, 310 p.
  • M Ramesh and Michael Howlett, Deregulation and Its Discontents: Rewriting the Rules in Asia.Edward Elgar.2006.
  • M Ramesh, Social Policy in East and Southeast Asia: Education, Health, Housing, and Income Maintenance, London: Routledge, January 2004, 230 p.
  • M Ramesh, Welfare Capitalism in Southeast Asia: Social Security, Health and Education Policies, one chapter with Mukul Asher, Basingstoke: Macmillan, 2000, 208 p.

Journal Articles

  • Azad S Bali and M Ramesh, “Mark Time: India’s March to Universal Healthcare Coverage” Social Policy and Administration, forthcoming. 
  • Azad S Bali and M Ramesh, “Healthcare Reforms in India: Getting it Wrong” Public Policy and Administration, forthcoming.
  • M. Howlett and M Ramesh, “The Achilles Heel of Governance: Critical Capacity Deficits and Their Role in Governance Failures,” Regulation & Governance, published early online.
  • M Ramesh, Wu Xun, and Michael Howlett, “Second Best Governance? Governments and Governance in the Imperfect World of Health Care Delivery in China, India and Thailand”, Journal of Comparative Policy Analysis. Accepted 2014. DOI: 10.1080/13876988.2014.889903
  • M. Howlett and M Ramesh, “The two orders of governance failure: Design mismatches and policy capacity issues in modern governance”, Policy and Society, 2014, 33: 4, pp. 317-327.
  • Capano, G, Michael P and M Ramesh*, “From Governance to Governing? The Post-Governance Debate on the Role of Government”. Journal of Comparative Policy Analysis, 2014.
  • M Ramesh, Social Protection in Indonesia And The Philippines: Work In Progress, Journal of Southeast Asian Economies, 2014, 31: 1, pp. 40-56.
  • Alfred Wu and M Ramesh, “Poverty Reduction In Urban China: The Impact Of Cash Transfers”, Social Policy and Society, 2014, 13: 2, pp. 285-299.
  • Xun Wu and M. Ramesh. “Market imperfections, government imperfections, and policy mixes: policy innovations in Singapore” Policy Sciences, 2014, 47: 3, pp. 305-320.
  • M Ramesh, “Decentralization in Asia: Survey”, Policy and Society, 2013, 32: 1, pp. 1-5.  M Ramesh, “Health Care Reforms in Vietnam: Chasing Shadows”, Journal of Contemporary Asia, 2013, 43: 3, pp. 399-412 .
  • M Ramesh, Wu Xun and Alex He, “Health Governance and Health Care Reforms in China” Health Policy and Planning, Published online 2013, doi: 10.1093/heapol/czs109.
  • M Ramesh, “Health Care Reforms in Hong Kong: Politics of Liberal Non-Democracy”, Pacific Review, 25: 4, 2013, pp. 455-471.
  • M Ramesh, “Citizenship and Governance”, Public Organization Review, 2012, 12: 3, pp. pp. 251-254.
  • M. Ramesh, “Economic Crisis and its Social Impacts: Lessons from the 1997 Asian Economic Crisis”, Global Social Policy, 2009, 9: 1, pp. 79-99.
  • Wu Xun and M Ramesh, “Healthcare Reforms in Developing Countries: Potentials and Realities” Development and Change, 40: 3, 2009, pp. 531-549.
  • M Ramesh and Wu Xun, “Health Policy Reform in China: Lessons from Asia”, Social Science and Medicine, 68: 12, 2009, pp.2256-2262.
  • M Ramesh and Wu Xun, “Realigning Public and Private Health Care in Southeast Asia”. Pacific Review, 21: 2, 2008, pp. 171–187.
  • M Ramesh, “Competition and Control in Public Hospital Reforms in Singapore, American Review of Public Administration, 38: 1, 2008, pp. 62-79.
  • M Ramesh, “Reasserting the role of the state in the healthcare sector: Lessons from Asia”, Policy and Society, 27: 2, 2008, pp. 99-101.
  • M Ramesh and Wu Xun, “Neuorientierung des Verhaltnisses offentlicher und privater Trager der Gesundheitsversorgung in Sudostasien”, Focus ASIEN, 23. 1, 2006, pp. 23-34.
  • Michael Howlett and M Ramesh, “Globalization and the Choice of Governing Instruments: The Direct, Indirect and Opportunity Effects of Internationalization”, International Public Management Journal, 8: 3, 2006, pp. 175-194.
  • M Ramesh, “Review: Issues in Globalisation and Social Welfare in Asia”, Social Policy and Society, 3: 3, 2004, pp. 321-327.
  • M Ramesh, “Health Policy in the Asian NIEs” Social Policy and Administration, 37: 4, 2003, pp. 361-75.
  • M Ramesh, “Privatization of Social Security in Southeast Asia”, The Review of Policy Research, 19: 3, 2002, pp. 141-160.
  • Michael Howlett and M Ramesh, ‘The Policy Effects of Internationalization: A Subsystem Adjustment Analysis of Policy Change’, Journal of Comparative Policy Analysis, , 4: 1, 2002, pp. 31-50.
  • John Hobson and M Ramesh, “Globalisation Makes of States What States Make of It: Between Agency and Structure in the State/Globalisation Debate’, New Political Economy, 7: 1, 2002, pp. 5-22.
  • M Ramesh and Ian Holliday, “The Health Care Miracle in Southeast Asia: Activist State Provision in Post-Colonial Hong Kong, Malaysia and Singapore” Journal of Social Policy, 30: 4, 2001, pp. 637-652.
  • M Ramesh, “Compulsory Savings in Hong Kong: Lessons from Singapore”, Public Administration and Policy, 10: 1, 2001, pp. 21-31.
  • M Ramesh, “The State and Social Security in Indonesia and Thailand”, Journal of Contemporary Asia, 30: 4, 2000, pp. 534-46.
  • M Ramesh, “The Politics of Social Security in Singapore”, Pacific Review, 13: 1, 2000, pp. 242-253

Edited Books

  • Giliberto Capano, Michael Howlett, M. Ramesh (eds.) Varieties of Governance Dynamics, Strategies, Capacities, 2015, Palgrave Macmillan.
  • Eduardo Araral, Scott Fritzen, Michael Howlett, M. Ramesh (eds.) Routledge Handbook of Public Policy, 2013 Routledge.
  • Darryl Jarvis, M Ramesh, Eduardo Araral, Xun Wu (2011). Infrastructure Regulations: What Works and Why. Singapore: Singapore: World Scientific. 
  • M Ramesh, Eduardo Araral, Wu Xun (Eds) Reasserting the Public in Public Services, Routledge, January 2010.
  • M Ramesh and Scott Fritzen (Eds.), Transforming Asian Governance: Rethinking Assumptions, Challenging Practices, Routledge, 2008.
  • M Ramesh and Michael Howlett (Eds.), Deregulation and Its Discontents: Rewriting the Rules in Asia. Co-Editor: Michael Howlett. Edward Elgar. 2006. 

Book Chapters

  • Book Chapters Giliberto Capano, Michael Howlett and M. Ramesh, “Re-Thinking Governance in Public Policy. Dynamics, Strategy and Capacities” in Giliberto Capano, Michael Howlett, M. Ramesh (eds.) Varieties of Governance: Dynamics, Strategies, Capacities, 2015, Palgrave Macmillan.
  • M. Ramesh, Wu Xun and Michael Howlett “Governing Health Care in an Imperfect World: Hierarchy, Markets, And Networks In China And Thailand”, in Giliberto Capano, Michael Howlett, M. Ramesh (eds.) Varieties of Governance Dynamics, Strategies, Capacities, 2015, Palgrave Macmillan.
  • M Ramesh, “Patterns of Health Care Reforms in Asia”, in Law C. K. (ed.) Health systems: challenges, visions and reforms from a comparative global perspective, Chinese University of Hong Kong Press, 2013, pp. 309-330.
  • M Ramesh, “Social safety nets in Indonesia and the Philippines”, in Shiladitya Chatterjee (ed.) Ending Asian Deprivations, Abingdon: Routledge pp. 243-258.
  • M Ramesh, “Global Economic Crisis and Social Security in Southeast Asia” in In Aris Ananta and Richard Barichello (eds.) Poverty and Global Recession in Southeast Asia,. Singapore: Institute of Southeast Asian Studies, 2012, pp. 45-80.
  • M Ramesh, “Social Policy in East Asia”, in Mark Beeson and Richard Stubbs (eds.) Routledge Handbook of Asian Regionalism, London: Routledge, 2012, pp. 200-215.
  • Mukul Asher and M Ramesh, “Medical savings accounts in Singapore: Medisave and its policy context”, in Sarah Cook (ed.), Private Health Insurance and Medical Savings Accounts, Cambridge University Press. 2014 forthcoming.
  • M Ramesh, “Policy Change in International Organizations: The World Bank and Pension Reforms<”, In Giliberto Capano and Michael Howlett (eds.) Policy Change in Europe and North America: Policy Drivers and Policy Dynamics, Routledge, 2009.
  • M Ramesh, “Healthcare Reforms in Thailand: Rethinking Conventional Wisdom”. In Scott Fritzen and M Ramesh (Eds.), Transforming Asian Governance, Routledge. 2008. 
  • M Ramesh, “Public Management Reforms in Hong Kong and Singapore: The Case of Public Hospitals”. In Ka Ho Mok and Ray Forrest (eds.) Changing Governance and Public Policy in East Asia, Routledge, 2008.
  • M Ramesh, “The World Bank and Pension Reforms”. In Diane Stone and Chris Wright (eds.) The World Bank’s Decade of Reform and Reaction, Routledge, 2006.
  • M Ramesh, “Health Policy in Singapore”. In J. Rabin, J. and Aaron Wachhaus; (eds.) Encyclopaedia of Public Administration and Public Policy, New York: Taylor and Francis, 2006. 
  • M Ramesh,“Malaysian Health Policy in Comparative Perspective”, Chee Heng Leng (ed.) Paying for Health: Financing and Access in Malaysian Healthcare, London: Routledge, forthcoming 2006.
  • M Ramesh, “Globalisation and National Regulations: Race to the Bottom, Top, and Middle”, M Ramesh and Michael Howlett (Eds) Deregulation and Its Discontents: Rewriting the Rules in Asia,. Edward Elgar. 2006.
  • M Ramesh, “One and a Half Cheers for Provident Funds in Malaysia and Singapore”, Huck-Ju Kwon (ed.), Transforming the Developmental Welfare State in East Asia, Houndmills: Palgrave, 2004.
  • M Ramesh,“Globalisation and Social Security Expansion in East Asia”. In Linda Weiss (ed.), States in the Global Economy: Bringing Domestic Institutions Back In, Cambridge University Press, 2002, pp. 83-100. 
  • M Ramesh, “Social Policies as Collective Goods: Malaysia and Singapore”. In Sally Sargeson (ed.), Shaping Common Futures: Collective Goods, Collective Actions in East and Southeast Asia, London: Routledge, 2002, pp. 147-61.


  • Asian Pacific Politics
  • Comparative Public Policy
  • Economic and Social Policies in East Asia
  • Globalisation and Public Policy
  • Government and Business
  • International Political Economy
  • Public Policy: Introduction
  • Social Policy: Issues and Options
  • World Politics
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