POLS 588: EAST ASIAN SECURITY
Dr. Y.K. Wang
Office: Zulauf 416
Office Hours: M & W 10:30-12:00, and by appointment
is a seminar course aimed at integrating theories of international relations
with the study of East Asian security. We will begin with an overview of
theories of security studies and review the historical background necessary to
understand current issues in the region. Next, we will evaluate the debates
over the region’s prospects for peace and conflict after the Cold War, and
examine the rise of
This course aims to achieve three objectives. First,
students will learn to apply
international relations theory to the study of East Asian security. Such a
theoretical approach is designed to help students deepen their understanding of
the dynamic events happening in the region. Second, the course will provide students
with the analytical tools to delve more deeply into the study of East Asian
security. What are the key issues driving research about the region and how do
we better approach them? Thirdly, this course will acquaint students with the
substance of important security issues involving
Grading will be based on:
Class Participation 15%
Weekly Memos 15%
Midterm Essay 20%
Research Paper 50%
Class participation includes both attendance and classroom discussion. Students should actively participate in class discussion as this is an important part of the learning process. I strongly encourage you to speak and share your thoughts and reactions to the materials covered in class. If you have trouble speaking in class, please come to see me; I will try to help you work it out.
You must have completed all the readings before each class. To encourage this process, each student is required to submit a weekly memo (one page, single-spaced) that focuses on a particular aspect of the readings. You can critique an argument, analyze the appropriateness of the methodology used, or explore further questions that need to be addressed. In the memo, do not simply summarize the reading. You should provide your own thoughts and reactions, which in turn will serve as part of our discussion questions in class. You must e-mail the assignments to me by on class day. Late assignments will not be accepted. Students who miss more than five memos will automatically receive an “F” grade for the course.
The midterm essay (5-8 pages, double-spaced, size-12 font) will be an article critique or a book review. You can build on your weekly memos, or pick a new article (or a set of articles) or a book for review. In your essay, you must summarize the main points of the reading and offer your own critique. The essay is due in class on October 11. Ten percent of your essay grade will be deducted for each day the essay is late.
The research paper (20-25 pages, double-spaced, size-12 font) should be original. You must discuss the topic with me in advance and submit a one-page prospectus by October 25. The prospectus should include the central question, tentative argument, research method, and at leave five bibliographical sources. In addition, you are required to present your paper in one of the last two sessions of class (November 29 & December 6) and, depending on class size, serve as discussant for one or more papers of classmates. To give your classmates enough lead time, you must post a copy of your complete first draft on Blackboard by November 22. These presentations are designed to help you receive constructive feedback and strengthen your research paper. The revised final paper is due in the department office on December 13, 2006 at 4 p.m. Ten percent of your paper grade will be deducted for each day the prospectus, first draft, or revised paper is late. This penalty is cumulative, so please submit your assignments on time.
Your final letter grades will be based on the following grading scale:
90% to 100% = A
80% to 89% = B
70% to 79% = C
60% to 69% = D
0% to 59% = F
1. Late Assignments. I will not accept late assignments unless under extreme circumstances. You must inform me as soon as possible before the assignment due date. Requests without prior notification and documented evidence will not be accepted.
The following books are available for purchase at the NIU Bookstore. They will also be put on 2-hour reserve at Founders Memorial Library.
Muthiah. Asian Security Order:
Instrumental and Normative Features. Stanford, CA.:
Richard C. Untying the Knot: Making Peace
Warren I. East Asia at the Center: Four
Thousand Years of Engagement with the World.
G. John, and Michael Mastanduno. International
Relations Theory and the Asia-Pacific.
Samuel S., ed. The International
John J. The Tragedy of Great Power
J. J., Peter J. Katzenstein, and Allen Carlson. Rethinking Security in
Michael. The International Politics of
Important Due Dates:
October 11 Midterm essay
October 25 One-page prospectus
November 22 First draft of research paper
December 13 Revised final paper
(Any changes will be announced in class and on Blackboard)
Week 1 (August 30) Course Overview and Organizational Meeting
Week 2 (September 6) Theories of International Security
· Mearsheimer, The Tragedy of Great Power Politics, chapters 2, 5, 8, 9.
G. Ikenberry, After Victory:
Institutions, Strategic Restraint, and the Rebuilding of Order after Major Wars
· Alexander Wendt, "Anarchy Is What States Make of It: The Social Construction of Power Politics." International Organization 46, no. 2 (Spring 1992): 391-425.
Week 3 (September 13) Historical Background
· Cohen, East Asia at the Center, chapters 7-14.
· Yahuda, The International Politics of the Asia-Pacific, chapters 1-3.
Week 4 (September 20) Post-Cold War Expectations for Peace and Conflict
· Aaron L. Friedberg, "Ripe for Rivalry: Prospects for Peace in a Multipolar World." International Security 18, no. 3 (Winter 1993/94): 5-33.
S. Ross, "The Geography of the Peace:
C. Berger, “Set for Stability? Prospects for Conflict and Cooperation in
5 (September 27) Rise of
J. Christensen, "Posing Problems without Catching Up:
Iain Johnston, "Is
· Aaron L. Friedberg, "The Future of U.S.-China Relations: Is Conflict Inevitable?" International Security 30, no. 2 (Fall 2005): 7-45.
Week 6 (October 4) Japan’s National Security Policy
7 (October 11) The
MID-TERM ESSAY DUE
Week 8 (October 18) North Korea’s Nuclear Program
Victor D. Cha and David C. Kang. "Can
Nicholas Eberstadt & Richard J. Ellings,
Bradley O. Babson, and Marcus Noland, “Special Roundtable: What if? Economic Implications of
a Fundamental Shift in North Korean Security Policy,”
9 (October 25) The Knotty
RESEARCH PROSPECTUS DUE
· Bush, Untying the Knot: Making Peace in the Taiwan Strait, read entire book.
10 (November 1) Economic Interdependence and
· Jonathan Kirshner, “States, Markets, and Great Power Relations in the Pacific: Some Realist Expectations,” in Ikenberry & Mastandudo, eds., International Relations Theory and the Asia-Pacific.
· Robert Gilpin, “Sources of American-Japanese Economic Conflict,” in Ikenberry & Mastandudo, eds., International Relations Theory and the Asia-Pacific.
· Dale Copeland, “Economic Interdependence and the Future of U.S.-China Relations,” in Ikenberry & Mastandudo, eds., International Relations Theory and the Asia-Pacific.
Wan, “Economic Interdependence and Economic Cooperation: Mitigating Conflict
and Transforming Security Order in
Week 11 (November 8) Security Order and Regionalism
“The Study of Security Order: An Analytical Framework” and “Constructing
Security Order in
· Amitav Acharya, “Regional Institutions and Asian Security Order: Norms, Power, and Prospects for Peaceful Change,” in Alagappa, ed., Asian Security Order.
· John Duffield, “Asia-Pacific Security Institutions in Comparative Perspective, in Ikenberry & Mastandudo, eds., International Relations Theory and the Asia-Pacific.
S. Kim, “Regionalization and Regionalism in
12 (November 15) Hierarchy in
C. Kang, "Getting
Week 13 (November 22) Thanksgiving Break (NO CLASS)
FIRST DRAFT DUE
Week 14 (November 29) Presentation and Discussion of Research Papers
Week 15 (December 6) Presentation and Discussion of Research Papers
Week 16 (December 13) REVISED FINAL PAPER DUE