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Elective: Emerging Economies 1


Admission requirements

This course is only available for students in the BA International Studies who have succesfully completed the second year elective course.

The number of participants is limited to 25.


The rise of emerging economies has changed the course of economic debate around development and the structure and purpose of global governance institutions. Have the emerging economies significantly reshaped the global political and economic order that was initially designed and maintained by the traditional advanced economic powers? The recent economic growth of emerging countries indicates possibilities of new economic developmental models as alternatives to the Western liberal ones, especially while the latter have suffered decline in the post-crisis era. Among all the emerging economies, the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa) have attracted the most attention for their individual economic growth as well as increasingly institutionalized cooperation. Meanwhile, other newly emerging market countries, such as Mexico, Indonesia, Nigeria, Turkey, and so on, are also entering the debate on the new global economic order. These debates offer us the opportunity to consider larger questions concerning the shape of the global order, the meaning and redistribution of power in the global political economy (GPE), the role of emerging economies in global policy challenges like financial crises and climate change, and the meaning of the experiences of BRICS for the many people who do not benefit from this growth and face widening inequality.

This course is concerned with these debates and trends. Specifically, we examine the development paths of emerging economies, the balance of states and markets to generate development, and the roles played be emerging “powers” in global economic trends and institutions. The course will be organized into two segments. In the first, we discuss the crucial causes and consequences of economic development in a selection of the major emerging market countries. Based on these discussions, we will explore the significance of such developments in both regional and global contexts, with a focus on the role of these economies in the GPE. In the second segment, we examine the emerging economies in a variety of global trends and policy problems including crucial issues areas such as poverty, food security, financial stability, trade balances, labour movements, sovereign wealth funds and international investment, and climate change and environmental governance.


  1. Introduction: Interpreting the Significance of Emerging Economies in the Global Order
    1. Theoretical Discussion: Development Choices and the Rise of the Emerging Economies
    2. Development Choices in China and Russia
    3. China and Russia in the GPE
    4. Development Choices of Brazil and India
    5. Brazil and India in the GPE
    6. Development Choices and Interactions with the GPE from Resource-Abundant Economies
    7. The BRICS, Regional Order, and South-South Cooperation
    8. The MINTs and the Rise of “the Rest”
    9. Emerging Economies: Global Environmental Governance and Food Security
    10. Emerging Economies: Trade Balances and Financial Investment
    11. Emerging Economies: Labour Movements and Migration

Course objectives

The elective courses for International Studies are designed to teach students how to deal with state-of-the-art literature and research questions. They are chosen to enhance the students’ learning experience by building on the interdisciplinary perspectives they have developed so far, and to introduce them to the art of academic research. They are characterised by an international or comparative approach.

Academic skills that are trained include:

Oral presentation skills: 1. to explain clear and substantiated research results; 2. to provide an answer to questions concerning (a subject) in the field covered by the course a. in the form of a clear and well-structured oral presentation; b. in agreement with the appropriate disciplinary criteria; c. using up-to-date presentation techniques; d. aimed at a specific audience; 3. to actively participate in a discussion following the presentation.

Collaboration skills: 1. to be socio-communicative in collaborative situations; 2. to provide and receive constructive criticism, and incorporate justified criticism by revising one’s own position; 3. adhere to agreed schedules and priorities.

Basic research skills, including heuristic skills: 1. to collect and select academic literature using traditional and digital methods and techniques; 2. to analyze and assess this literature with regard to quality and reliability; 3. to formulate on this basis a sound research question; 4. to design under supervision a research plan of limited scope, and implement it using the methods and techniques that are appropriate within the discipline involved; 5. to formulate a substantiated conclusion.

Written presentation skills: 1. to explain clear and substantiated research results; 2. to provide an answer to questions concerning (a subject) in the field covered by the course a. in the form of a clear and well-structured oral presentation; b. in agreement with the appropriate disciplinary criteria; c. using relevant illustration or multimedia techniques; d. aimed at a specific audience.


The timetable is available on the BA International Studies website.

Mode of instruction

This course is organized as a final-year seminar. Critical student engagement is therefore essential for the success of the course and for the assessment of student performance.

Course Load

Total course load for the course: 10 EC x 28 hours= 280 hours, broken down by:

Attending Lectures: 24 hours
Reading: 56
Studying and writing: 200

Assessment method

Assessment TBA. Please refer to syllabus on Blackboard.

To complete the final mark, please take notice of the following: the final mark for the course is established by determining the weighted average.

To pass the course, the weighted average has to be 5.5 at least.


In case of resubmission of the final essay (insufficient grade only) the final grade for the essay will be lowered as a consequence of the longer process of completion. The deadline for resubmission is 10 days after receiving the grade for the final essay.


Blackboard will be used for announcements, marks, and online course work.
Students are requested to register on Blackboard for this course.

Reading list

Course readings are available in electronic format through the library website or from other online sources. Other materials will be available through the course Blackboard page.


Enrollement through uSis is mandatory.

General information about uSis is available in English and Dutch

Registration Studeren à la carte and Contractonderwijs

Not applicable.


The deadline for submission of the final essay is 9 June 2017.

Attending seminars is compulsory. If you are not able to attend a seminar, please inform the lecturer of the course. Being absent without notification can result in exclusion from the final essay.