Fall 2006
Professor Lisa Fischler
Moravian College
Class: T, Th. 10:20-11:30 am


This course provides an introduction to national security, regional security, and politics in the East Asian region. The rapid rise of Asia in the world economy is one of the most important events of the last fifty years. Rapid economic growth has generated new security conflicts without resolving old ones; globalization has created new types of international issues. The course will focus primarily on the major and middle Northeast Asian powers ( China, Japan, Russia, the Koreas, Taiwan, and the United States); however, there also will be substantive reference to South Asia, Southeast Asia, and Europe. It will consider a series of selected issues, including historical background; political economy; national and regional security; human rights; culture; and transnational linkages such as drugs, disease, oil, and war.

Goals and Objectives :

a) Broaden knowledge about the possible range of political institutions, political behavior, political groups, and political problems among the places and countries of Northeast Asia.

b) Comprehend enough about the relationship between history, politics, economics, and culture in contemporary East Asia to offer intelligent, critical, and well-informed explanations for conflict and cooperation in the countries of the region and to better understand the significance of particular trends, developments, continuity, and change over time for other nations in the global arena.

c) Develop understanding of different theoretical perspectives and criticisms as concerns governance, foreign policies, and the relationships among the nations of East Asia.

d) Improve critical reasoning about politics in non-Western contexts, particularly as concerns ways in which power differentials, institutional inequalities, and resource strengths and weaknesses shape varied perceptions, policy outcomes, and the inherently unequal processes of political negotiation, economic trade, bilateral and multilateral agreements, and regional security regime formation among the nations of Northeast Asia.

e) Enhance research abilities and oral and written communication skills concerning East Asian politics.

Course Guidelines:

1. All work must be submitted on due date for full credit. Late assignments are NOT accepted.

2. All assignments must be typed, double-spaced, printed, stapled, use complete sentences, correct grammar, spelling, and punctuation. All assignments must be personally handed to the instructor. No handwritten assignments will be accepted. No emailed assignments will be accepted except in case of emergencies and not without prior permission of the instructor.

3. Regular attendance is expected. Assigned work can only be made up 1) after an in-person discussion with the instructor and 2) in cases of appropriately documented family emergencies, extended leave, or school sponsored-commitments. Health Center notes are NOT considered appropriate documentation. If an emergency should arise, you must notify me prior to an assignment's due date and not after. If you plan to miss a class please notify me in advance. Students are allowed a maximum of three absences within this semester. If you miss class more than the allowed times, 5% will be deducted from your final course grade. Another 5% will be deducted from your final course grade for each additional absence. Two late arrivals to class will be counted as an absence. Please be aware that absences are not divided into excused and unexcused. Regardless of the reason, an absence from class is counted as an absence.

4. In case of any crisis or emergency, or an extended absence from class, you must inform your professor through Learning Services or the Academic Dean’s Office.

5. Learning disability accommodations: students who wish to request accommodations in this class for support of learning disabilities should contact Learning Services (x1510). Accommodations cannot be provided until authorization is received from the appropriate disability support provider on campus.

6. These guidelines are intended for the benefit of the students as far as clarification of the instructor’s expectations for the course; however, in exceptional circumstances the instructor reserves the right to exercise discretion in the application of these guidelines to individual cases or to refer a particular case to the Academic Dean if necessary.

Classroom Expectations:

1. Respect for others’ answers and views. Disruptive behavior during class will result in your dismissal from the class the first time, after that, disciplinary action will be taken.

2. Equal time for opposing opinions.

3. Please turn off cell phones in class. If yours rings during class, you will be dismissed from class and counted as absent.

4. Non-alcoholic drinks are allowed in class, other food is not.

5. Attention to course related material only.

6. Necessary breaks at the discretion of the instructor.

Required Texts :

  • Shambaugh, David, ed. Power Shift: China and Asia’s New Dynamics. CA: University of California Press, 2005.
  • Bush, Richard C. Untying the Knot: Making Peace in the Taiwan Strait. Washington D.C.: The Brookings Institution, 2005.
  • Kim, Samuel S., ed. The International Relations of Northeast Asia. MD: Rowman and Littlefield Publishers, 2004.
  • Kim, Samuel S. And Tai Hwan Lee, eds. North Korea and Northeast Asia. MD: Rowman and Littlefield Publishers, 2002.
Course Requirements :

A. Graded Requirements

Class Participation- 20% of your final grade. Class participation includes coming to class on a very consistent basis, keeping up with assigned readings by thoroughly reading and thinking about the readings before coming to class, active involvement in interactive lectures, substantive contributions to discussions, and engagement with in-class activities. For class participation, effort counts heavily. Attempting to answer a question, asking a question, or voicing an opinion are all part of participation. I will evaluate your participation highly if you: a)attend class regularly; b)discuss the videos and readings I make available; c)raise relevant questions/offer thoughtful comments; d)demonstrate you understand the material by your full involvement during in-class activities. Every class session is counted toward your final participation grade. If you do not participate actively in each class, you will reduce your participation grade by 50% for each given day.

Exams-There will be one in-class exam in this course. The exam is 25% of your final grade. This essay exam will strongly emphasize critical reflection on course readings and discussions, rather than memorization of names, dates, and places. Because the exam is an open book and open note format, exam questions will not be passed out in advance. Rules governing academic honesty apply. I expect that you will study with other students for the exam, and I encourage such study groups. Discussing answers to questions with fellow students can help you to think through class topics. However, make sure not to write answers that resemble those of the classmates with whom you have studied and expect to get credit. Writing up answers to the questions independently will help you succeed in keeping your work your own and not borrowing someone else’s. The exam will be in the sixth week of the semester. Check the syllabus for exact dates. Exam format: the exam will consist of two long essay questions; it will be 50 minutes in duration.

Critical Reasoning Paper-20% of your grade. The critical reasoning paper will be due in week eleven. See the syllabus for the exact date. The paper will be based on material chosen from one chapter selected from any of the books assigned for this course, except Untying the Knot. The paper is to be 2-3 pages, typed, single-spaced, size 12 font. The paper must be at least two full pages and no more than three full pages, single-spaced type. The paper will consist of seven paragraphs and is designed to answer a set of critically analytical questions about the book chapter in relation to the topic of the course, international relations in Northeast Asia, as it is covered in the assigned readings. Critical reasoning papers will be graded according to the rubric for written assignments provided below. Detailed instructions for the paper format and content will be passed out and discussed in class during the first several weeks of the term. On this paper, I encourage you to seek help from the Writing Center. Although short, the assignment asks you to think clearly and to write concisely about a given subject. Writing Center tutors can be very helpful in this process. You will also be expected to proofread the paper and use correct citations according to either MLA or Chicago Manual of Style formats. Points will be deducted for grammar errors, spelling mistakes, incorrect citations, and failure to cite material. While the topic of plagiarism and examples of correct quotation and citation format, paraphrasing, and summarizing will be covered in some class sessions, seeking help from the Writing Center can only improve your work.

Student lead discussions:15% of your grade. Each group of 4-6 students, selected by the instructor, will lead discussion for part of a class session (20-25 minutes). Dates for leading discussion will be chosen in the first week of class from a list provided by the instructor. On the day you are to lead class discussion, you will need to bring enough copies for each person in the class of a one page (maximum) handout that includes: the main thesis of the assigned reading in your own words; a statement of why a certain point of the author’s is central to understanding international relations in Northeast Asia in relation to your country and issue; how and why you disagree with the conceptual or analytical approach taken in the chosen reading; and nine open-ended discussion questions (questions that ask “how,” “why,” or “in what ways”) that you will use to begin and continue discussion. The second part of your leading discussion must be an activity designed by you, and involving the class and the instructor, that teaches the significance or importance of the reading for the international relations of Northeast Asia. You will need to meet with the instructor two weeks prior to your presentation to discuss your plans and division of labor for leading discussion and to obtain the instructor’s approval for your plan.

Final Project: 20% of your grade. Projects will involve a group of 5-6 students doing research and sharing information on a single country and issue in Northeast Asia, as covered in this course, through an in-class, interactive poster/discussion session. The presentation sessions for final projects will take place in week fourteen. These sessions will be 10 minutes (minimum) and 15 minutes (maximum). These presentations will be done in a group, but each person within the group will be responsible for a different aspect of the issue and country chosen by the group. Use of allotted time will be a factor in the project grade. In addition, one page, single-spaced, typed progress reports will be due (by email) to me by 4:30 pm on the Tuesday of weeks four, eight, and twelve. See syllabus for exact dates. What to do: 1)Choose a country and an issue (the issue must be a regional or international one related to East Asian politics) on which you want to base your final project and get permission from the instructor to pursue research on that issue; 2)Collect factual data, debated information, published opinions, surveys, public polls, scholarly discussions, and moral or ethical perspectives on the issue from authoritative sources; 3)Find out-background information needed for you and the class to discuss and better understand the following: how the issue is viewed by the government and elites in the country you are researching, how the issue domestically impacts the country you have chosen, how other nations and countries in Northeast Asia perceive the issue, how the issue impacts other countries in the region and influences your chosen country’s relations (bilateral, multilateral) with other countries in Northeast Asia, what policy choices you feel are open to the country chosen to resolve the issue, which of these policy choices would you recommend following and why ; 4)Assign different members of the group to each of these aspects of the issue; whichever aspect of the issue you research is the aspect you will report on in the final presentation; 5)Turn in progress reports (when scheduled) that tell me: goals for the project that have been met and those goals remaining, how you met those goals, results of work in the preceding weeks, obstacles still facing you, how you plan to overcome them, and questions on the project you want me to answer; 6)In week fourteen, lead a session on your issue that: presents the results of what you have learned with the class, includes a poster on which your presentation is based, asks questions of the class that are the basis of a discussion, and keeps within the 10-15 minute time limits.

Pop quizzes-If class discussions do not yield evidence of careful reading and thought, I may administer unannounced (“pop”) quizzes. These quizzes will be factored in as part of your participation grade (20 points each). These quizzes will help me determine if quiet students are keeping silent because they are shy or because they are not keeping up with the reading assignments. There will be no make-up quizzes.

B. Grade Components

Your final grade in this course will be determined as follows:

Exam 25%
Class Participation 20%
Paper 20%
Student lead discussion 15%
Final project 20%

Guidelines (Rubric) For Written Assignments:

(Written by Ben Slote and modified slightly by Ann Bomberger)

1) Written work in the A range is based on an original, logical and coherently organized set of ideas; it makes a clear and persuasive argument (even if the reader disagrees with its argument); it brings in specific, relevant examples to back up its assertions; its points, at each turn, are clearly articulated: the words carry precise meaning, they don't obscure it; its sentences use only the words their ideas require, not any more; its paragraphs have distinct though related roles in the essay's cohesion as a whole, each holding one thoroughly asserted idea (not two competing ideas, not one idea half-asserted); if appropriate it accurately and thoughtfully uses other sources; and its sentences are without the grammatical, spelling, or typographical mistakes that exacting proof-reading would catch. (All of this takes a lot of work. If it is all very nearly accomplished, the essay usually earns an A-.)

2) Written work in the B range: a very good paper, the writing of which is clearly, thoughtfully, and effectively executed. What sometimes prevents an "A" is a lack of originality, thorough thinking or careful proofreading. If two of these virtues are absent and the other areas of the paper are strong, the essay will usually earn a B-.

3) Written work in the C range: some conspicuous flaw usually earns an essay a C; its argument is really underdeveloped, it contains only minimal textual support, it has problems with organization and/or sentence clarity, it is in dire need of proofreading.

4) Written D work either contains more than one of the large problems cited in the "C" description or finds another way to convince its reader that the author has not spent nearly enough time on the thinking or writing in the essay.

5) Written work that earns an F misses on all criteria (originality, articulateness, persuasiveness, organization, the absence of mechanical mistakes).

Note: It is within the instructor’s purview to apply qualitative judgment in determining grades for any assignment and for the course final grade.


Academic Honesty Policy:

All students are expected to follow the principles of academic honesty as set out in the policies of Moravian College. See the Student Handbook for details. Any and all written work must be done in your own words (with the exception of direct quotations which are clearly indicated as such), and written work must include proper citations indicating the sources for any ideas, concepts, facts, or other information derived from others, whether or not you have restated it in your own words. Any cases of suspected cheating or plagiarism will be referred to the Academic Affairs Office. Academic dishonesty may result in a failing grade in the course.


Schedule and Assignments

(Schedule may be changed at the discretion of the instructor; advance notice will be given)

*You will be expected to spend 2 1/2-3 hours on work outside of class for every hour in class.

**Be sure to bring assigned readings to class each day. Remembering to bring the assigned reading to class will help your participation grade; forgetting will detract from it.

Class Session Date


Assigned Readings and Assignment(s) Due

1: Tues. 8/29



1: Thurs. 8/31

International Relations in NE Asia

Kim, pp. 3-18; Kim, Ch. 7

2: Tues. 9/5

Political Perspectives on NE Asia

Kim & Lee, pp. 3-24 (Kim, pp. 18-52 as assigned)

2: Thurs. 9/7

Issues & Historical Legacies in NE Asia

Kim & Lee, pp. 24-40; Bush, Ch. 2

3: Tues. 9/12

Post-Cold War Russia: Great Power Politics or Economic Integration?

Kim, Ch. 6

3: Thurs. 9/14

The Russian Far East & The Korean Peninsula

Kim & Lee, Ch. 5

Critical Reasoning Paper chapter choice due in class

4: Tues. 9/19

Japan, Economic Power, and International Relations

Kim, Ch. 4

Progress Report I due

4: Thurs. 9/21

Japan & N. Korea: Normalization or Impasse?

Kim & Lee, Ch. 3

5: Tues. 9/26

S. Korea: From Dictatorship to Democratization

Kim, Ch. 8

5: Thurs. 9/28

Cautious Engagement or Strategic Containment: U.S. & N. Korea

Kim & Lee, Ch. 2

6: Tues. 10/3

N. Korea: Missiles for Survival

Kim, Ch. 9;

Kim & Lee, Ch. 7

6: Thurs. 10/5

Summing Up

Exam (in class)

7: Tues. 10/10

Fall Break

No class

7: Thurs. 10/12

China: Central Regional Actor or Rising Global Power?

Shambaugh, Ch. 1;

Kim, Ch. 2

8: Tues. 10/17

Taiwan: Identity vs. Security

Kim, Ch. 10;

Shambaugh, Ch. 7

Progress Report II due

8: Thurs. 10/19

China and Taiwan: Economic Cooperation/Political Stalemate

Bush, pp. 27-71

9: Tues. 10/24

China, Economics, and NE Asia

Shambaugh, Ch. 3

9: Thurs. 10/26

China and Japan: Rivalry and Cooperation?

Shambaugh, Ch. 5

10: Tues. 10/31

China and the Korean Peninsula

Kim & Lee, Ch. 4; Kim & Lee, pp. 65-79; Shambaugh, Ch. 6

10: Thurs. 11/2

China and Russia: Normalizing a Strategic Partnership

Shambaugh, Ch. 10

11: Tues. 11/7

Cross-Strait Relations: Sovereignty

Bush, Ch. 4

Critical Reasoning Paper due (in class)

11: Thurs. 11/9

Cross-Strait Relations: Security

Bush, Ch. 5

12: Tues. 11/14

China & Taiwan: Domestic Politics and Decision Making

Bush, Ch. 6 & 7 (as assigned, China or Taiwan)

Progress Report II due

12: Thurs. 11/16

China & Taiwan: Leverage & the U.S. Factor

Bush, pp. 225-265

13: Tues. 11/21

China-U.S. Relations in NE Asia

Shambaugh, Ch. 11 & 12 (as assigned)

13: Thurs. 11/23

Thanksgiving Break

No class

14: Tues. 11/28

Group Project Presentations

Group projects due (in class)

14: Thurs. 11/30

A Nuclear N. Korea?

Kim & Lee, Ch. 8

15: Tues. 12/5

Prospects & Policy Options for NE Asia I

Shambaugh, Ch. 13 & 14;

Bush, Ch. 10 & 11 (as assigned)

15: Thurs. 12/7

Prospects & Policy Options for NE Asia II

Shambaugh, Ch. 15 & 16 (as assigned)

Dec. 13-16; 18-19

Finals Week