Contemporary Development and Security Challenges in the Asia-Pacific - PO684

Location Term Level Credits (ECTS) Current Convenor 2019-20
Canterbury Spring
View Timetable
6 15 (7.5) DR A Heritage







In this course, we shall examine the most urgent developments and security issues that affect the Asia-Pacific region.

It will start with an overview of International Relations theories and an exploration of whether non-Western International Relations theories will be a better alternative in understanding the development and security challenges in the Asia-Pacific.

We will then address the key international development and security dilemmas in the region. These include: the Taiwan problem; nuclear proliferation on the Korean peninsula; the danger of nationalism in Japan and beyond; territorial disputes in the South China Sea; and ensuring economic growth and regional cooperation throughout the Asia-Pacific.

Finally, we will ask whether the influence and authority of the US, the incumbent hegemon in the Asia-Pacific region, are in decline and its preeminent role will soon be replaced by a rising China, and whether great-power confrontation is inevitable.


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

Method of assessment

The module will be assessed by 50% Coursework and 50% Exam.
Coursework (50%) comprising: Seminar participation (20%),
Essay 2,500 words (30%)
Exam: Two hours (50%)

Indicative reading

Amitav Acharya, Non-Western International Relations Theory: Perspectives On and Beyond Asia (Abingdon: Routledge, 2009).
Anna M. Agathangelou and Ling L. H. M. (2009) Transforming World Politics: From Empire to Multiple Worlds, London, Routledge.
John G. Ikenberry and M. Mastanduno, ends (2003) International Relations Theory and the Asia-Pacific. New York: Columbia University Press.
Derek McDougall, Asia-Pacific in World Politics (Boulder, CO: Lynne Rienner, 2016).
David Shambaugh and Michael Yahuda (eds), International Relations of Asia (Lanham, MD: Rowan & Littlefield, 2014).

See the library reading list for this module (Canterbury)

Learning outcomes

On successfully completing the module students will:
have empirical knowledge of various Asia-Pacific political, economic and social issues and challenges which are having impact beyond the region.
understand the trajectory of the contending development and security issues in the Asia-Pacific region and their potential to impact upon security beyond the region.
understand the roles of various state and non-state actors that shape the politics of the Asia-Pacific region and beyond.
understand how various political and International Relations theories can be usefully applied to the study of the issues which impact upon the Asia-Pacific region and beyond.
have mastery of the research skills for doing comparative political studies.

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