SemesterSpring Semester, 2021
DepartmentInternational Master's Program in International Studies, First Year International Master's Program in International Studies, Second Year
Course NameSecurity Relations in Northeast Asia
Course TypeElective
Course Objective
Course Description
Course Schedule

Weekly Schedule

Week 1 Introduction


Section I  Theories of Security Studies

Week 2  Introduction of Theories of Security Studies

The Routledge Handbook of Security Studies (RHSS), Ch1.

Katzenstein, The Culture of National Security, Ch1.


Week 3  Realism: Balance of Power

Paul, T. V., James J. Wirtz and Michel Fortmann eds., Balance of PowerTheory and Practice in the 21stCentury (Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 2004), Intro, Ch1-3.


Week 4  Realism: Theories of Alliance

Stephen M. Walt, “Alliance Formation and the Balance of World Power,” International Security, Vol. 9, No. 4 (Spring 1985), pp. 3-41.

Carlo Masala, “Alliances,” in RHSS, pp. 382-91.


Week 5  Realism: Security Dilemma

William C. Wohlforth, “Realism and security studies,” in RHSS, pp. 9-20.

Robert Jervis, “Cooperation under the security dilemma,” World Politics 30 (1978), pp. 167-214.

Glenn H. Snyder, “The Security Dilemma in Alliance Politics,” World Politics, Vol. 36, No. 4 (Jul., 1984), pp. 461-495.


Week 6  Liberalism

Katzenstein, Cultural Norms and National Security, Ch2

David L. Rousseau and Thomas C. Walker, “Liberalism,” in RHSS, pp. 21-34.

Katzenstein, The Culture of National Security, Ch3.


Week 7  Constructivism I: Domestic Collective Identity and Culture Norms in Security Dimension

Katzenstein, Cultural Norms and National Security, Ch 3

Iver B. Neumann, “National security, culture and identity” in RHSS, pp. 95-104.


Week 8  Constructivism II: Security Culture Norms in International Society

Katzenstein, The Culture of National Security, Ch2; Ch12.  

Thierry Balzacq, “Constructivism and securitization studies,” in RHSS, pp. 56-72.


Week 9  Your Own Research I

Please present your research topic, research question, literature review on one article. Let’s discuss what theories may apply in your case.


Section II  Security Issues in Northeast Asia

From Week 10~Week 17, we will focus on presentations. Choose a security issues in Northeast Asia and let’s discuss it in the detail.


Week 10  Why Japan launched War during the Second World War?

Suggested reading:

Jack SLevy and William RThompson, Causes of War (United Kingdom: John Wiley and Sons Ltd, 2010).

加藤陽子『それでも、日本人は「??」を選んだ朝日出版社、2009年。中譯版:加藤陽子著,黃美蓉譯,《日本人為何選擇了戰爭》,台北市 : 廣場出版 ; 新北市 : 遠足文化發行,2016年。


Week 11  Korean War and its Impacts on Northeast Asia   

Suggested reading:

Bruce Cumings, The Korean War: A History (Modern Library, 2010). 中譯本: 林添貴譯,《朝鮮戰爭:你以為已經遺忘,其實從不曾了解的一段歷史》,左岸文化,2013年。


Week 12  U.S.-Japan Alliance or Alliances in Northeast Asia

Suggested reading:

T. Inoguchi (Editor), G. John Ikenberry eds. The U.S.-Japan Security Alliance: Regional Multilateralism (Palgrave Macmillan, 2011).

Peter Katzenstein, The Culture of National Security, Ch11 (“Identity and Alliances in the Middle East,” p. 400)

J. J. Suh, “Chapter 4 Bound to Last? The U.S.-Korea Alliance and Analytical Eclecticism.” In Peter Katzenstein, Rethinking Security in East Asia: Identity, Power, and Efficiency, co-edited with J. J. Suh and Allen Carlson, (Stanford University Press, 2004).


Week 13  International Law, Norms in Northeast Asia

Suggested reading:

Peter Katzenstein, The Culture of National Security

Ch3 (“Status, Norms, and the Proliferation of Conventional Weapons,” p. 79)

Ch4 (“Norms and Deterrence: The Nuclear and Chemical Weapons Taboos, p. 114);

Ch10 (“Collective Identity in a Democratic Community: The Case of NATO,” p. 357)


Week 14  Territorial Dispute

Diaoyu vs Senkaku; Kakeshima vs Dokdo; Kuril Islands dispute

Suggested reading:

Suk Kyoon Kim, Maritime Disputes in Northeast Asia: Regional Challenges and Cooperation (Brill, 2017), ch. 5 for overview.

Sheila A. Smith, “Sino-Japanese rivalry and its consequences for Asia (Ch2).” In Sumit Ganguly, Andrew Scobell, Joseph Chinyong Liow eds. The Routledge Handbook of Asian Security Studies (RHASS) (2nd Edition) (Routledge, 2017), pp. 21-37. 


Week 15  Maritime Competition

Suggested reading:

Suk Kyoon Kim, Maritime Disputes in Northeast Asia: Regional Challenges and Cooperation (Brill, 2017).

Ralf Emmers, Geopolitics and Maritime Territorial Disputes in East Asia (Routledge, 2010).

Andrew S. Erickson, “China’s maritime ambitions (Ch8),” RHASS, pp. 100-114.


Week 16  Rising China and Thucydides Trap?

Suggested reading:

Graham Allison, Destined For War: Can America and China escape Thucydides’s Trap (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2017).

Andrew Scobell, “Whither China’s 21st century trajectory?” (Ch1), RHASS, pp. 11-20.

Jeffrey Reeves, “Origins, intentions, and security implications of Xi Jinping’s belt and road initiative (Ch5),” RHASS, pp. 61-73.


Week 17  The Korean peninsula

Suggested reading:

Scott Snyder, “The Korean peninsula: on the brink?” in RHSS, pp. 268-278.

Bruce E. Bechtol Jr, “North Korea’s nuclear weaponization program: background, context, and trends for the future (ch3),” RHASS, pp. 38-49.


Week 18  Your Own Research II

Share your research results with us!

Teaching Methods
Teaching Assistant



Course Requirements and Evaluation Criteria

I. Class participation (30 %)

Class attendance is required. The success of this seminar, in terms of how much we can learn from each other, depends crucially on the active participation and input of everyone. Please read required reading carefully and come prepared for discussion.


II. Presentation (30 %)

1. For the first section, please summarize the required readings (10-15 minutes) via PPT or a print-out. Others are expected to prepare questions, discussion points related to readings to contribute to discussion.

2. For the second section, please conduct empirical research and present on a security issue in Northeast Asia on the syllabus from week 10 to week17 (30 minutes). Please submit your PPT to me after presentation.

If you would like to choose other security issues in Northeast Asia, please inform instructor and our class first and give us some time to get prepare for the topics. It would be even more helpful, if you can suggest some readings for us.

Presentation is an important training, whether you decide to be a businessperson, a journalist, or a professor. It is important to equip yourself with capability to introduce one topic clearly and precisely. Take this opportunity and have fun with it.


III. Research Paper (40%)

  1. Each student will write an 8-page double-spaced research paper (10 pages for doctoral students) on any subject pertaining to the subject matter of this course, due at the end of the semester. Please choose a security issues or case related to security affairs/policies in Northeast Asia and apply a particular theory to explain the case.  

  2. The paper should include: a clear research question, brief literature review, theoretical framework, and empirical case study.

  3. Please present your research topic, research question, literature review for a research article in Week 9 in the class.

  4. Paper is due in class in Week 18 and please email me an electronic copy. Please present your research with the class in the same week.

  5. Footnote reference should confirm to the Chicago Manual Style, 16th edition (, published by the University of Chicago Press.

Textbook & Reference

  • Peter Katzenstein, The Culture of National Security: Norms and Identity in World Politics (Columbia University Press, 1996).

  • Myriam Dunn Cavelty and Victor Mauer eds. The Routledge Handbook of Security Studies (Routledge, 2010).

For other readings, please refer to the weekly schedule.

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