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

Postgraduate Course: Korean Politics and International Relations (ASST11109)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Literatures, Languages and Cultures CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThe aim of this course is to introduce students to politics and international relations of Korea and East Asia. The course is divided in two parts. The first provides an overview to the region. An overview of Korea and East Asia during the 20th and early 21st centuries is provided. Attention is paid to state formation, regime types, party systems, democratisation, political culture, and political economy. The second part covers developments in the international politics of East Asia since the end of the Cold War. Here the interplay between external and regional powers is analysed, alongside the foreign policies of the main actors in the region. Special attention is also given to trends in Asian regionalism (politics, security, economy), soft power, and globalisation.
Course description The course introduces students to the domestic and international politics of the Korean peninsula. The first part of the course covers issues of state-building, regime types, and economic development, including state-led development and the post-Asian crisis period. The second part of the course explores the regional and global dimension more in depth, by looking at the interaction between the two Koreas and their neighbours (China, Japan, Taiwan) as well as other players (primarily the United States).
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Information for Visiting Students
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2024/25, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  0
Course Start Semester 1
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 196 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) Class participation and attendance 10% - Class participation includes active participation in discussion, presentation and Q&A assignments.

Mid-term assignment 40% (800 words) - Students can choose one type of assignment from various options of assignments, including video essays (2-3 group work possible, 1mins), policy briefs, blogs, Wikipedia entries (2-3 group work possible), podcasts (2-3 group work possible, 5mins), contrast two journal articles or editorials

Essay: 50% (3000 words)
Feedback *formative assessment with associated feedback for the final paper by week 7
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Provide an introduction to the domestic and international politics of Korea and East Asia.
  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.
  5. Discuss the main conflictual dynamics in the region.
Reading List
Kim, Y. Ed.(2018). Korea's quest for economic democratization: Globalization, polarization, and contention. Cham: Palgrave.
Gill, B. (2017) China's future under Xi Jinping: challenges ahead, Political Science, 69(1):1-15.
Wang, Z. and Vangeli, A. (2016) The Rules and Norms of Leadership Succession in China: From Deng Xiaoping to Xi Jinping and Beyond, The China Journal, 76: 24-40.

You, J. S. (2015) Democracy, Inequality and Corruption: Korea, Taiwan and the
Philippines Compared, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Armstrong, C. (2013) Tyranny of the weak : North Korea and the world, 1950-1992, Ithaca: Cornell University Press.
Pembel, T. J. Ed. (2012) The Economy-Security Nexus in Northeast Asia, New York: Routledge.
Kim, S. (2006) The two Koreas and the Great Powers, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Charles, A. Ed. (2006) Korean Society: Civil Society, Democracy and the State, Oxon: Routledge.
Haggard, S., Herman, L., and Ryu, J. (2014) Political Change in North Korea Mapping the Succession. Asian Survey, 54(4): 773-800.

Mochizuki, M and Porter, S. (2013) Japan under Abe: toward Moderation or Nationalism?, The Washington Quarterly, 36(4): 25-41.
Wang, Z. and Zeng, J. (2016) Xi Jinping: the game changer of Chinese elite politics? Contemporary Politics, 22(4): 469-486.
Kim, Y. (2011) The Politics of Coalition in Korea: Between Institutions and Culture, London: Routledge.
Kim, B and Vogel, E. Eds. (2011) The Park Chung Hee Era: The Transformation of South Korea. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.
Ding, Y. (2015) Consolidation of the PRC's Leadership Succession System from Hu Jintao to Xi Jinping, China Report, 51(1): 49-65.
Suh, J. J., Katzenstein, P. J., and Carlson, A. Eds. (2004) Rethinking Security in East Asia : Identity, Power, and Efficiency, Stanford: Stanford University Press.
Choi, Y. (2017) North Korea's hegemonic rule and its collapse, Pacific Review, 30(5): 783-800.
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills *Think critically and produce Masters-level work under pressure.
*Work independently, seeking relevant advice and support when necessary.
*Understand, interpret, and use scholarly resources.
*Gain global perspectives on the subject.
*Work on digital product development with confidence.
Special Arrangements Jointly taught with UG
KeywordsState formation,developmental state,globalisation,soft power,activism 3.0,regionalism
Course organiserDr Youngmi Kim
Tel: (0131 6)51 1363
Course secretaryMiss Kara McCormack
Tel: (0131 6)50 3030
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