International Politics: Asia & the Pacific

This information is for the 2019/20 session.

Teacher responsible

Prof Christopher Hughes CBG.8.04 and Dr Jurgen Haacke CBG.9.01


This course is available on the MSc in Development Studies, MSc in International Affairs (LSE and Peking University), MSc in International Relations, MSc in International Relations (LSE and Sciences Po), MSc in International Relations (Research), MSc in International Relations Theory and MSc in Theory and History of International Relations. This course is available as an outside option to students on other programmes where regulations permit.

Course content

The course looks at how states in the Asia-Pacific region develop policies and strategies to manage international crises and build stability through regionalization. The first term develops knowledge of the policies and strategies of the states in Northeast Asia and uses scenario building to explore the management of the challenges posed by the rise of China and the role of the US, disputes over territory in the East China Sea between China and Japan, , the status and security of Taiwan, and the nuclear crisis on the Korean Peninsula. The second term focuses on Southeast Asia to explore the experience and potential of using economic regionalism to build stability and prosperity, the role of the US and China as hegemonic powers, the role of Indonesia as the largest state in the sub-region, and the case of Myanmar to explore the prospects for human security, democracy, and human rights. Seminars are used to build scenarios to explore these topics.


10 hours of lectures and 8 hours of seminars in the MT. 10 hours of lectures and 15 hours of seminars in the LT. 2 hours of seminars in the ST.

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

Formative coursework

Students will be expected to produce one 2,000-word policy paper in the MT and one 2,000-word essay in the LT on dates stipulated by the teacher responsible.

Indicative reading

  • Michael Yahuda, The International Politics of the Asia-Pacific, 1945-1995 (Routledge Curzon, 4th edn, 2019);
  • Alagappa (Ed), Asian Security Order (Stanford University Press 2003);
  • Amitav Acharya, The Making of Southeast Asia (Cornell University Press, 2013);
  • Christopher Dent, East Asian Regionalism (Routledge, 2nd ed., 2016);
  • Evelyn Goh The Struggle for Order: Hegemony, Hierarchy, and Transition in Post-Cold War East Asia (Oxford, 2015);
  • Leszek Buszynski, Geopolitics and the Western Pacific: China, Japan and the US (Routledge, 201)


Exam (60%, duration: 2 hours) in the summer exam period.
Coursework (40%, 2000 words) in the LT.

The 40% coursework will be a policy memo.

Key facts

Department: International Relations

Total students 2018/19: Unavailable

Average class size 2018/19: Unavailable

Controlled access 2018/19: No

Value: One Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

Personal development skills

  • Leadership
  • Team working
  • Problem solving
  • Application of information skills
  • Communication