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Regionalism and Regionalization in the International Relations of East Asia (PEIR seminar, (FAT-module course, twice a week in block 3 only)


Admission requirements

A foundation level knowledge of Contemporary East Asian politics and international relations is strongly encouraged.


Why are East Asian states establishing regional institutions and frameworks to manage their affairs? What are the historical foundations and core values that generate this ‘urge to merge’? How can we explain and understand connections between states and sub-state actors at the sub-regional and micro-regional levels? How do the processes of regionalization and globalization facilitate or hinder the development of regionalism? What impacts have the ‘War on Terror’, the Credit Crunch and eurozone crisis had upon East Asian regionalism? In this course, students investigate these and further questions from a variety of theoretical standpoints to explore the processes of regionalism and regionalization in the International Relations of East Asia.

Students commence the course with an overview of regionalism in East Asia before delving into the diverse and rich theoretical frameworks that enable us to understand regionalism from different perspectives. Students will also examine the historical context of regionalism in East Asia, which has served to both encourage and undermine the development of regional institutions.

In the next seven classes of the course, students will learn about key issues in the economic, political and security relations of states in the East Asian region. In the field of economics, students will study the growth of regional production networks and their connections with globalization, Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) and the Asian financial crisis. In the political domain, we explore the development of East Asian regionalism from the creation of ASEAN to ASEAN+3 (APT) and the East Asia Summit (EAS). In terms of security, students will examine the role played in East Asia by the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) and the US, as well as the impact of the ‘War on Terror’ on East Asian regionalism. The course concludes by examining the impact of the credit crunch in East Asia and on the emergence of China as a potential regional hegemon.

Course objectives

This module aims to provide a critical examination of key issues and processes related to the development of East Asian regionalism. 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 understanding of the complex issues and processes related to the development of East Asian regionalism.

  • Apply conceptual tools to analyze key events and processes in the development of regionalism in East Asia.

  • Demonstrate appropriate cognitive, communicative and transferable skills, develop the capacity for independent learning, critique major texts on East Asian regionalism, and participate in class debates.


NB Block III only!
Tuesday 9.00-11.00 lecture for all students
Thursday 9.00-11.00 or 11.00-13.00 seminar (in four small parallel-groups)

check timetable: collegerooster

Mode of instruction

Lecture and seminar

Course load

All students MUST (140 hours for 5 ECs):
1. Attend and participate in 7 × 2-hour lectures and 7 × 2-hour seminars (28 hours);
2. Complete readings and contribute to web posts, and seminar discussions every week (70 hours);
3. Write one assessed essay plan of 1,000 words (12 hours)
4. Write one assessed research essay of between 2,000-2,500 words, based on the material covered in the module (30 hours).

Assessment method

Analytical element (essay plan): 20%
Participation element (incl. attendance, participation, and webposts): 40%
Research element (research essay (2,000-2,500 words)): 40%


A handbook denoting weekly readings will be posted on Blackboard
by Mid-January.
Additional information (powerpoints, useful websites, etc…) will also be found on blackboard over the course of the semester.

Reading list

The course is structured around three core textbooks, which will be available on Dr. Black’s Shelf in the East Asian library. These textbooks may also be purchased from the internet and local bookshops. Students are advised to complete the preparatory reading in the handbook in preparation for the course.
Beeson, Mark. 2007. Regionalism and Globalization in East Asia: Politics, Security and Economic Development. Palgrave Macmillan.
Dent, Christopher, M. 2008. East Asian Regionalism. Abingdon and New York: Routledge.
Burchill, S. et. al. 2013. Theories of International Relations. Basingstoke: Palgrave MacMillan. Fifth Edition.


Students can sign up to the class via uSis .

Contact information

Dr. L. Black
Room 008, Het Arsenaal;
Office Hours: Thursday 15:00-17:00
Alternative times are by appointment only


This course provides a foundational level understanding of International Relations theory and practice upon which students can build in the BA3 Critical Approaches to the International Relations of East Asia course.