This course addresses dynamics of politics and society in Asia focusing on Japan in particular. The focus of this course will be on political, legal and social institutions, not only by analyzing how these institutions are shaped today but also addressing them from an historical, cultural, and sociological perspective. Based on an understanding of domestic and bilateral issues, in this course students will also study how Japan is defining its position in Asia and in a globalizing world by fostering regional cooperation and how Japan in particular and Asia as a region in general are redefining their relation with the US and Europe. Special attention will be given to the methodologies used in approaching the area in academic discourse.
The course introduces some of the main concepts and analytical approaches of political science as an academic discipline. We will address a number of topical issues. The purpose of this course is to provide students with a foundation for thinking creatively about dynamics in politics and society in Asia.
The course offers an overview on ideas, theories and methodologies on area studies with relation to East-Asia in a transnational and global perspective. The purpose of the course is to familiarize students with scientific tools and concepts to understand, describe and analyze East-Asia both in the context of transnationalization and globalization and also to make them familiar with recent developments in regional cooperation in Asia. This course will focus first on regionalism in East-Asia and second on recent political developments in Japan in a global context and taking the EU as a point of reference.
Students are required to participate in the course through active individual participation and group work. The course consists of lectures and tutorials. During the course, students will be introduced to the interdisciplinary variety of methodological tools to conduct research on East-Asia. At the same time, students will acquire knowledge on the fundamental ideas and theories on regional cooperation in East-Asia and on Japanese politics and keep a comparative perspective with the EU in mind. We will start the class with 10 minutes of analysis of the main topic in the day’s newspaper and end with 10 minutes of a movie on a topic relevant to understand contemporary Japanese.