Not available in 2022/23
International Politics: Asia & the Pacific

This information is for the 2022/23 session.

Teacher responsible

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) and MSc in Theory and History of International Relations. 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 online application form linked to course selection on LSE for You. Admission is not guaranteed.

This course has a limited number of places (it is controlled access) and demand is typically high.

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’s international relations. Topics covered include the region’s state-formation processes; Southeast Asia’s inter-state relations, ASEAN’s search for regional order, the development and potential of economic regionalism, the Southeast Asia strategies and policies pursued by the United States and China, the foreign policy ambitions and roles of Indonesia as the largest state in the sub-region, the multi-faceted (e.g. hedging) strategies adopted by maritime and continental Southeast Asian states vis-à-vis great powers and China in particular, and the case of Myanmar to explore the prospects for peace and stability, democracy, and human rights against the backdrop of geopolitical change.


This course is delivered through a combination of seminars and lectures totalling a minimum of 40 hours across Michaelmas, Lent and Summer Term. This year, some or all of this teaching will be delivered through a combination of online lectures and in-person classes/classes delivered online.

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)
  • Maung Aung Myoe, In the Name of Pauk-Phaw: Myanmar’s China Policy Since 1948 (ISEAS, 2011)


Exam (50%, duration: 2 hours) in the summer exam period.
Coursework (50%, 2000 words) in the LT.

The 50% coursework will be a policy memo. The exam will cover LT material.

Key facts

Department: International Relations

Total students 2021/22: Unavailable

Average class size 2021/22: Unavailable

Controlled access 2021/22: No

Value: One Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

Course selection videos

Some departments have produced short videos to introduce their courses. Please refer to the course selection videos index page for further information.

Personal development skills

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