nl en

Political Economy: Asia


Admission requirements



This course is an introduction to the political economy of Asia, especially South, East, and Southeast Asia. It focuses on the institutional and political elements of high economic growth (or the lack thereof) in some 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 on the state and interest groups interactions, we will look at the effects of industrial policy, corruption, rent seeking, and cronyism on 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 institutions matter for a country’s economic development.

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


Timetables for courses offered at Leiden University College in 2021-2022 will be published on this page of the e-Prospectus.

Mode of instruction

Seminar. The class meeting starts with students’ presentation, a short lecture, and substantial amount of discussion. Students are expected to read widely and critically. Attendance is very important.

Assessment Method

  • Active in-class participation (10%).

  • Class presentation (20%)

  • Weekly journal entries (4 entries) - systematic comments and reflection on the respective week’s sessions. 300-350 words - (20%) 

  • Midterm research report – first part/buildup of the final essay (research question and preliminary analytical framework, 750-900 words – (20%)

  • Final essay – drawing from midterm research above, 3500-words essay (all-inclusive) – (30%)

Reading list

Selection of 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 course, if availability permits. Registration is coordinated by the Education Coordinator,


Rizal Shidiq (