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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


See timetable of the MA Asian Studies (research).

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

  • 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 are expected to be familiar with Leiden University policies on plagiarism and academic integrity. Plagiarism will not be tolerated. If you submit any work with your name affixed to it, it is assumed to be your own work with all sources used properly indicated and documented in the text (with quotations and/or citations). It is also unacceptable for students to reuse portions of texts they had previously authored and have already received academic credit for on this or other courses. In such cases, students are welcome to self-cite so as to minimise overlap between prior and new work.

Students must submit their assignment(s) to the blackboard 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 10%
Mid-term short essay 20%
Group presentation 20%
Final essay 50%

Final Paper

Late submissions of the final paper will result in a deduction of paper grades as follows: 1-24 hrs late = -0.5; 24-48 hrs late = -1.0; 48-72 hrs late = -1.5; 72-96 hrs late = -2.0. Late papers will not be accepted more than four days after the deadline, including weekends and will be graded with 1.0.

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 paper, a resit of the paper 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.


The course uses Blackboard for announcements, course documents, and assignments, etc.

Note: there is no separate Blackboard page available for this ResMa course. Please subscribe to the Blackboard page of the regular MA course.

Reading list

The Reading list will be updated. Check Blackboard 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. Jue Wang