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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Social and Political Science : Politics

Undergraduate Course: Chinese Foreign Policy (PLIT10156)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Social and Political Science CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 10 (Year 3 Undergraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryChinese Foreign policy will explore China's evolving role in the international political system for students to better understand the drivers behind regional and global outcomes. The course will examine decision-making processes that affect Chinese foreign policy, China's relations with various countries and regions, Chinese policy toward key functional issues in international affairs, how the rise of China is affecting global power relations, and how other actors are responding. This course will be empirically-led but informed by international relations theory.
Course description This course will explore the major elements of Chinese foreign policy today, in the context of their development since 1949. We will seek to understand the multiplicity of factors that influence Chinese foreign policy - geopolitical, organizational, domestic, perceptual etc. The course will pay attention to the application of international relations theories to the problems at hands. We will also take an interest in policy issues facing decision-makers in China as well as those facing decision-makers in other countries who deal with China.

Indicative outline of topics:
- Chinese foreign policy making processes and internal debates
- Domestic drivers of foreign policy
- Territorial integrity and the margins of the empire
- Military modernisation and foreign intervention
- Non-traditional influence strategies
- China's role in global governance
- China-US relations
- Regional politics I: Northeast Asia, Southeast Asia
- Regional politics II: South Asia, Central Asia, and Russia
- Beyond the Region: Belt and Road Initiative

Students will be invited to draw on their broader knowledge in international relations in order to pinpoint what is unique, or not, about the Chinese case. No prior knowledge of China or the East Asian region will be assumed.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Students MUST have passed: Introduction to Politics and International Relations (PLIT08004) OR Politics in a Changing World: An Introduction for non-specialists (PLIT08012) OR Politics and International Relations 1A: Concepts and Debates (PLIT08017)
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements Students who lack the listed pre-requisites but have completed comparable courses should contact the course organiser.

Knowledge acquired in the following courses will be beneficial for students, but is not required: Theories of International Relations, International Political Economy, International Relations of the Asia-Pacific
Information for Visiting Students
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Not being delivered
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Critically engage with the academic literature on China's approach to foreign relations.
  2. Analyse the key drivers behind China's foreign policy decision-making.
  3. Evaluate China's foreign relations under the light of international relation theories, to distinguish what is unique about its trajectory.
  4. Develop a personal assessment of policy debates regarding China's engagement with the international system.
Reading List
Jessica Chen Weiss, Powerful Patriots: Nationalist Protest in China's Foreign Relations (Oxford University Press, 2014).

Rush Doshi, The Long Game: China's Grand Strategy to Displace American Order, Bridging the Gap Series (Oxford University Press, 2021).

Rosemary Foots, China, the UN, and Human Protection: Beliefs, Power, Image (Oxford University Press, 2020).

Andrew J Nathan and Andrew Scobell, China's Search for Security (Columbia University Press, 2012).

Xuetong Yan et al., Ancient Chinese Thought, Modern Chinese Power, The Princeton-China Series (Princeton University Press, 2013).
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Improved conceptualization skills and ability to absorb and contrast disparate theoretical arguments.
Enhanced research and presentation skills as a result of the combination of in-class material and discussion, and its link to the course assignments.
Advanced ability to interpret and understand political developments with the aid of theoretical tool-set acquired.
Ability to synthesize diverse research literatures with empirical evidence.
KeywordsNot entered
Course organiserDr Jerome Doyon
Course secretaryMr Brodie Hamilton
Tel: (0131 6)51 3139
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