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PEIR Lecture Seminar IR of Japan


Admission requirements

A background in international relations, foreign policy, or Japanese politics would be helpful.


In this course, students will explore Japan’s approach to global issues and its relations with other nations through the lens of theories that stress the centrality of, respectively, national identity, international cooperation, and power and sovereignty in international relations. Students will examine a number of external and internal factors – including but not limited to Japan’s “peace”“ constitution, its security alliance with the United States, and issues of historical memory – which structure Japan’s roles and objectives in international society and influence its position in the world. The course will also consider specific issue areas, such as Japan’s financial and peacekeeping contributions to the United Nations, its recent “security activism”“ within the context of the U.S.-Japans alliance, its investment programs in Southeast Asia, its territorial disputes with China, Taiwan, South Korea and Russia, and its relations with the European Union.

Course objectives

Students will be assigned readings from core texts, but will be expected to make note of current developments in Japan, as well as global or regional events which may be relevant to the subject matter taught during the course.



Mode of instruction

Choose from:

  • Lecture

Course Load

A brief calculation of the course load, broken down by:

  • -Total course load for the course: 140 hours

  • -Hours spent on attending lectures and seminars (eg 2 hours per week x 14 weeks
    = 28 hours)

  • -Reading: 82 hours

  • -Assignments: 30 hours

Assessment method

Participation element (Reading Journal): 20%
Analytical element (essay of 2,000 words): 40%^
Summative element (exam): 40%

Het eindcijfer voor het onderdeel is het gewogen gemiddelde van de uitslagen voor de deeltoetsen, met dien verstande dat het onderdeel alleen voldoende kan zijn wanneer de student voor alle deeltoetsen een voldoende heeft behaald. Indien een of meer van de deeltoetsen onvoldoende zijn, ontvangt de student een onvoldoende (onv.) als uitslag voor het gehele onderdeel.



Reading list

Hook, Glenn, D., Gilson, Julie, Hughes, Christopher, W., and Dobson, Hugo.2011. Japan’s International Relations – Politics, Economics and Security. London and New York: Routledge.


Registration through uSis. Not registered, means no permission to attend this course. See also the ‘Registrationprocedures for classes and examinations’ for registration deadlines and more information on how to register.

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