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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Gary G. Hamilton
SIS 495
Seattle Campus

Task Force

Small-group seminars address current problems in international affairs, each focusing on one specific policy question and producing a joint task force report. Restricted to senior majors in International Studies. Prerequisite: SIS 200; SIS 201; SIS 202; SIS 401.

Class description

China and the Great Recession of 2007-09

Beginning in 2007 and led by collapsing property and financial markets in the U.S., the world economy entered a serious recession. The downturn has bottomed and a slow recovery appears to be underway. While the global economy was shrinking, the Chinese economy continued to grow, although more slowly, going from over 13% growth in 2007 to something closer to 9% in 2008 and a projected 8% in 2009. By contrast, in 2008 the Japanese economy shrank by about 3%. In fact, the Chinese economy continues to grow so fast and the Japanese economy so slow (or not at all) that China’s economy is slated to be the world’s second largest economy next year, relegating Japan’s economy to third place. (The U.S. economy continues to be well in front of which ever economy comes in second.)

The Task Force project simulates a request from a leading U.S. government agency for a report (1) that explains how the Chinese economy continued to grow despite the global recession and a sharp drop-off in demand for Chinese exports, (2) that evaluates whether the example of China’s growth offers any lessons or challenges for policy makers in other countries, and (3) that offers policy guidance on how the global community should interact with China and the Chinese economy, given a range of economic policy options that the Chinese government is selecting or may select in the future.

Student learning goals

Improve student's writing skills

Improve student's research skills

Improve student's analytical skills

Improve student's ability to work in a team

General method of instruction

Lecture, class discussion, work teams

Recommended preparation

As provided by the IS major.

Class assignments and grading

The class will have extensive reading, research, writing, and presentation assignments.

Class participation and a successfully completed research report.


The information above is intended to be helpful in choosing courses. Because the instructor may further develop his/her plans for this course, its characteristics are subject to change without notice. In most cases, the official course syllabus will be distributed on the first day of class.
Last Update by M Jane Meyerding
Date: 10/07/2009