International relations

Development and Geopolitics in East Asia

Module code: L2074S
Level 6
30 credits in spring semester
Teaching method: Seminar
Assessment modes: Coursework, Essay

You'll learn about the rise of East Asia by examining the interconnections between regional development and geopolitical contestation in the Cold War and contemporary eras.

You'll take a historical approach, starting with an examination of the legacies of European and Japanese imperialism in East Asia and an analysis of the establishment of post-war US hegemony in the region and its implications for subsequent economic development.

You'll also examine:

  • the divergent experiences of Northeast and Southeast Asia and the rise of China
  • the implications of the decline of Cold War geopolitical rivalry
  • the rise of globalisation and its role in explaining subsequent trends such as the East Asian financial crisis, East Asian regionalism and the changing nature of US-China relations.

Within this historical context, you'll examine different analytical frameworks and debates concerning late development, such as neoclassical versus structural institutionalism, Marxist versus dependency theories ,and international/regional versus domestic factors.

You'll study these theories critically in terms of their analytical purchase and their origins and role in geopolitical rivalry itself.

Module learning outcomes

  • Develop a systematic and critical understanding of the empirical practices and the relevant theoretical approaches in the fields of IR/IPE and development as they relate to the power struggles that have shaped East Asia.
  • Develop a detailed conceptual understanding of the core themes and events in the historical development of the East Asian regional political economy since the early 20th century.
  • Effectively synthesise and communicate the empirical and theoretical uncertainties, ambiguities and limits of elite-centred accounts of East Asian regional development.