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2019/20 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

PIED2403 Comparative Politics of Pacific Asia

20 creditsClass Size: 93

Module manager: Dr Adam Tyson

Taught: Semester 2 (Jan to Jun) View Timetable

Year running 2022/23

Module replaces

Politics and IR of Pacific Asia

This module is approved as a discovery module

Module summary

This module outlines the historical and contemporary process involved in the making of modern Pacific Asia. Students will examine the key issues and comparative approaches in Pacific Asia. This involves exploring debates surrounding the 'Asian century' as well as the changing roles of major powers such as China and Japan. As an example of regional integration students will consider the role of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) in multilateral governance and conflict mediation. Students will draw on relevant case studies, exploring substantive aspects of comparative Asian politics. This includes the transformative impact of civil society in multiethnic settings, as well as the dynamics of democratisation. This is complemented by an assessment of the durability of Pacific Asia's complex political regimes, along with the controversies surrounding transitional justice based on the current experiments taking place in countries such as Cambodia and Indonesia.


1. Examine core ideas and approaches in comparative politics.
2. Introduce contemporary comparative politics of Pacific Asia.
3. Develop student skills of thinking critically and practically about contemporary political problems.
4. Develop student capacity to identify and make links between political thought and practice.

Learning outcomes
1. Knowledge of central ideas, approaches and contestations in comparative politics.
2. Familiarity with contemporary comparative politics of Pacific Asia.
3. Knowledge of the relevance of these ideas and approaches for the problems of contemporary Pacific Asian politics.

On completion of this module students should be able to demonstrate an advanced, interdisciplinary understanding of the comparative politics of Pacific Asia, as well as the changes that have occurred in post-crisis contexts. Students should be able to question and discuss the relevance of comparative approaches for the problems of contemporary Pacific Asian politics. These include the struggle to manage Asia's megacities and regional talent wars, the process of normalisation taking place in Japan, and the durability of authoritarian regimes in Pacific Asia, among other problems. Throughout the module students will be asked to develop reasoned arguments and exercise critical judgement, manage their own learning and make use of constructive feedback.


(Indicative syllabus. Actual topics may vary from year to year)

1) Making Modern Pacific Asia
2) Comparative Politics of Pacific Asia
3) Japan and the Politics of Normalisation
4) Authoritarianism in Pacific Asia
5) Democracy and New Leadership
6) Assessment Week
7) Genocide and Transitional Justice
8) New Social Media in Pacific Asia
9) Environmental Governance
10) Urbanisation in Pacific Asia
11) Comparative Political Economy

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Private study hours178.00
Total Contact hours22.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)200.00

Private study

Students are required to read the core items listed in the module reading list in preparation for seminar discussions and essays. This requires careful and reflective reading, note taking, summarising, and preparation for class discussion. Students will be provided with a list of questions to guide their reading and reflection.

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

Student progress will be monitored by means of:

Student contributions to seminar discussion, which will be monitored throughout the course, though not assessed. Student will be subjected to a weekly rapid review during seminars demonstrating an ability not only to read but also to respond to and engage with the latest scholarship in the field. There will also be opportunities for individual discussions outside seminar times.

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
Essay1 x 3,000 End of Term essay100.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)100.00

Normally resits will be assessed by the same methodology as the first attempt, unless otherwise stated

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 29/04/2022 15:29:44


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