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International Relations of the Asia-Pacific: Between Theory and Practice (STG-MA-M5-IAP23)


Department STG
Course category 2nd Year
Course type Seminar
Academic year 2023-2024
Term 1ST SEM
Credits 5 (European Credits (EC))
Contact Francioni, Cino
  Course materials


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.

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.

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Page last updated on 05 September 2023

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