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Politics East Asia


Admission requirements

This course is only available for students in the BA International Studies.


This course discusses key issues and approaches in the study of East Asian politics. We will discuss the political systems and processes and their evolution of East Asian countries since 1945. The main themes of the course will be (1) a critical comparison of communist and post-communist (China, North Korea, Mongolia) and capitalist countries (Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong); (2) the political impact and dynamics of rising global prominence.

Students are expected to do pre-assigned readings prior to each lecture and tutorial, write individual assignments, participate fully in class, and sit an end-term exam.

Course objectives

The goal of the course is to offer a systematic, in-depth and comparative understanding of politics in East Asia and the relevance comparative political theories and concepts to developments in the regionThey will be challenged to contrast and discuss different national cases and to put these in a comparative, global context.


The timetable will be available on the BA International Studies website.

Mode of instruction

This course consists of 12 weekly lectures of two hours each and 4 tutorials of 2 hours each.

Lecture and tutorials

Attending lectures and tutorials is compulsory. If you are not able to attend a lecture or tutorial, please inform the tutor of the course. Being absent without notification can result in a lower grade or exclusion from the final exam or essay.

Assessment method

  • Tutorials 30%

  • Midterm Exam 30%

  • Final Exam 40%

If the final grade is insufficient (lower than a 6), there is the possibility of retaking the full 70% of the exam material, replacing both the earlier mid- and endterm grades. No resit for the tutorials is possible.


Blackboard will be used. Students are requested to register on Blackboard for this course.

Reading list



Students are requested to register through uSis, the registration system of Leiden University for this course. General information about uSis is available in English and Dutch.

Registration Studeren à la carte and Contractonderwijs

Not applicable.