China and Japan in World Politics

Monday, Tuesday and Thursday 9.8.-19.8.10 and Monday 23.8.10 at 16.30-19.00
Lecture hall: 9.8.-17.8. auditorio A107,
Helsingin normaalilyseo, Ratakatu 6 B, entry through the courtyard, 19.8. auditorium XIII, University Main Building, (auditoriums I–XVIII on the old side, entrance through Unioninkatu 34),  23.8. Suomen Laki -sali, Porthania, Yliopistonkatu 3

Course description: If one wants to understand 21st century world politics, East Asia cannot be ignored. The positions of China and Japan in the international system are in constant change: Nowadays it is hard to find an issue in which China would not be important because of its mere size and growing influence. Japan for its part is a significant economic player and has been skilful in soft power issues such as cultural importing. How does the changing power balance in East Asia affect the way these countries see themselves as part of the global system? What kind of foreign policy do they want to carry out?

This course introduces current trends of Chinese and Japanese foreign policy without forgetting the historical perspective. The central aim of the course is to illustrate the interdependence of domestic and foreign politics and economic and political issues. China and Japan are presented in comparative perspective through thematic entities, but comparative approach is not restricted to analysing differences and similarities between the countries . The global context is taken into account all along.


1) Mon 9.8. (place: auditorio A107, Helsingin normaalilyseo)
China and Japan in world politics: theoretical and historical perspectives

Readings: Breslin, Shaun, ‘Understanding China's Regional Rise: Interpretations, Identities and Implications’, International Affairs, vol. 85, no. 4, 2009, pp. 817-835.


Inoguchi, Takahashi, ‘Japan as a Global Ordinary Power: Its Current Phase’, Japanese Studies, vol. 28, no. 1, May 2008, pp. 3-13.

- links: PRC Government White Papers
Constitution of the People's Republic of China
PRC Government Structure
Democratic Party of Japan

2) Tue 10.8. (place: auditorio A107, Helsingin normaalilyseo)
National identity, culture and world views

Reading: Callahan, William A., ‘History, Identity and Security. Producing and Consuming Nationalism in China’, Critical Asian Studies, vol. 38, no. 2, 2006, pp. 179-208.

3) Thu 12.8. (place: auditorio A107, Helsingin normaalilyseo)
China and Japan in global economy

Reading: Asian Development Outlook 2010, section People's Republic of China


Professor Kenichi Ohno's (the National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies, GRIPS, Japan) free pdf book "The Economic Development of Japan: The Path Traveled by Japan as a Development Country" (scroll down to March 2006)

Professor Michael Pettis's blog China Financial Markets. China's financial and monetary links to the world.

4) Mon 16.8. (place: auditorio A107, Helsingin normaalilyseo)
Sino-Japanese relations: diplomatic history and future prospects

Reading: Pan, Zhongqi, ‘Sino-Japanese Dispute over the Diaoyu/Senkaku Islands: The Pending Controversy from the Chinese Perspective’, Journal of Chinese Political Science, vol. 12, no. 1, 2007, pp. 71-92.

5) Tue 17.8. (place: auditorio A107, Helsingin normaalilyseo)
Chinese and Japanese perspectives to national security

Reading: Hagström, Linus and Christian Turesson, ’Among Threats and a ”Perfect Excuse”: Understanding Change in Japanese Foreign Security Policy’, Korean Journal of Defence Analysis, vol. 21, no. 3, September 2009, pp. 297-314.

Professor Christopher Hughes gives a keynote speech on Thursday 19th of August at the Nordic Association of Japanese and Korean Studies conference, at the University of Helsinki
Venue: Forest House (Metsätalo), University of Helsinki, Unioninkatu 40, Helsinki, room 2, 2F
Title of the talk: Still Super-Sizing the DPRK Threat: Japan’s Security Policy and the Korean Peninsula

Council on Foreign Relations New Impulses for Security Cooperation in Northeast Asia

6) Thu 19.8. (place: auditorium XIII, University Main Building)
China, Japan and the third world

Reading: Trinidad, Dennis, Japan’s ODA at the Crossroads: Disbursement Patterns of Japan’s Development Assistance to Southeast Asia, Asian Perspective, vol. 31, no. 2, 2007, pp. 95-125.

7) Mon 23.8. (place: Suomen Laki -sali, Porthania)
China, Japan and the West

Reading: Ikenberry, John (2008): The Rise of China and the Future of the West, Foreign Affairs, vol.87, no.1, 23–37

On practical information (registration etc.) see Open University's webpages.

8) Exam: Wednesday 25.8.10 at 17-20, (or if you cannot make it on the 25th of August, you will have 2 later options to take the exam, Wednesday 6.10.10 at 17-20 and Saturday 13.11.10 at 17-20. Taking the exam on the 25th of August is strongly recommended.)
- remember to register for the exam latest 10 days before
in the Open University electronical service or by filling in a form at the Open University's office

1) Lectures

2) Exam (3 cr)
- Lecture material
- Articles

3) Essay (2 cr)
-Can be written in English, Finnish, Swedish or French
- Length 10 to 12 pages (Times new roman, font 12, 1,5 line spacing)
- Academic references (see The Chicago Manual of Style or in Finnish: valtio-opin laitoksen tutkielmanteon tukisivut, kohta Lähteet)
- Material used during the course can be used as references, but please try to avoid citing the lectures
- Important to specify a (theoretical) perspective to the selected theme and to define it narrowly enough
- Deadline of the essay: 8.9.2010
- Students who do not have username for the University of Helsinki network will get temporary username to access electronical resources such as academic journals. When you get an email saying that your username is ready, you should personally collect the papers from Open University's customer service. Take your ID with you when you come to collect your password.