The University of Mississippi
Fall 2015, Tuesdays and Thursdays, 14:30-15:45, 203 Croft Institute
Instructor: Dr. Gang Guo * Office: 128 Deupree Hall * Telephone: (662) 915-5419 * e-mail: gg at olemiss dot edu
Office hours: by appointment

Course Schedule Presentation Schedule On-line Resources Map of Asia BlackBoard


This course is an introduction to the political economy of East Asia. In the past decades the economies of East Asia (broadly defined to include all the Asian countries east of Myanmar) have generally performed well compared with the rest of the world. Political scientists and economists, among others, have offered various and often opposing explanations for East Asia's high growth. A large part of the debate centers on the role of the state in the economic development of East Asia. Therefore, starting with an overview of the performance of East Asian economies, this course shall examine the development strategies and policies of the major economies in the region, and conflicting theoretical arguments and/or empirical evidence will be discussed and analyzed.

After completing this course, a students should

  1. be familiar with the intellectual debates surrounding the economic "miracle" and financial crisis in Pacific Asia over the past few decades;
  2. gain a better understanding of the different and evolving economic roles played by the state in various Asian countries during the postwar era;
  3. and be able to apply the concepts and theories to the study of political economy in Pacific Asia and beyond.

This course has a heavy reading load and links to the readings are posted and updated on this web page throughout the semester, so students should visit the course web site regularly. It is essential for students to read (often critically) the required materials before class and attend all class sessions. Class participation accounts for 15% of the course grade.

Each student is also required to make two (2) brief in-class presentations of about 5-10 minutes in length on a most recent news on East Asia. A sign-up sheet is distributed in the first class and each student will choose the two dates to present, one in each half of the semester. The PowerPoint or Google Slides file for your presentation should be uploaded or created in the shared folder named "POL 387 Fall 2015" on http://docs.go.olemiss.edu before the class in which you present. The in-class presentation accounts for 10% of the course grade and the PowerPoint or Google Slides file 5%. In reporting the news, the presenter should synthesize news stories from at least two major mass media outlets. The PowerPoint or Google Slides file should include at least one page on the main news story, at least one page on some background information to help the audience understand the news story better, and at least one page of sources and/or references. After each presentation there will be a short period of time in which the presenter responds to questions or comments from the audience. For the preparation of the presentations, there are many English-language websites that cover news on East Asia. Some of those are linked from the online resources section on this web page.

The presentations will be evaluated using the following rubric:

  1. Content
  2. Format
  3. Delivery

There will be two (2) essay assignments, one scheduled mid-term exam, and one final exam for the course. The essay assignments will be posted on BlackBoard and account for 20% of the grade. The mid-term exam in class on Thursday, October 8th accounts for 25% of the course grade. The final exam will start at 16:00 on Tuesday, December 8th. It accounts for 25% of the course grade.



DateDayLecture NotesRequired Readings
Part I: Introduction and Overview
August 25thTuesdayIntroduction
August 27thThursdayIssues and Concepts
September 1stTuesdayAsian Century: An East Asia Perspective
September 3rdThursdayDevelopmental State
September 8thTuesdayAsian Financial Crisis: The End of the Asian Miracle
September 10thThursdayEast Asian Development Model Recosidered
September 15thTuesdayVideo: "Asian Values Devalued"
Part II: Political Economy of East Asia Countries
September 17thThursdayJapan in the 1960s
September 22ndTuesdayJapan in the 1990s
September 24thThursdayPolitical and Economic Transformation
September 29thTuesdaySouth Korean Economic Development
October 1stThursdaySources of the South Korean Economic Crisis
October 6thTuesdayAssignment on BlackBoard
October 8thThursdayMid-term ExamAll the above.
October 13thTuesdayChina's Economic Reform - an Overview
  • Naughton, Barry. 2007. Introduction, in The Chinese Economy: Transitions and Growth, Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.
October 15thThursdayDocumentary video: "Win in China: the story of China's entrepreneurial revolution"
October 20thTuesdayCurrent Political Economy Regime in China's Mainland
October 22ndThursdayComparing China and India
October 27thTuesdayComparing Mainland China and Taiwan
October 29thThursdayComparing China and USA
November 3rdTuesdayComparing Taiwan and South Korea
November 5thThursdayComparing Hong Kong and Singapore
Part III: East Asia and Globalization
November 10thTuesdayThe Debate about Globalization
  • Bhagwati, Jagdish N. "Anti-Globalization: Why?" Chapter 1 in In Defense of Globalization, Oxford University Press, March 2004.
November 12thThursdayUS-China Trade
November 17thTuesdayPRC-Japan-ASEAN relations
November 19thThursdayPick one pair of countries from the following list and write a four-page paper comparing the two governments' responses to the global financial crisis since 2007. 1) Japan and South Korea; 2) China and India; 3) Mainland China and Taiwan; 4) South Korea and Taiwan; 5) Singapore and Hong Kong. The four-page count excludes the title page (if any), tables or figures (if any), footnotes or end notes (if any), and list of references. Please cite sources properly. The essay is due on Blackboard by midnight on Friday, November 20th. Late submission will be penalized by one point per hour late.
December 1stTuesdayeconomic cooperation and integration
December 3rdThursdayAPEC APEC Secretariat. APEC at a Glance and APEC in Charts.
December 8thTuesdayFinal ExamAll the above since the mid-term exam


August 25thTuesday
August 27thThursday
September 1stTuesdayAlex Horne
September 3rdThursday
September 8thTuesdayJon Gebhardt
September 10thThursdayAllison Slusher
September 15thTuesdayChris McCabe
September 17thThursdayMeredith Cuilik
September 22ndTuesdayLogan D. Williams
September 24thThursdayMichael Hughes
September 29thTuesday
October 1stThursdayJames DeMarshall
October 6thTuesdayTrent Ward
October 8thThursdayMid-term Exam
October 13thTuesdayJon Gebhardt
October 15thThursdayMichael Hughes
October 20thTuesdayCarley Fortenberry
October 22ndThursday
October 27thTuesdayChris McCabe
October 29thThursdayAllison Slusher
November 3rdTuesdayAlex Horne
November 5thThursdayMeredith Cuilik
November 10thTuesdayJames DeMarshall
November 12thThursdayTrent Ward
November 17thTuesdayCarley Fortenberry
November 19thThursdayLogan D. Williams
December 1stTuesday
December 3rdThursday
December 8thTuesdayFinal Exam