Globalising East Asia

Key information

Start date
End date
Year of study
Year 2 or Year 3
Term 2
Module code
FHEQ Level
Department of Politics and International Studies

Module overview

This module is designed to provide students with a theoretically informed introduction to key issues in the contemporary international relations of East Asia. East Asia is defined as the states of the Northeast Asia (in particular, China, Korea, Japan and Taiwan), and the two main external actors, the United States and Soviet Union/Russia who played a key role influencing the region’s international relations. East Asia presents fascinating case studies in the study of international relations by bringing together the world’s three largest economies (US, China, Japan), three of the UN Security Council’s permanent members (US, Russia, China) and two divided nations (China/Taiwan and the two Korea). The course comprises three parts. The first part (Introduction) provides an overview of the themes and intellectual approaches to the study of the international relations of the region. The second part (Ideas) examines how ideas and ideology shape international relations of East Asia. The third part (Norms) examines the region through the lens of norms. The fourth part (identity and regionalism) examines how identity has shaped various regional institutions taking the cases of ASEAN, SCO and BRI. As a result, the students will enhance knowledge of the region as a whole (to go beyond a single country focus) and learn to relate disciplinary and empirical knowledge.


Please note: In order to take this module, you must also take 153400155 International Relations of East Asia in Term 1.

Objectives and learning outcomes of the module

  • Understand the major forces in the international relations of Asia from 19th C to the present
  • Analyse how ideas, identity and norms shape the region and the role of key outside actors
  • Critically evaluate the past, current and future issues in the region
  • Demonstrate familiarity with the existing theoretical approaches to analyse the inter-regional relations and foreign policy making of the major states in the region
  • Develop skills of oral and written communication


This module will be taught over 10 weeks with:

  • 1 hour lecture per week
  • 1 hour tutorial per week

Method of assessment

  • Assignment 1: 30%
  • Assignment 2: 55%
  • Presentation: 10%
  • Seminar Participation: 5%

Suggested reading

  • Muthiah Alagappa (ed.), Asian Security and Practice: Material and Ideational Influences (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1998).
  • Muthiah Alagappa, (ed.), Asian Security Order: Instrumental and Normative Features (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2003).
  • G. John Ikenberry and Michael Mastanduno (eds), International Relations Theory and the Asia Pacific (New York: Columbia University Press, 2003).
  • Michael Yahuda, The International Politics of the Asia Pacific (London: Routledge, 2011).
  • Satoshi Amako, Shunji Matsuoka and Kenji Horiuchi (eds.) Regional Integration in East Asia (Tokyo: United Nations University Press, 2013).


Important notice regarding changes to programmes and modules