Not available in 2020/21
IR313      Half Unit
Managing China's Rise in East Asia

This information is for the 2020/21 session.

Teacher responsible

Dr Jurgen Haacke CBG.9.01


This course is available on the BSc in International Relations, BSc in International Relations and Chinese, BSc in International Relations and History and BSc in Politics and International Relations. This course is not available as an outside option. This course is available to General Course students.

Course content

The main focus of this class-based half-course on the contemporary international relations of East Asia is the management of China's rise. The course begins by exploring China's re-emergence as a major regional power, in part by discussing the economic, political and military dimensions of Chinese power, China's evolving identity, as well as the major aspects of its declaratory and substantive foreign and security policy. It also examines from different theoretical and political perspectives the implications that China's rise has been posing for East Asia. As regards the management of China's growing capabilities, status and ambitions, the course explores what political and security strategies vis-à-vis China have in turn been adopted by the key states that are either resident in or have a significant presence in the wider East Asia, such as the United States, Japan, Russia and India. The course also explores the ways in which China's rise has impacted on conflicts in the South China Sea and on the Korean peninsula, and the nature of the management of China's rise by states from continental and maritime Southeast Asia. It moreover examines how regional arrangements and institutional frameworks for dialogue and cooperation led by lesser regional states have served the management of China's rise. Concepts and theories from International Relations will be drawn upon as appropriate.


20 hours of classes in the MT. 2 hours of classes in the ST.

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

Formative coursework

Students will write two essays with a maximum length of 2,000 words and present on class topics.

Indicative reading

William A. Callahan, China the Pessoptimist Nation (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2010);

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

Aaron L. Friedberg, A Contest for Supremacy: China, America, and the Struggle for Mastery in Asia (New York: W.W.Norton, 2011);

Jonathan Holslag, China’s Coming War with Asia (Cambridge: Polity, 2015).

Alastair Iain Johnston and Robert S. Ross, eds, Engaging China: The Management of an Emerging Power (London: Routledge, 1999);

Rex Li, A Rising China and Security in East Asia: Identity Construction and Security Discourse (Abingdon: Routledge, 2009);

Gilbert Rozman, Chinese Strategic Thought toward Asia (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2010);

David Shambaugh, ed., Power Shift: China and Asia's New Dynamics (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2005);

Sheila Smith, Intimate Rivals: Japanese Domestic Politics and a Rising China (New: Columbia University Press, 2015).

Ian Storey, Southeast Asia and the Rise of China: The search for security (London: Routledge, 2011);

Robert G. Sutter, U.S.-Chinese Relations: Perilous Past, Pragmatic Present, 2nd ed (Rowman & Littlefield, 2013);

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


Exam (100%, duration: 2 hours) in the summer exam period.

Important information in response to COVID-19

Please note that during 2020/21 academic year some variation to teaching and learning activities may be required to respond to changes in public health advice and/or to account for the situation of students in attendance on campus and those studying online during the early part of the academic year. For assessment, this may involve changes to mode of delivery and/or the format or weighting of assessments. Changes will only be made if required and students will be notified about any changes to teaching or assessment plans at the earliest opportunity.

Key facts

Department: International Relations

Total students 2019/20: 15

Average class size 2019/20: 15

Capped 2019/20: Yes (15)

Value: Half Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

Personal development skills

  • Team working
  • Communication