Politics & International Relations in the Asia Pacific

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

Modular value: 20 credits
Duration: Semester long
Contact Hours: 3 hours per week

Lecturer: Dr. Julie Gilson 

The aim of this course is to provide students with a Masters level knowledge of the contemporary political and security issues in the Asia Pacific region, and with an advanced understanding of the International Relations theories which underpin them.

The module utilises theories from International Relations and Security Studies to examine the principal dynamics of Asia-Pacific security from the cold war to the present. It focuses in particular upon: the US presence in the region, the rise of China, regional institutions, and the importance of the ‘new’ security agenda in the region.

By the end of this module, you will be able to:

(A)    Subject-specific

  • Recognise and demonstrate understanding of the key state-, non-state and extra-regional political and security actors in the Asia-Pacific;
  • Differentiate traditional from new actors and issues in relation to Asia-Pacific politics and security;
  • Identify confidently, and analyse, key historical and contemporary issues in Asia-Pacific politics and security; and
  • Demonstrate advanced knowledge of the ways in which different International Relations theories relate in complex ways to traditional and non-traditional issues in Asia-Pacific politics and security.

(B)    Generic

  • Develop and express ideas in the form of two evidence-based analytical essays on contemporary political and security issues in the Asia-Pacific;
  • Contribute to group discussion by sharing ideas, questions, and insights, and by thoughtfully considering and responding to the ideas, questions, and insights of others.

(C)    Key Skills

  • Demonstrate competence in critical and analytical thinking and engagement with texts;
  • Clearly and concisely communicate complex ideas in both class and written work;
  • Perform strongly in group work as well as in independent study projects, bearing in mind the importance of time management, organisation and team spirit; 


1 x 3,000 word essay  (55%)
2 x 500 word briefing paper (15% each)
1 x Reflection on theories of IR in Asia Pacific (15%)

Related modules:

Related courses:

The optional modules listed on the website for this programme may unfortunately occasionally be subject to change. As you will appreciate key members of staff may leave the University and this necessitates a review of the modules that are offered. Where the module is no longer available we will let you know as soon as we can and help you make other choices.