Spring 2010

Threats and Security in Postwar East Asia

Listed in: Political Science, as POSC-31


Jonathan T. Chow (Section 01)


This course is an intermediate seminar on regional security in East Asia since World War II. We will begin by examining how various political scientists have theorized about what constitutes security, what constitutes a threat and how best to respond to it. We will use these theories as lenses through which to analyze how the security environment in East Asia has developed since the end of World War II. Topics will include the origins of the U.S.-Japan alliance, the Korean War and its modern legacies, and the evolution of Sino-U.S. normalization. Moving to more contemporary issues, we will discuss how to manage the North Korean nuclear threat, the China-Taiwan impasse, and non-traditional threats such as terrorism and epidemic disease. We will also study regional mechanisms intended to mitigate conflict and security threats, such as the Association of Southeast Asian Nations and the ASEAN Regional Forum. By the end of this class, students should have a nuanced understanding of the security environment in East Asia. Students should be able to use international relations theories to explain why certain issues become threats and how political actors have sought to resolve them and be prepared to pursue more advanced study in international security and East Asian international affairs.

Requisite: A course in international relations or comparative politics is recommended. Limited to 20 students.  Spring semester.  Five College Fellow Chow.

If Overenrolled: Senior political science majors who need the class to meet graduation requirements will have first priority, followed by senior, junior and sophomore political science majors, respectively, then senior non-majors on down to freshmen non-majors.


2022-23: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2010