Boom and Bust: the Political Economy of Development in East Asia


Gregory W. NOBLE

Credits / Language / Semester

2Credits / English / Winter


How have East and Southeast Asia grown so fast? Why have they been subject to such dramatic vicissitudes? How do they fit into regional and international security, trading, and monetary systems? This course will provide a political economy overview, combining historical background; systematic comparisons of liberal, statist, and institutionalist approaches; and political analysis. The main focus is on development, crisis and recovery in Japan and China, but we will also look more briefly at Korea, Taiwan, ASEAN, and Asian regionalism.



Comparative politics,comparative political economy,international political economy,China,regionalism


A. Introduction Introduction to course
Historical background: debates on growth, Sino-Japanese opening
B. Japan
Japan as (fairly) early developer and shaper of regional development
Democratic politics and industrial strategy
Bubble and aftermath
C. Korea and Taiwan
International context and takeoff
Democratization and economic maturation
Growth Crisis
E. China
Revolution and socialism
Reform and opening
Attempted upgrading
E. International system
Production networks

Teaching Methods

?The course will be conducted as a mixture of lecture and seminar. That is, the instructor will provide an overview each session, then students will participate early and actively.


Class participation including attendance and active discussion
Brief papers analyzing readings
12-15 page final paper

Required Textbooks

Ming Wan. 2008, The Political Economy of East Asia: Striving for Wealth and Power. Washington: CQ Press. Barry Naughton. 2007. The Chinese Economy: Transitions and Growth. Cambridge: MIT Press.
Lin, Justin Yifu. 2009. Economic Development and Transition: Thought, Strategy, and Viability. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press Cargill, Thomas F., and Takayuki Sakamoto. 2008. Japan since 1980. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Noble, Gregory W., and John Ravenhill, eds. 2000. The Asian Financial Crisis and the Structure of Global Finance. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press

Notes on Taking the Course

Lectures and discussions will be in English. Students may submit papers in English, Japanese, or Chinese. Background in economics desirable but not necessary.

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