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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of History, Classics and Archaeology : Postgraduate (History, Classics and Archaeology)

Postgraduate Course: China's foreign and security policy: a twentieth-century perspective (PGHC11384)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of History, Classics and Archaeology CollegeCollege of Humanities and Social Science
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThis course explores themes and issues in China's foreign policy through the lens of the entire twentieth century, taking in the final years of the Qing Empire, the years of China's quest for a republican political settlement, including the Nationalist Republic of China, and finally the People's Republic of China. Adopting this diachronic comparative perspective will allow students to appreciate, e.g., the extent to which public, collective memories of China's period as a weak state affect the PRC's concern with sovereignty in international relations, or the historical dimensions of the question of Muslim Central Asia in Chinese foreign policy.
Course description Weekly seminars:
1. Themes and questions; the historical study of foreign relations
2. Actors and institutions: institutional actors in China's foreign policy
3. Actors and institutions: China's military
4. Influences: Nationalism
5. Influences: Communism
6. Influences: Geography and ethnicity
7. Issues: Imperialism and its legacies
8. Issues: WW1, Versailles and Washington System
9. Issues: War with Japan/WW2
10.Issues: Cold War
11.Issues: Reform and Opening; Post-Cold War
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Information for Visiting Students
Course Delivery Information
Not being delivered
Learning Outcomes
After completing the course, students will be able to:
- demonstrate an in-depth knowledge of the most important issues and themes connected to the historiography of China's international relations in the period since 1900
- independently identify and pursue research topics in this period of history
- exhibit an understanding for different conceptual approaches for the study of history
- analyse and contextualise primary source material
- arrive at independent, well-argued, well-documented and properly referenced conclusions in their coursework essay
- demonstrate their skills in group discussion and oral presentations
- demonstrate their written skills, their analytical and theoretical skills in coursework
- demonstrate their ability to reflect on the reading & research they have undertaken and provide feedback for their peers.
Reading List
Indicative reading List:
- Chen Jian, Mao's China and the Cold War, pp. 38-84, 163-205 (Chs. 2, 3, and 7)
- Thomas J. Christensen, Useful Adversaries: Grand Strategy, Domestic Mobilization, and Sino-American Conflict, 1947-1958 (Princeton: Princeton University Press), pp. 148-176 (Ch.5: "The Real Lost Chance in China").
- Joseph W. Esherick, "China and the World: From Tribute to Popular Nationalism," in Brantly
Womack, ed., China's Rise in Historical Perspective (Lanham: Rowman and Littlefield, 2010), pp. 19-38.
- John W. Garver, Foreign Relations of the People's Republic of China (Englewood Cliffs, Prentice-Hall, 1993), pp. 2-30 (Ch. 1: "The Legacy of the Past")
- Sergei N. Goncharov, John W. Lewis and Xue Litai, Uncertain Partners: Stalin, Mao and the Korean War (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1993), pp. 76-109 (Ch 2.: "The Making of the Alliance")
- He Di, "The Evolution of the People's Republic of China's Policy Toward the Offshore Islands (Quemoy, Matsu)," in Warren I. Cohen and Akira Iriye (eds.), The Great Powers in East Asia: 1953-60 (New York: Columbia University Press: 1990), pp. 222-245.
- Michael H. Hunt, The Genesis of Chinese Communist Foreign Policy, (New York, NY: Columbia University Press, 1995), pp. 3-28.
- Robert Jervis, Perception and Misperception in International Politics (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1976), pp. 13-31 (Ch. 1: "Perception and the Level of Analysis Problem").
- Alastair Iain Johnston, "International Structures and Chinese Foreign Policy," in Samuel S. Kim, (ed.), China and the World: Chinese Foreign Policy Faces the New Millennium, 4th edition (Boulder: Westview, 1998), pp. 55-90.
- Jack S. Levy, "Domestic Politics and War," Journal of Interdisciplinary History, Vol. 18, No. 4
(Spring, 1988), pp. 653-673.
- Kenneth Lieberthal, "Domestic Politics and Foreign Policy," in Harry Harding (ed.), Chinese Foreign Relations in the 1980s (New Haven: Yale University Press), pp. 43-70.
- James Mann, About Face, pp. 13-114
- Andrew J. Nathan and Robert S. Ross, Great Wall and Empty Fortress (New York: W.W. Norton, 1997), pp. 19-34 (Ch. 2: "Legacies").
- Michael Ng-Quinn, "The Analytic Study of Chinese Foreign Policy," International Studies Quarterly, Vol. 27, No. 2 (June 1983), pp. 203-224.
- Michael D. Swaine and Ashley Tellis, Interpreting China's Grand Strategy (Santa Monica: RAND Corp, 2000), pp. 21-95.
- Jonathan Spence, The Search for Modern China (New York: WW Norton, 2001)
- Stephen M. Walt, The Origins of Alliances (Cornell: Cornell University Press, 1987), pp. 17-49, (Ch.2: "Explaining Alliance Formation").
- Yang Kuisong, "The Sino-Soviet Border Clash of 1969: From Zhenbao Island to Sino-American Rapprochement," Cold War History, Vol. 1, No. 1 (2000), pp. 21-52.
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills The study of the past gives students a unique understanding of the present that will enable them to succeed in a broad range of careers. The transferable skills gained from this course include:
- understanding of complex issues and how to draw valid conclusions from the past
- ability to analyse the origins and development of current political and historiographical questions
- a command of bibliographical and library- and/or IT-based online and offline research skills
- a range of skills in reading and textual analysis
- ability to question and problematize evidence; considering the relationship between evidence and interpretation
- understanding ethical dimensions of research and their relevance for human relationships today
- ability to marshal arguments lucidly, coherently and concisely, both orally and in writing
- ability to deliver a paper or a presentation in front of peer audiences
- ability to design and execute pieces of written work and to present them suitably, as evidenced by the final assessment essay of 3,000 words
KeywordsChina Foreign Policy
Course organiserDr Felix Boecking
Course secretaryMrs Lindsay Scott
Tel: (0131 6)50 9948
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