Skip to Main Content
Start main Content
A banner image of website

10 Elective courses

MIA601 Politics of Development in Asia Pacific

The course provides students with the leading politicial science theories and approaches to studying the development in Asia Pacific. Specific topics include the strategic context of the rise of Asia Pacific in the post-war era, the roles of state and societies in economic development, factors explaining the diverse trajectories of development among major East Asian states, the relative rise of China, Singapore and South Korea and relative decline of Japan and Taiwan, East Asian regionalism, sustainability of development in the region, and others.

MIA602 Greater China: Identity, Interaction, Integration and Diversity

This course focuses on identity, development, interaction, integration and diversity of Greater China and compares the economic, societal and political development of its four regions – Mainland China, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macau. Different forces of nationalism, exchanges and globalization have drawn these different parts of Greater China sometimes closer and sometimes apart from each other; nevertheless, they remain separate and distinctive. Their differences are reflected in culture, society, values and norms, and economic and political systems. This course examines the causal factors that have shaped the different destinies of Greater China as well as the forces that are pulling them together or pushing them apart.

The concept of Greater China will be analysed and the four regions’ relationships with each other and with the outside world will be examined. The focus will be put on the period of the last seventy years. During this period, the four regions have had their different paths of modernization, yet at the same time we witness increasingly significant interactions among the four regions. Based on the concept of Greater China, theoretical issues such as the explanatory powers of culture and ethnicity versus economic development and modernization are also considered.

MIA603 International Organizations and Global Governance

This course explores the relationship between major international organizations (the United Nations, the Bretton Woods Institutions (the World Bank, the IMF and GATT/WTO) and global governance. It examines how these organizations, including particular, international regimes have addressed pressing economic, political, and security issues such as global economic cooperation, terrorism, proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, human rights, environment protection and rising global inequality. The challenges these organizations face and its implications for global order will also be examined.

MIA604 Environmental Politics and Global Governance

This course studies how environmental issues are interconnected with international affairs and globalisation, and how they contribute to creating a new domain in global politics. Through examining the most pressing global environmental challenges that the international community is facing (e.g. climate change, biodiversity loss, deforestation, etc.), the course intends to help students develop theoretical visions and practical insights to understand better the prominent global environmental issues, and to discuss solutions and alternatives to the current situation.

MIA605 International Politics of the Asia-Pacific

This course focuses on the study of Northeast Asia and Southeast Asia, by examining the major issues and themes in the post-World War II international politics of these two vital regions of the Asia-Pacific. In the first part, this course examines through the perspective of history the implications of the rise of China, Japan-United States security cooperation, regional hotspots such as Taiwan and the Korean peninsula, the diversity of cooperative security and economic institutions involving Northeast Asian states, and their political developments and regional interactions. In the second part, this course focuses on relations among the states of Southeast Asia; and between the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and the US, India, Australia, Japan and China; traditional and non-traditional security issues on post-Cold war Southeast Asia; and Southeast Asian regionalism and economic cooperation.

MIA606 Foreign Policy and International Relations of China

The turn of this century has witnessed China's rising international status in the global arena. Determined to be an important player in a post-Cold War world, China has been carrying out a pragmatic foreign policy to ensure a favorable environment for its economic growth. Through reviewing its relations with the US, Japan, two Koreas, Russia and central Asia, India and south Asia, Europe and Africa, this course aims to further understand how this pragmatic foreign policy has been formed and implemented by the Chinese authorities and the impact of the formation and implementation to the international political order.

MIA607 NGOs, Civil Society and the State

The course equips students with leading theories and approaches for studying the interrelationship between non-governmental organizations (NGOs), civil society and the state. It examines the rise of NGOs in international, national and local governance and advocacy. Specific topics include the definition and classification of NGOs and civil society, the roles played by NGOs in development, the major approaches to studying NGOs, and the challenges and limitations facing NGOs. It concludes with a preliminary examination of the latest development of civil society and NGOs in the Greater China Region.

MIA608 Ethnic Conflicts and Nationalist Crises

Political, social and cultural movements rooted in conceptions of ethnicity or nationhood is a major feature of the modern world that we live in. This course will focus on the interaction among ethnic communities and nations within the domestic politics of sovereign states. It will introduce students to concepts and definitions of ethnicity and nationalism, explore the historical and contemporary basis for their development and significance, and examine some benchmark research that will guide us to understand these phenomena better. Conflicts generated by nationalist claims for separate statehood or some form of political recognition, and how states respond to such demands, will be discussed. This course will conclude with an investigation into the issue of intervention by other states and international organizations in ethnic conflicts within sovereign states.

MIA609 Youth Movements and Dissent Politics

Youth (student) movement is generally regarded as a phenomenon of youth’s rebellion against the older generation and an important part of dissent politics. Theories or explanations illuminating nature and occurrence of youth movements will be investigated in this course. They include life-course effect, emerge of a new political generation, change of dominant social value and alignment with establishment elites. Prominent cases of youth movements are studied to examine differences and similarities. These cases span from 1960s to 2014, including the 1960s US civil rights and anti-Vietnam War student demonstrations, the 1968 French May Movement, the 1966-69 Chinese Red Guard Movement, the 1989 Tiananmen student movement, the 2013 Arab Spring Movement, the 2014 Taiwan Sunflower Movement and Hong Kong Umbrella Movement.

MIA610 Selected Issues in Contemporary Chinese Politics

The period of study focuses on the economic reform era since late 1970s. This course focuses on the social and political aspects of the reform and puts special emphasis on the effect of the reform measures and open-door policies initiated by Deng Xiaoping in the post-Mao Zedong period. Changes in both the state and society in the last almost five decades will be studied. Reform measures taken by the state and reactions from the society are the two major lines of investigation. Depending on the instructor’s expertise, several important and argumentative social, economic and political issues in contemporary China will be selected for study in this course.