Colloquium: The Political Economy of Development in East Asia

Jan 2004

Prof. Murphy is very intelligent, well-traveled, and once you get to know her she's really very nice. However, the class is colloquium but is really in lecture format. That means two full hours of political economy lectures with interruptions only for her to quiz you on the material. Because I am actually very interested in the material, I enjoyed the class. It covers a great deal of valuable information and I learned a lot. However, if you do not have economics background and your own firm opinions, go into this class realizing that she's going to present her own views and push them rather heavily. She makes a half-hearted attempt to present views more liberal than her own and if you are even slightly left of center, you may have a very, very hard time taking this class. In all honesty, Prof Murphy would rather be teaching at SIPA and sometimes it really comes across. She doesn't really give students enough credit to have intelligent views of their own and will therefore basically tell you what your final topic should be. I also have to say that I also felt that her grading was very subjective and rather unfair. Also, alert to those who think this is going to include China! This class does not cover China AT ALL, which was pretty dissapointing. It also ends after the Asian Financial Crisis so current issues aren't really discussed. All in all, take this class if you really want to learn the material but consider yourself forewarned.