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Political Economy: Asia


Admission requirements


  • Introduction to Comparative Politics


This course is an introduction to the political economy of Asia, especially South, East, and Southeast Asia. We will focus on the institutional and political elements of high growth (or lack thereof) in Asian economies. The course will start with an overview of economic growth and its determinants in Asia and proceed with the debates on the role of market, government, and interest groups in the process. To get a more specific sense for the state and interest groups interactions, we will look at the effects of industrial policy, corruption, rent-seeking, and cronysm on the Asian economic performance. We will also discuss crisis, reform and adjustment to illustrate the dynamic element of market, state, and interest groups relationships in the economy.

Course Objectives

Upon completion of this course, students will acquire:

  • Empirical knowledge on the major features of the political economy of Asian countries.

  • Familiarity with the diversity of theoretical explanations in political economy.

  • Analytical skills to apply simple political economy concepts and theories to understand why politics and institutional setups matter for economic development.

  • Practical training for data analysis and oral and written presentation.


Timetables for courses offered at Leiden University College in 2020-2021 will be published on this page of the e-Prospectus.

Mode of instruction

Seminar. The (online) class meeting starts with students’ presentation, a short lecture, and substantial amount of discussion. Students are expected to read widely and critically.

Assessment Method

  • Active participation (11 %).

  • Presentation (19%). Each student will have one presentation (approximately 15 mins) in one of the class meetings, followed by discussion.

  • Final essay (40%). A 3500-words essay (all-inclusive).

  • Online final exam (30%). Open-book/take-home in the end of the course.

Reading list

Selected recent articles on the political economy of Asia. The complete list of articles will be announced in the first lecture.


Courses offered at Leiden University College (LUC) are usually only open to LUC students and LUC exchange students. Leiden University students who participate in one of the university’s Honours tracks or programmes may register for one LUC, if availability permits. Registration is coordinated by the Education Coordinator,


Rizal Shidiq,