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Politics East Asia


Admission requirements.

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

Limited places are also open for exchange students. Please note: this course takes place in The Hague.


East Asia is a region of immense political diversity, where electoral democracies like South Korea, Japan, and Taiwan exist side-by-side with authoritarian countries like the People’s Republic of China and North Korea. Regional processes in East Asia range from close cooperation to outright hostilities – recent territorial disputes between China and Japan being just one of many examples from this dynamic region.

This course discusses key issues and approaches in the study of East Asian politics. It introduces political systems and processes, as well as their evolution in East Asian countries. Drawing from political science concepts such as power, legitimacy, and participation, the course examines what factors shape domestic politics in China, Japan, and Korea. In addition, the course introduces key dynamics of East Asian international relations.

Course objectives

Participants in this course will acquire the following: – A systematic understanding of how political theories and concepts may apply to East Asian contexts. – Comparative insights into political institutions in different East Asian countries. – In-depth knowledge of domestic and regional political dynamics in East Asia. – The ability to contextualize politics in East Asia and to persuasively discuss, orally and in writing, what drives political developments in the region.


The timetable is available on the BA International Studies website.

Mode of instruction

Lecture course with 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 essay.

Course Load

The work-load for this course roughly be 140 hours: – Lectures: 12 sessions of 2 hours = 24 hours. – Tutorials: 4 sessions of 2 hours = 8 hours. – Readings / course-work: 68 hours. – Preparation exam: 40 hours

Assessment method

Tutorials 30%
Midterm Exam 30%
Final Exam 40%

Regular, punctual attendance, thorough preparation of reading material, and continuous participation in plenary discussions are also expected.

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.

To complete the final mark, please take notice of the following:
the final mark for the course is established by determining the weighted average


Blackboard will be used. For tutorial groups: please enroll in blackboard after your enrolment in uSis
Students are requested to register on Blackboard for this course.

Reading list

Required readings will be announced on blackboard.


Enrolment through uSis is mandatory.

General information about uSis is available in English and Dutch

Registration Studeren à la carte and Contractonderwijs

Not applicable.


For questions or additional information please contact your study coordinator or the respective tutor.
The lecturer can be reached at:
Dr. Florian Schneider
Office Location: Arsenaal 009, Arsenaalstraat 1, Leiden.