China and the World

This information is for the 2016/17 session.

Teacher responsible

Prof Christopher Hughes ALD 1.15


This course is available on the MSc in International Relations, MSc in International Relations (LSE and Sciences Po) and MSc in International Relations (Research). This course is available with permission as an outside option to students on other programmes where regulations permit.

All students are required to obtain permission from the Teacher Responsible by completing the Student Statement box on the online application form linked to course selection on LSE for You. Admission is not guaranteed.

Course content

This course will provide students with an historical overview of the development of Chinese foreign and security policy, the theoretical concepts used for analysing the making of Chinese foreign policy, and an up-to-date survey of China's evolving relations around the world. The first five weeks will be dedicated to providing a long historical perspective, and use a number of case studies to show how basic factors used in foreign policy analysis shape policy outcomes, including economic factors, the role of perception, geopolitical influences, bureaucratic politics, nationalism, and socialisation into the international system. The remainder of the course will involve analysing case studies on China's relations with the United States, Japan and Korea, Southeast Asia, South Asia, Russia and Central Asia, Australasia and the Pacific Islands, the EU, Africa, Latin America, the Middle East.Watch a short introductory video on this course:


10 hours of lectures and 10 hours of seminars in the MT. 10 hours of lectures and 10 hours of seminars in the LT.

10 hours of the seminars in the LT will be with guest speakers.

Students on this course will have a reading week in Week 6, in line with departmental policy. 

Formative coursework

Students will complete three 2,000 word essays during the course and will make two presentations to the seminar. It is permissible for the presentations to be on the same topics as the essays.

Indicative reading

Alden, Chris. China in Africa, London: Zed, 2007.

Christensen, Thomas J. The China Challenge: Shaping the Choices of a Rising Power. New York: W.W. Norton, 2015.

Johnston, Alistair Iain. Social States: China in International Institutions, 1980-2000. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2008.

Liao, Xuanli, Chinese Foreign Policy Think Tanks and China's Policy Towards Japan. Hong Kong: Chinese University Press, 2006. MC DS779.47 L69

Holslag, Jonathan China+India: Prospects for Peace, New York: Columbia University Press, 2010.

Shambaugh, David. China Goes Global. New York: Oxford University Press.

Yahuda, Michael. Sino-Japanese Relations After the Cold War: Two Tigers Sharing a Mountain. New York: Routledge, 2013.

Yahuda, Michael and David Shambaugh. International Relations of Asia. New York: Routledge, 2014.



Exam (100%, duration: 3 hours) in the main exam period.

Key facts

Department: International Relations

Total students 2015/16: 29

Average class size 2015/16: 14

Controlled access 2015/16: Yes

Value: One Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information