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Department of Development Studies

Tigers' and 'dragons': issues in East Asian development revisited

Course Code:
Course Not Running 2015/2016
Unit value:
Year of study:
Year 3
Taught in:
Term 2

This module aims to analyse social, political and economic issues in East Asia's capitalist development. We are tracing East Asia's historical transformation from a passive part of emerging global capitalism during the colonial expansion of the West to an active builder of the globalising capitalist system. It does so by looking particularly at the dynamics of changing relations between labour, capital and the state in East Asia. The second half of the module will have a closer look at the ways in which many different dimensions of East Asian development have been shaped in this transformation by addressing the forms of the state, informalisation of labour, women's place in development, social and labour movements, and the regional integration and division of labour in East Asia. By the end of the module, we will have a more comprehensive view of East Asian development on the basis of working people's experiences of the particular development.

Objectives and learning outcomes of the course

At the end of the module, students should be able to demonstrate:

  • Ability to use analytical tools and critical capacity for development issues in East Asia
  • Critical understanding of the various theories of East Asian development
  • Familiarity with the main features of East Asia's economic growth and major social problems
  • General knowledge of the social, economic, and political impact of globalisation on East Asian populations and the implication of East Asian integration for the world's capitalist development


Teaching will take the form of a two-hour lecture and a one-hour tutorial each week

Method of assessment

One two hour written examination which will constitute 70% of the final mark, with the remaining 30% consisting of marks from an assessed essay. Each student will be expected to submit one essay of no more than 3000 words. Resubmission of coursework regulations apply to this module.

Suggested reading

  • Mark Borthwick,  2007, Pacific Century: The Emergence of Modern Pacific Asia, 3rd Edition.
  • Indermit Gillet al., 2007, An East Asian Renaissance, Washington: IBRD and World Bank.
  • Martin Hart-Lansbergand Paul Burkett, 2000, Development, Crisis, and Class Struggle.
  • Robert B. Marks, 2007, The Origin of the Modern World: A Global and Ecological Narrative from the Fifteen to the Twenty-first Century, 2nd edition.
  • Anthony Reid, 2000, Charting the Shape of Early Modern Southeast Asia.
  • Jonathan Rigg,  2004, Southeast Asia: the human landscape of modernization and development.
  • Alvin Y. So, . and Stephen W. K. Chiu, 1995, East Asia and the World Economy.