Joseph Wong

Vice-President, International
Roz and Ralph Halbert Professor of Innovation, Munk School
Professor, Department of Political Science
Room 357s

Trinity College
1 Devonshire Place
Toronto, Ontario, M5S 3K7

Joseph Wong - photo by Alexis MacDonald

Current affiliations

  • Founder and Faculty Mentor, Munk One
  • Founder, The Reach Alliance
  • Founder, Global Ideas Institute

Areas of interest

  • Asia
  • Poverty & equality
  • Globalization
  • Policy analysis and methods
  • Science, technology & data


Main Bio

Joseph Wong is the Ralph and Roz Halbert Professor of Innovation at the Munk School of Global Affairs & Public Policy. He is a Professor in the Department of Political Science and serves as the Vice President, International, for the University of Toronto.

He previously held the Canada Research Chair in Democratization, Health and Development for two full terms, ending 2016. In 2017, Professor Wong was appointed Associate Vice-President and Vice-Provost of the University of Toronto, overseeing international student experience. Wong’s research interests are in comparative public policy and political economy. His published articles have appeared in The Bulletin of the WHO, The Lancet, Perspectives on Politics, Politics and Society, Journal of Comparative Policy Analysis, Comparative Political Studies, Governance, Studies in Comparative International Development, Journal of East Asian Studies, among others. Professor Wong is the author (with Dan Slater) of From Development to Democracy: the Transformations of Modern Asia (Princeton University Press, 2022); Betting on Biotech: Innovation and the Limits of Asia’s Developmental State (Cornell University Press, 2011); Healthy Democracies: Welfare Politics in Taiwan and South Korea (Cornell University Press, 2004); co-editor (with Edward Friedman) and contributor to Political Transitions in Dominant Party Systems: Learning to Lose (Routledge, 2008), and co-editor and contributor to (with Dilip Soman and Janice Stein) Innovating for the Global South: Towards an Inclusive Innovation Agenda (University of Toronto Press, 2014).

The founder and PI for the Reach Alliance (, Professor Wong is currently working on several projects relating to poverty, innovation and development. Professor Wong was the Director of the Asian Institute at the Munk School from 2005 to 2014. He was honoured with the Faculty’s Outstanding Teaching Award in 2013.


Select publications

  • "The politics of universal health coverage," The Lancet. 2022 May 28;399(10340):2066-2074.
  • “Combating Covid-19 in Democratic Taiwan and South Korea,” Current History (September, 2020)
  • “Authoritarian-Led Democratization” (with Rachel Riedl, Dan Slater and Daniel Ziblatt), Annual Review of Political Science (Vol 23, 2020)
  • “Costing Universal Health Coverage” (with Kimberly Skead), Bulletin of the World Health Organization (Vol. 97, 2019)
  • “Achieving Universal Health Coverage,” Bulletin of the World Health Organization (Vol. 93, 2015)
  • “Poverty, Invisibility and the Welfare State in the Developing World” (2015)
  • “Replicating Parts, Not the Whole, in Scaling” (with Stanley Zlotkin), Stanford Social Innovation Review (Fall, 2014, online blog)
  • Innovating for the Global South: Towards an Inclusive Innovation Agenda [ext], co-edited with Dilip Soman and Janice Stein (University of Toronto Press, 2014)
  • "The Strength to Concede: Ruling Parties and Democratization in Doeweloonental Asia" (with Dan Slater), Perspectives on Politics (Vol 11, No. 3, 2013), pp 717- 733


Democracy, Dictatorship, War, and Peace: An Introduction
Global Innovation Il: Governing Global Public Goods
Topics in Comparative Politics