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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Yong-Chool Ha
POL S 447
Seattle Campus

Advanced Seminar in Comparative Politics

Selected comparative political problems, political institutions, processes, and issues in comparative perspective. Strongly Recommended: POL S 204.

Class description

This course is designed to introduce students at higher level (upper under and MA level) to distinctive aspects of foreign policy making process and foreign policies of South Korea since 1945. It will focus on the evolution of South Korea’s foreign policy in terms of historical legacies, economic, political and international changes. The main focus of this course will be on South Korea while North Korea’s case will be addressed to the extent that it is relevant to South Korea.

Specifically this course has four distinct goals to achieve. First, at conceptual and theoretical level, this course will introduce contending approaches and conceptual models on foreign policy-making which guide students in understanding universal and distinctive aspects of the case of Korea. Detailed materials on foreign policy making process in Korea will be obtained and made available to students, so that they can do intellectual exercise in correlating raw materials to theories and conceptual frameworks. Secondly, the linkage between international structure and foreign policy will be further clarified through the case of Korea. It will focus on the impact of international structure on the level of autonomy in foreign policy of a small state like Korea. South Korean’s case will be compared with other cases of small state in terms of its policy choices and strategies for survival. Thirdly, it will address the relationship between domestic economic and political changes and foreign policy. Korea has experienced tumultuous process of economic and political changes for the last four decades. The course will closely examine how industrial success has affected patterns and substance of foreign policy in Korea. More importantly it will also analyze how democratization has been influencing foreign policy process and substance. All these questions will be discussed in larger comparative perspective with the introduction of other cases and theories related to the impact of economic development and democratization on foreign policy. This course can be regarded as a sequel to Korean Studies and Comparative Politics with its emphasis on international and foreign policy aspects. Lastly, this course will deal with major bi-lateral relations of Korea with the United States, China, Russia and Japan and its role as a regional power in Northeast and East Asia.

Student learning goals

General method of instruction

This course will be run both by lecture and discussion. Students will be given major discussion and research questions and many raw data, so that they can relate what they read to raw data. They will be encouraged to form group studies to conduct a research on bi-lateral relations and conceptual issues based on empirical data. In short, students are expected to learn specific knowledge of Korea’s foreign policy and major bi-lateral relations, including US-Korean relations, and to relate it to general conceptual discussion on foreign policy making.

Recommended preparation

Class assignments and grading

1) Attendance & class participation (20%) 2) Two critical reviews (40%) 3) Final paper (40%)


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 Meera Roy
Date: 03/14/2013