Comparing Democracies in North East Asia

Key information

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Module code
FHEQ Level
Department of Politics and International Studies

Module overview

This module examines the origins, characteristics and dynamics of the political systems of Northeast Asia (Japan, South Korea, Taiwan). Each week we examine a different political theme as the basis to compare these three East Asian democracies. We will consider a wide range of political science theories and frameworks to analyse how domestic politics operates in these country cases.

Objectives and learning outcomes of the module

  • Teach students to evaluate and ‘test’ a broad range of concepts and theories on these three East Asian cases.
  • Show students how to present ideas and explore important concepts in writing and through presentations.
  • Teach students skills in comparative political analysis.
  • Build up students’ detailed knowledge of the domestic politics of East Asian countries.


  • Two hour seminar per week 

Method of assessment

  • Assignment 1: 20%
  • Assignment 2: 70%
  • Presentation: 10%

Suggested reading

  • Brooker, Paul, Non-Democratic Regimes (London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2009), 1-44.
  • Dan Slater and Joseph Wong, (2013) “The Strength to Concede: Ruling Parties and Democratization in Developmental Asia,” Perspectives on Politics, Vol 11: 3: (O)
  • Nathan Batto, Huang Chi, Alexander Tan and Gary Cox, Mixed Member Electoral Systems in Constitutional Context: Taiwan: Japan and beyond (University of Michigan, 2016)
  • Rich, Timothy S Partisanship, Polling and Strategic Voting in East Asia: Evidence From an Experimental Web Survey JOURNAL OF ASIAN AND AFRICAN STUDIES; NOV 2018; 53; 7; p1086-p1101
  • Scarrow, Susan, Political Parties and Party Systems, in Le Duc, Lawrence, Richard Niemi, & Pippa Norris (Eds.), Comparing Democracies 3: New Challenges in the Study of Elections and Voting (London: Sage, 2010), 45-64. (BLE)


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