You are here

Academic Courses

A number of courses taught at Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA) and School of Business (CBS) are relevant to the APEC Study Center because of the combination of their substantive and country-specific or regional focus.


This two-credit seminar will be offered in the fall by CLS, and deals with particular topics raised by China's integration into the world trading system. It is co-taught by Professors Benjamin Liebman, Professor of Law and Director of the Center for Chinese Legal Studies, Petros Mavroidis, Edwin B. Parker Professor of Foreign and Comparative Law, and Professor Merit E. Janow (see section VI for bio), and is open to students from the School of Law, SIPA and the economics department. The seminar will take up a number of key issues facing the international trading system by China's entry into the WTO, the disputes that have arisen between China and its trading partners, and certain cutting edge legal issues having to do with China as an important global player in international trade and investment. The seminar will pay particular attention to areas such as the following: cases before the WTO, China's internal market distribution, intellectual property issues, competition law, currency matters, and investment law and policy matters. Other key areas such as climate and bilateral U.S.-China issues will also be examined. In each such area, the seminar will bring leading experts and practitioners to participate in the seminar, discuss select papers with the faculty and students and critically examine the existing international legal regime as well as national and regional legal and policy issues. The course is inter-disciplinary but centered on legal analysis.



This capstone seminar was offered by SIPA in the spring, and taught by Professor Janow (see section VI for bio).  The course examined the drivers behind the increasing merger and acquisition (M&A) activity by Chinese manufacturing companies.  Students discerned aggregate trends in Chinese outbound M&A by country and sector in order to understand to what extent the focus has shifted from resource-driven transactions to manufacturing and services, as well as how much the government is driving this development as opposed to market forces. They reviewed the incentives that the Chinese government has developed to encourage outbound M&A and investment, as well as regulatory barriers and other competitive disadvantages for Chinese companies.


This seminar was offered at CLS in spring semester 2013, and taught by Thomas Kellogg, Lecturer-in-Law.  Over the past thirty years, China has gone from one of the most isolated countries in the world to a major player in international affairs, a leading exporter, and a much more influential voice on regional security matters. Yet even with the rapid economic growth and increased influence that China has achieved over the past several decades, it maintains an ambivalent attitude towards many key aspects of international law and the architecture of global order. This class will explore China’s ambivalent engagement with international law in the context of its increasing prominence as an emerging power, and will in particular look to address the question of how China might adapt to the existing world order, and the ways in which it might look to influence its evolution. The class covered a range of issues, including China’s membership in the WTO; its engagement with the international human rights regime; its approach to international cooperation on issues like global warming and nuclear non-proliferation; international law aspects of the dispute over the South China Sea; and others.


This course was taught by Professor Janow (see section VI for bio) and Daniel Rosen, an adjunct associate professor at SIPA, visiting fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics in Washington and founder of Rhodium Group, a macro-strategic advisory firm focused on China, India and climate policy based in New York. Through this seminar, students develop an integrated perspective on the Chinese economy and the policy environment and choices that are under consideration by and available to policy makers and business executives. The global implications of the changing nature and structure of the Chinese economy are examined. The objective of the seminar is mastery of available evidence on the current state of the Chinese economy and its global implications. It is designed to be equally useful to professionals in policy or commercial fields, both from a Chinese perspective and from the viewpoint of China’s major trade and investment partners. The course is interdisciplinary and works with macro-economic and micro-economic perspectives, as well as the larger policy and legal contexts.


This seminar has been offered at SIPA in the fall semester since 2001, and will continue in the fall of 2010. It is taught by Daniel Rosen, who is an adjunct associate professor at SIPA, visiting fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics in Washington and Founder of Rhodium Group, a macro-strategic advisory firm focused on China, India and climate policy based in New York. Students examine the most pressing economic and commercial policy issues affecting China today, and develop applied commercial and economic insights for the real world.


This colloquium was offered by CLS during the spring semester. It is taught by Benjamin Liebman (see above) and Madeleine Zelin, Professor of History and East Asian Languages and Cultures. The course introduced students to current scholarship on Chinese law, society, and governance, examining both China’s legal history and its contemporary legal evolution, with particular attention to themes that link historical and contemporary developments. Topics included the criminal justice system, the legal profession, the role of constitutional law, the roles of courts and other legal institutions, the development of corporate law, and the influence of rights consciousness and of social protest.


This lecture course is offered by the Department of Economics in the fall semester, and is generally taught by David E. Weinstein, Carl S. Shoup Professor of the Japanese Economy at Columbia’s Department of Economics. However, last year, during the first year of Professor Weinstein’s term as chair of the Department of Economics, it was taught by visiting professor Edward Lincoln, professorial lecturer at George Washington University.  It covers Japan’s economic organization, structure and performance from the mid-nineteenth century to the present, focusing on the postwar period.  Special emphasis is placed on the character of Japanese economic policy making as well as on the behavior of Japanese enterprises, financial institutions, labor force and households.  In addition, there is considerable discussion of Japan’s recent economic condition.


This lecture course is offered by the Department of Economics in the spring semester, and is taught by Carl Riskin, senior research scholar and adjunct professor of economics.  Professor Riskin conducts an analytical survey of the economic history of China since 1949, with some initial discussion of major issues in China’s pre-Communist economic history. Principal themes of the course include the evaluation of the development record of the Maoist period and exploration of China’s unique approach to the transition from central planning to a market economy.


This lecture course is offered by the Economics Department in the spring semester, and is taught by Padma Desai, Gladys and Roland Harriman Professor of Comparative Economic Systems. Professor Desai covers reform issues in transition economies such as price liberalization, currency reform, asset privatization, macroeconomic stabilization, trade liberalization and exchange rate policies, and foreign resource flows. She uses examples from the experience of the transition economies of Russia, the post-Soviet states, East-Central Europe, China and Vietnam, including discussion of the recent financial crisis.


This lecture course is offered by the Economics Department in the spring semester, and is taught by Padma Desai, Gladys and Roland Harriman Professor of Comparative Economic Systems.  The first section deals with several transition issues in the post-Soviet, East Central European, and the East Asian economies of China and Vietnam as they moved from a planned to a market system. These issues relate to price liberalization and inflation control, currency reform, and asset privatization in these countries. The second section deals with the opening up of these emerging markets to a global economy via capital flows and exchange rate movements with a potentially destabilizing impact. The final section deals with the causes and consequences of the Asian financial crisis of 1997-1999 and of the recent global crisis which originated in the US toward the end of 2007.


This course is offered during both semesters by CBS, and is taught by Robert E. Fallon, adjunct professor in the Department of Finance and Economics and former Chairman and CEO of Korea Exchange Bank. The course examines both the theory and the practice of international banking: the value of banks and the management of banking risk. Banking is a business in transition from information-intensive relationship lending to market-risk management. Technology and deregulation are undermining bank franchise value, and banks increasingly make money by taking risk. Particular attention is paid to the problem of bank value. A benchmark is the "market bank,” which buys market assets and sells market liabilities. By understanding the characteristics of this model, the actual sources of value in real banks are more clearly seen. The course also emphasizes VaR analysis, RAROC, and the international rules for bank capital, as well as the evolving markets for loan trading and collateralized loan obligations (CLOs). It ends with a review of the institutional evolution of international banking in recent decades, including the impact of the "sub-prime" credit crisis. It utilizes case studies and other materials on various APEC economies.


This lecture course is offered by CBS in the fall and spring semesters, and is taught by Shang-Jin Wei, N.T. Wang Professor of Chinese Business and Economy and Professor of Finance and Economics. At the dawn of the 21st century, nations are more economically integrated than at any other point in human history. This presents business leaders with unprecedented opportunities and challenges. On the one hand, the opportunity to sell to global markets rather than a single national market increases the potential profitability of nearly every kind of business activity. On the other hand, globalization increases the number and range of potential competitors in nearly every industry, and the challenges of effectively managing a multinational enterprise can be substantially greater than those confronting a firm largely based in a single country.

This course seeks to equip future business leaders to exploit these opportunities and cope with these challenges. The course will accomplish that goal by providing students with a systematic understanding of the fundamental aspects of the global business environment that influence business decisions and behavior. Managers must understand the structural economic factors that determine locational advantages, the way government policies both promote and restrain the integration of national economies with the global economy, and the impact of volatility in the global macroeconomic environment on international business strategy.


This lecture course was offered by CLS in the spring, and was taught by Owen Nee, Lecturer-in-Law.  It introduces students from a common law background to international business and investment transactions with China. It covers all forms of commercial and investment transactions with China, from international sales contracts to the formation of domestic businesses. The focus of the course is a detailed examination of the principal Chinese laws regulating such business.  Students learn China has moved from a State-planned economic system to a system where the market mechanism plays the primary role in regulating commercial activities, while allowing a continuing role for the prevalent political forces in the country. The likely future course of economic regulation in China will be examined, including corporate governance reforms, stock market regulation, antitrust and bankruptcy law developments.


These seminars were offered by CBS in the spring and summer semesters in Beijing and Hong Kong, respectively, and are taught by Shang-Jin Wei, N.T. Wang Professor of Chinese Business and Economy and director of the Jerome A. Chazen Institute of International Business.  This case study of China discusses how the Chinese economy has gotten to where it is by managing three transitions simultaneously: from Marx to market, from an inward-looking Middle Kingdom to an externally-oriented world factory, and from farming to industrialization. It focuses particularly on the role of Hong Kong for international business in China. Finally, it considers factors that could influence the chance of success/failure of doing business in China, including the history that lives in the Chinese psyche, laws and regulations toward foreign investors, local financial and macroeconomic environment, corruption, and negotiation style.


This course is offered by CLS in the spring semester, and is taught by Curtis Milhaupt, Fuyo Professor of Japanese Law, Parker Professor of Comparative Corporate Law, Law School Vice Dean, and Director of the Center for Japanese Legal Studies. The course provides a critical introduction to the institutions and actors that comprise the Japanese legal system. Topics covered include the legal profession, formal and informal dispute resolution mechanisms, employment law, corporate law and governance, and economic regulation. Major theoretical debates about the role of law in Japan are examined in connection with each substantive topic. Throughout the course, law is placed within the context of Japanese social, political, and economic institutions.


This lecture course is offered by CLS in the fall, and is taught by Professor Benjamin Liebman.  This course surveys contemporary Chinese legal attitudes and institutions in historical and comparative perspective.  The course begins with a brief examination of certain key themes and practices in China's traditional legal order and an appraisal of China's early-twentieth-century effort to import a Western legal model.  The major portion of the term is devoted to a study of formal and informal legal institutions and procedures in the criminal and civil processes of the People's Republic of China and China's contemporary legal reform efforts.  Topics will include an examination of the roles of the legal profession and the judiciary, the sources of law in contemporary China, efforts to use law to address China's growing environmental problems, and the development of China's legal framework governing financial markets.


This large lecture course, offered for a number of years at SIPA, is taught by Professor Janow (see above). This course covers multilateral, bilateral and regional trade arrangements and also considers selected topics in international trade such as intellectual property, telecommunications and investment.


This intensive 3-week course is offered by CLS in the fall semester, and is open to law, SIPA and economics students.  It is taught by Petros Mavroidis, Edwin B. Parker Professor of Foreign and Comparative Law.  It offers a detailed introduction into the law and economics of the WTO, divided into two parts: trade in goods and dispute settlement.  The first section includes the history of the world trading system, the GATT discipline, and the WTO institution; the treatment of quotas and tariffs; the most-favored nation discipline; special and differential treatment; preferential trade agreements; national treatment; general exceptions and national security; technical barriers to trade; sanitary and phyto-sanitary measures; antidumping; subsidies and countervailing duties; and safeguards.  The second section includes the GATT years, dispute settlement in the WTO, and sources of law; consultations, panel procedures and the Appellate Body; and enforcement of WTO obligations.


This lecture course is offered by the Department of Economics in the fall semester, and is taught by Donald Davis, Kathryn & Shelby Cullom Davis Professor of Economics & International Affairs.  Professor Davis discusses the theory of comparative advantage, the gains from trade, trade and income distribution, international factor mobility, and growth and trade.


This workshop in international economic policy is offered during the spring semester by Professor Janow (see above) with three institutional clients: the World Bank, the InterAmerican Development Bank, and Citigroup. Teams of students undertake projects that consider diverse subjects such as sovereign wealth funds, China's development experience and its relevance for Africa and entrepreneurship in India and Latin America.

Contact Us

APEC Study Center
Columbia University
3022 Broadway
2M-9 Uris Hall
New York, NY 10027-7004


April 8, 2014

The ‘History Problem’

April 23, 2014

My Fight for a New Taiwan: One Woman's Journey from Prison to Power

April 25, 2014

Culture and Everyday Life in North Korea

The Curl Ideas to wrap your mind around

Is Australia on the Wrong Track?

Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott has defended many of his government’s reforms by invoking the American model of cutbacks on spending.

Read More >

Wounded Warrior Project: Leading from the Front

As the WWP entered its second decade, what governance policies and practices would ensure its continued success?

Read More >

Wei Jiang Named Director of Chazen Institute

Wei Jiang, the Arthur F. Burns Professor of Free and Competitive Enterprise in the Finance and Economics Division, has been appointed Director of the School’s Jerome A. Chazen Institute of International Business.

Read More >

Sharp Electronics in 2013

In 2013 Sharp Electronics shareholders expressed their outrage in the face of the company’s unmet technological challenges, plunging share price, and governance missteps. To turn Sharp around, President Kozo Takahashi would be forced to undo decisions that his predecessors had made and break with past traditions concerning Sharp’s corporate governance. Would Takahashi be successful in steering Sharp away from insolvency and towards a more competitive position in the worldwide consumer electronics industry?

Read More >

Are You Seen as a Jerk at Work? A New Study Reveals That Many People Are Oblivious to How They Come across to Counterparts and Colleagues

Columbia Business School research highlights the disconnect between peoples’ own views and their counterparts’ views of their assertiveness—and the impact it can have on negotiations

Read More >

New Insights on the Factors That Intensified the 2008 Financial Crisis

Columbia Business School study says analysts’ concerns about fair value accounting clouded the already murky waters, fueling the crisis

Read More >

Beyond China: Where Asian Growth Is

For investors and deal-makers, there is ample opportunity beyond China and India said Changyong Rhee of the IMF at a recent Chazen Institute event.

Read More >

Time Warner Restructures

What were the strategic implications of Time Warner’s plan to spin off Time Inc.?

Read More >

Columbia Business School Entrepreneurs Enter the Shark Tank

Read More >