1 x 32-hour intensive workshop per semester
Topic description

This topic introduces students to a range of theoretical and historical issues associated with the growth of regional organisations and regional integration in East Asia and the Asia-Pacific. It also analyses the prospects for the multilateral trading system arising from these developments.

Educational aims

This topic aims to introduce contemporary academic debates about the dynamics and consequences of globalisation and regionalism, and controversies over how power is exercised and economic wealth is created and distributed. The topic aims to guide students through seven key questions:

  • Does globalisation confirm the triumph of neo-liberalism's vision of free and open market economies?
  • What role do states and international institutions play in the global economy?
  • Is there a 'universal' rules based liberal international order?
  • How serious is the political challenge to neo-liberalism's free market economic agenda posed by populist, economic nationalism and de-globalisation movements around the globe?
  • Are 21st century regional free trade agreements the last gasp of neo-liberalism or the saviour of multilateralism?
  • Are 'digital disruption' and the 'Fourth Industrial Revolution' positive economic and political dynamics or the harbinger of strategic competition for global technological leadership?
  • What is China's globalisation agenda?
Expected learning outcomes
On completion of this topic you will be expected to be able to:

  1. Critically assess the diversity of cross disciplinary definitions of regionalism and globalisation
  2. Articulate a critical account of the International Political Economy, using historical and contemporary developments
  3. Demonstrate the political nature of debates between advocates and critics of free and open global markets, and their contemporary policy forms
  4. Account for and critically interrogate the basic north/south divide between rich and poor in the global economy and its demonstrate its contemporary manifestations
  5. Critically assess global challenges to states and markets, societies and international institutions, such as those posed by climate change and changing geo-political rivalries