1 x 2-hour seminar weekly
Enrolment not permitted
INTR3022 has been successfully completed
Topic description
The topic focuses on domestic and regional trends in the political economy of Asia since 2000. Domestically, the topic assesses the nature of Asia’s emerging economies, the rise of urban middle classes, the democratic transitions underway since the Asian Financial Crisis (AFC) of the late 1990s, the emergence of civil societies and the challenges they face.

The topic assesses the competing merits of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP). It considers whether Asia’s evolving regional Arrangements - ASEAN+3, the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) and the East Asian Summit - are resilient enough to manage Asia’s multitude of traditional security challenges centring on the rise of China, the US ‘re-pivot and Japan’s move to become a ‘normal’ military power, and ‘non-traditional’ security challenges such as climate change.
Educational aims
This topic aims to:
  • gain an understanding of current trends in the political economy of East Asia, especially as they affect Australia’s national security and trade interests
  • introduce students to the complex interplay between the domestic and foreign policies of the US, China and Japan
  • undertake detailed studies of the US ‘re-pivot’ to the Pacific, the re-emergence of Japan under Prime Minister Abe, the regional implications of the ‘rise of China’ and economic slowdown, and the ‘middle power’ diplomacy of other players in the region.
  • study trends in East Asian regionalism, especially debates over the merits of competing trade and investment initiatives such as the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) and the Regional Comprehensive Economic partnership (RCEP)
  • broaden awareness of the political economy of East Asia by looking at the emergence in Australia of the idea of an Indo-Pacific region
Expected learning outcomes
On successful completion of this topic students should be able to:
  • explain the key military and trade dimensions of the US ‘re-pivot’ to the Pacific
  • discuss the key domestic and regional drivers of Japan’s economic and security repositioning in East Asia
  • explore how the rise of China impacts on the political economy of east Asia
  • assess the regional implications of trends in the Chinese economy
  • understand the strategic as well as trade implications of competing visions of regionalism
  • assess the implications of regional trends for Australia’s security and trade interests
  • understand the idea of an Indo-Pacific