nl en

Elective: Foreign Direct Investment, Multinational Companies and the Political Economy of Emerging Market Countries


Admission requirements

This course is only available for students in the BA International Studies.
The number of participants is limited to 25.


The aims of this course are to provide an understanding of the factors driving the recent development of emerging market economies, paying particular attention to the political economy of industrialization, foreign direct investment and innovation.

The main themes covered include:

  • Concepts and recent trends in foreign direct investment (FDI) and internationalization;

  • The nature and characteristics of multinational corporations (MNCs);

  • The impact of MNCs on the development process of emerging market economies;

  • The development of emerging market-based MNCs;

  • The development of indigenous technological capabilities in emerging market, and the role that MNCs and the state can play in this process.

A particular emphasis will be placed on comparisons and contrasts between experiences in Latin America and in East and South Asia.

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

Seminars are held every week, with the exception of the midterm exam week. This course includes supervised research.

Course Load

Total course load for this course is 10 EC (1 EC = 28 hours), this equals 280 hours, broken down by:

  • Attending lectures: 2 hours per week x 12 weeks = 24 hours

  • Time for studying the compulsory literature and completing weekly assignments (8 hours per week): 96

  • Preparation for presentations: 16 hours

  • Writing the final research essay (including reading / research): 134 hours

Assessment method

Assessment & Weighing

Partial grade Weighing
In-class participation 10%
In-class presentation 10%
Weekly web posting (2A4) 30%
Final research essay (5000 words) 50%

End grade

To successfully complete the course, please take note that the end grade of the course is established by determining the weighted average.


Students who have been active participants in class and submitted the final paper on time, but scored an overall insufficient mark, are entitled to a resit. For the resit, students are given a chance to hand in a new version of the final paper.
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 working days after receiving the grade for the final essay.

Retaking a passing grade

Please consult the Course and Examination Regulations 2017 – 2018.

Exam review

How and when an exam review takes place will be determined by the examiner. This review will be within 30 days after official publication of exam results.


Blackboard will be used for tutorial groups. Students are requested to enroll on Blackboard for this course, but only after correct enrolment in uSis.

Reading list

  • Amann, Edmund & Cantwell, John (2012) Innovative Firms from Emerging Market Economies, Oxford: Oxford University Press (Chs. 1 and 2.)

  • Caves, Richard, (2007), Multinational Enterprises and Economic Analysis, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press (Ch. 2)

  • Dunning, John & Lundan, Sarianna (2008) Multinational Enterprises and the Global Economy, Cheltenham: Edward Elgar (Chs. 2 and 4)

  • UNCTAD (2015), World Investment Report 2015 (Chs. 1 and 2)

Note: These are introductory readings and further readings in connection with sub-topics will be communicated once the course begins. It is recommended, though not essential, that students review the chapters cited above prior to the commencement of the course.


Enrolment through uSis is mandatory.

General information about uSis can be found here.

Registration Studeren à la carte and Contractonderwijs

Not applicable.


Prof. Dr. E. Amann

When contacting the lecturer, please include your full name, student number and tutorial group number.


The deadline for submission of the final essay is 15 June 2018.