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China's International Political Economy


Admission requirements

Admission to the MA Asian Studies (60 EC, 120 EC or research). Students from other relevant MA programmes can only be admitted, if places are left.


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, 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 rules and norms of the international economic system.

The examination of these links and impacts helps us acquire a 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 relate 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, global digital rule setting, 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 the 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, Europe, emerging market economies, Africa, and Asia. The impacts of China’s rise on the changes in international economic orders will be discussed intensively.

Course objectives

  • Acquire knowledge of key debates concerning China’s dynamic role in the global economy

  • Critical thinking and analysis of China’s economic development in both domestic and international contexts

  • 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


The timetables are available through My Timetable.

Mode of instruction


Attendance is compulsory for all sessions. Students must prepare well and contribute to in-class discussion. If a student cannot attend because of illness or misadventure, they should promptly inform the convener. Extra assignments may be set to make up for missed class time, at the convener’s discretion. Absence without notification may result in lower grades or exclusion from assessment components and a failing grade for the course.

Assessment method

Assessment and weighing

Partial Assessment Weighing
Attendance and seminar engagement 10%
Group presentation 20%
Mid-term timed essay 20%
Final essay 50%

The final grade is given on the basis of all four components above. Failure to participate in a component cannot be compensated through other components.

In order to pass the course, students need a pass mark (“voldoende”, i.e. “5.50” or higher) for the course as a whole.

All categories of assessment 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 5.49 or lower and this is the result of the final paper being graded 5.49 or lower, a re-sit of the paper is possible (50%). If the failing grade is due to the final paper AND any one of the other partial assessments, the resit will consist of a longer paper with a weight of 70%. In both cases the convener of the course may decide to assign a (new) topic. The deadline for this version will be determined by the course convener, after consultation with the student.

A re-sit in another form is not possible.

Inspection and feedback

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

Reading list

The reading list and syllabi will be available on Brightspace before the course starts.


Enrolment through MyStudyMap is mandatory.


  • For substantive questions, contact the lecturer listed in the right information bar.

  • For questions about enrolment, admission, etc, contact the Education Administration Office: Vrieshof