17.433 / 17.434 International Relations of East Asia

As taught in: Spring 2005

A map of East Asia.

East Asia. (Image courtesy of the CIA World Factbook.)

Level:

Undergraduate / Graduate

Instructors:

Prof. M. Taylor Fravel

Course Description

The aim of this lecture course is to introduce and analyze the international relations of East Asia. With four great powers, three nuclear weapons states and two of the world's largest economies, East Asia is one of the most dynamic and consequential regions in world politics. During the Cold War, East Asia witnessed intense competition and conflict between the superpowers and among the states in the region. In the post-Cold War era, the region has been an engine of the global economy while undergoing a major shift in the balance power whose trajectory and outcome remain uncertain. This course will examine the sources of conflict and cooperation in both periods, assessing competing explanations for key events in East Asia's international relations. Readings will be drawn from international relations theory, political science and history.