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.


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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 taught by Professor Weinstein. Professor Weinstein focuses on the growth and structural changes of the post-World War II economy; its historical roots; interactions with cultural, social, and political institutions; and its economic relations with the rest of the world.


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 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 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 Liebman (see above). 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 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.


This course is offered by CLS in the fall semester, and is open to law, SIPA and economics students. It is taught by Jagdish Bhagwati, University Professor, Economics and Law, Professor Mavroidis (see above), and Professor Janow (see above). It offers a detailed introduction into the law and economics of the WTO, divided into three parts: trade in goods, services and dispute settlement. Students are also made aware of the criticism against the legal regime as it stands, and/or as it has been interpreted by WTO adjudicating bodies.