Security Challenges in the Indo-Pacific - POLI6840

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Module delivery information

Location Term Level1 Credits (ECTS)2 Current Convenor3 2024 to 2025
Spring Term 6 15 (7.5) Jamie Gruffydd-Jones checkmark-circle


In this module, we seek to understand the most urgent security issues in the Indo-Pacific region, and develop the knowledge and skills to provide nuanced and concise policy advice on them. We will start with an overview of the history, security, economics, and institutions in the region, and consider how to use International Relations theoretical approaches to help us understand countries' foreign and security policies. We will then analyse three key security challenges in the region in depth: the Taiwan Straits; nuclear proliferation on the Korean peninsula; and territorial disputes in the South China Sea. Students will develop skills writing policy advice on these challenges, while working towards developing their own in-depth but concise policy briefing. We will close the module by thinking about the future of politics, economics, and security in the region, and ask whether or not great-power confrontation is inevitable.


Contact hours

Private Study: 128
Contact Hours: 22
Total: 150


Compulsory to the following courses:
• BA in Politics and International Relations with a Year Abroad in the Asia-Pacific

Optional to the following courses:
• BA (Hons) Politics and International Relations
• BA (Hons) Politics and International Relations (Bidiplôme)
• BA (Hons) Politics and International Relations with a Placement Year
• BA (Hons) Politics and International Relations with a Foundation Year
• BA (Hons) Politics and International Relations with a Year in Continental Europe or North America
• BA (Hons) Politics and International Relations with a Language
• BA (Hons) Politics and International Relations with Quantitative Research
• BA (Hons) Economics and Politics
• BA (Hons) History and Politics
• BA (Hons) Philosophy and Politics
• BA (Hons) Sociology and Politics
• LLB (Hons) Law and Politics

Also available as an elective module and to short term credit students

Method of assessment

Main assessment methods
Policy memo (500 words) 30%
Policy briefing (2,500 words) 70%

Reassessment methods
Like for like reassessment

Indicative reading

The University is committed to ensuring that core reading materials are in accessible electronic format in line with the Kent Inclusive Practices.

The most up to date reading list for each module can be found on the university's reading list pages.

See the library reading list for this module (Canterbury)

Learning outcomes

On successfully completing the module students will be able to:

1 Have empirical knowledge of various Indo-Pacific political and security issues and challenges which are having impact beyond the region
2 Understand the trajectory of the key security challenges in the Indo -Pacific region and their potential to impact upon security beyond the region
3 Understand the roles of various state and non-state actors that shape the politics of the Asia-Pacific region and beyond
4 Understand how various political and International Relations theories can be usefully applied to the study of the issues which impact upon the Indo -Pacific region and beyond
5 Have mastery of the skills for writing memos and briefings for a policy audience.


  1. Credit level 6. Higher level module usually taken in Stage 3 of an undergraduate degree.
  2. ECTS credits are recognised throughout the EU and allow you to transfer credit easily from one university to another.
  3. The named convenor is the convenor for the current academic session.
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