40014 - International Relations Of East Asia

Academic Year 2023/2024

  • Docente: Antonio Fiori
  • Credits: 8
  • SSD: SPS/14
  • Language: English
  • Teaching Mode: Traditional lectures
  • Campus: Bologna
  • Corso: Second cycle degree programme (LM) in International Relations (cod. 9084)

    Also valid for Second cycle degree programme (LM) in Local and Global Development (cod. 5912)

Learning outcomes

This course is an overview of international relations of the East Asian region, which aims at broadly exploring the economic and political issues surrounding the Asia-Pacific rim. At the end of the course students will be able to examine topics related to historical and contemporary patterns of state relations in East Asia, US security alliances in East Asia and the new Asian Pivot, the rise of China, nuclear crise in the Korean Peninsula, territorial disputes, regional multilateral institutions, East Asian development models and economic integration, environmental challenges, energy security, and other related issues.

Course contents


Northeast Asia, a geographic area including the People's Republic of China, Japan, the Republic of China and the two Koreas, represents one of the most important regions in the world in terms of population, natural resources, trading and investment opportunities. Despite the outstanding economic performances, this region still remains unstable from the political point of view: the division of the Korean peninsula, territorial disputes between Japan and Russia and between Japan and China, complicated relations between Taipei and Beijing, without mentioning the debated role played by the United States in the region. The main task of this course is to shed light on the "nature" and problems in the relations among the main "regional" actors (including the United States), by examining the changes that have taken place, especially in the last decade. These countries' economic systems and their characteristics will be also carefully discussed.


Required Readings:


M. Yahuda, The International Politics of Asia-Pacific, Routledge, 2019 (as a general introduction to the history of international relations of Asia), with particular reference to pp. 1-138.

Foreign Policy Models and Characteristics of East Asian Countries:

China's Foreign Policy: New Global and Regional Power

S. Zhao, "Chinese Foreign Policy as a Rising Power to Find Its Rightful Place", in Perceptions, Vol. 13, No. 1, 2013.

J. Zhang, “China’s New Foreign Policy under Xi Jinping: Towards ‘Peaceful Rise 2.0’?,” in Global Change, Peace & Security, Vol. 27, No. 1, 2015.

S. Biba, "It's Status, Stupid: Explaining the Underline Core Problem in US-China Relations," Global Affairs, vol. 2, no. 5, 2016.

Korea and Japan:

V. Teo, "Recalibrating Japan’s Foreign Policy," in: Japan’s Arduous Rejuvenation as a Global Power. Palgrave Macmillan, Singapore, 2019.

J. Mo, "South Korea’s middle power diplomacy: A case of growing compatibility between regional and global roles," in International Journal, vol. 71, 2016.

India and Southeast Asia:

T. Wojczewski, "India's Vision of World Order: Multialignments, exceptionalism and peaceful coexistence," in Global Affairs, 2017.

C. Ogden, "Tone Shift," in Indian Politics and Policy, vol. 1, 2018.

The Security Realm in the Asia Pacific Region:

M. McDonald, "Critical Security in the Asia-Pacific: an Introduction," in Critical Studies on Security, vol. 5, no. 3, 2017.

M. Malik, "Balancing Act. The China-India-US Triangle," in World Affairs, vol. 179, no. 1, 2016.

B. Cannon and A. Rossiter, "The “Indo-Pacific”: Regional Dynamics in the 21st Century’s New Geopolitical Center of
Gravity," in Rising Powers Quarterly, vol. 3, 2018.

E. Demir, "Fragmented or Integrated Asia: Competing Regional Visions of the US and China," in Rising Powers Quarterly, vol. 3, 2018.

Nationalism and Controversies in the Asia Pacific Region.

K.B. Pyle, "Nationalism in East Asia", in Asia Policy, No. 3 January, 2007.

K.S. Lim, H. Ju, M. Li, "China's Revisionist Aspirations in Southeast Asia and the Curse of the South China Sea Disputes", in China: An International Journal, Vol. 15, No. 1, February 2017.

J. Kim, "The Clash of Power and Nationalism: The Sino-Japan Territorial Dispute", in Journal of Asian Security and International Affairs, Vol. 5, No.1, 2018.

F. Qiu, "Nationalism and Construction of Regional Security Order," in Pacific Focus, vol. 31, no. 3, 2016.

Economic Models and Trade Relations:

J.B. Knight," China as a Developmental State" in The World Economy, Vol. 37, No. 10, 2014.

L. Chen & B. Naughton, "A Dynamic China Model: The Co-evolution of Economics and Politics in China," in Journal of Contemporary China, vol. 26, no. 103, 2017.

Asia-Europe Relations: just economic partners?

N. Casarini, "When All Roads Lead to Beijing. Assessing China’s New Silk Road and its Implications for Europe," in International Spectator, vol. 51, 2016.

G. Geraeerts, "The EU-China partnership: balancing between
divergence and convergence," in Asia Europe Journal, vol. 17, 2019.

Y. Hosoi, "Japan-EU relations after World War II and strategic partnership," in Asia Europe Journal, vol. 17, 2019.

R. Jain and G. Sachdeva, "India-EU strategic partnership: a new roadmap," in Asia Europe Journal, vol. 17, 2019.

The New Silk Road(s): political relations, economic ties, and infrastructure connectivity in the "Eurasian" region.

Y. Huang, “Understanding China's Belt & Road Initiative: Motivation, Framework and Assessment”, in China Economic Review, No. 40, 2016.

C.P. Chung, "What are the strategic and economic implications for South Asia of China's Maritime Silk Road Initiative?" in The Pacific Review, 2017.

V. Tekdal, "China's Belt and Road Initiative: At the Crossroads of Challenges and Ambitions" in The Pacific Review, 2017.

D. Styan, "China’s Maritime Silk Road and Small States: Lessons from the Case of Djibouti," in Journal of Contemporary China, 2019.

M. Kobzeva, "China’s Arctic policy: present and future," The Polar Journal, vol. 9, 2019.

"Washington Consensus" vs. "Beijing Consensus": Confrontation between Models of Development.

I. Taylor, "A challenge to the global liberal order? the growing Chinese relationship with Africa", in S. Breslin (ed.), Handbook of China's International Relations, London: Routledge, 2010.

S. Hess and R. Aidoo, "Beyond the Rhetoric: Noninterference in China's African Policy", African & Asian Studies, Vol. 9, 2010.

J. Galchu, "The Beijing consensus versus the Washington consensus: The dilemma of Chinese engagement in Africa," in African Journal of Political Science and International Relations, vol. 12, 2018.

B. Zhou, "Cooperation between China and Africa under the One Belt One Road Initiative: China’s Benefits and Problems," in Chinese Studies, vol. 8, 2019.

Assessment methods

Final oral exam. Careful and continuous reading of documents and the active involvement in class activities are very welcome.

Office hours

See the website of Antonio Fiori


Quality education

This teaching activity contributes to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals of the UN 2030 Agenda.