Fall 2006

Wednesdays 6:30 - 9:10 pm

DuSable 464


Dr. Y.K. Wang

Office: Zulauf 416

Office Hours: M & W 10:30-12:00, and by appointment

Tel: (815)753-7058

E-mail: ykwang@niu.edu



Course Description:


This 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 China, Japan’s security policy, and the role of the United States in the region. We then move on to examine the substantive issues of North Korea’s nuclear program and security in the Taiwan Strait. Finally, the course will explore the effects of economic interdependence and the issues of security order, regionalism, and hierarchy in East Asia.


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 East Asia. Why did North Korea decide to develop a nuclear program? What is at stake in the Taiwan Strait? What is the foreign policy of the United States toward the region? How does Southeast Asia respond to China’s rise?




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 9 a.m. 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


Course Policies:


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.

  1. Academic Misconduct:  In preparing their work and meeting the requirements of this course, members of this seminar are expected to adhere to all the rules, regulations, and standards set forth by the Department of Political Science, Graduate School, Northern Illinois University, and the scholarly community. This statement encompasses intentional and unintentional plagiarism, cheating on examinations, using, purchasing or stealing others' work, misusing library materials, and so forth. Failure to honor these rules, regulations, and standards could result in a failing course grade and/or disciplinary action. Moreover, do not submit a paper written for another course. “Double-dipping” is strictly prohibited and will result in a failed course grade. If you have questions, consult with the instructor before submitting your paper.
  2. Students with Disabilities: Under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, NIU is committed to making reasonable accommodations for persons with documented disabilities. Those students with disabilities that may have some impact on their coursework for which they may require accommodations should notify the University’s Center for Access-Ability Resources (CAAR). CAAR will assist students in making appropriate accommodations with course instructors. It is important that CAAR and instructors be informed of disability-related needs during the first two weeks of the semester. The CAAR office is located on the 4th floor of the University Health Services building and its phone number is (815) 753-1303.




The following books are available for purchase at the NIU Bookstore. They will also be put on 2-hour reserve at Founders Memorial Library.


·         Alagappa, Muthiah. Asian Security Order: Instrumental and Normative Features. Stanford, CA.: Stanford University Press, 2003.

·         Bush, Richard C. Untying the Knot: Making Peace in the Taiwan Strait. Washington, D.C.: Brookings Institution Press, 2005.

·         Cohen, Warren I. East Asia at the Center: Four Thousand Years of Engagement with the World. New York: Columbia University Press, 2000.

·         Ikenberry, G. John, and Michael Mastanduno. International Relations Theory and the Asia-Pacific. New York: Columbia University Press, 2003.

·         Kim, Samuel S., ed. The International Relations of Northeast Asia. Lanham, Md.: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 2004.

·         Mearsheimer, John J. The Tragedy of Great Power Politics. New York: W. W. Norton, 2001.

·         Suh, J. J., Peter J. Katzenstein, and Allen Carlson. Rethinking Security in East Asia: Identity, Power, and Efficiency. Stanford, CA.: Stanford University Press, 2004.

·         Yahuda, Michael. The International Politics of the Asia-Pacific. London and New York: Routledge, 2004.


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.

·         John G. Ikenberry, After Victory: Institutions, Strategic Restraint, and the Rebuilding of Order after Major Wars (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2001), chapters 1-3.

·         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.

  • Richard K. Betts, "Wealth, Power, and Instability: East Asia and the United States after the Cold War." International Security 18, no. 3 (Winter 1993/94): 34-77.

·         Robert S. Ross, "The Geography of the Peace: East Asia in the Twenty-First Century." International Security 23, no. 4 (Spring 1999): 81-118.

·         Thomas C. Berger, “Set for Stability? Prospects for Conflict and Cooperation in East Asia,” Review of International Studies26, no. 3 (July 2000): 405-428.


Week 5 (September 27)          Rise of China


  • Richard Bernstein and Ross H. Munro. "China I: The Coming Conflict with America." Foreign Affairs 76, no. 2 (1997): 18-32.
  • Robert S. Ross, "China II: Beijing as a Conservative Power." Foreign Affairs 76, no. 2 (1997): 33-44.

·         Thomas J. Christensen, "Posing Problems without Catching Up: China's Rise and Challenges for U.S. Security Policy." International Security 25, no. 4 (Spring 2001): 5-40.

·         Alastair Iain Johnston, "Is China a Status Quo Power?" International Security 27, no. 4 (Spring 2003): 5-56.

·         Aaron L. Friedberg, "The Future of U.S.-China Relations: Is Conflict Inevitable?" International Security 30, no. 2 (Fall 2005): 7-45.

  • Kent E. Calder, "China and Japan's Simmering Rivalry." Foreign Affairs 85, no. 2 (March/April 2006): 129-139.


Week 6 (October 4)                Japan’s National Security Policy


  • Peter J. Katzenstein and Nobuo Okawara. "Japan's National Security: Structures, Norms, and Policies." International Security 17, no. 4 (Spring 1993): 84-118.
  • Jennifer M. Lind, "Pacifism or Passing the Buck? Testing Theories of Japanese Security Policy." International Security 29, no. 1 (Summer 2004): 92-121.
  • Eric Heginbotham and Richard J. Samuels. "Mercantile Realism and Japanese Foreign Policy." International Security 22, no. 4 (1998): 171-203.
  • Katzenstein and Okawara, “Japan and Asian-Pacific Security,” in Suh, Katzenstein, and Carlson, eds., Rethinking Security in East Asia.
  • Masaru Tamamoto, “Ambiguous Japan: Japanese National Security Identity at Century’s End,” in Ikenberry & Mastandudo, eds., International Relations Theory and the Asia-Pacific.
  • William Grimes, “Institutionalized Inertia: Japanese Foreign Policy in the Post-Cold War World,” in Ikenberry & Mastandudo, eds., International Relations Theory and the Asia-Pacific.


Week 7 (October 11)             The United States and Asian Security




·         Thomas Christensen, “China, the U.S.-Japan Alliance, and the Security Dilemma in East Asia,” in Ikenberry & Mastandudo, eds., International Relations Theory and the Asia-Pacific.

  • Ikenberry and Mastaduno, “Conclusion: The United States and Stability in East Asia,” in Ikenberry & Mastandudo, eds., International Relations Theory and the Asia-Pacific.
  • Michael Mastaduno, “Incomplete Hegemony: The United States and Security Order in Asia,” in Alagappa, ed., Asian Security Order.
  • Mearsheimer, The Tragedy of Great Power Politics, chapter 10.
  • The Armitage Report, http://www.ndu.edu/inss/strforum/SR_01/SFJAPAN.pdf
  • Mike M. Mochizuki, “Terms of Engagement: The US-Japan Alliance and the Rise of China,” in Krauss and Pempel, eds., Beyond Bilateralism (Stanford UP, 2004): 87-114.


Week 8 (October 18)              North Korea’s Nuclear Program


  • Jonathan D. Pollack, “The United States, North Korea, and the end of the Agreed Framework,” Naval War College Review (Summer 2003): 11-48.
  • Victor D. Cha, “Hawk Engagement and Preventive Defense on the Korean Peninsula,” International Security. 27, No. 1 (Summer 2002): 40-78.

·         Victor D. Cha and David C. Kang. "Can North Korea Be Engaged? An Exchange." Survival 46, no. 2 (Summer 2004): 89-108.

  • Dong Sun Lee, "US Preventive War against North Korea." Asian Security 2, no. 1 (2006): 1-23.

·         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,” Asia Policy 2 (July 2006): 1-39.


Week 9 (October 25)              The Knotty Taiwan Strait




·         Bush, Untying the Knot: Making Peace in the Taiwan Strait, read entire book.

  • Allen Carlson, et. al., “Book Review Roundtable: Richard C. Bush’s Untying the Knot,” Asia Policy 2 (July 2006): 109-139.


Week 10 (November 1)           Economic Interdependence and Asia Security


  • Dale C. Copeland, "Economic Interdependence and War: A Theory of Trade Expectations." International Security 20, no. 4 (Spring 1996): 5-41.

·         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.

·         Ming Wan, “Economic Interdependence and Economic Cooperation: Mitigating Conflict and Transforming Security Order in Asia,” in Alagappa, ed., Asian Security Order.


Week 11 (November 8)           Security Order and Regionalism


·         Alagappa, “The Study of Security Order: An Analytical Framework” and “Constructing Security Order in Asia: Conceptions and Issues,” in Alagappa, ed., Asian Security Order.

·         Amitav Acharya, “Regional Institutions and Asian Security Order: Norms, Power, and Prospects for Peaceful Change,” in Alagappa, ed., Asian Security Order.

  • Christopher Hemmer and Peter J. Katzenstein. "Why Is There No NATO in Asia? Collective Identity, Regionalism, and the Origins of Multilateralism." International Organization 56, no. 3 (2002): 575- 608.

·         John Duffield, “Asia-Pacific Security Institutions in Comparative Perspective, in Ikenberry & Mastandudo, eds.,  International Relations Theory and the Asia-Pacific.

·         Samuel S. Kim, “Regionalization and Regionalism in East Asia,” Journal of East Asian Studies 4 (2004): 39-67


Week 12 (November 15)         Hierarchy in East Asia?


·         David C. Kang, "Getting Asia Wrong: The Need for New Analytical Frameworks." International Security 27, no. 4 (Spring 2003): 57-85. Also read his “Hierarchy and Stability in Asian International Relations,” in Ikenberry & Mastandudo, eds., International Relations Theory and the Asia-Pacific.

  • Amitav Acharya, "Will Asia's Past Be Its Future?" International Security 28, no. 3 (Winter 2003/04): 149-64.
  • Yuen Foong Khong, “Coping with Strategic Uncertainty: The Role of Institutions and Soft Balancing in Southeast Asia’s Post-Cold War Strategy,” in Suh, Katzenstein, and Carlson, eds., Rethinking Security in East Asia.
  • Evelyn Goh, "Meeting the China Challenge: The U.S. in Southeast Asian Regional Security Strategies," Policy Studies 16, Washington, DC: East-West Center Washington, 2005. (Available at: http://www.eastwestcenter.org/stored/pdfs/PS016.pdf).

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