International Relations of the Asia-Pacific: Between Theory and Practice (STG-MA-M5-IAP23)
At the beginning of the 21st Century, a rapidly evolving East Asia is caught at the crossroads between intra-regional rivalry and cooperation. According to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), in 2020 almost all East Asian states have deepened financial interdependence and registered the highest rates of intra-regional trade ever. Moreover, they had just signed a mega-regional Free Trade Agreement, the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, that promised to brave the storms of deglobalization. At the very same time, the region is being rocked by intense US-China rivalry, an arms race among the major regional players, economic protectionism and economic decoupling, and a deepening ideological divide. If we consider also the hot territorial and maritime disputes, the likelihood of conflict has actually heightened.
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This course explores the complex international relations of the Asia-Pacific, with particular reference to Northeast Asia: Japan, China, Taiwan, the two Koreas, and the United States, which plays a central role. The lectures will explore the hot economics, cold politics and dissonant histories affecting intra-regional interaction, with a particular focus on the statecraft required to brave these stormy seas. Firstly, it will highlight the historical legacies of the Cold-War in the intra-regional political landscape. Secondly, it will adopt social science approaches, specifically International Relations (IR) theory and Foreign Policy Analysis, to investigate the principal mechanisms behind the statecraft of intra-regional interactions. Lastly, the module will explore the implications for Europe and how can the European Union and its member states constructively engage with the region.
Page last updated on 05 September 2023