International Relations of East Asia

A.Y. 2019/2020
6
Max ECTS
40
Overall hours
SSD
SPS/04
Language
English
Learning objectives
The aim of the course is to introduce students to the security dimension of China's rise. While much of the public debate on China and security revolves around Beijing's expanding military capabilities, the security dimension of China's rise is in fact a more complex and multi-faceted phenomenon: it involves both China's domestic politics and its foreign policy, and is closely intertwined to other dimensions of China's rise (diplomacy, foreign trade, soft power etc.). By focusing on the security dimension, the course will then address a set of issues that are crucial for China's rise and its implications for East Asia. This will help students to familiarize with the key political and strategic dynamics of the East Asian regional arena, thus contributing to the learning objectives of the Master's programme in International Relations (curricula "International Politics and Regional Dynamics", "Cooperazione internazionale e processi sociali trans-nazionali" and "International Cooperation and Human Rights").
Expected learning outcomes
By the end of the course, students will have acquired the basic theoretical tools for the study of China's rise and its security dimension (theories of civil-military relations, military doctrine, use of force etc.). They will be able to apply such tools to the analysis of the complex political and strategic issues raised by China's rise in East Asia and beyond. In addition, students will have further refined soft skills coherent with the wider objectives of the Master's programme: they will have further familiarized with the special language of International Relations theory, improved their capability to engage with different types of field-specific texts (academic articles, policy papers, official documents etc.), and developed their ability to critically discuss complex political and strategic issues.
Course syllabus and organization

Single session

Responsible
Lesson period
Third trimester
Course syllabus
ATTENDING STUDENTS
The course is composed of two units that investigate on the security dimension of China's rise in its domestic and external components. The first unit will focus on civil-military relations in contemporary China: we will analyse how party-army relations evolved throughout the history of the People's Republic of China, with a focus on the role that the military plays in Chinese politics today and its impact on the foreign policy decision-making process. The second unit will turn to China's military doctrine and to the employment of the People's Liberation Army (PLA) in China's foreign policy: we will discuss doctrinal developments since the 1980s and analyse some examples of PLA operations, including naval operations in support of China's maritime claims and participation in UN peacekeeping operations.
NON-ATTENDING STUDENTS
The course is composed of an introduction on China's foreign policy since 1949 (book 1) and by two units that investigate on the security dimension of China's rise in its domestic and external components. The first unit is focused on civil-military relations in contemporary China, and particularly on the evolution of party-army relations and its impact on the foreign policy decision-making process (papers 1 to 4). The second unit is focused on the employment of the People's Liberation Army (PLA) in China's foreign policy and on China's escalation and cooperation in territorial disputes (paper 5 and book 2).
Prerequisites for admission
Although the course is open to all students, irrespective of their background, a preliminary knowledge of Contemporary History and International Relations Theory is assumed.
Teaching methods
While the focus of the lectures is on China, attending students will be involved in the preparation of class presentations on other East Asian states, such as Japan, South Korea and Indonesia. Concepts and models introduced during the lectures to analyse the Chinese case will thus be applied to different cases. At the end of the course, the case-studies will be compared in a final discussion aimed at identifying trends in the East Asian region at large.
Teaching Resources
ATTENDING STUDENTS
Reading list for attending students (all the papers will be provided at the beginning of the course):
1. Amos Perlmutter and William M. LeoGrande, "The Party in Uniform: Toward a Theory of Civil-Military Relations in Communist Political Systems", American Political Science Review, Vol. 76, No. 4 (1982), pp. 778-789.
2. Ellis Joffe, "Party-Army Relations in China: Retrospect and Prospect", The China Quarterly, No. 146 (1996), pp. 299-314.
3. James Mulvenon, "China: Conditional Compliance", in Muthiah Alagappa (ed.), Coercion and Governance. The Declining Political Role of the Military in Asia (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2001), pp. 317-335.
4. Simone Dossi, "'Upholding the Correct Political Direction'. The PLA Reform and Civil-Military Relations in Xi Jinping's China", The International Spectator, Vol. 53, No. 3 (2018), pp. 118-131.
5. Michael D. Swaine, "The PLA Role in China's Foreign Policy and Crisis Behavior", in Phillip C. Saunders and Andrew Scobell (eds.), PLA Influence on China's National Security Policymaking (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2015), pp. 141-165.
6. M. Taylor Fravel, "The PLA and National Security Decisionmaking: Insights from China's Territorial and Maritime Disputes", in Phillip C. Saunders and Andrew Scobell (eds.), PLA Influence on China's National Security Policymaking (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2015), pp. 249-273.
7. M. Taylor Fravel, "Shifts in Warfare and Party Unity. Explaining China's Changes in Military Strategy", International Security, Vol. 42, No. 3 (2017-18), pp. 37-83.
8. PRC State Council Information Office, The Diversified Employment of China's Armed Forces (Beijing: 2013).
9. PRC State Council Information Office, China's Military Strategy (Beijing: 2015).
10. PRC State Council Information Office, China's National Defense in the New Era (Beijing: 2019).
11. M. Taylor Fravel, "Cooperation and Escalation in Territorial Disputes", in Id., Strong Borders, Secure Nation. Cooperation and Conflict in China's Territorial Disputes (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2008), pp. 10-69.
12. Marc Lanteigne, "China's UN Peacekeeping in Mali and Comprehensive Diplomacy", The China Quarterly (2019), DOI: 10.1017/S030574101800173X.
13. Andrea Ghiselli, "Civil-Military Relations and Organisational Preferences Regarding the Use of the Military in Chinese Foreign Policy: Insights from the Debate on MOOTW", Journal of Strategic Studies (2018), DOI: 10.1080/01402390.2018.1438892.
14. Simone Dossi, "The EU, China, and Nontraditional Security: Prospects for Cooperation in the Mediterranean Region", Mediterranean Quarterly, Vol. 26, No. 1 (2015), pp. 77-96.
Students who are not familiar with China's foreign policy since 1949 should read the following book for a background (it will not be part of the exam): Chi-Kwan Mark, China and the World since 1945. An International History (Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield, 2010).
NON-ATTENDING STUDENTS
Book 1: Chi-Kwan Mark, China and the World since 1945. An International History (Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield, 2010).
Book 2: M. Taylor Fravel, Strong Borders, Secure Nation. Cooperation and Conflict in China's Territorial Disputes (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2008).
Papers (available through UNIMI's library):
1. Amos Perlmutter and William M. LeoGrande, "The Party in Uniform: Toward a Theory of Civil-Military Relations in Communist Political Systems", American Political Science Review, Vol. 76, No. 4 (1982), pp. 778-789.
2. Ellis Joffe, "Party-Army Relations in China: Retrospect and Prospect", The China Quarterly, No. 146 (1996), pp. 299-314.
3. James Mulvenon, "China: Conditional Compliance", in Muthiah Alagappa (ed.), Coercion and Governance. The Declining Political Role of the Military in Asia (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2001), pp. 317-335 (if the book is not available at the library, please send an email to simone.dossi@unimi.it).
4. Simone Dossi, "'Upholding the Correct Political Direction'. The PLA Reform and Civil-Military Relations in Xi Jinping's China", The International Spectator, Vol. 53, No. 3 (2018), pp. 118-131.
5. M. Taylor Fravel, "Shifts in Warfare and Party Unity. Explaining China's Changes in Military Strategy", International Security, Vol. 42, No. 3 (2017-18), pp. 37-83.
Assessment methods and Criteria
ATTENDING STUDENTS
For attending students, the final evaluation will be based on: (1) active participation during classes and the presentation of the assigned papers (30 percent of the final mark); and (2) an oral exam at the end of the course (70 percent of the final mark). The oral exam is aimed at assessing the students' ability to present the main issues addressed during the course in a clear and correct way, by using the special language of International Relations Theory and by making reference to the concepts, models and theories presented in the readings and in class.
NON-ATTENDING STUDENTS
For non-attending students, the final evaluation will be based on an oral exam aimed at assessing the students' ability to present the main issues addressed in the bibliography in a clear and correct way, by using the special language of International Relations Theory and by making reference to the concepts, models and theories presented in the readings.
SPS/04 - POLITICAL SCIENCE - University credits: 6
Lessons: 40 hours
Professor: Dossi Simone
Educational website(s)
Professor(s)
Reception:
On Tuesdays from 4.30 to 6.30 pm. Students are kindly requested to make an appointment in advance via email. Until the end of the Covid emergency, office hours will take place on Microsoft Teams.
Dipartimento di Studi internazionali, giuridici e storico-politici, via Conservatorio 7, 1st floor, room 8