Politics in East Asia - PO683

Location Term Level Credits (ECTS) Current Convenor 2018-19
Canterbury Autumn
View Timetable
5 15 (7.5) MR JJ Gruffydd-Jones







This module will address the major milestones in the politics and international relations of East Asia since 1945.The significance for East Asian countries of events such as the Korean War, the Cultural Revolution, the economic take-off of both Japan and South Korea, China's economic reforms, the end of the Cold War, and US changing policies towards East Asia will be analysed.

A central theme of the module will be the nexus between domestic factors and international behaviour – hence the internal political cultures and national identities of China, South Korea and Japan will be studied in relation to their particular world-views and their foreign policy initiatives. Each of these countries’ domestic political systems will also be analysed to enhance understanding of the impetus for policy making decisions both domestically and internationally. Analysis will also be made of how the imperative to achieve economic development influences political decision making. Finally, an assessment will be made as to the future of East Asia.


This module appears in:

Contact hours

The module will be taught by lectures, seminars and private study.
Total Contact Hours: 22
Private Study Hours: 128


Autumn Term

Method of assessment

The module will be assessed by 50% Coursework and 50% Exam.
Coursework comprising: Seminar Group Presentation (10%), Essay 2,500 words (40%)
Exam, Two hours (50%)

Indicative reading

The following are the major text (marked with an *) and book-length references for this module, and they are to be aided by relevant journal articles:

Mark Beeson, Regionalism and Globalization in East Asia: Politics, Security and Economic Development (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2014).
* Xiaoming Huang and Jason Young, Politics in Pacific Asia: An Introduction (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2016).

See the library reading list for this module (Canterbury)

See the library reading list for this module (Medway)

Learning outcomes

On successfully completing the module students will:
Understand the key development of politics and international relations of East Asia since 1945.
Identify and analyse the changing roles of key actors that affect and shape the political and international relations of contemporary East Asia.
Understand how governments in East Asia are structured and how political parties and civil society interact with governments.
Discuss the foreign-policy interactions among the major states in East Asia.
Use effectively the knowledge earned from the study of East Asia to do comparative studies of politics and international relations.

On successfully completing the module students will be able to:
Engage critically with political phenomena, including the vocabulary, concepts, theories and methods of political debate
Examine and evaluate different interpretations of political issues, events and solutions to problems
Describe, evaluate and apply different approaches involved in collecting, analysing and presenting political information
Develop reasoned arguments, synthesise relevant information and exercise critical judgement
Reflect on and manage their own learning and seek to make use of constructive feedback from peers and staff to enhance their performance and personal skills
Communicate ideas effectively and fluently
Use information and communication technology for bibliographical searches, data acquisition, data analysis and presentation
Work independently, demonstrating initiative, self-organisation and time-management

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