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East Asia in the Global Political Economy (Module)

Module description

Please note that module information is indicative and may change year to year.

East Asia - understood as China, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan and ASEAN - is central to the global political economy. Developed, emerging and developing economies are part of an increasingly interconnected regional economy that, together with North America and Europe, is one of the three cornerstones of the world economy. As a result, East Asia has become key to inter-regional trade, production, financial and monetary flows, as well as to economic governance institutions. Making use of an applied political economy approach, this module seeks to explain the politics and economics of East Asia in the global political economy. The module will explain and analyse the reasons why East Asia has become central to the flows, networks and institutions underpinning the globalisation of the world economy since the end of World War II, throughout the liberalisation and deregulation processes starting from the late 1970s and early 1980s, and in the aftermath of the Global Financial Crisis. The module will pay particular attention to the complementarity - or lack thereof - between East Asia's intra-regional flows, networks and governance institutions and their global counterparts.

Educational aims

The educational aim of this module is for students to learn about the political economy of East Asia - understood as China, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan and ASEAN - in the global political economy. Students will learn about three interrelated areas:

The political economy of the origins and development of intra-regional production, trade, investment and monetary flows in the second half of the 20th century, as well as regional economic governance institutions following the Asian Financial Crisis;

The political economy of East Asian countries' engagement in trans-regional production, trade and investment networks throughout the 20th and early 21st centuries, particularly in connection to North America and Europe, as well as in global economic governance institutions from the 1990s onwards and;

The extent to which East Asian countries have become more central to the global political economy in the aftermath of the Global Financial Crisis.

Learning outcomes

At the end of the module students will:

Demonstrate knowledge about the history, evolution and current state of the study and research of the political economy of East Asia in the global political economy;

Have competence to select an appropriate mix of primary and secondary sources to critically assess the main empirical debates in the sub-fields of the political economies of transnational production, trade, financial and monetary flows and networks, as well as the political economy of economic governance;

Understand, analyse and explain how East Asia is affected by and contributes to global economic governance;

Understand, analyse and explain how the political economy of East Asia in the global political economy relates to wider theoretical and empirical debates in the subject of International Political Economy;

Apply knowledge about East Asian intra-regional production, trade, financial and monetary networks to their global counterparts and vice versa;

Critically evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of East Asian transnational production, trade, financial and monetary networks, as well as regional economic governance structures.

Staff information

Not applicable

Teaching pattern

One 2-hour seminar, weekly

Indicative teaching schedule

Week 1: Introduction: The evolution of the political economy of East Asia
Week 2: The rise of the East Asian Developmental State
Week 3: China’s economic rise
Week 4: China and the global political economy
Week 5: Developed East Asia and the global political economy
Week 6: Developing Southeast Asia and the global political economy
Week 7: East Asia’s role in trade and production networks
Week 8: East Asia’s role in financial and currency networks
Week 9: East Asia’s global cities
Week 10: East Asia in the age of economic conflict

Note that this teaching schedule is indicative and subject to change.

Module assessment - more information

One presentation (15%) and one 4,000 word essay (85%)

Key information

Module code 7AAOM228

Credit level 7

Assessment coursework presentation/s

Credit value 15

Semester Semester 1 (autumn)

Study abroad module Yes