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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Literatures, Languages and Cultures : Asian Studies

Postgraduate Course: Political Economy of Korea's Development (ASST11112)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Literatures, Languages and Cultures CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThis course familiarises students with the political economy of Korea and the East Asian region. The miracle on the Han river and the quest for economic democratisation have become commonly used expressions to refer to economic developments on the southern part of the Korean peninsula. What are the historical and local roots of this processes? What were the legacies of external factors, from colonial rule and externally-driven modernisation to post-war reconstruction and state-led development? Why was North Korea richer than South Korea for the first two decades after the war? How do Korea-specific economic issues connect with global trends, trade, finance and globalisation? How are markets transforming North Korea? This course uses these questions and issues as vantage points to reflect on the role of states, markets and social forces (local and international) in shaping the history, economy and development of the Korean peninsula.

Course description This course familiarises students with the economies of the two Koreas and embeds their strategies of economic development in a broader comparative perspective. After an initial introduction to the historical development of the Korean economy, the course introduces theories of political economy which will then be used to analyse the rise and demise of the socialist economy in the North, state-led models of economic development and industrialisation in the South, the impact of the 1997 Asian financial crisis, and the introduction of neo-liberal policies in the South. Themes discussed will also include the role and importance of large industrial conglomerates (Chaebol), the evolution of labour unions, and their role in the demise of authoritarian rule and the post-democratisation period. The last part of the course also discusses the rise of polarisation and inequality in South Korean society and the emergence of informal markets in North Korea.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Information for Visiting Students
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2024/25, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  0
Course Start Semester 2
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 196 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) 30% mid-semester literature review (1000 words)
60% final essay (3000 words)
10% class participation
Feedback The course provides feedback in two forms:

Oral feedback within weekly seminar meetings.

Written feedback on a discussion board posts and formative bibliographic exercise in preparation for the final essay.

No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Identify major events in the economic history of Korea and East Asia.
  2. Develop critical thinking skills and employ them in their research to produce clear, concise written arguments.
  3. Acquire a firm grasp of the basic debates about politics and economic performance in Asia.
  4. Explain the impacts of economic reforms on society.
  5. Apply key theories of the political economy of development to the Korean peninsula.
Reading List
Amstrong, C. Eds. (2006) Korea at the center: Dynamics of regionalism in North East Asia, NY: M.E. Sharpe.
Shin, G. W. and Robinson, M. Eds. (2000) Colonial Modernity in Korea, Cambridge: Harvard University.

Kim, H.A. (2004) Korea's Development under Park Chung Hee: Rapid industrialization 1961-79. New York: Rountledge Cruzon.
Jang, H. J. (2008) Bad Samaritans: Rich Nations, Poor Policies and the Threat to the Developing World, London: Random House.
Kim, B and Vogel, E. Eds. (2011) The Park Chung Hee Era: The Transformation of South Korea, Cambridge: Harvard University Press.

Blankenburg, S. and Palma, J. G. (2009) Introduction: the global financial crisis, Cambridge Journal of Economics, 33(4): 531-538.
Crotty, J. (2009) Structural causes of the global financial crisis: a critical assessment of the new financial architecture, Cambridge Journal of Economics, 33: 563-580.
Koo, H. (2001) Korean Workers: The Culture and Politics of Class Formation, Ithaca: Cornell University Press.
World Bank (1993) The East Asian Miracle: Economic Growth and Public Policy, Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Woo-Cumings, M. Ed. (1999) The Developmental State, Ithaca: Cornell University Press.
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills *Think critically and produce Masters-level work under pressure.
*Work independently, seeking relevant advice and support when necessary.
*Understand, interpret, and use scholarly resources.
*Gain global perspectives on the subject.
*Work on digital product development with confidence.
Special Arrangements Jointly taught with UG
Keywordsdevelopmental state,corruption,rent-seeking,neo-liberal reform,labour union,market socialism
Course organiserDr Holly Stephens
Tel: (0131 6)51 7112
Course secretaryMs June Cahongo
Tel: (0131 6)50 3620
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