Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Postgraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2008-2009 (archived)


Department: Government and International Affairs


Type Tied Level 4 Credits 15 Availability Available in 2008/09 Module Cap None.
Tied to L2K107
Tied to L2K207
Tied to M1K507
Tied to M9K607
Tied to M9L007
Tied to M1K607


  • None.


  • None.

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • None.


  • To draw on theories and concepts of International Political Economy (IPE) and apply these to East Asia. The particular focus involves a critical examination of the politics of East Asian economic relations. After the Second World War, the politics of East Asian countries have witnessed three specific changes: de-colonisation, modernisation and globalisation. These changes reflect on the one hand the macro political structure of the regional and international development . On the other hand, they have wrought changes to the vary nature of East Asian politics as well as economic changes.


  • This course can be divided into three parts.
  • First, we shall examine the theories of International Political Economy and then consider how the specific theories of de-colonisation, modernisation and globalisation are relevant for the states of East Asia.
  • Part two analyses the political and economic relations of the East Asian countries including Japan, Asian Tigers and ASEAN. Japan's economic relations with China and the United States will be reviewed, and Malaysian and Singaporean relations with China, Japan and Australia analysed.
  • The final part concentrates on China by appraising the regional and international impact of recent economic changes, China's role as the regional political power and as a global economic superpower. In addition to developments in the People's Republic of China, the evolving position of the Chinese diasporas will be discussed with particular reference to the Hong Kong, Singapore and Malaysia as well as more distant Chinese communities. The ongoing tensions between China and Taiwan will be analysed, and the political and economic implications of this conflict considered.

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • An advanced understanding of the political economy of Japan and the Asian Tigers.
  • A critical appreciation of the politics of Southeast Asian economic change.
  • Advanced knowledge of China's role in the world market and the position of the overseas Chinese.
  • An advanced understanding of the international and regional significance of the political tensions between China and Taiwan.
Subject-specific Skills:
  • The ability to use and critique relevant advanced theoretical models of International Political Economy in an East Asian context.
  • A critical understanding of the relations among de-colonisation, modernisation and globalisation.
  • An ability to critically evaluate the significance of political and economic change in East Asia in an International Context.
Key Skills:
  • Independent learning within a defined framework of study at an advanced level.
  • Independent thought in analysing and critiquing existing scholarship on the subject area and in evaluating its contribution.
  • The ability to work to a deadline and complete written work within word limits.
  • Advanced essay-writing skills.
  • The ability to seek out and use relevant data sources, including electronic bibliographic sources.

Modes of Teaching, Learning and Assessment and how these contribute to the learning outcomes of the module

  • The modes of teaching are seminars, which allow the students to discuss freely the assigned topics. Guidelines will be given by the tutor. At MA level, seminar is appropriate to the students because they are from different academic backgrounds. Seminars also allow a better exchange of views and ideas.
  • Assessment is through formative presentation and discussion, as well as summative essay on a specific topic. Essay writing is an appropriate method with the maximum freedom for the students to respond with what they have learnt.

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Seminars 9 Weekly 2 hours 18
Preparation and Reading 132
Total 150

Summative Assessment

Component: Essay Component Weighting: 100%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Essay 3000 words 100%

Formative Assessment:

Individual presentation and discussion. Presentation outline (500 words).

Attendance at all activities marked with this symbol will be monitored. Students who fail to attend these activities, or to complete the summative or formative assessment specified above, will be subject to the procedures defined in the University's General Regulation V, and may be required to leave the University