NB former title of this course: Critical Approaches to the International Relations of East Asia
A foundational level knowledge of Contemporary East Asian politics and international relations is strongly encouraged.
How are power-knowledge relations structured in the formation of International Relations theory? What impact do these knowledge-power relations continue to have on the conduct of international relations in East Asia? (Why) has there been no East Asian International Relations theory until recently? What contribution can postpositivist and critical theories provide to help us understand the international relations of East Asia? (Why) does International Relations theory require ‘Decolonization’ and ‘Democratization’ and what does this entail?
This course builds on the theoretical foundations that students have acquired through the BA2 Semester Two course: ‘Regionalism and regionalization in the International Relations of East Asia’, through the examination of alternative theoretical perspectives and approaches to the international relations of East Asia, such as the English School, Postmodernism, Feminism, Postcolonialism, Critical Theory, and Green Politics. Each of these frameworks will be applied to a different case study in order to explore how the theory works in practice. These case studies include: the dynamics of inter-regionalism and notion of the EU as a ‘vanguard international society’ by examining the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM), a reappraisal of the Asian Financial Crisis, the hydropolitics of the Mekong Sub-region, and perceptions of North Korea in the Six Party Talks. By the end of the course, students will have an intermediate knowledge of International Relations theory and be able to approach a myriad of issues in global affairs from a variety of perspectives. Students will also develop a deep understanding of the problematic issues, perspectives and aspects of the field of International Relations today.
This module aims to provide a critical examination of key issues and processes related to the international relations of East Asia. The focus of this module is on developments since World War Two, but with a particular emphasis on the post-Cold War period. By the end of the module, students will be able to:
Demonstrate an advanced understanding of the complex issues in the international relations of East Asia.
Apply complex conceptual tools to analyze and critique key events and processes in the international relations of East Asia.
Demonstrate appropriate cognitive, communicative and transferable skills, develop the capacity for independent learning, critique major texts on and approaches in the international relations of East Asia, and participate in class debates.
Mode of instruction
Lecture and Seminar
All students MUST (140 hours for 5 ECs):
1. Attend and participate in 12 × 2-hour lecture/seminars (24 hours);
2. Complete readings and contribute to webposts, seminar discussions and debates every week (72 hours + 20 hours to prepare for the presentation);
3. Write one assessed critical literature review of between 2,000 words, based on the material covered in the module (24 hours).
China Studies Thesis Students must (280 hours for 10 EC):
Attend and participate in 12 × 2-hour lecture/seminars (24 hours);
2. Complete readings and contribute to webposts, seminar discussions and debates every week (72 hours + 24 hours to prepare for the presentation);
3. Write one thesis of approximately 8,000 words (160 hours).
The final grade for non-thesis students taking the 5 ECTS module will be based on:
Participation element: incl. attendance, participation, web posts and presentation: 50%
Analytical element: critical literature review (2,000 words): 50%
The final grade for thesis students taking the 10 ECTS module will be based on:
Participation element: incl. attendance, participation, web posts and presentation: 20%
Research element: thesis (8,000 words): 80%
A handbook denoting weekly readings will be posted on Blackboard the week before the start of the semester.
Additional information (powerpoints, useful websites, etc…) will also be found on Blackboard over the course of the semester.
Burchill, S. et. al. 2013. Theories of International Relations. Basingstoke: Palgrave MacMillan.
Registration through uSis. Not registered, means no permission to attend this course. See also the ‘Registrationprocedures for classes and examinations’ for registration deadlines and more information on how to register.
Dr. L. Black
Room 008, Het Arsenaal;
Office Hours: Tuesday 15:00-17:00
Alternative times are by appointment only
This course provides an intermediate understanding and critique of International Relations Theory that will prepare students for studying International Relations at the MA level.