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Diplomacy in East Asia



Course objectives: This course examines the dynamics of diplomacy and international relations in East Asia. It aims to: 1. deepen the understanding of the concept of diplomacy as a tool for the conduct of international relations by analyzing how China and Japan use diplomacy to achieve their foreign policy aims; 2. deepen the understanding of the regional context in which international relations exist in East Asia.

Course content: The course will familiarize students with diplomacy and international relations in East Asia. It is built up around topics that illustrate the enormous changes that the region has undergone as a result of globalization, its growing economic clout, and its integration into the international system. The focus will be on diplomatic processes of the region’s two main actors, Japan and China, as well as on the international context in which these processes take place. Particular attention will be given to recent developments and the practical dilemmas that policymakers face in addressing these.
Beginning with an introduction that will map out the overall scope and nature of diplomacy and international relations in East Asia, the course then moves on to explore the following themes: Chinese diplomatic style; Japanese diplomatic style; China’s foreign policy: security strategy; Japan’s foreign policy: economic diplomacy; regional security cooperation: from the San Francisco system to the East Asia Summit; regional diplomacy: the North Korean nuclear issue; and Japan and China as actors at the global level.
Furthermore, starting from week 2, four students will be asked to present briefing notes in class. As students will be required to make in-class presentations and debate issues, they will enhance their research, analytical and presentation skills.

Methods of Instruction

Lectures, group discussion, and presentations.

Study Material

Students will read approximately 50-60 pages per week
Reading assignments will be published well in advance on Blackboard.
The texts will be available online and/or handed out by the lecturer.


Briefing note and presentation of briefing note (2 × 20%);
Essay of 2500 words (50%);
Course attendance and participation in group discussions (10%).


Tuesday 1 November till 20 December 13.00-15.00 hrs. in building Stichthage, 13th floor, room Archipel