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2017/2018  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
Start time of the course Spring
Timetable Course schedule will be posted at calendar.cbs.dk
Study board
Study Board for BSc International Business in Asia
Course coordinator
  • Nis Høyrup Christensen - EGB
Main academic disciplines
  • Globalization and international business
  • Political Science
Last updated on 30-06-2017

Relevant links

Learning objectives
To achieve the grade 12, students should meet the following learning objectives with no or only minor mistakes or errors: 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.
  • Be able to apply international relations theories on empirical realities in the Asian region, with an emphasis on China and Japan.
  • 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 exam
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
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.


The exam must be handed in through Digital Exam.

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.
Feedback during the teaching period
Feedback is offered in response to your questions and work whenever feasible although please appreciate that there are often time constraints. Please feel free to take full advantage of the ‘office hours’ offered by full-time staff members, although these can never be a substitute for participation in lectures and classes. We also encourage you to ask questions or make comments in class and form self-study groups to secure peer feedback on your work.
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

John Baylis and Steve Smith (eds.). (2001). The Globalization of World Politics. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
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. 

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.


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.


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.



Please note: these reading materials are only tentative and changes may occur. Final literature lists will be uploaded on LEARN before the course begins. 


Last updated on 30-06-2017