Modernity and the State in East Asia: China, Japan and Korea since 1840
This information is for the 2019/20 session.
Dr Antony Best SAR 3.14
This course is available on the BA in History, BSc in Government and History, BSc in International Relations, BSc in International Relations and History and BSc in Politics and History. This course is available as an outside option to students on other programmes where regulations permit and to General Course students.
May be taken by 3rd years where regulations permit.
The course is concerned with providing a comparative political history of the major East Asian countries, China, Japan and Korea, in the period from the Opium War to the 1990s. The course is concerned with providing a comparative political history of the major East Asian countries, China, Japan and Korea, in the period from the Opium War to the 1990s. It begins by looking at the impact of the arrival of Western imperialism in the mid-nineteenth century and the respective approaches taken by Japan, Korea and China in response to this encroachment. For Japan, it covers the rise of the Meiji state, the beginnings of constitutional government and the development of Japanese imperialism. This naturally is linked with the study of Korea's failed efforts to maintain its independence; in regard to China it deals with the attempts by the Qing state to introduce reforms and the final collapse of Imperial China. It then deals with the difficulties provoked by modernization and nationalism in the first-half of the twentieth century, taking in the rise and fall of Taisho democracy and the drift towards fascism in Japan and the Guomindang's revolution and state-building and the birth of the Chinese Communist Party in China. The course then concentrates on the aftermath of the Second World War for East Asia, studying the Chinese Civil War and the emergence of the People's Republic, the course and legacy of the US occupation of Japan and the formation of the two Koreas. The last part of the course covers the development of the People's Republic under Mao and Deng, the rise of Japan as an economic superpower and the emergence of South Korea and Taiwan as economic powers.
10 hours of lectures and 10 hours of classes in the MT. 9 hours of lectures and 10 hours of classes in the LT. 1 hour of lectures and 1 hour of classes in the ST.
Students on this course will have a reading week in Week 6 of the Michaelmas and Lent terms. There will be a revision lecture and class in the Summer Term.
Students will be required to submit three 2000 word essays in all and to sit a mock exam.
A detailed reading list will be issued at the start of the course, but the following survey texts are essential: W G Beasley, The Rise of Modern Japan; P Duus (Ed), The Cambridge History of Japan: The Twentieth Century; L Eastman (Ed), The Nationalist Era in China, 1927-1949; J L McLain, Japan: A Modern History; R MacFarquhar (Ed), The Politics of China, 1949-1989; A Buzo, The Making of Modern Korea; J Spence, The Search for Modern China.
Exam (100%, duration: 3 hours) in the summer exam period.
Department: International History
Total students 2018/19: 40
Average class size 2018/19: 13
Capped 2018/19: No
Value: One Unit
Personal development skills
- Team working
- Problem solving
- Application of information skills
- Specialist skills