East Asia Rising: Beyond the American Century? (L2074A)

30 credits, Level 6

Autumn teaching

You will understand the rise of East Asia by examining the interconnections between regional development and geopolitical contestation in the Cold War and contemporary eras. You will adopt an historical approach, beginning with an examination of the legacies of European and Japanese imperialism in East Asia. You will analyse the establishment of post-war US hegemony in the region and its implications for subsequent economic development.

You will examine the divergent experiences of Northeast and Southeast Asia and the rise of China. You will then look at the implications of the decline of Cold War geopolitical rivalry, as well as the rise of 'globalisation' and its role in explaining subsequent trends – including the East Asian financial crisis, East Asian regionalism and the changing nature of US-China relations.

Within this historical context, you’ll examine varying analytical frameworks and debates concerning late development, including:

  • neoclassical versus structural institutionalism
  • Marxist vs dependency theories
  • international/regional vs domestic factors.


100%: Seminar


30%: Coursework (Essay, Group presentation)
70%: Written assessment (Essay)

Contact hours and workload

This module is approximately 300 hours of work. This breaks down into about 30 hours of contact time and about 270 hours of independent study. The University may make minor variations to the contact hours for operational reasons, including timetabling requirements.

We regularly review our modules to incorporate student feedback, staff expertise, as well as the latest research and teaching methodology. We’re planning to run these modules in the academic year 2024/25. However, there may be changes to these modules in response to feedback, staff availability, student demand or updates to our curriculum. We’ll make sure to let you know of any material changes to modules at the earliest opportunity.


This module is offered on the following courses: