The aim of this course is to understand how political and economic systems in Cambodia, Southeast Asia, and East Asia have developed over time, and to provide a theoretical foundation of economic and political concepts that will be used in future classes. Throughout the course, students are expected to become familiar with approximately 50 economic terms and concepts included in section 8.1 of this document that will be used in future courses.

Students should note how modern economic and business relationships relate to historical events and how those events have shaped today’s economic and political environment. The course will rely heavily on real world case studies where students will apply the theoretical concepts we will cover in the course and demonstrate their ability to think critically, creatively, and strategically with limited guidance. Students are expected to go beyond the obvious for their submitted work and presentations. Students will be introduced to online databases and practice data manipulation using digital tools.

The technical skills gained during this course will be directly applicable to future academic and career success, and the knowledge gained will help form a solid foundation for appraising both the local and global business climate from a strategic perspective. Further, students will be expected to weigh the moral and ethical consequences of development to be better informed citizens, business colleagues, neighbors, and family members in society.

  • Course Schedule
  • Course Materials


Political economy is a broad interdisciplinary field of study and will be the main lens through which we explore the topic of development in Asia. The course will provide an overview of the theoretical foundations of developmental models used to explain the rapid development of Asia in the post-WWII era, and we will dive deeper into the particulars of Asian development by examining case studies of different nation-states and regional organizations to empirically apply theory to real world scenarios.

Although not limited to economic growth, this course will focus on many of economic concepts that have helped or hindered development in Asia such as the role of the state and the market, production and distribution, trade policy and cooperation, property rights and trust, market liberalization and the investment climate, labor policies and mobility, and market failures and the environment. Students are expected to attend sessions regularly, participate frequently in group discussions and in online forums, and to be actively engaged with the course content. Further, students will be expected to demonstrate proficiency in using digital tools and basic numeracy when creating reports and when delivering presentations.

Credits: 3
Contact Hours: 45


Self-Study Hours:

  • Reading: 15-25 hours (depending on English reading skills)
  • Review: 10 hours
  • Assignment: 40 hours (including weekly participation and main project)


Total Study Hours: 110-120 hours


History 151 will make students familiar with concepts used in ECON 201, ECON 202, ECON 311, and MGMT 431. In addition, the course will help students to practice English writing and hone their presentation, teamwork, and communication skills that will be of benefit to most other courses in the curriculum progression.


There are no prerequisites for this course, outside of an advanced intermediate level of English and basic algebraic math skills.


On successful completion of this course, students should be able to: 1.  Knowledge

Level of Learning PLO CLO Learning Outcome
Understand PK2 CK2 Identify context dependent development outcomes
Understand PK4 CK4 Describe how markets functions and how nations develop
Remember PK1 CK1 Define economic terminology and commonly used abbreviations as well as foundational theoretical concepts

2.  Cognitive Skills

Level of Learning PLO CLO Learning Outcome
Apply PC5 CC5 Apply development theory to real world scenarios via case studies
Analyze PC5 CC5 Analyze the concepts of globalism, capitalism, development, and regionalism

3.  Communication, Information Technology, and Numerical Skills

Level of Learning PLO CLO Learning Outcome
Analyze PCIT1 CCIT1 Analyze economic datasets and data derived from texts
Create PCIT2PCIT4 CCIT2CCIT4 Create a written report and digital presentation to share findings from case studies in small groups and in an oral presentation utilizing technological tools

4. Interpersonal Skills and Responsibilities

Level of Learning PLO CLO Learning Outcome
Create PIP2 CIP2 Create a group report while working in a small team
Evaluate PIP1 CIP1 Evaluate the group position on a normative approach to development



This course will be comprised of lectures, breakout group sessions, group assignments, individual participation, case studies, and online forums. The main topic for each week will be introduced at the beginning of each session before lecture. Each lecture will be focused on a set of assigned readings and focus on theoretical knowledge and/or the real world application of concepts previously covered in the form of data presentation and case studies. Most course sections will then have a breakout session where groups discuss the implications of the lecture and apply the concepts to produce a coherent summary of findings to be delivered to the entire course in the form of an oral presentation and/or via written participation in a course discussion forum. Occasionally, the entire session will be devoted to building practical skills and learning how to engage effectively with IT tools. Each week will conclude with a review and evaluation of the understanding of the presented topic. Both the written assignments and required presentations will expect the students to go beyond the obvious and provide a judgment, based on data, about the applicability and/or usefulness of the weekly topic in helping to explain the benefits and constraints of different environmental factors to businesses and development.


Grades will be determined based on a grading score, calculated using the following assessments 

 and score allocations:




Weight of each assessment

Learning Outcome Assessed

Attendance and 


20% CK1, CK2, CK4, CCIT1, CCIT 4 PK1, PK2, PK4, PCIT 1, PCIT 4
Quizzes 15% CKI1, CK2, CK4 PK1, PK2, PK4
Assignment and Presentations  35% CK1, CK2, CK4, CCIT1, CCIT4, CIP2, CC1, CC5 PK1, PK2, PK4, PCIT 1,PCIT4, PIP2, CC1, PC5
Midterm exam 15% CK1, CK2, CK4, CCIT1, CCIT4 PK1, PK2, PK4, PCIT1, PCIT4
Final exam 15% CK1, CK2, CK4, CCIT1, CCIT4 PK1, PK2, PK4, PCIT1, PCIT4
Total grading score 100%    

1. Attendance – (5% of total grade)

2. Course Participation – Online Discussion Forums (10% of total grade)

Work Group: Individual
Output format: Text, digital forums
Language: English
Assignment: Students are required to contribute to a series of questions, prompts, and discussions on an ongoing basis throughout the term. The submissions should be written using professional business language and grammar. The submissions should demonstrate both an ongoing understanding of the course content and the ability to interact with the thoughts and ideas of course peers. The prior portion of the assessment will focus on the ability to identify and summarize main ideas from weekly readings and  to write them in a coherent manner while citing real world examples of the concepts. The latter portion of the assessment will focus on the soft skills necessary to reply to others in a professional manner, and when disagreements arise, the ability to promote one’s perspective to other students in a logical, collegial, and constructive manner.


3. Group Participation – Peer Review (5% of total grade)

Work Group: Individual
Output format: Digital Form
Language: English
Assignment: Students will provide an anonymous peer review of fellow students in their working groups throughout the term.


4. Quizzes – (15% of total grade)

Work Group: Individual
Output format: Digital Quiz
Language: English
Assignment: Quizzes will be given periodically throughout the course to grade student comprehension of the terms and concepts covered in the weekly readings.


5. Assignment – Country Business Climate Report (15% of total grade)

Work Group: Group
Output format: G-Doc
Language: English
Assignment: Teams will create a professional report (including an executive summary) that analyzes the business climate of a nation or region covered in the course. Utilize course terminology and use measurable data to create an argument for policies that will foster development via the creation of a more favorable business climate for both the private and public sector. Demonstrate an understanding of how your recommended policies will affect business strategy.


6. Presentation 1 – Country Business Climate Report – Presentation (10% of total grade)

Work Group: Group
Output format: Slide deck and Live/Video presentation
Language: English
Assignment: Teams will record themselves delivering their business climate report to an audience. The submission must include the slides used in the presentation, any appendixes with data referenced in the presentation, a bibliography of source material, and a video (shot in one take) of the presentation.


7. Presentation 2 – Popular Video (10% of total grade)

Work Group: Group
Output format: Video
Language: English
Assignment: Teams will record a video summarizing their findings for viewing by the general public. This video should have the goal of disseminating the knowledge gained in the course to others. Each member of the team should have an approximately equal share of the video length. Try to make the content entertaining and informative.



HIST 151 will have two, 1.5 hr. sessions per week for a total of 45 contact hours. Each week will cover a different theme related to development in Asia. Weekly readings and related files will be available in a shared Google Classroom with files organized into weekly folders. The weekly readings are to be completed before the start of the week to ensure students are prepared for course activities.


  Lesson Learning Outcomes Teaching and Learning Activities, Assessment


  1. Course introduction and expectations
  2. Define political economy (CK1)
  3. Define economic concepts: GDP, necessary & sufficient conditions, real vs. nominal, normative vs positive, theory vs. empirics, rationality, incentives (CK1)
  4. Discussion: What is development? Why are property rights and information so important for markets? (CK2, CK4)
Powerpoint Breakout Rooms Polling Online Discussion Forums Google Docs Weekly Readings

The Role of the State in Markets

  1. Define economic concepts: value, markets, externalities, efficiency, market failure, information asymmetries (CK1)
  2. Describe the logic of market efficiency (CK2)
  3. Analyze a market in Asia (CCIT 1)
  4. Discussion: Take a position on the prompt – To boost development, the state should have a larger role in the economy. (CK4, CCIT4)
Powerpoint Breakout Rooms Polling Online Discussion Forum Weekly Readings

Economic Sectors, Development Typologies, and Economic Modelling

  1. Define economic concepts: factors of production, economic sectors, types of economic models (CK1)
  2. Identify different development strategies (CK1)
  3. Create a basic economic model (CC1)
  4. Discussion: Is GDP a good measure of development? If not, what could replace or supplement GDP? (CK4)
Powerpoint Breakout Rooms Polling Google Docs Online Discussion Forum Weekly Readings

Asian Development Models: Theory and Empirics

  1. Identify and analyze the most common development models in Asia (CK1)
  2. Evaluate which models were/are used in different Asian countries (CC1)
  3. Discussion: Which model has proven most effective at producing growth? What are the limitations of that model? (CK4)
Powerpoint Breakout Rooms Polling Online Discussion Forum Weekly Readings

Databases, Economic Indicators, Applied Digital Tools

  1. Comprehension Checkup: Formative Exam
  2. List a series of reputable online data sources (CK1)
  3. Demonstrate proficiency navigating digital tools (CCIT 1)
  4. Extract and format data for presentation (CCIT2)
  5. Online forum: present data that tests your model from week 3 (CCIT4)
Formative Exam Database Presentation Live Walk-through of Data Harvesting Breakout Rooms Online Forum – submission Weekly Readings Google Docs – Team formation

Asian Economic Regionalism & The Middle Income Trap

  1. Define economic concepts: game theory, middle income trap, multilateralism vs bilateralism (CK1)
  2. List political and economic regional institutions in Asia (CK1)
  3. Discussion: How can nations avoid the middle income trap? What are the implications for Asian development models because of the middle income trap? (CCIT1)
Powerpoint Breakout Rooms Team Exercise Polling Online Discussion Forum Weekly Readings

Asian Trade Patterns: Trade as Development Strategy

  1. Define economic concepts: balance of trade, foreign reserves, tariffs and quotas (CK1)
  2. Evaluate the Asian ‘noodle bowl’ trade model (CC1)
  3. Discussion: Choose an industry within a specific nation that has been hurt by trade and analyze how the overall gains from trade can be used to compensate that industry. (CC5)
Powerpoint Breakout Rooms Team Exercise Polling Online Discussion Forum Weekly Readings

The Role of Institutions

  1. Define economic concepts: institutions, transaction costs, principle-agent problems (CK1)
  1. Discussion: Choose an important institution in a given nation and explain how it affects development. (CCIT4)
Assignment 3 – due Powerpoint Breakout Rooms Polling Online Discussion Forum Weekly Readings

Mid-Term Week

  1. Concept check
  2. Review Session
  1. Mid-term Exam
Mid-Term Exam Polling In-Class Review Q&A Breakout Rooms Team Workshop

Factors of Production – Labor and Mobility

  1. Define economic concepts: balance of payments, hot money flows, arbitrage, brain gain and brain drain (CK1)
  2. List and evaluate reasons for economic migration and issues for both sending and host nations (CK4)
  1. Discussion: What makes labor and capital mobility so different? Is a homogenous approach of both capital and labor a useful way to evaluate economic policies? (CCIT4)
Powerpoint Breakout Rooms Polling Online Discussion Forum Weekly Readings

Global Value Chains and Intergovernmental Organizations

  1. Define economic concepts: supply chains, GVCs, IGOs, vertical integration (CK1)
  2. Explain the difference between supply chains and value chains (CK2)
  1. Discussion: What is meant by ‘Factory Asia’? Is    this a sustainable development strategy for Asia? (CK4)
Powerpoint Breakout Rooms Team Exercise Polling Online Discussion Forum Weekly Readings

Free Trade Agreements and Market Liberalization

  1. Define economic concepts: FTAs, infant industry, liberalization, the law of one price (CK1)
  2. Discussion: When is protectionism beneficial for an economy? Are there parts of the Washington consensus that are incompatible with the Beijing consensus? (CK4)
Powerpoint Breakout Rooms Team Workshop Polling Online Discussion Forum Weekly Readings

Investment Factors: Environmental, Social, and Corporate Governance & Sustainable Development

  1. Define economic concepts: ESG, sustainability, circular economy, triple bottom line (CK1)
  2. Analyze how the rise of ESG has affected Asian Development (CK2)
  3. Discussion: Pick an Asian business that integrates ESG principles into their business model and describe the effects on the business and its competitors. (CK4)
Assignment 4 – due Powerpoint Breakout Rooms Polling Online Discussion Forum Weekly Readings

Group Presentations

  1. In-class presentations (CCIT1)
  2. Online Q &A forum – address peer questions (CCIT4)
Assignment 5 – due Assignment 2 – due (after presentations) Oral Presentations Online Forum

Final Week

  1. Concept check (CK1, CK2)
  2. Review Session
  3. Assignment 6 workshop and in-class discussion (CCIT 1, CCIT4)
  4. Final Exam
Final Exam Assignment 6 – due Polling In-Class Review Q&A


Textbook: Carroll, T., Hameiri, S., & Jones, L. (2020). The Political Economy of Southeast Asia: Politics and Uneven Development under Hyperglobalisation (Studies in the Political Economy of Public Policy) (4th ed. 2020 ed.). Palgrave Macmillan. [Recommended reading]

Textbook: Ed. Roberts, J., Hite, A., & Chorev, N. (2015). The Globalization and Development Reader – Perspectives on Development and Global Change. (2nd ed. 2015 ed.) Wiley Blackwell [Recommended reading with excerpts required for weekly content]

Students are expected to complete the required weekly readings by accessing the shared Google Classroom for the course. A list of additional recommended readings are included for those wishing to further their understanding of a given weekly topic. All case studies and PPT slides will be included in the Google Classroom and are required material.