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Adjunct Professor
Department of Social and Political Sciences

Courses a.y. 2023/2024


Courses previous a.y.

My teaching pedagogy stems from my extensive experience as an educator. I have three main goals when I teach my students. First, I strive to provide a better theoretical and practical understanding of various concepts in the study of politics and policy. Second, I aim to help my students develop and hone their critical thinking and analytical skills. I strive to provide students with opportunities to build their speaking, writing, and analytical capabilities through my classes and assignments. Third, I also gauge my success as an educator based on my effectiveness at empowering my students and bringing out their intellectual curiosity. By asking thoughtful and provocative questions and encouraging a running dialogue no matter the class size, I pique their interest and allow them to engage with the material and with their peers.

Biographical note

I’m a political scientist in the Department of Social and Political Sciences at Bocconi University and a Research Fellow at the DONDENA Centre for Research on Social Dynamics and Public Policy. I am also a Scholar at the O’Neill Institute for National and Global Health Law at Georgetown Law, a DAAD Research Ambassador for the Deutscher Akademischer Austausch Dienst/German Academic Exchange Service, an Executive Board Member for the International Studies Association Global Health Studies Section, and a Faculty Affiliate with the Institute for Emerging Market Studies at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST).


Previously, I was a Research Assistant Professor within the Division of Public Policy and a Jockey Club Institute for Advanced Study Junior Fellow at HKUST, a Postdoctoral Fellow at the O’Neill Institute, and a 2017-18 Fulbright Fellow at the Hertie School in Berlin. Before beginning my doctoral program, I spent several years in London working as a researcher and consultant on social and economic trends in the United Kingdom and the United States, counter-terrorism stakeholders in the European Union, and carbon emissions of private corporations. In addition, I was a Deutscher Akademischer Austausch Dienst (DAAD) Scholar at the Helmholtz Zentrum München and the Max Planck Institute for Social Law and Social Policy in Munich, Germany. I have a BA in Political Science (International Relations concentration) and a BS in Microbiology from the University of Massachusetts Amherst, an MS in Public Policy and Administration from the London School of Economics and Political Science, and an MA and PhD in Government from Georgetown.

Research interests

My research interests include the relationship between political institutions, public opinion, and policy change in the context of public health and health policy. My research is also motivated by broader interests in science policy, sustainability, EU harmonization, comparative social policy, and global health security and governance. I have published or given commentary on these topics in International Studies Quarterly, BMJ Global Health, the Journal of Health Politics, Policy and Law, Cleaner and Responsible Consumption, The Washington Post, Foreign Policy Magazine, The Conversation, and CNN International, among others.

Selected Publications

Kavanagh, Matthew
Legal Paradigms and the Politics of Global COVID-19 Vaccine Access
in Intellectual Property, COVID-19, and the Next Pandemic: Diagnosing, Eds. Madhvi Sunder and Haochen Sun, Oxford University Press Problems, Developing Cures, Forthcoming

A Comparative Perspective on the COVID-19 Response in Europe
How COVID-19 Took Over the World: Lessons for the Future, Ed. Christine Loh. Hong Kong University Press. Forthcoming

The Social Contract and Responses to COVID-19
How COVID-19 Took Over the World: Lessons for the Future, Ed. Christine Loh. Hong Kong University Press. Forthcoming

Singh, Renu; Williamson, Scott
Where’s the money from? Attitudes toward donor countries and foreign aid in the Arab world

Vladimirova, Katia; Henninger, Claudia E.; Joyner Martinez, Cosette; Iran, Samira; Diddi, Sonali; Durrani, Marium; Iyerhiv, Kavitha; Jestratijevic, Iva; Mccormick, Helen; Niinimäki, Kirsi; Thangavelu, Priyadarshin; Sauerwein, Meike; Singh, Renu; Simek, Petr; Wallaschkowski, Stephan
Fashion consumption during COVID: comparative analysis of changing practices across nine countries

Iran, Samira; Joyner Martinez, Cosette M.; Vladimirova, Katia; Wallaschkowski, Stephan; Diddi, Sonali; Henninger, Claudia E.; Mccormick, Helen; Matus, Kira; Niinimäki, Kirsi; Sauerwein, Meike; Singh, Renu; Tiedke, Loredana
When mortality knocks: pandemic-inspired attitude shifts towards sustainable clothing consumption in six countries
International Journal of Sustainable Fashion & Textiles, 2022

Kavanagh, Matthew M.; Singh, Renu; Pillinger, Mara
Playing politics. The World Health Organization’s response to COVID-19
Coronavirus politics : the comparative politics and policy of COVID-19, 2021

Kavanagh, Matthew M.; Singh, Renu
Democracy, capacity, and coercion in pandemic response – COVID-19 in comparative political perspective

Kavanagh, Matthew M.; Graeden, Ellie; Pillinger, Mara; Singh, Renu; Eaneff, Stephanie; Bendaud, Victoria; Gustav, Rico; Erkkola, Taavi
Understanding and comparing HIV-related law & policy environments: cross-national data and accountability for the global AIDS response