The University of Mississippi
Spring 2013, Tuesdays and Thursdays, 14:30 - 15:45, 243 Turner Center
Instructor: Dr. Gang Guo * Office: 128 Deupree Hall * Telephone: (662) 915-5419 * e-mail: gg at olemiss dot edu
Office hours: by appointment

Course Schedule News Presentations On-line Resources BlackBoard Map of Asia


This course is a general survey of the politics and other aspects of Asia, with an emphasis on the contemporary Pacific Asia. Starting with the general environment of Asia, this course covers the history, politics, and international relations of major Asian powers and discusses the main economic and security issues that concern Asian countries today. By the end of the semester, students are expected

  1. to be familiarized with the international and domestic politics of Asia;
  2. to gain a better understanding of the historical and current developments of Asian countries;
  3. and to apply the concepts and theories to the study of Asia.

All the required readings and lecture notes of this course are available on the Internet through links on this web page. Links to the readings and notes will be updated on this web page throughout the semester, and so students are required to visit the course web site regularly.

It is essential for students to read the required materials before class and attend all class sessions. Class participation accounts for 15% of the course grade. Each student is also required to make a brief (about 10 minutes) in-class presentation of a most recent news on Asian politics. The presentation accounts for 10% of the course grade. The presenter should not only tell the class what happened, but also provide some background information to help understand the news story better. After each presentation there will be a short period in which the presenter responds to questions or comments from the audience. For the preparation of the presentation, there are many English-language websites that cover news on Asia. Some of those are linked from the online resources section on this web page.

There will be one writing assignment and two exams for this course. The writing assignment, due on BlackBoard by 2:30pm on Tuesday, February 12th, will account for 10% of the course grade. The midterm exam in class on Thursday, March 7th, will account for 30% of the course grade. The final exam will start at 16:00 on Tuesday, May 7th, as stipulated by the Registrar's Office. It accounts for 35% of the grade.


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MonthDateDayLecture NotesRequired Readings
Part I: Introduction and Context
January22TuesdayCourse overview
24ThursdayPhysical Environment
  • Borthwick, Mark. 1998. Pacific Century: The Emergence of Modern Pacific Asia, 2nd Edition. Boulder, Colorado: Westview Press. Pages 1-15.
  • Geography of Asia.
29TuesdayAsian people and culture
31ThursdayAsian history
February5TuesdayAmerica in Asiavideo
Part II: Major Powers in Asia
7ThursdayMajor power comparisonsCIA World Factbook or IMF DataMapper
12TuesdayJapan: postwar history
14ThursdayJapan: politics Politics in Japan.
19TuesdayKorea: postwar history Eckert, Carter J. 1990. Korea's Economic Development in Historical Perspective, 1945-1990.
21ThursdayKorea: politics Executive Branch, Legislature, and Foreign Direct Investment, from Korean Government Homepage.
26TuesdayChina: postwar history
28ThursdayChina: politics
March5TuesdayTaiwan & Hong Kong
7ThursdayMidterm ExamAll of the above.
19TuesdayChinese overseas
21ThursdaySoutheast Asia: postwar political development
26Tuesday Beeson, Mark. "Southeast Asia and the Politics of Vulnerability", in Third World Quarterly, Volume 23, Number 3, June 2002, pages 549-564.
28ThursdayIndian politics Wide Angle series: 1-800-India.
AprilPart III: Economy and Security
2TuesdayEconomic "miracles" Krugman, Paul. "The Myth of Asia's Miracle" and Letters to the Editor, in Foreign Affairs, November/December 1994, pages 62-78, and March/April 1995, pages 170-177.
4ThursdayAsian financial crisis Rigg, Jonathan. "Of miracles and crises: (re-)interpretation of growth and decline in East and Southeast Asia", in Asia Pacific Viewpoint, Volume 43, Number 2, August 2002.
9TuesdayUS-China relations Council on Foreign Relations. 2013 "Timeline: U.S. Relations with China."
11ThursdayUS-China economic issues Roya Wolverson and Christopher Alessi. 2011. "Confronting U.S.-China Economic Imbalances." Council on Foreign Relations.
16TuesdayPRC-Japan relationship Toshiya Hoshino and Haruko Satoh. 2012. "Through the Looking Glass? China's Rise as Seen from Japan." Journal of Asian Public Policy, Volume 5, Issue 2, Pages 181-198.
18ThursdayUS-Southeast Asia relations Jamil Maidan Flores and Jun Abad. 1998. The Founding of ASEAN. Chapter 1 in ASEAN at 30.
25Thursdaysecurity environment in Pacific Asia
30Tuesdaydemocratization in Asia Root, Hilton L. "What Democracy Can Do for East Asia", in Journal of Democracy, Volume 13, Number 1, January 2002, pages 113-126.
May2ThursdayAsia's political future Mahbubani, Kishore. 2013. "The Great Convergence: Asia, the West, and the Logic of One World." New York, NY: Carnegie Council for Ethics in International Affairs.
7TuesdayFinal ExamAll of the above since the Midterm Exam.

News Presentations

MonthDateDayPresenter 1(Presenter 2, if applicable)
January22Tuesday(No presentation)
24ThursdayAriel BlancoRyan Brown
29TuesdayVinod Kannuthurai
31ThursdayEddie LopezRichard S. Wicker
February5Tuesday(No presentation)
7ThursdayPaul GallenoJeongha Jeong
12TuesdayWilliam Stokes
14ThursdayWill ReynoldsJames Cutchin
19TuesdaySam MadduxEuiyoung Koh
21ThursdayJ. Quinn BollsAvis McGowan
26TuesdayColleen KenneyJihye Lee
28ThursdayKevin NguyenAnastasia Griffin
March5TuesdayJoshua Gates
7Thursday(Midterm Exam, no presentation)
19TuesdayMatthew BrockmannBrian Kates
26TuesdayRichard CowartSejin Moon
28Thursday(No presentation)
April2TuesdayWilliam P. Gipson
4ThursdayWill EcholsJustin Bagwell
9TuesdayCharles JonesChristian Sherma
11ThursdayAmber GoodeCaleb Stokes
16TuesdayStewart FakessWes Rakestraw
18ThursdaySarah FennoJeff McCoy
23TuesdayDalton Moore
25ThursdaySutton Miller