Asian Regional Security

Will 21st century Asia be peaceful and prosperous or divided and dangerous? Asia is by far the world’s most economically dynamic region, but its security outlook is uncertain and has attracted much debate. Realists believe that post-Cold War Asia is heading towards a major confrontation between China and the US, which would draw in other regional powers and states. Challenging this view, Liberal perspectives point to the region’s growing market-driven economic interdependence and democratic transitions as key forces for stability and order. Constructivists identify shared norms and regional institutions as positive elements in the emerging regional order. The main aim of the course is to introduce students to such alternative ways of looking at Asia’s security using different theories and perspectives on international relations. The course focuses on the key drivers of Asian security, including the rise of China, China-US relations, military balance of power, economic interdependence, regional organizations (such as ASEAN, Shanghai Cooperation Organizations and East Asia Summit) and territorial disputes, national identity, the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the overall security architecture of Asia and the Indo-Pacific region.