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Security in Asia


Admission requirements

Participation in the seminar is only permitted if the propaedeutic phase has been passed (60 EC).


Asia is back…or not quite yet? Asia is a continent of superlatives and is gradually regaining its status as a global center of wealth and power. However, it is also a space rife with tensions and security challenges. In this elective seminar, you will develop a better understanding of Asia across geography and security. We study and discuss all the regions that Asia encompasses and focus on the larger actors, including China, the US, Japan, India, Russia, and ASEAN. Evidently, we also learn about relevant security organizations and structures across Asia.

This interactive bi-weekly seminar helps to prepare students who are considering a career in diplomacy, international institutions, academia, think tanks, and select private sector industries where an understanding of Asia(n) (security) is required.

Course objectives

By the end of the course, students should be able to:

1). understand the presence and absence of security order(s) in Asia.
2). understand the primary security interests and concerns of regions and key actors in Asia within broader historical, political, and economic contexts.
3). think, argue, and write more astutely on Asian security affairs.

Mode of instruction

Substantial lectures & seminar-style discussions, complemented by assignments.

Assessment method

  • Presentation (25%)

  • Final exam: in-class open-answer questions (60%)

  • Attendance and class participation (15%)

The final mark for the course is established by determining the weighted average.

Method and assessment percentages are subject to (minor) change.

Reading list

We use specialist readings assigned per week. The full reading list, including specific journal articles, will be available in January. The seminar takes the form of close reading, analysis, and discussion of a series of texts. Students are expected study the literature each week and prepare for class by thinking of questions, critiques, and points for discussion to be brought up.

The reading list will inter alia include:

  • Kissinger, Henry. 2014. ‘World Order.’ Chapters 5 &6.

  • Brzezinski, Zbigniew. 2012. ‘Strategic Vision: America and the Crisis of Global Power.’ Part 3 sections 1 & 2, and Part 4 section 3.

  • Kaplan, Robert D. 2012. ‘The Revenge of Geography.’ Chapters X-XIII.

  • Goh, Evelyn. 2013. ‘The Struggle for Order.’ Chapter 6


See 'Practical Information


See 'MyTimetable'