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China's International Political Economy


Admission requirements

The course China's International Political Economy is intended for students from a limited number of programmes. Because of the limited capacity available for each programme, all students who enroll will be placed on a waiting list. Students in the MA program in Asian Studies: Politics, Society and Economy (60 EC) and Chinese Studies (120 EC) will have priority. The definite admission (before September 5) will be made according to the position on the waiting list and the number of places available after the priority students have been placed.


In this course, we aim to explore China’s economic development in the international context and China’s evolving external economic relationship (mostly in the post-1978 reform era). China’s economic rise is significantly related to its growing external 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 community including foreign states and other public-sector actors, private companies, regional economic mechanisms, and international organizations. China’s economic rise also has important impacts on the norms of the international economic system.
The examination of these links and impacts helps us acquire comprehensive understanding of China’s dynamic role in today’s international political economy. It enables us to understand the developments in the international political economy due to China’s engagement, as well as the changes in Chinese domestic economic policies and policy making processes that are relevant to the country’s external links. In addition, the examination of its outward economic expansion reveals China’s existing and potential role in the governance of some crucial issues in the international economy, such as regional and global financial stability, climate change and environmental protection, poverty reduction, labour movements, development finance and so on.
The course applies the theoretical frameworks of international political economy (IPE) 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 external economic relations. It will be followed by discussions of China’s role in the international trade system, China’s role in the governance of international financial system, interactions between China and international economic organizations, China’s economic relationship with various states and regions including the US, emerging market economies, Africa, and Asia. The impacts of China’s rise on the changes in international economic structure and norms will be discussed intensively.

Course objectives

  • acquire 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 contexts

  • 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


Visit MyTimetable.

Mode of instruction

Seminar: the instructor gives an interactive mini-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 required to engage in 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 the seminar ready to contribute; and their performance in the seminars will be assessed. The student will also give group presentations during the seminar.

Course Load

10 EC * 28 hours = 280 hours

  • Hours spent on attending seminars: 24 hours

  • Weekly reading and course work: 108 hours

  • Paper writing: 126 hours

  • Group presentation: 22 hours

Assessment method

  • 20% Attendance and seminar engagement

  • 30% Mid-term short essay

  • 50% Final essay

The students can take resit if they fail the course.

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

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 on the website


Dr. Matt Ferchen