JUNIOR SEMINAR: The Political Economy of East Asia

Tu 2-4
202 Barrows
Course Description

As a junior seminar in political science this course is designed primarily for majors interested in exploring in depth the relationship between the political economy of development as it played out in postwar East Asia. The rapid economic transformations of countries like Japan, Korea, Taiwan and Singapore started in the 1950s and 1960s. These early growth stories continued as countries like Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia and Vietnam followed with their own rapid growth. Even more notably, over the last 35 years, China has undertaken radical reforms that have upgraded the sophistication of its economic profile, making it now the most central economic force throughout the region. This so-called East Asian economic miracle did not advance without challenges. One such challenge has to the region has been the number of countries that have been “left behind,” such as Myanmar, Laos, Cambodia and North Korea. A second set of challenges came from outside with the end of Cold War bipolarity on the one hand and financial and corporate globalization on the other. How have the various countries adapted to such changes? The seminar will explore this broad range of issues as well as the regional consequences of these intersecting national patterns of political economy? Because the course will draw from four subfields--comparative politics, economic development, East Asian political economy and international relations--students hoping to do well should ideally have two or three upper division courses from one or more of these subfields.


The Junior Seminars are intense writing seminars which focus on the research area of the faculty member teaching the course. The seminars provide an opportunity for students to have direct intellectual interactions with faculty members while also giving the students an understanding for faculty research.


Junior seminars fulfill upper division requirements for the major.


Subfield:   Comparative Politics


Political Science Majors of Junior and Senior status (with at four semesters completed) with a minimum overall UC GPA of 3.3.  Students must place themselves on the waitlist through Calcentral in Phase II. Priority may be given to students who have not yet taken a junior seminar.  Selection and notification will occur in mid-January 2019.