Chinese Politics and Foreign Relations

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

Modular Value: 20 credits
Duration:  Term long
Contact Hours: 3 hours per week

Lecturer: Tsering Topgyal

We will start the module by charting the historical development of China’s foreign relations since 1949, followed by an exploration of the domestic sources of its foreign policy, particularly regime security and the socio-cultural, perceptual, institutional, ethnic and political contexts (domestic factors) in which policy is formulated. We will close the module by examining the international drivers of China’s foreign policy, including consideration of its key bilateral and multilateral relationships.

Throughout the term, we will relate Chinese foreign and security policy behaviour to the concepts and theories of international relations and foreign policy. We will examine how China’s rise is affecting global power relations and how other actors are responding to this development. This module will impart to the students an advanced understanding of the sources of conflict and cooperation in China’s foreign relations and equip them with the skill of critically engaging with the empirical and theoretical literatures and official pronouncements. It will also require and train the students in the skill of relating foreign policy issues to international relations theory.


  • Presentation (10%)
  • 2000-word Book Review (40%)
  • 3000-word Essay (60%)

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.