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Robert G. Moser, Chair BAT 2.116, Mailcode A1800, Austin, TX 78712 • 512-471-5121

Spring 2010

GOV 390L • East Asian Political Economies

Unique Days Time Location Instructor
39077 TH
9:30 AM-12:30 PM
BAT 1.104

Course Description

Since Japan's spectacular economic rise during the 1960s, the countries of East Asia have attracted increasing international attention for their distinctive political- economic structures and models of economic development. Today, all eyes are on China as it pursues capitalist economic development while continuing to impose limitations on the political freedoms of its people. We will explore a number of questions relating to the political economies of East Asia: what is the "developmental state," and how has the concept evolved in different national contexts since it was first coined by Chalmers Johnson during the early 1980s?; how have the keiretsu and the chaebol (large-scale business conglomerates in Japan and Korea, respectively) developed, and to what extent have other countries copied this distinctive industrial structure?; how are East Asian welfare systems structured, and how do they differ from some of their Western counterparts?; how, if at all, have economic actors played a role in transitions to democracy in the region?; and what are the implications of the political-economic experiences of East Asian states for theories of "late developers"? These and related questions will all be addressed from theoretical and comparative perspectives. Given time constraints, our case studies will be limited to Taiwan, South Korea, and especially Japan and China. Students are, however, welcome to explore topics relating to Southeast Asian political economies in their individual research projects, and to introduce insights from their findings in seminar discussions.


A course packet will be available for purchase prior to the beginning of class. A final list of required texts will be available by early November/09, but will include the following titles: Kellee S. Tsai, Capitalism Without Democracy: The Private Sector in Contemporary China (Cornell University Press, 2007). Steven K. Vogel, Japan Remodeled: How Government and Industry are Reforming Japanese Capitalism (Cornell University Press, 2006). Meredith Woo-Cumings, The Developmental State (Cornell University Press, 1999).


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