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2014/2015  BA-BASPO1012U  International Relations in Asia

English Title
International Relations in Asia

Course information

Language English
Course ECTS 7.5 ECTS
Type Mandatory
Level Bachelor
Duration One Semester
Course period Spring
Timetable Course schedule will be posted at calendar.cbs.dk
Study board
Study Board for Asian Study Programme
Course coordinator
  • Nis Høyrup Christensen - Department of International Economics and Management (INT)
Main academic disciplines
  • Globalization, International Business, markets and studies
  • International Politics
  • Political Science
Last updated on 11-11-2014
Learning objectives
At the end of the course the students should be able to:
  • Demonstrate a basic knowledge of major schools of international relations theory, and be able to identify their different assumptions, logics and arguments.
  • Show a basic understanding of the role of the state, institutions and politics in social and economic affairs at the national, transnational and international levels.
  • Demonstrate an overall view of international relations in Asia, with an emphasis on the role of China and Japan in the region.
  • Develop an understanding of the heterogeneity of Asian countries and how it shapes dynamics among them in regional and global affairs.
  • Demonstrate the ability to critically think about and discuss international relations in Asia, both from a conceptual angle and from empirical evidence.
International Relations in Asia:
Exam ECTS 7,5
Examination form Home assignment - written product
Individual or group exam Individual
Size of written product Max. 10 pages
Assignment type Report
Duration Written product to be submitted on specified date and time.
Grading scale 7-step scale
Examiner(s) One internal examiner
Exam period Summer Term
Make-up exam/re-exam
Same examination form as the ordinary exam
Description of the exam procedure

Individual take-home term paper based on a research question chosen from a list provided by the teacher. Max. 10 standard pages.

Course content and structure

This course introduces major theories of international relations, and discusses how they can help us understand issues of conflict and security in Asia. Particular attention will be paid to developing strong analytical skills for dissecting the complex nature of relations among Asian countries and thus situate security issues in the wider economic and social dynamics of the region. Throughout the course the history and positions of enmity and amity of important regional actors such as China, India, Japan, and Southeast Asian countries will be discussed.
The course is divided into two parts. The first part is organized according to schools of international relations theory: Realism and Liberalism, Neo-realism and Neo-liberalism, The English school, Marxism and Critical Theory, Constructivism, Securitization and Regional Security Complex Theory as well as theories on foreign policy and domestic agendas. These theories are applied to explain and interpret Asian phenomena, but at the same time Asian experiences are employed to critique existing theories that are mainly based on Western history.
The second part discusses international issues central to Asia with an emphasis on Asian values, growth and development, climate and sustainability, regionalism, and the relations between Asia and the rest of the world. 

Teaching methods
Classes will be based on a cooperative learning format with oscillation between short intervals of lecturing and exercises, including group work on cases.
Student workload
Teaching 36 hours
Preparation 170 hours
Further Information

This course is part of the overall Year One theme, "Comparative Cultural and Social Analysis". The course is intended for students of the Asian Studies Programme in general and serves as an intellectual preparation for the 2nd and 3rd year courses.

Expected literature

Session 1: Realism and Liberalism                    
Dunne, Tim and Brian C. Schmidt. (2001). Realism. In: John Baylis and Steve Smith (eds.). (2001). The Globalization of World Politics. Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp. 141-161.
Dunne, Tim. (2001). Liberalism. In: John Baylis and Steve Smith (eds.). (2001). The Globalization of World Politics. Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp. 162-181. 
Session 2: Neorealism and Neoliberalism       
Waltz, Kenneth. (1979). Theory of International Politics. McGraw-Hill, pp. 79-128.
Keohane, Robert. (1989). Neoliberal Institutionalism: A Perspective on World Politics. In: Robert Keohane. International Institutions and State Power: Essays in International Relations Theory. Westview Press, pp. 1-20. 
Lamy, Steven L. (2001). Contemporary mainstream approaches: neo-realism and neo-liberalism. In: John Baylis and Steve Smith (eds.). (2001). The Globalization of World Politics. Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp. 182-199.
Session 3: The English School                 
Dunne, Tim. (2013). The English School. In: Tim Dunne, Milja Kurki and Steve Smith (eds). International Relations Theories: Discipline and Diversity. Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp. 132-152.
Bull, Hedley. (1984). The Emergence of a Universal International Society. In: Hedley Bull and Adam Watson (eds.), The Expansion of International Society. Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp. 117-26.
Quayle, Linda. (2012). ‘Bridging the gap: an ‘English School’ perspective on ASEAN and regional civil society’, The Pacific Review, Vol. 25(2), pp. 199-222.
Session 4: Marxism and Critical Theory           
Hobden, Stephen and Richard Wyn Jones. (2001). Marxist theories of International Relations. In: John Baylis and Steve Smith (eds.). (2001). The Globalization of World Politics. Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp. 200-223.
Dos Santos, Theotonio. (2010). ‘Development and Civilisation’, Social Change, 40: 95-116.
Session 5: Constructivism                       
Smith, Steve. (2001). Reflectivist and constructivist approaches to international theory. John Baylis and Steve Smith (eds.). (2001). The Globalization of World Politics. Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp. 224-249.
Wendt, Alexander. (1992). ’Anarchy is what States Make of it: The Social Construction of Power Politics’, International Organization, vol. 46(2), pp. 391-425.
Jepperson, Ronald L., Alexander Wendt and Peter J. Katzenstein (1996). Norms, Identity, and Culture in National Security. In: Peter J. Katzenstein (ed). (1996). The Culture of National Security: Norms and Identity in World Politics. New York: Columbia University Press, pp. 33-75.
Session 6: Securitization and Regional Security Complex Theory
Buzan, Barry, Ole Wæver and Jaap de Wilde. (1997). Security: A New Framework for Analysis. London: Lynne Riener, pp. 21-47.
Buzan, Barry and Ole Wæver. (2003). Regions and Powers. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp. 3-26; 144-182.
Session 7: Foreign policy and domestic agendas, nationalism
Carlsnaes, Walter. (2002). Foreign Policy. In: W. Carlsnaes, T. Risse and B.A. Simmons (eds.), Handbook of International Relations. London: Sage, pp. 331-49.
Halliday, Fred. (2001). Nationalism. In: John Baylis and Steve Smith (eds.). (2001). The Globalization of World Politics. Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp. 440-455.
Okuyama, Michiaki. (2009). ‘The Yasukuni Shrine Problem in the East Asian Context: Religion and Politics in Modern Japan’, Politics and Religion 3, 2, pp. 235-50.
Session 8: Asian values and IR
Tamaki, Taku. (2007). ‘Confusing Confucius in Asian Values? A Constructivist Critique’, International Relations 21, 3, pp. 284-304.
Zakaria, Fareed and Lee Kuan Yew. (1994). ‘Culture is Destiny: A Conversation with Lee Kuan Yew’, Foreign Affairs 73, 2, pp. 109-26.
Kim, Dae Jung. (1994). ‘Is Culture Destiny? The Myth of Asia's Anti-Democratic Values’, Foreign Affairs 73, 6, pp. 189-94.
Session 9: Growth and development
Phillips, Nicola. (2011). Globalization and Development. In: John Ravenhill (ed.), Global Political Economy, (3. Ed.). Oxford University Press, pp. 416-449.
Stubbs, Richard. (2009). ‘What Ever Happened to the East Asian Developmental State? The Unfolding Debate’, The Pacific Review, 22,1, pp. 1-22.
Cronin, Richard. (2009). ‘Mekong Dams and the Perils of Peace’, Survival, 51, 6: pp. 147-59.
Session 10: Climate and sustainability
Pendleton, Andrew (2010). ‘After Copenhagen’, Public Policy Research 16, 4: pp. 210-17.
Schreurs, Miranda A. (2010). ‘Multi‐level Governance and Global Climate Change in East Asia’, Asian Economic Policy Review, Vol. 5(1), pp.88-105.
Karlsson-Vinkhuyzen, Sylvia I. and Harro van Asselt (2009) ‘Introduction: Exploring and Explaining the Asia-Pacific Partnership on Clean Development and Climate’, International Environmental Agreements: Politics, Law and Economics, 9, 3, pp. 195-211.
Session 11: Asian regionalism
Ravenhill, John. (2010). ‘The ‘new East Asian regionalism’: A political domino effect’, Review of International Political Economy, 17, 2: pp. 178-208.
Selden, Mark. (2009). ‘East Asian Regionalism and its Enemies in Three Epochs: Political Economy and Geopolitics, 16th to 21st Centuries’, The Asia-Pacific Journal, Vol. 9-4-09, pp. 1-25.
Little, Richard. (2001). International Regimes. (2001). John Baylis and Steve Smith (eds.). (2001). The Globalization of World Politics. Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp. 299-316.
Session 12: Asia in the world
Beeson, Mark and Stephen Bell. (2009). ‘The G-20 and International Economic Governance: Hegemony, Collectivism, or Both’, Global Governance 15, 1, pp. 67-86.
Mahbubani, Kishore. (2011). ‘Can Asia Re-Legitimize Global Governance?’, Review of International Political Economy 18, 1, pp. 131-39.

Last updated on 11-11-2014