The International Politics of East Asia

School: School of Government and Society
Department: Department of Political Science and International Studies

Second year module

Lecturer: Dr Julie Gilson and Dr Tsering Topgyal

In this module, students will learn about key states involved in contemporary East Asian politics. Specifically, they will examine the role of the United States, Japan, China, South Korea and key regional institutions.

The semester two module will explore core themes and issues in the international politics of East Asia: relevance of sovereignty forms of governance, role of regional NGOs, implications of political change for interstate relations and domestic and regional security, ethnic politics, regional hotspots, peacekeeping, fallout of Asian financial and economic crisis, forms of capitalism, and development of regionalism.

Learning outcomes

At the end of the module the student should be able to: 

  • Identify and analyse the key factors and structures involved in contemporary East Asian politics. 
  • Demonstrate knowledge of issues affecting the international politics of East Asia. 
  • Analyse the inter-relationship of inter-state, sub-state, and intra-regional dimensions of the international politics of East Asia. 
  • Appraise developments in East Asia on the basis of primary and secondary sources, including web-based ones. 
  • use effectively, as appropriate, concepts drawn from international relations.


  • Term One: 1 essay x 2,000 word assessed work (50%)
  • Term Three: 2 hour examination (50%)

Related courses:

The modules listed on the website for this programme are regularly reviewed to ensure they are up-to-date and informed by the latest research and teaching methods. Unless indicated otherwise, the modules listed for this programme are for students starting in 2018. On rare occasions, we may need to make unexpected changes to compulsory modules; in this event we will contact offer holders as soon as possible to inform or consult them as appropriate.