nl en

China's International Political Economy (ResMA)


Admission requirements

Admission to the MA Asian Studies (research). Students from other programmes are kindly referred to the course description of the regular MA course.


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 events and debates concerning China’s dynamic role in the global political economy

  • analyse critically China’s economic development in both domestic and international contexts

  • learn and analyse key theories of International Political Economy; use these theories to support your argumentation in academic writing

  • 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

Total Course Load 10 EC * 28 hours 280 hours
Hours spent on attending seminars 24 hours
Extra contact hours Research MA 6 hours
Weekly reading and course work 108 hours
Paper writing 120 hours
Group presentation 22 hours

Assessment method

Academic Integrity

Students should familiarize themselves with the notion of academic integrity and the ways in which this plays out in their own work. A good place to start is this page. Plagiarism will not be tolerated. Students may not substantially reuse texts they have previously submitted in this or other courses. Minor overlap with previous work is allowed as long as it is duly noted in citation.

Students must submit their assignment(s) to Brightspace through turnitin, so they can be checked for plagiarism. Submission via email is not accepted.

Assessment and weighing

Partial Assessment Weighing
Attendance and seminar engagement 20%
Mid-term short essay 30%
Final essay 50%

Final essay
ResMA students will be required to include an additional individual research component into their final exam essay. The topic of this additional research will be arranged in consultation with the instructor

The final mark for this course is formed by the weighted average.

In order to pass the course, students must obtain an overall mark of 5.50 (=6) or higher.

The course is an integrated whole. All assessment parts must be completed in the same academic year. No partial marks can be carried over into following years.


Only if the total weighted average is insufficient (5.49 or lower) and the insufficient grade is the result of an insufficient final essay, a resit of the final essay is possible (50%). In that case the convener of the course may assign a (new) topic and give a new deadline.

A resit of the other partial assessments is not possible.

Exam review

If a student requests a review within 30 days after publication of the exam/paper results, an exam/paper review will be organized.

Reading list

T.b.a. Check Brightspace for updated reading list.

For the Research MA students additional readings will be determined by the convener at a later stage taking into account the students’ fields of interest. The extra sessions will be used to discuss the additional literature.


Students are required to register through uSis. To avoid mistakes and problems, students are strongly advised to register in uSis through the activity number which can be found in the timetable in the column under the heading “USIS-Actnbr.”. More information on uSis is available in Dutch and English. You can also have a look at the FAQ.

Not being registered, means no permission to attend this course. See also the webpage on course and exam enrolment for registration deadlines and more information on how to register.


Dr. Matt Ferchen


Students with disabilities

The university is committed to supporting and accommodating students with disabilities as stated in the university protocol (especially pages 3-5). Students should contact Fenestra Disability Centre at least four weeks before the start of their courses to ensure that all necessary academic accommodations can be made in time conform the abovementioned protocol.