1 x 2-hour seminar weekly
Enrolment not permitted
INTR3022 has been successfully completed
Topic description

The topic offers a snapshot of economic, political and military trends in Asia since 2010. Three related dynamics are explored; first, the extent to which a Sino-centric regional order is emerging in Asia, and whether such an order is welcomed or resisted by China's neighbours; secondly, the evolution of different visions of Asian regionalism, one 'East Asian' in nature the other 'Asia Pacific'; and, thirdly, how the dynamic political and economic interactions between globalisation and regionalism in Asia in the 21st century give rise to the idea of the Indo-Pacific. The topic highlights Australia's role in redefining security and economic pursuits in terms of the Indo-Pacific.

Educational aims

This topic aims to introduce students to the broad political economy of East Asia over the past 25 years, focussing on the 'rise and decline' of the Japanese economic sphere, the impact of the Asian Economic Crisis of 1997/87 and the nature of the recovery, the subsequent emergence of a 'Sino-centric' regional economic order and the role that an 'increasingly present India' is playing. The topic also traces the evolution and role of political regionalism in East Asia, its relationship with a broader Asia Pacific vision and likely future trends.

Expected learning outcomes
On completion of this topic you will be expected to be able to:

  1. Discuss the respective roles played by Japan, China and increasingly India in shaping the political economy of the Indo-Pacific
  2. Explain Japan’s attempts to become a ‘normal power’ and secure its vital interests in the Indo-Pacific
  3. Explain the key debates over the growing economic and strategic importance of China’s BRI, linking Eurasia with the Indo-Pacific, including Africa and Latin America
  4. Critically analyse the dynamics of the ‘new great game’ in Central Asia, and Russia’s relations with China
  5. Critically analyse the importance of ASEAN in the Indo-Pacific and ASEAN’s interpretation of the Indo-Pacific
  6. Discuss China’s growing influence in the South Pacific and the implications for Australian security
  7. Explain the Quad and the Trump Administration’s ‘free and open Indo-Pacific’
  8. Describe the future of the US in the Indo-Pacific under the Biden Administration
  9. Explain the significance of the South China Sea dispute

Key dates and timetable

(1), (2)

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Classes are held weekly unless otherwise indicated.


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