Syllabus  (PDF)     Consultant Report  (PDF)     Grading Scale     Websites     

Consultant Report Topic Suggestions     AdditionalArticles     AdditionalArticlesContinued         




Week 1

January 10, 12

Introduction to East Asia- Finding Out What We Know and Don't Know

Lecture 1: Introduction to East Asia     (PPT)


Required Readings:

1). Does Asia’s superior response to COVID mean that the ‘Asian Century’ has begun?


2). 81 million jobs lost as COVID-19 creates turmoil in Asia-Pacific labour markets


Resources on Websites: Asian Development Bank     Atradius Group Publications   CountryWatch     Human Development Indicators     Familiarization      IMF Country Information   World Bank East Asia Pacific     World Factbook


Assignment 1 (Due January 31) - Construct a short (no more than 10 slides) presentation introducing a country in East Asia other than China, Japan, or Vietnam. Do not simply present statistics and be sure to note the major current economic and\or political issues.  You will be asked to make a presentation during Week 4. You may do this assignment in a group of 2 or 3.

Week 2


17, 19

A Little History - East Asian Miracle


A Little History - East Asian Crisis

Lecture 2: East Asian Miracle     (PPT)


Lecture 3: East Asian Crisis     (PPT)


Required Readings:


1). Bhagwati, Jagdish (1996). ‘The Miracle That Did Happen: Understanding East Asia in Comparative Perspective,’ Keynote speech delivered at Cornell University.


2). Krugman, Paul, (1994). ‘The Myth of Asia's Miracle,’ Foreign Affairs


3). Stiglitz, Joseph, (2000). ‘What I Learned at the World Economic Crisis,’ New Republic.


Additional Reading: World Bank (2003). ‘The East Asian Miracle : Economic Growth and Public Policy:’ Main report (English)

Week 3


24, 25

The Economy of Vietnam


Lecture 4: Vietnam   (PPT)


Required Readings:


1). VNExpress (2021) How Vietnam’s economy has changed over 35 years of reforms


2). Atradius (2020) Vietnam Country Report, November 2020


3). Bertelsmann Stiftung (2020). ‘Country Report - Vietnam.Gütersloh: Bertelsmann Stiftung.


4). IMF (2018) The Story of Viet Nam's Economic Miracle     (Vietnam Rising Video)  


5). Foreign Policy (2019). ‘Vietnam Can’t Be the Next China


6). McCornac, D. C. (2013). ‘Vietnam’s Foreign Policy Tightrope,’ East Asian Forum.

7). VnExpress International (2020) How Vietnam fought a pandemic and won

Resources on Websites: The Diplomat     Vietnam Express International     Vietnam Investment Review     VietnamNet     Vietnam News     World Bank-Vietnam   


Videos: Best Places to Visit in Vietnam     Old Quarter Food     Traffic

Week 4

 January 31

February 2

 Presentations on Countries

Vietnam Continued


Country Presentations

Week 5

February 7

Presentations on Countries Continued

Country Presentations Continued



Week 6


14, 16

Presentations on Countries Continued



Country Presentations Continued


Assignment 2 (Due February 23 – but if not, before March 7) - Examine some of the websites dealing with a country other than the one you did for your presentation (you can include Vietnam).  Submit a 2-3 page report discussing a current issue that is particularly relevant to the country you choose. Reference at least 5 sources (Internet sites are fine). This is not a group assignment.

Week 7


21, 23

Presentations on Countries Continued


Ambiguous Role of the State and Economics of Corruption

Lecture 5: Ambiguous Role of the State and Economics of Corruption    (PPT)     Economic Rent


Required Readings:


1). Transparency International (2020). How Does Corruption Shape Asia


2). Transparency International (2019). “Asia Pacific: Little to No Progress on Anti-Corruption.   


3). A Dream Deferred? The ‘Equitization’ of Vietnam’s State-Owned Enterprises 


Resources on Websites: Capitalism vs. Socialism     Human Rights Watch     Index of Economic Freedom     Transparency International


Videos: Hands     How Corruption Starts


Midterm Take-Home Exam (Due March 14)   (PDF)   Video -  Tonle Sap

Week 8, Sunday February 28, 2021 – Thursday, March 4, 2021

Spring Break, No Classes



7, 9

Exploring the Chinese Economy

Lecture 6: Chinese Economy     (PPT)


Required Readings:


1)., ‘Communes, Land Reform and Collectivism in China.

2). 14 things you may not know about China's Economy

3). World Bank (2020). China Economic Update


Resources on Websites: China Economic Review     Xinhuanet     People’s Daily Online


Videos: China Economic Update     Russia, China use COVID vaccines to increase global influence



14, 16

Exploring the Chinese Economy Cont’d

March 9 – Tentative country report proposal due (please arrange for appointment)


Required Readings:


1). Baker and McKenzie (2018). ‘Belt & Road: Opportunity & Risk The prospects and perils of building China’s New Silk Road.’


2). Atlantic (2021) The Chinese ‘Debt Trap’ Is a Myth


3) CSET (2020) China’s 14th Five-Year Plan


Additional Lecture Materials: Made in China 2025 (PPT)     A brilliant plan, One Belt, One Road


Videos: Chinese Environment Part 1     Chinese Environment Part 2     Made in China 2025     IphoneSkit


Assignment 3 (Due March 28) - Write a 2-3 page paper detailing what is generally perceived as the most important challenge facing the Chinese economy. Do the opinions in China differ from those outside China? This is not a group assignment. Reference at least 5 sources (Internet sites are fine).

On Your Own

To Live

To Live, is a film directed by Zhang Yimou, provides an overview of key events in twentieth-century China, moving from the 1940s to the 1970s.



21, 23

The Japanese Economy

Lecture 7: Japanese Economy   (PPT)


Required Readings:




2). Japan Economy Today (2021)


3). Japan’s sharemarket finally emerges from three lost decades


Additional Readings:


1). McCornac, D. C. (2014) ‘New Nationalism’ in Japan


2). (2018) ‘How's Life in Japan?


3). Immigration in Japan


Resources on Websites: Asia Pacific Journal: Japan Focus     Nikkei Asian Weekly     The Diplomat


Videos: Ageing Japan | The Burden of a Graying Planet | 101 East    From Abenomics to Suganomics: Japan’s Economic Outlook     Ten Best Places in Japan       


March 28



 Intro to Regional Organizations and Issues


South China Dispute



Videos: ASEAN explained in 5 minutes


Videos:  Tensions Escalate in The South China Sea: Why China Build Islands to Claim The Sea     What’s behind the South China Sea dispute? | Start Here  


Resources on Websites: Asian Development Bank     APEC     ASEAN     Asian Economic Integration Monitor     Asia Regional Integration Center




Maritime Disputes Cont’d

Maritime Dispute PPT


Articles:   Asia’s territorial disputes     H&M upsets Vietnam after kowtowing to Beijing over ‘problematic map’     Philippine defense chief in verbal tussle with China on reef    



11, 13

Consultant Report Presentations

Take-Home Final Exam (Due May 3 by 11:59 pm)   (PDF)


Articles for Exam

1.   Reimagining emerging ASEAN in the wake of COVID-19  (PDF)

2.   World Bank East Asia and Pacific Economic Update April 2021 – Uneven Recovery (Read Part 1)

3.   Myanmar coup: ASEAN’s quiet diplomacy is more constructive



18, 20

Consultant Report Presentation


Refer to Presentation Schedule for Consultant Report



25, 26

Catch-up Time and Topics of Interest


Exam Period 

Take-Home Final Exam

(Exam Due May 3 by 11:59 pm)