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  /  IMAS   /  Asia-Pacific Regional Development

Asia-Pacific Regional Development

Type: Partially Required

Credits: 3.0

Instructor: Dr. Chyungly Lee

Syllabus: Fall 2020

Course Description

This is neither an “economic development” nor an “area study” course. Instead, it offers an overview of recent developments in the Asia-Pacific region as the foundation of further studies. The intellectual discipline is International Relations.

To define the scope of our class discussions, we will first clarify how regional studies different from area studies. Students are expected to define Asia Pacific as a region based on designated reading assignments.

After defining the region, two major themes will be covered:

1) regional political economy. Focuses will be on the role of state governments in shaping regional trade and investment flows. In addition to economic statecrafts of major powers (including the U.S., Japan and China), concepts driving regional development and integration (such as the developmental state model and the flying geese paradigm) will be explored. Recent policy-led region-wide networks, processes or mechanisms which have developed into institutions for regional economic governance, especially those with great long-term strategic implications, will be reviewed.

2) geo-strategic and security issues. Concerns in Northeast Asia and Southeast Asia will be addressed separately as they are not quite the same in nature. Developments in hotspots such as the Korean Peninsula, the Taiwan Strait, and the South China Sea will be examined. In terms of responses to security threats, both US-led and ASEAN-centered regional security architecture will be studied. China’s rise, the key element in regional security, will be highlighted in all dimensions of our exploration. At the end, Taiwan in the region’s geo-economic and geo-strategic dynamics will be discussed.

Weekly readings will be collected and posted online. Students are expected to finish the reading assignments before the class, think critically, and then participate in class discussions.

The course is designed to learn from doing. Students are expected to conduct a mini project independently. The theme for the project is “Then and Now: constants vs. variables”. Students are expected to contrast regional policies of one single regional power (or middle power) over different periods of time and analyze the most updated developments.