There are a substantial number of courses taught at Columbia Business School (CBS), Columbia Law School (CLS), and the School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA) that are directly relevant to the ASC through the combinations of their substantive and country specific or regional focus. In addition to courses in history and political science, the following graduate courses, offered during the 2020-21 academic year, were particularly relevant for students interested in APEC.
China’s Foreign Relations
This course is offered at SIPA in the spring and is taught by Thomas Christensen, Professor of International and Public Affairs. This course reviews and analyzes the foreign policy of the Peoples Republic of China from 1949 to the present. It examines Beijing’s relations with the Soviet Union, the United States, Northeast Asia, Southeast Asia, and the Third World during the Cold War, and discusses Chinese foreign policy in light of the end of the Cold War, changes in the Chinese economy in the reform era, the post-Tiananmen legitimacy crisis in Beijing, and the continuing rise of Chinese power and influence in Asia and beyond. This lecture course analyzes the causes and consequences of Beijing’s foreign policies from 1949 to the present.
Geopolitics of Law and Conflict on the Korean Peninsula
The seminar is offered by CLS in the spring and is taught by Jeong-Ho Roh, Director, Center for Korean Legal Studies and Lecturer. This course focuses on the complex domestic and international legal frameworks that inform the "Korean Question" in foreign policy today. The course examines the relationships of both South Korea and North Korea with surrounding powers (including the United States), as well as the geopolitical impact of North Korean activities and behavior within the context of existing international legal and institutional frameworks. This course also provides students with the opportunity to study the North Korean legal system and some of its domestic legislation. Part I of the course explores how division and nuclearization resulted from both a peace treaty and a temporary Armistice Agreement. The course begins by addressing the legal fictions produced by the 1951 Treaty of San Francisco ending WWII in Asia, and its implications for present-day North and South Korean relations with Japan, China, and Russia. It also involves an in-depth analysis of the North Korean Constitution, hereditary succession, and the use of nuclear weapons for survival. Part II focuses on North Korea's weapons of mass destruction, missile program, and human rights abuses within the context of the existing international treaties regime. It covers topics relating to the legal aspects of negotiating with a nuclear North Korea, including: the effectivity of sanctions, the role of Congress and the US Federal Courts, criticism of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), and the impact of the 1994 Agreed Framework and KEDO. Part III focuses on a critical examination of the international and domestic legal issues related to establishment of a permanent peace regime, or immediate confidence building measures, on the Korean Peninsula. This includes an assessment of the mechanisms by which to declare war or peace within international law and the domestic legal regimes of the United States and South Korea. Recent advancements in inter-Korea relations are also assessed, including: the territorial disputes of the Northern Limit Line, the 2018 Inter-Korean Military Agreement, and a "neutral" unification. Throughout the seminar, the goal of the course is to gain a better understanding of the way in which North Korean law and legal institutions, regional mechanisms, and international law interact over North Korean issues (denuclearization, human rights) to form the outcomes we observe today. In addressing the legal dimensions that have informed the foreign policy approaches towards North Korea, students work to improve their ability to gauge future developments in the law and politics of the peninsula and region.
Japanese Financial Policy And Economy
This seminar is offered at SIPA in the spring and is taught by Takatoshi Ito, Professor of International and Public Affairs. This course provides students with deep knowledge on developments of financial policy in Japan and interactions between financial markets and economic development. Financial policy extends from regulation and supervision of the banking sector, to capital markets and international capital flows as well as monetary policy and exchange rate policy. Policy lessons are derived from analyses of the past banking problems and crises. An impact of switching from the fixed exchange rate regime to floating exchange rate regime and subsequent attempts to manage the exchange rate movements will be reviewed with event analyses and case studies. Economic growth rate of Japan was high in the 1950s and 1960s and later declined; how financial market developments contributed to economic growth; how quickly its markets were opened to international trade and finance; why the Japanese economy has suffered stagnation and deflation due to a burst of a financial bubble in the 1990s and 2000s; and what kinds of policy reforms, known as Abenomics, have been implemented since 2013. The description and explanation are based on intermediate microeconomic and macroeconomic analyses and empirical evidences. The role of economic policies —monetary policy, fiscal policy, financial supervision and regulation, industrial policy — are carefully examined in the seminar.
Japanese Law, Society and Economy
This course is offered at CLS in the spring and is taught by Nobuhisa Ishizuka, Lecturer in Law and Executive 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, constitutional law, formal and informal dispute resolution mechanisms, family law, employment law, and corporate law and governance. Major theoretical debates about the role of law in Japan are examined in connection with each substantive topic. Throughout the course, law is placed in the context of Japanese social, political, and economic institutions. For several weeks during the semester, visiting professors from the University of Tokyo Law School lead the class on topics related to their individual fields of expertise.
This course is offered jointly by CBS and SIPA in the fall and is taught by Shang-Jin Wei, NT Wang Professor of Chinese Business and Economy. This course examines how the economy of China works, and how they are connected to the rest of the world via trade, investment, finance, and ideas. The class develops a series of frameworks to look at what opportunities and challenges they present to the global business communities. In this course, the relationship between firms and the government, the industrial policy, the working of the consumer market, the saving/consumption behavior, trade and trade wars, e-commerce and e-finance, financial liberalization, and the Belt-and-Road initiative and beyond will be discussed. A key feature of this course is that it is data-driven and fact-driven. This means that the course examines many conventional wisdoms critically and does not take media reports of official pronouncements at face value. The course also features a number of guest speakers from the financial, business, and policy worlds.
The Political Economy Of East Asia
This seminar is offered by SIPA in the fall and is taught by Weiwen Yin, Postdoctoral Fellow at the China and the World Program. This course considers the rise of East Asia, particularly China, the extensive influence of East Asian countries on the global economy, and their growth strategies which have triggered scholarly and policy debates. This course helps students acquire the knowledge, theories, and tools to engage in these debates. The topics the course covers include historical state capacity building, contemporary development, and recent policy issues. It also highlights the political incentives of various actors. This course is not simply an introduction to the politics and economic development of East Asia. Instead, it emphasizes a combination of general theories and their applications in analyzing puzzling questions in the field. The seminar readings will also explore the political economies of other countries in the region, such as Japan and Vietnam, and emphasize the comparison between Europe and East Asia.