POL3515 - Comparative and International Politics in China and East-Asia


Examination arrangement

Examination arrangement: Assignment with adjusting oral exam
Grade: Letter grades

Evaluation Weighting Duration Grade deviation Examination aids
Assignment with adjusting oral exam 100/100

Course content

The course focuses on East Asian politics and society after 1989. The post-Cold War period in East Asia was shaped, on the one hand, by the different dynamics in the region, especially the economic and political rise of China and the complex relationships between China, Japan, and North- and South Korea. On the other hand, global events, developments and political decisions in other parts of the world have also influenced the region, e.g. the war on terror after 9/11, the US administration’s pivot to Asia, the global financial crisis, the Covid-19 pandemic and Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine and its repercussions on energy markets and the global order. From the disciplinary perspective of comparative politics, we will study the political systems and societies of East Asia and, based on this, the countries’ outlook on the big questions of international relations in East Asia and beyond. From the disciplinary angle of international relations, we will analyse the different bilateral or multilateral constellations, problems and geopolitical conflict potential in the region, and the relations of the East Asian countries to their Asian neighbours and other parts of the world. The latter includes China’s Belt and Road Initiative, Japan’s and South Korea’s cooperation with the US administration in the Indo-Pacific, and North Korea’s ballistic and missile program.

During the semester, we will also review key concepts, such as institutions, nationalism, developmental state, regionalism, rule-taking and -making, and comparative politics and international relations methods.

Learning outcome

Knowledge - the student shall:

  • have knowledge of how theory and empirical data are tied together in political science research work in the field of East-Asia and comparative and international politics

Skills - the student shall demonstrate the ability to:

  • treat one of the themes which was discussed in instruction in an independent empirical analytical manner which fulfills the requirements for scientific writing
  • be able to orally discuss and reflect over one's own written work and the themes which were taken up during teaching

Learning methods and activities

Lectures and seminars equivalent to 4 hours per week. Guidance in writing the term paper. The language of instruction is English. If 6 or fewer students attend the course the two first weeks of teaching, the course will be offered as an individual study course with supervision.

Compulsory assignments

  • Presentation of term paper or book presentation

Further on evaluation

Form of assessment: Term paper and oral examination. Length of term paper: 6000-8000 words. The oral exam contains questions from both the term paper and the rest of the pensum. The oral exam will be used to adjust the term paper's grade by a maximum of one grade. Both the term paper and the oral exam must be retaken at a repeat of the exam.

Required previous knowledge

60 credits including SOS1002 or an equivalent course in research methods. The requirement must be fulfilled to be admitted to the course.

Course materials

Given at the start of the semester

More on the course



Version: 1
Credits:  15.0 SP
Study level: Second degree level


Term no.: 1
Teaching semester:  AUTUMN 2023

Language of instruction: English

Location: Trondheim

Subject area(s)
  • Social Studies
  • Social Sciences
  • Political Science
Contact information
Course coordinator:

Department with academic responsibility
Department of Sociology and Political Science


Examination arrangement: Assignment with adjusting oral exam

Term Status code Evaluation Weighting Examination aids Date Time Examination system Room *
Autumn ORD Assignment with adjusting oral exam 100/100





Room Building Number of candidates
Spring ORD Assignment with adjusting oral exam 100/100 INSPERA
Room Building Number of candidates
  • * The location (room) for a written examination is published 3 days before examination date. If more than one room is listed, you will find your room at Studentweb.

For more information regarding registration for examination and examination procedures, see "Innsida - Exams"

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