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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Literatures, Languages and Cultures : Asian Studies

Postgraduate Course: Korean Politics and International Relations: History and Contemporary Issues (ASST11092)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Literatures, Languages and Cultures CollegeCollege of Humanities and Social Science
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate) AvailabilityNot available to visiting students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryMany of the fault lines that underscore the volatile politics of East Asia, traverse or lie
within the Korean peninsula. The state of ┐unfinished war┐ and absence of a peace
treaty between North and South Korea have political reverberations that extend
throughout the region. It is thus difficult, if not impossible, to apprehend the dynamics
of international relations in East Asia without a knowledge of the politics of the Korean

This course examines the major historical and contemporary political developments of
the two Koreas, from the Choson period to the present, in regional context. It begins by
tracing the trajectory of the peninsula from stomping ground of the great powers to its
subjugation under Japanese colonial rule. It proceeds to look at how the peninsula
became divided into northern and southern spheres, demarcated by the most heavily
militarized border in the world. It then examines the state-building practices and
political economies of the emergent two Koreas. Lastly, it explores the nature of
inter-Korea relations and prospects for reunification.
Course description 1. Introduction: Studying the Two Koreas: Methodological Issues and Objectives
2. A Shrimp Among Whales: Foreign Incursions on the Korean
Peninsula, 1550-1910
3. Under Japanese Rule, 1905-1945
4. The Korean War, 1950-53
5. ROK State Building and Nationhood: the U.S. Occupation & the
Park Chung-hee Era
6. DPRK State Building and Nationhood: The Kim Dynasty and
Juche Ideology
7. Dictatorship to Democracy: Transformation in the ROK
8. (Relative) Prosperity to Famine: Transformation in the DPRK
9. Diplomatic Overtures: Nordpolitik, the Sunshine Policy &
Six-Party Talks
10. Security Dilemmas: Nuclear Weapons, the Cheonan Incident &
US-ROK Military Drills
11. Prospects and Challenges for Reunification
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2017/18, Not available to visiting students (SS1) Quota:  10
Course Start Semester 2
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Seminar/Tutorial Hours 22, Feedback/Feedforward Hours 2, Formative Assessment Hours 2, Summative Assessment Hours 2, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 168 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) Student performance will be assessed by written assessment, one 4,000 word essay (100%).

Formative feedback will be given on the basis of a mid-term paper (1,000 words) and a workshop with presentations of the papers as preparation for the 4,000 word essay.
Feedback Not entered
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Understand key issues and debates pertaining to North and South Korea's domestic and foreign politics
  2. Comprehend the cultural, historical and theoretical contexts of historical and contemporary developments on the Korean Peninsula
  3. Formulate research questions and critically assess source material
  4. Have developed a conceptual and methodological tool kit that will assist with completing the MSc dissertations in International Relations and Political Science
Reading List
Suh, J. J., Katzenstein, P. J., and Carlson, A., eds., 2004, Rethinking Security in East Asia : Identity, Power, and Efficiency. Stanford, Calif.: Stanford University Press.
Peter Duus, The Abacus and the Sword: the Japanese Penetration of Korea, 1895-1910, Berkeley: University of California Press, 1995.
Ramon Myers et al. The Japanese colonial empire, 1895-1945, Princeton, N.J. : Princeton University Press, 1984.
Tsuyoshi Hasegawa (ed.), The Cold War in East Asia, 1945-1991, Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2011.
Wada, Haruki, The Korean War: an International History, Lanham, Maryland : Rowman & Littlefield, 2014.
Armstrong, Charles K., Tyranny of the weak : North Korea and the world, 1950-1992, Ithaca : Cornell University Press, 2013.
T. J. Pembel (ed.), The Economy-Security Nexus in Northeast Asia, New York: Routledge, 2012.
Kim, Samuel S., The two Koreas and the Great Powers, Cambridge ; New York : Cambridge University Press, 2006.
Charles K. Armstrong (ed.), Korean Society: Civil Society, Democracy and the State, 2nd ed., Abingdon, Oxon: Routledge, 2006.
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Not entered
Special Arrangements Jointly taught with UG
Additional Class Delivery Information Jointly taught with UG
Course organiserMiss Young Kim
Tel: (0131 6)51 1363
Course secretaryMiss Charlotte Mclean
Tel: (0131 6)50 4114
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