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China's International Political Economy


Admission requirements

None. Students who are interested in taking this course, but who are not admitted to one of the mentioned master programmes are requested to contact their co-ordinator of studies.


In this course, we aim to explore China’s economic development in the dynamic context of international economy (mostly in the post-1978 reform era). China’s economic rise is significantly related to its growing external economic links to the world. China has increasingly engaged in the international trade and investment and financial system. It has established links with various actors in the international political economy including foreign states and other public sectors, private companies, regional economic mechanisms, and international organizations. China’s economic rise also has important impacts on the norms of the international economic system.

Examination of these links and impacts help us acquire a comprehensive understanding of China’s dynamic role in today’s international political economy. It enables us to understand the evolutions in the international political economy due to China’s engagement. It also helps us better understand the changes in the domestic economic policies and policy making processes in China. In addition, examination of China’s international economic expansion reveals China’s existing and potential role in the governance of international economy regarding some crucial issues such as regional and global financial stability, environmental governance, poverty reduction, labour conditions, and so on. The course applies international political economy (IPE) theoretical frameworks and methods of area studies.

The course will start from an introduction to the IPE theoretical approaches and how they are applied to analyze China’s economic development in the global context. It will be followed by discussions of China’s role in the international trade system, China’s role in the governance of international financial economy, interactions between China and international economic organizations, China’s economic relationship with various states and regions including the US, other emerging market economies, Africa, and Asia. The impacts of China’s rise on the changes in international economic structures and norms will be discussed intensively.

Course objectives

  • Acquire a sound knowledge of key debates concerning China’s dynamic role in the global economy

  • critical thinking and analysis of China’s economic development in both domestic and international context

  • formulate original research questions and conduct effective research activities in various forms on the subject

  • oral presentation, group work, and research essay writing at corresponding academic level


The timetable is available on the Asianstudies website

Mode of instruction

Seminar: the instructor gives an interactive lecture in the first half of the seminar, introducing the topic, the main problems that it raises, the principal authors and literature that has addressed the question, and so on. The instructor also initiates the discussions for the students. The students are invited to engage the discussions in the second session of the seminar. The discussions take forms of group discussion, debate, role play game, etc., depending on the contents of each week’s topic. The students should finish the required reading, prepare for the seminar questions (sent in advance) beforehand, and come to seminars ready to contribute; and their performance in the seminars will be assessed.

Course load

10 EC * 28 hours = 280 hours

  • Hours spent on attending seminars: 24 hours

  • Weekly reading and course work: 100 hours

  • Paper writing: 126 hours

  • Presentation: 30 hours

Assesment method

  • 10% Attendance and seminar engagement

  • 20% Shorter essay

  • 20% Presentation

  • 50% Final essay (the essay has a first draft and final version)

The final grade is given on the basis of all four components above. Failure to complete a component cannot be compensated through other components.

Exam Review

Students may request an oral elucidation of the assessment within 30 days after publication of the grade.


The course uses Blackboard for announcements, course documents, and assignments, etc.

Reading list

The Reading list will be updated. Check Blackboard for updated reading list.


Enrolment through uSis is mandatory.

General information about uSis is available in English and Dutch


Dr. Jue Wang