International Relations Of East Asia
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.
|Week||Contents||Teaching and Learning Activities|
From Monday to Friday.
From 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
- Class attendance: 30%
- Participation in discussions and other class activities: 35%
- Quizzes (two, equally weighted): 35%.
Class attendance: Students are expected to attend all this course’s lectures. Attendance will account for 30% of the overall course grade.
Participation in discussions and other class activities: Students are expected to participate in the proposed discussions and classroom-based activities, read the suggested materials, ask questions, listen to others and help generate a positive atmosphere in which everyone can contribute. The lecturer will propose a discussion at the end of each unit. Toward the end of the course, students will prepare and take part in a simulation exercise. Participation will account for 35% of the overall course grade.
Quizzes: students will take two short quizzes, which will account for 35% of the overall course grade. One to be conducted during the second week, and the other during the third week. The quizzes will cover the subjects covered in the lectures, proposed reading materials and discussions. Students will be allowed to refer to their class notes and suggested materials when taking the quizzes.
- Connors, M. K., Rémy Davison, and Björn Dosch. The New Global Politics of the Asia-Pacific. London: Routledge, 2018.
- Li, Xiaobing. The Cold War in East Asia. London: Routledge, 2018.
- Miller, Alice, and Richard Wich. Becoming Asia: Change and Continuity in Asian International Relations since World War II. Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2011.
- Yahuda, Michael. The International Politics of the Asia-Pacific. Taylor & Francis Group, 2019.
Academic journal articles:
- Waler, J. & Azuma, H. (2016). The Rise of the Abe Doctrine. The National Interest, 1 February.
- Ramirez, C. (2017). Abe’s Trump Challenge and Japan’s Foreign Policy Choices. The Diplomat.
- Yan, X. (2013). Let's Not Be Friends. Foreign Policy, June 6.
- Chang-Liao, N.-C. (2019). From Engagement to Competition? The Logic of the US China Policy Debate. Global Policy, 10(2), 250-257. (in PDF)
- Mearsheimer, J. (2014). Can China Rise Peacefully. The National Interest, 25 October.
- Lankov, A. (2009). Why the United States will have to accept a nuclear North Korea. Korean Journal of Defense Analysis, 21(3), 251-264. doi:10.1080/10163270903087147 (in PDF)
- Lankov, A. (2017). Why Nothing Can Really Be Done about North Korea’s Nuclear Program. Asia Policy, 23(1), 104-110.
- Kuo, M. (2017). Regional Security Architectures: Comparing Asia and Europe. The Diplomat.
- Kang, D. C., & Ma, X. (2018). Power Transitions: Thucydides Didn’t Live in East Asia. The Washington Quarterly, 41(1), 137-154. doi:10.1080/0163660X.2018.1445905
- CSIS Asia
- The Asia Chessboard
- China Power
- The Impossible State
- ECFR China and Asia Programme
- NK News Podcast
- Asian politics and economics (general):
- South Korea
- North Korea
- China & Taiwan
Just Castillo Iglesias is a political scientist specialized in International Relations. He has developed his professional and academic career in prestigious institutions in Europe and Asia, including the European Institute of Public Administration (2007-2010), Osaka University (2011-2015), the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (2012), the Ocean University of China (2015- 2017), and Waseda University (2017-2018). His main fields of interests are the international politics of East Asia and EU-East Asia relations. In 2014, he received a Ph.D. in International Public Policy by Osaka University with a thesis on the EU’s political and security relations with Japan and China. Currently, he teaches Politics and International Relations of East Asia at the Autonomous University of Barcelona (UAB) and collaborates regularly with other institutions.
- E-mail: email@example.com
- Departament of Translation and Interpreting and East Asia Studies