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Diplomacy and International Relations in East Asia



This course examines the dynamics of diplomacy and international relations (IR) in East Asia.
Objective 1: It deepens students’ understanding of how countries in the region – in particular China and Japan – use diplomacy to achieve their foreign policy aims, and to explore whether a particular ‘East Asian’ style and strategy of diplomacy and IR exist next to the dominant mode of diplomatic practice with its largely Western origins.
Objective 2: The course also aims to enhance students’ research and analytical skills, as well as their presentation and debating skills.

Course content: The course is built up around topics that illustrate the enormous political, economic, and social changes that the East Asian region has undergone as a result of globalization, its growing economic clout, and its integration into the international system. The focus is on diplomatic processes of the region’s two main actors, Japan and China, as well as on the international context in which these processes take place. Particular attention will be given to topical developments and to practical dilemmas that policymakers face. Specific topics to be addressed include China’s foreign policy and diplomacy; Japan’s foreign policy and diplomacy; Taiwan, North Korea and South Korea; the United States and its pivot to Asia; regional cooperation in East Asia.

Methods of Instruction

Seminar based (introductory lectures and group discussion) and class presentations by students (individual: presentation of briefing notes and in groups: participation in a mock conference). One session will be reserved for a guest lecture by a practitioner or a speaker from the region.

Study Material

Students will read approximately 60-70 pages per week, mostly consisting of journal articles, book chapters, government publications and opinionated articles.


Assessment based on active class participation (10%), presentation of a briefing note (20%), contribution to a mock conference (20%) and a final essay (50%).


Wednesday 3 September, 15.00-17.00 hrs in room A2.03 Schouwburgstraat 2, The Hague
Monday 8, 15, 22 September, 9.00-11.00 hrs in room Binnenhof, Stichthage*
Monday 29 September, 9.00-13.00 hrs at Clingendael Institute for International Relations**
Wednesday 15 October, 15.00-17.00 hrs in room A2.01 Schouwburgstraat 2, The Hague
Wednesday 22 October, 15.00-17.00 hrs in room Binnenhof, Stichthage*

*Stichthage, Koningin Julianaplein 10 2595 AA The Hague **Clingendael 7 2597 VH The Hague

Entry Requirements

For MIRD students only.