SOAS University of London

Department of Politics and International Studies

International Relations of East Asia

Module Code:
Module Not Running 2020/2021
FHEQ Level:
Year of study:
Year 2, Year 3 or Year 4
Taught in:
Full Year


20 weeks; one hour-long lecture and one hour-long tutorial per week. 

Scope and syllabus

This course will examine a set of topics related to historical and contemporary patterns of state relations in East Asia, histories of war and memories, US security alliance in East Asia and the new Asian Pivot, the rise of China, nuclear crisis in the Korean Peninsular, territorial disputes, regional multilateral institutions, East Asian development models and economic integration, environmental challenges, energy security, human rights, and other related issues.

This module is capped at 60 students.

Method of assessment

  • One unseen written examination (3 hours) contributing 60% to total mark
  • Two 3000-word essays, one at the end of term 1 and one at the end of term 2, each contributing 20% to total mark. 

Suggested reading

  • John Ikenberry and Michael Mastanduno (eds), International Relations Theory and the Asia-Pacific (New York: Columbia University Press, 2003).
  • Avery Goldstein and Edward Mansfield, The Nexus of Economics, Security, and International Relations in East Asia (Stanford: Stanford Unversity Press, 2012).
  • William Grimes, Currency and Contest in East Asia: The Great Power Politics of Financial Regionalism (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2009).
  • Alice Ba, (Re)Negotiating East and Southeast Asia: Region, Regionalism, and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2009).
  • David Kang, East Asia before the West: Five Centuries of Trade and Tribute (New York: Columbia University Press, 2010).
  • David Kang, China Rising: Peace, Power, and Order in East Asia (New York: Columbia University Press, 2007).
  • Gerrit,Gong (ed.), Memory and History in East and Southeast Asia (Center for Strategic and International Studies, 2002).
  • Ming Wan, The Political Economy of East Asia (CQ Press, 2008).
  • Thomas Christensen, Worse Than A Monolith: Alliance Politics and Problems of Coercive Diplomacy in Asia (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2011).
  • Kenneth B. Pyle, Japan Rising: The Resurgence of Japanese Power and Purpose (New York: Century Foundation, 2007).
  • Stephen D. Krasner, “Organized Hypocrisy in Nineteenth-Century East Asia,” International Relations of the Asia-Pacific 1 (2001): 173-197
  • Jack Snyder, Myths of Empire: Domestic Politics and International Ambition (New York: Columbia University Press, 1991)
  • Christopher Hemmer and Peter J. Katzenstein, “Why is There No NATO in Asia? Collective Identity, Regionalism, and the Origins of Multilateralism,” International Organization 56:3 (Summer 2002): 575-607.
  • Victor Cha, “Abandonment, Entrapment, and Neoclassical Realism in Asia: The United States, Japan, and Korea,” International Studies Quarterly 44:2 (June 2000): 261-291.
  • Kenneth Schultz, “The Politics of Risking Peace: Do Hawks or Doves Deliver the Olive Branch?” International Organization 59 (Winter 2005):1-26.
  • Michael Mastanduno, “Do Relative Gains Matter? America’s Response to Japanese Industrial Policy,” International Security 16:1 (Summer 1991): 73-113.
  • C. Randall Henning, “The Future of the Chiang Mai Initiative: An Asian Monetary Fund?” Petersen Institute of International Economics Policy Brief (February 2009): 1-8.
  • Thomas Christensen, “Fostering Stability or Creating a Monster?: The Rise of China and U.S. Policy Toward East Asia,” International Security 31:1 (Summer 2006), pp. 81-126.
  • Judith Shapiro, China’s Environmental Challenges (Cambridge, UK: Polity Press).


Important notice regarding changes to programmes and modules