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Political Economy of Korean and East Asian Development (Module)

Module description

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

Korea and other East Asian countries are considered to be exemplars of post-World War II economic development. Starting with Japan, continuing with Korea, Hong Kong, Singapore and Taiwan, and following with China, several East Asian countries have shown that development is possible in the contemporary global system. Collectively known as Developmental states (DS), these countries serve as models for developing and emerging countries in other regions. Making use of an applied political economy approach, this module seeks to explain the political economy of Korean and East Asian development. The module will use Korea as the paramount case with which to analyse the reasons why East Asian countries have successfully developed and how the DS has transformed into the post-DS following the Asian and Global financial crises.

Educational Aims

The educational aim of this module is for students to learn about the political economy of East Asian development, with particular emphasis on Korea as the paramount case of the East Asian development state (DS). Students will learn about three interrelated areas: (1) the political economy of the origins, evolution and institutional characteristics of the economies of Korea, Japan as the original DS, the other tiger economies of Hong Kong, Singapore and Taiwan, and the most recent DS of China in comparative perspective; (2) the political economy of the recent evolution and current state of Korea and the other East Asian economies in their post-developmental, developed country phase, especially in the aftermath of the Asian and Global financial crises, and (3) the applicability (or lack thereof) of the DS to other world regions in comparative perspective.

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 Korean and East Asian development.
  • 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 the Developmental State, the Post-developmental State, and comparative development.
  • Understand, analyse and explain how the East Asian Developmental State fit within debates about the political economy of development.
  • Understand, analyse and explain how the political economy of the East Asian Developmental State and the political economy of development relate to wider theoretical and empirical debates in the subject of International Political Economy.
  • Apply knowledge about the Korean and East Asian Developmental State to other world regions.
  • Critically evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of the East Asian Development State vis-a-vis other types of development models.
  • Critically evaluate the evolution and current state of the post-Asian and Global financial crises Post-developmental State.
  • Effectively communicate a range of complex ideas on the Korean and East Asian Development State succintly and effectively.

Staff information

Not applicable

Teaching pattern

Two hours a week

Module assessment - more information

One presentation 15% One 4000-word essay 85%

Key information

Module code 7AAOM227

Credit level 7

Assessment coursework presentation/s

Credit value 20

Semester Semester 2 (spring)

Study abroad module Yes