CEA Partner Institution: Anglo-American University
Location: Prague, Czech Republic
Primary Subject Area: Political Science
Instruction in: English
Course Details: Level 300
Recommended Semester Credits: 3
Contact Hours: 42
China, Japan, the two Koreas, and the ten ASEAN states make up what is conventionally referred to as East Asia. As a region, East Asia looms large in international politics. Four of the world's fifteen most populous countries (China, Indonesia, the Philippines and Vietnam) are part of this region, as do three of the world's fifteen richest countries by nominal GDP (China, Japan, and South Korea). At the same time, international politics in East Asia is complex and highly volatile. The diplomatic crisis over Taiwan remains a persistent flashpoint. Concern about China's growing economic and military power raises concerns over the region, but China is in the center of speculations about the opportunities for tapping "1.3 billion potential customers". Tensions on the Korean Peninsula over North Korea's nuclear program have the entire region on edge.
If the twenty-first century really will be "The Asian Century", as many have predicted, then it is more important than ever to understand the factors shaping regional politics. In this course, we will broadly survey contemporary East Asian politics, paying particular attention to regional security and economic development. We will also utilize some international relations theory to frame our analyses. We will begin with an examination of how bipolarity during the Cold War helped to lay the groundwork for present-day political dynamics. We will then study the origins of the 'Asian miracle' of rapid development and the collapse in the 1997 Asian financial crisis. Other topics will include the emergence of the U.S. alliance system, the rise of China, the North Korea and Taiwan, the growing institutionalization of regional politics through the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), and non-traditional security problems such as terrorism and human rights violations.