94303 - International Politics Of East Asia

Course Unit Page

SDGs

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

Quality education Peace, justice and strong institutions

Academic Year 2021/2022

Learning outcomes

This course explores the complex international relations of East Asia, with particular reference to Northeast Asia (Japan, China, the two Koreas, and the United States, which still plays a central role). Students will learn about these countries’ economic and political development, the processes of construction of their national identities, their foreign and security policies, and their role in the regional and global governance.

Course contents

By the end of the course students should be able to demonstrate that they can:

Understand the major forces shaping the evolution of the regional order in Asia from the late 19th century to the present; understand and critically evaluate the main sources of the foreign policy strategies of main East Asian states; identify and analyse the key causes of geopolitical competition as well as the main potential flashpoints for conflict in the region; familiarize with the emerging forms of regional governance.

Instructions for the course.

The course will follow the Y structure. This means that classes will be divided in Lectures and Seminars.

Lectures: the entire class will attend at the same time. Lectures are identified with an L (L1, L2, L3). Lectures will be held in blended form (in presence, while broadcasting the class also on MS Teams for those students that are not able to be present in Forlì). This is the lower part of the Y.

Each seminar will be held twice. Each student will attend it once (upper part of the Y). They are identified with a S (S1a, S1b, S2a, S2b).

The A group will be formed by the first half of the class in alphabetical order. The B group by the second half and those students that will attend classes on line. Seminars of the A group will be held only in presence. Seminars of the B group will be held in blended modality (with students in presence in the classroom and students connected via MS Teams).

The choice between seminars in presence/seminars on line should be communicated in advance to the instructor.

Both for Lectures and for Seminars students are required to read the materials in advance. You can find the readings and the other materials on the Virtuale page of the course.

Lectures will resemble traditional frontal classes, even if questions and comments are more than welcome.

Seminars will be different from traditional classes. They will be based on active participation and debates among students. Students will be invited to discuss different ideas and arguments, often taking a position. The class will be further divided in subgroups that will be invited to support different sides of an argument on specific issues and topics.

Consequently, preparing the readings in advance will be essential for the active attendance of the seminars.

At the end of the course each student will attend 12 lectures and 6 seminars

For each student, the total amount of hours is 34 hours of classroom activities. Since this amount is lower than the amount generally associated with an exam of 10 CFU (50hours), the course requires a slightly higher number of pages to read and an active participation during the seminars.

The evaluation will consist in : 30% of the grade active participation to seminars. 40% of the grade mid-term exams; 30% of the grade final oral exam.

 

Content of the couse.


1) China: from the Sino-centric system to the demise of the Qing Empire. (L1)

2) Japan: from the Meiji Era to World War Two. (L2)

3) World War Two in Asia and the Chinese Civil War (L3)

4) The Cold War in East Asia (L4)

5) China during the Mao Era (L5)

6) Deng Xiaoping and the Era of Reform and Opening (L6)

7) China: collective memory in the reform era (S1)

8) The Belt and Road Initiative and Xi’s blueprint for the regional order (S2)

9) China’s military modernization and territorial disputes in the South China Sea (S3).

10) Mid Term Exam

11) Japan: Foreign and defence policies in the post war era (L7)

12) Japan: Foreign and defence policies in the post-Cold War Era (L8)

13) Japan: collective memory and foreign policy in the post-War era (L9)

14) Japan: collective memory and foreign policy in the post-Cold War era (S4)

15) South Korea: domestic polarization and middle power diplomacy. (L10)

16) North Korea and the nuclear programme (S5)

17) The US in East Asia: From the end of the Cold War to the Pivot to Asia (L11)

18) Trump’s Legacy and Biden’s foreign policy in East Asia (S6)

19) South East Asia and ASEAN (L12)

20) Final Exam

Readings/Bibliography

1) China from the Sino-centric system to the demise of the Qing. L1

Kang, D.C. (2010) Asia before the West. Five Centuries of Trade and Tribute. New York: Columbia University Press. Ch. 1.

Westad, O.A. (2014). Restless Empire. China and the World since 1750. Basic Books. Ch. 2

 

2) Japan from the Meiji Era to World War Two. L2

Pyle, K.B. (2007) Japan Rising. The Resurgence of Japanese power and purpose. Public Affairs, ch. 3

Zarakol, A. (2011). After defeat: How the East learned to live with the West . Cambridge University Press (p. 161-174.)

 

3) World War Two in Asia and the Chinese Civil War L3

The Encyclopedia Britannica. The Pacific War.

Mitter, R. (2016). The War Years 1937-1949. In J.N. Wasserstrom, The Oxford Illustrated History of Modern China. Pp. 150-178

 

4) The Cold War in East Asia. L4

Hasegawa, T. (2011). Introduction: East Asia- The Second Significant Front of the Cold War. In Hasehawa, T. (ed.) The Cold War in East Asia 1945-1991. Stanford University Press.

 

5) China during the Mao Era. L5

Schell, O., & Delury, J. (2014). Wealth and power: China's long march to the twenty-first century. Random House Trade Paperbacks (Mao II)

 

6) Deng Xiaoping and the Era of Reform and Opening. L6

Schell, O., & Delury, J. (2014). Wealth and power: China's long march to the twenty-first century. Random House Trade Paperbacks. (Deng I)

Gerwitz, J. (2019) Unlikely Partners. Chinese Reformers, Western Economists and the Making of Global China. Pg 1-14.

Schell, O. (2020) The Death of Engagement. The Wire China (the Cold War years)

 

7) China: collective memory during the reform era S1

Dian, M. (2017). Contested Memories in Chinese and Japanese Foreign Policy. Oxford: Elsevier. Ch.1-5 (selected parts)

Weiss, J. (2021). The stories China tells: The new historical memory reshaping Chinese nationalism. Foreign Affairs, 100(2), 192-197.

 

8) The Belt and Road Initiative and Xi’s blueprint for the regional order S2

Dian, M. (2021) China, the United States and the renegotiation of the regional economic order (unpublished working paper).

 

9) China’s military modernization and territorial disputes in the South China Sea. S3

Maizland, L. (2020) China’s Modernizing Military. Council of Foreign Relations. A backgrounder. 

Fukuda, J. (2015) Counteracting China’s Anti-Access/Area Denial Capabilities. IIPS Quarterly, 6(1) Policy Research Report.

Mearsheimer, J.J. (2006) China unpeaceful rise. Current History

Zhao, S. (2020). East Asian Disorder: China and the South China Sea Disputes. Asian Survey, 60(3), 490-509.

 

10) MID TERM EXAM

 

11) Japan: foreign and defence policies in the post war era L7

Pyle, K. (2009). Japan rising: The resurgence of Japanese power and purpose. Public Affairs. Ch. 7-8. (selected parts)

 

12) Japan: foreign and defence policies in the Post-Cold War Era L8

Hughes, C.H., Patalano, A & Ward, R. (2021) Japan’s Grand Strategy: The Abe Era and Its Aftermath, Survival, 63:1, 125-160

Japanese MOFA (2020) Indo Pacific Concept.

Maizland, L. (2020) The US-Japan Security Alliance. A backgrounder. Council of Foreign Relations. 

 

13) Japan: collective memory and foreign policy S4

Dian, M. (2017). Contested Memories in Chinese and Japanese Foreign Policy. Elsevier. Ch. 2-3. Selected Parts.

 

14) South Korea: domestic polarization and middle power diplomacy. L10

Snyder, S.A. (2018). South Korea at the Crossroads Autonomy and Alliance in an Era of Rival Powers. Columbia University Press. 2018 Ch. 1.

Milani, M. (2019) Progressive and Conservative Visions of Inter-Korean relations. In Dian, M. Fiori, A. and Milani, M. The Korean Paradox. Domestic Political Divide and Foreign Policy in South Korea. London Routledge.

Congressional Research Service US-Korea Alliance. Report for Congress May 2021

 

15) North Korea and the nuclear programme. S5

Panda, A. (2020) Kim Jong Un and the Bomb: Survival and Deterrence in North Korea. Oxford University Press (ch. 10)

Cha, V. D., & Kang, D. C. (2018). Nuclear North Korea: A debate on engagement strategies. Columbia University Press (chapter 7).

Congressional Research Service (2020). Diplomacy with North Korea: A Status Report. Washington DC

Terry, S.M., Brewer, E. (2021)It Is Time for a Realistic Bargain With North Korea. Foreign Affairs

 

16) The US in East Asia: From the end of the Cold War to the Pivot to Asia L11

Green, M. J. (2017). By More Than Providence: Grand Strategy and American Power in the Asia Pacific Since 1783. Columbia University Press. Ch 1-8 (selected parts)

Schell, O. (2020) The Death of Engagement. The Wire China (post Cold War years)

 

17) Trump’s Legacy and Biden’s foreign policy in East Asia. S6

Ford, L. (2020) The Trump Administration and the Free and Open Indo Pacific. Brookings Institution.

Baldaro, E., & Dian, M. (2018). Trump’s Grand Strategy and the Post-American World Order. Interdisciplinary Political Studies, 4(1), 17-45.

Campbell, K. (2020) The Changing China Debate. Chatham House

 

18) South East Asia and ASEAN. L12

Lee, Hsien Loong (2020) The endangered Asian Century. Foreign Affairs. July August.

Jetschke, A. (2012) ASEAN. In Beeson, M., & Stubbs, R. (Eds.). Routledge handbook of Asian regionalism. Routledge.

Council of Foreign Relations. A backgrounder What is ASEAN?

Teaching methods

The course will follow the Y structure. This means that classes will be divided in Lectures and Seminars. See further instructions above.

Assessment methods

30% Active participation to classes and seminars

40% Written exams

30% Final Oral Exam

Teaching tools

 

MS Teams for on line classes and seminars

Power point

Office hours

See the website of Matteo Dian

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