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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Matthew G. Bartels
SISEA 535
Seattle Campus

International Relations of Modern China

Foreign policy of the People's Republic of China: historical antecedents; domestic and international systemic determinants; and Chinese policies toward major states, regions, and issues. Prerequisite: a course on contemporary Chinese politics or history, or permission of instructor. Offered: jointly with POL S 535.

Class description

The aim of this graduate course is to introduce the major themes of Chinese foreign relations. The course focuses primarily on the contemporary period. After gaining an overview of Chinese foreign relations history, we will address a specific theme each week. The first half of the course will focus on different actors involved in Chinese foreign relations. The second half of the course will emphasize specific issues and bilateral relationships. Probable topics include: Foreign policy making apparatus; National security and the military; Society's role in foreign policy; Business & foreign trade; China and international organizations; Sino-US relations; Taiwan & the East Asian Context; Human Rights & the Environment.

Student learning goals

General method of instruction

Discussions in the weekly seminar make up the main method of instruction. Students will contribute discussion questions (distributed in advance of class) and will take turns facilitating the discussions.

Recommended preparation

Some previous knowledge of Chinese politics (such as SISEA 449/PS 442) is strongly recommended. Familiarity with theories of International Relations is a plus.

Class assignments and grading

Students are expected to do all the required readings, to submit discussion questions weekly, and to lead discussion at least once during the quarter on the themes of that week's readings. In addition, each student will prepare a 20 page research paper on a topic chosen in consultation with the instructor.

Class participation (including discussion questions, discussion leading, and regular active participation will contribute about 30% of the final grade, and the paper will contribute about 70%.


The information above is intended to be helpful in choosing courses. Because the instructor may further develop his/her plans for this course, its characteristics are subject to change without notice. In most cases, the official course syllabus will be distributed on the first day of class.
Last Update by Brian Allen Giebel
Date: 11/15/1999