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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. It introduces political systems and processes, and their evolution in East Asian countries. Central for the course is the theme of democratization. Therefore, institutions such as elections and party systems will have a central role. In addition, the course will be looking into the role of East Asian countries in international arenas. Students are expected to do pre-assigned readings prior to each lecture and tutorial, write individual assignments, participate fully in class, and sit the mid- and end-term exams.

Course objectives

The goal of the course is to offer a systematic, in-depth and comparative understanding of politics in East Asia and political theories and concepts relevant to developments in the region. Students will be challenged to understand 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

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 exam or essay.

Course Load

Total course load for this course: 5 EC x 28 hours is 140 hours, broken down by:
Attending classes: 24 hours
Reading for classes and exam preparation: 72 hours
Attending tutorials and writing assignments: 44 hours

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. For tutorial groups: please enroll in blackboard after your enrolment in uSis
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.


Dr. T.M. Salmenkari, email