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4 Required courses

MIA501 Theories and Approaches of International Relations

The course introduces students to the core issues and major historical developments in the advanced study of international relations, including the key theoretical and methodological approaches to understanding global politics. Through an understanding of different and competing analytical and normative frameworks, including realist, liberal, constructivist, Marxist and critical perspectives, you will learn about how the various actors, forces and ideas have influenced, shaped and transformed past and contemporary international relations and global events. The course will also examine some of the more significant features of the international system – such as how change occurs, the relations between politics and economics, and the interconnections between individuals and governments. Scholarly writings and illustrations from case studies and issues are designed to assist you to better appreciate the dynamic relations between conceptual debates and policy-making in the international arena.

MIA502 Theories and Approaches of Comparative Politics

This course attempts a general survey in the field of comparative politics. Some important concepts and methods of the discipline are introduced. Specific topics include methods and approaches of comparative politics; government, regime and state; unitary, federal and confederal systems; typologies of state-society relations, specifically on bureaucratic-authoritarianism, totalitarianism, corporatism, civil society and populism; political culture and nationalism; interest group and political party; election and political participation; parliamentary, presidential and semi-presidential systems; comparative democracies between majoritarian and consociational model; and lastly on the topic of democratization and regime change.

MIA503 International Security

This course studies the conditions that encourage and permit conflicts between states as well as ways to build lasting peace. Specifically, the course uses structural, domestic, and individual level theories to make sense of the origins of wars. It then employs these theories to shed lights on World War I, World War II, and the Cold War. The course will also study various pathways toward peace by examining the roles of democratic regimes, interdependence, international organisations, alliances, and nuclear weapons in the prevention of wars. Toward the later parts of the course, contemporary security issues will be examined. They include the spread of nuclear weapons, the rise and wane of terrorism, and the on-going power transition between China and the United States. The course will also study prominent hot spots in East Asia that have the potential of triggering military conflicts. They include the Korean Peninsula, the Taiwan Strait, and the South China Sea. The course will conclude with a general assessment of the future direction of international security in the context of an emerging multipolar system. 

MIA504 Politics of Global Economic Interdependence

The world economy has become increasingly integrated and interdependent, posing a great challenge to global governance. What role do domestic and international politics play in shaping the global economic order? To what extent do economic forces constrain or empower political actors? This seminar intends to expose postgraduate students to the major debates of global political economy and help students develop an analytical toolkit to study the interplay between the state and the market or politics and economics. We are devoted to understanding international trade, international finance, international production, international development and international migration.