Dr. Y.K. Wang
Office: Zulauf 416
Office Hours: T & TH , and by appointment
This course introduces students to the
international relations in one of the most dynamic regions of the world—East
The course is structured in three
parts. The first covers the historical background of East Asian international
relations. Many of the contemporary issues have their roots in history, and it
is essential that students have a good grasp of the region’s history. The
second part deals with regional actors. We will study their foreign policy
toward the region as well as their influence on events happening there. The
last part will examine the emerging issues in East Asia, including prospects
for peace and conflict, U.S.-China relations, Sino-Japanese relations, the
Taiwan Strait, and
Upon completion of this course, students are expected to be able to describe the foreign policy of major actors in the region, understand the history of East Asian international affairs, be acquainted with the substance of the dynamic events happening in the area, and critically analyze how particular factors influence the course of regional events.
Students should have a general
background in international relations before taking this course (POLS 285
highly recommended). You are expected to attend every class and have completed all
of the assigned readings before class.
In addition, you are required to keep informed of current international affairs
Two books are required for this course:
Michael. The International Politics of
Kim, Samuel S., ed. The
International Relations of
These books are available for purchase at the NIU Bookstore. They will also be put on 2-hour reserve at Founders Memorial Library.
For those who wish to understand the deep history of the region, I recommend this book (optional):
Cohen, Warren I. East Asia at
the Center: Four Thousand Years of Engagement with the World.
Class Participation 15%
Research Paper Assignment 20%
Midterm Exam 20%
Final Exam 30%
Class participation, including both attendance and classroom discussion, constitutes 15% of your final grade. Attendance is mandatory. Students who are found to have missed more than five class sessions will receive a zero for their participation grade. You will not do well if you regularly miss class—you will likely miss one or more of the unannounced reading quizzes too. In classroom discussion, I strongly encourage you to share your thoughts and reactions to the materials covered in class. I will usually add points to your participation grade if you actively contribute to discussion.
You must have completed all the readings before each class. To encourage this process, there will be five unannounced reading quizzes throughout the semester. However, only four will count toward the 15% of your final grade. These quizzes are short and straightforward, designed to test your understanding of the assigned readings. You should find them easy if you have done the readings. Make-up quizzes will not be allowed. If you miss one quiz, make sure you take the other four.
The research paper assignment constitutes 20% of your final grade. The assignment will be announced on October 23, in class and on Blackboard. Your paper should be 5-7 pages in length, double-spaced, and use size-12 font. The assignment is due at the beginning of class on November 20. Ten percent of the paper grade will be deducted for each day the paper is late.
The midterm exam will be held on October 18 and constitutes 20% of your final grade. The final exam will be held on December 11 and constitutes 30% of your final grade. The final will not be cumulative and will instead cover only the materials after the midterm. Prior to each exam, I will discuss the exam format and my grading criteria.
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. Make-up Exams: A make-up exam will only be given in extraordinary circumstances. You must inform me as soon as possible before the scheduled exam. Requests without prior notification and documented evidence will not be accepted and will result in a zero grade for the exam.
2. Classroom Etiquette: Please be courteous and respectful of others while in class. For example, attend class on time; turn off cell phones, pagers, or anything that makes noises; do not leave class early; etc.
3. Extra Credit: Extra credit assignments will not be given on an individual basis; maintaining equity for everyone is crucial.
4. Academic Misconduct: Academic dishonesty will not be tolerated. The NIU Undergraduate Catalog states: “students are guilty of plagiarism, intentional or not, if they copy material from books, magazines, or other sources without identifying and acknowledging them. Students guilty of, or assisting others in, either cheating or plagiarism on an assignment, quiz, or examination may receive a grade of F for the course involved and may be suspended or dismissed from the university.” Moreover, do not submit a paper written for another course. “Double-dipping” is strictly prohibited and will result in a failed paper grade. If you have questions, consult with the instructor before submitting your paper.
Most of the communication for this course will be conducted through the university’s Blackboard Course Server. This course website can be accessed only by students enrolled in this course. The URL for Blackboard is http://webcourses.niu.edu. Login to Blackboard with your student Z-ID and password. For login questions go to http://www.helpdesk.niu.edu/ and click on “Blackboard” or contact ITS at 753-8100. The system uses your NIU student webmail account. If you wish to receive course-related e-mails at another address, you need to forward mail from your NIU account to another account. Learn how to do this on the ITS helpdesk home page (http://www.its.niu.edu/its/helpdesk/webmail_students.shtml).
Statement Concerning Students with Disabilities: NIU abides by Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 which mandates reasonable accommodations be provided for qualified students with disabilities. If you have a disability and may require some type of instructional or examination accommodation, please contact me early in the semester so that I can provide or facilitate in providing accommodations you may need. If you have not already done so, you will need to register with the Center for Access-Ability Resources (CAAR), the designated office on campus to provide services and administer exams with accommodations for students with disabilities. The CAAR office is located on the 4th floor of the University Health Services building (815-753-1303). I look forward to talking with you soon to learn how I may be helpful in enhancing your academic success in this course.
Undergraduate Writing Awards: The Department of Political Science will recognize, on an annual basis, outstanding undergraduate papers written in conjunction with 300-400 level political science courses or directed studies. Authors do not have to be political science majors or have a particular class standing. Winners are expected to attend the Department’s spring graduation ceremony where they will receive a certificate and $50.00. Papers, which can be submitted by students or faculty, must be supplied in triplicate to a department secretary by February 28th. All copies should have two cover pages-one with the student’s name and one without the student’s name. Only papers written in the previous calendar year can be considered for the award.
Department of Political Science Web Site: Undergraduates are strongly encouraged to consult the Department of Political Science web site on a regular basis. This up-to-date, central source of information will assist students in contacting faculty and staff, reviewing course requirements and syllabi, exploring graduate study, researching career options, tracking department events, and accessing important details related to undergraduate programs and activities. To reach the site, go to http://polisci.niu.edu.
(Any changes will be announced in class or on Blackboard)
August 28 Overview
August 30 APSA Conference (NO CLASS)
September 4 International
Relations Theory and
· Stephen M. Walt, "International Relations: One World, Many Theories." Foreign Policy, no. 110 (Spring 1998): 29-46.
Samuel S. Kim, “
September 6 Historical Background: Early 20th Century to WW II
Warren I. Cohen, East Asia at the Center: Four Thousand Years of Engagement with the
September 11 The Early Cold War
· Yahuda, The International Politics of the Asia-Pacific, chapter 1.
September 13 The East Asian Balance of Power: Bipolarity
· Yahuda, The International Politics of the Asia-Pacific, chapter 2.
September 18 The
East Asian Balance of Power: The “
· Yahuda, The International Politics of the Asia-Pacific, chapter 3.
PART II. REGIONAL ACTORS
September 20 The
· Yahuda, The International Politics of the Asia-Pacific, chapter 4.
· Kent E. Calder, “U.S. Foreign Policy in Northeast Asia,” in Kim ed., The International Relations of Northeast Asia, chapter 7.
September 25 The Soviet Union/Russia
· Yahuda, The International Politics of the Asia-Pacific, chapter 5.
· Gilbert Rozman, “Russian Foreign Policy in Northeast Asia,” in Kim ed., The International Relations of Northeast Asia, chapter 6.
· Yahuda, The International Politics of the Asia-Pacific, chapter 6.
October 2 Japan
· Yahuda, The International Politics of the Asia-Pacific, chapter 7.
Lynn T. White III, “
October 16 Catch Up and Review
October 18 Mid-term Exam
PART III. EMERGING ISSUES AFTER THE COLD WAR
October 23 Ripe for Rivalry?
October 25 Set for Stability?
October 30 Rise of
1 Rise of
November 6 U.S.-China Relations—I
November 8 U.S.-China Relations—II
November 13 Japan’s Transformation
November 15 Sino-Japanese Relations
Research Paper Due
Jonathan D. Pollack, “
November 22 Thanksgiving Break (NO CLASS)
November 27 The
Abramowitz and Stephen Bosworth, “Adjusting to
Phillips C. Saunders, “The United States
and East Asian after
December 4 Looking Ahead
December 6 Conclude and Review
December 11 Final Exam