Daniel Honig

Daniel Honig

Assistant Professor of International Development
International Development
International Political Economy

1717 Massachusetts Avenue N.W.
Room 735A
Washington, DC 20036


  • Africa
  • Liberia
  • South Sudan
  • Southeast Asia
  • Thailand
  • Timor-Leste
  • Bureaucracy
  • Developing Nations
  • Economic Development
  • Foreign Aid and Global Poverty
  • Governance
  • International Political Economy
  • Political Economy & Development
  • World Bank and International Monetary Fund
  • English
  • Hebrew
  • Liberian English
  • Tetun
  • Thai

Background and Education

Dan Honig is Assistant Professor of International Development and an affiliate of the International Political Economy program. Prof. Honig's research focuses on the relationship between organizational structure, management practice, and performance in developing country governments and organizations that provide foreign aid.  His 2018 book (Navigation by Judgment: Why and When Top-Down Control of Foreign Aid Doesnt Workexamines the optimal level of autonomy in foreign aid intervention delivery and the role political authorizing environments and measurement regimes play in circumscribing that autonomy. He has had his work published in journals including International Organization, Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory, World Development, and Third World Quarterly. 

Prof. Honig has held a variety of positions outside of the academy.  He was special assistant, then advisor, to successive Ministers of Finance (Liberia); ran a local nonprofit focused on helping post-conflict youth realize the power of their own ideas to better their lives and communities through agricultural entrepreneurship (East Timor); and has worked for a number of local and international NGOs (e.g. Ashoka in Thailand; Center for Jewish-Arab Economic Development in Israel). A proud Detroiter, Prof. Honig holds an Honors BA from the University of Michigan and a Ph.D. in Public Policy from Harvard's Kennedy School.

Download Curriculum Vitae (PDF)

2015-07-13 00:00:00 
Fall 2017 
Development is ...
Development is a complex, multifaceted phenomenon that must be studied from a number of disciplinary approaches. Much of development theory focuses on economic growth, and students will have the opportunity to learn about the economic aspects of development in other classes.   Economic growth is necessary to development, but not sufficient.  Societies also change politically and socially, and politics, culture, and social structure are important in determining the quality of their institutions and the opportunities they offer their citizens.  This course provides a general interdisciplinary foundation for the study of international development that includes history, theory, analytical tools, and institutions, and that will enable our students to be better prepared to analyze and address current issues. 

This is a required course for IDEV affiliated students (MIPP and Minor).
Spring 2018 
International d...
International development is big business; OECD estimates over 210 billion USD in concessional development financing was disbursed by members of the OECD Development Assistance Committee in 2013. This course will explore the effectiveness of various kinds of external interventions. This course’s particular focus is on the political economy of aid and ‘big development’ – development interventions as practiced by the World Bank, IMF, and major bilateral donors. This course takes a systems-level perspective, exploring the determinants of aid flows and the effectiveness of aid interventions. While doing so it aims to provide practical content for those interested in the management of development activities – in employment in the world of international aid. In the view of this course, there is much that can be learned about the management and effectiveness of aid from drawing on broader theory. Throughout this course applications to aid draw on broader theory regarding public management and bureaucratic politics, among other disciplines.