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International Relations Of East Asia

International Relations of East Asia - Just Castillo 2023

Fully booked

East Asia is today one of the most relevant regions in the world, economically and politically. This vast and diverse region is home to the second and third largest economies in the world, China and Japan. In the last decades, it has become a global hub of finance, manufacturing and trade. However, contrasting with its economic dynamism, the region is home to numerous hotspots of geopolitical tension and latent but potentially destabilizing conflicts. In the course, students will gain an in-depth knowledge of the international politics of this important region. 

During the Cold War, East Asia was the scene of superpower competition with proxy wars fought in this theatre. Today, despite having become an engine of the global economy, the sequels of the Cold War remain palpable throughout the region as several of its latent conflicts originated in that context: e.g., Taiwan, the Korean Peninsula...  At the same time, with the rise of China, the region has undergone a major shift in the balance of power, whose outcome remains uncertain in this weakly-institutionalized region. This course will examine the main dynamics of conflict and cooperation in these two periods in order to understand the full complexity of the region today. 

Through classes, readings and discussions, this course will delve into issues such the role of China, Japan and the US in shaping the East Asian region as we know it today; the impact China's rise for the region; the phenomenon of regionalism; and issues concerning intra-regional security, with focus on the main flashpoints of tension such as North Korea’s nuclear diplomacy and the South China Sea.  

At the end of the course, students will participate in a simulation exercise that will enable a deeper understanding of the region’s dynamics and future challenges.

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