Course Outline - Sophia University - 1997

Sophia University
Faculty of Comparative Culture

Course Information

Political Science 411T

Autumn 1997

Chinese Foreign Policy

Lecturer: Neil Burton

Office hours: By appointment

Office number: Teachers’ lounge [Rm. 601, Ichigaya Library]

Course description: An examination of the basic sociohistorical, ideological and institutional dimensions of contemporary Chinese foreign policy as well as of specific foreign policy issues.

Prerequisites: None

Required readings: The textbook for this course is Robinson, Thomas W. & Shambaugh, David, eds., Chinese Foreign Policy: Theory and Practice. Specific readings are keyed to particular topics in the Course Outline below. Additional materials will be provided from time to time. Students are encouraged to ask for help in finding other materials on matters that especially interest them.

Course Requirements: Students are expected to attend class regularly, to keep up with the reading, and to participate in classroom discussion. The chief assignments are a bibliographic project and research paper on a single topic of interest, approved by the teacher, using up-to-date materials, including translated Chinese materials. Each student will be asked to give a brief oral description of his or her chosen topic and the problems of conducting research into it, sometime around mid-term. There will be a mid-term test (Nov. 21) and a final examination. Quizzes may be administered in class as required.


I. Foreign policy in context: introduction
(3 sessions)

• ideology, institutions, and external realities in China’s foreign policy
— the historical legacy
— the domestic socioeconomic context
— external factors

Readings: — Kirby, William C.: “Traditions of centrality, authority, and management in modern China’s foreign relations,” in Chinese Foreign Policy: Theory and Practice [hereafter “Text”]
— Naughton, Barry: “The foreign policy implications of China’s economic development strategy” [Text]
— Tow, William T.: “China and the international strategic system” [Text]

II. The policy-making establishment
(4 sessions)

• characteristics of China’s policy-making and implementing elites
— origins and shaping of elites
— elite ideologies
— world view
— self-image
— general approach to interests, interest conflicts and conflict resolution
— elements specific to the international sphere

• sources and nature of change

Readings: — Levine, Steven I.: “Perception and ideology in Chinese foreign policy” [Text]
— Hamrin, Carol Lee: “Élite politics and the development of China’s foreign relations” [Text]
— Recent speeches and writings by Foreign Minister Qian Qichen and other Chinese officials dealing with international affairs

III. Foreign policy-related institutional structures
(6 sessions)

• information-gathering and processing organs

• policy-defining organs

• implementing organs

Readings: — Shambaugh, David L.: “China’s national security research bureaucracy” [from The China Quarterly, No. 110, 1987]

IV. Key foreign policy issues
(10 sessions)

• security

• independence
— “sovereignty”
— non-interference

• territorial integrity
— “reunification”
— fixed and inviolable boundaries

• development of beneficial economic and technological relationships for the domestic “modernization” project

Readings: To be assigned later on the basis of specific research topic choices by members of the class

V. Performance
(2 sessions)

• constraints

• personnel

• negotiating styles

• results

Readings: — Robinson, Thomas W.: “Chinese foreign policy from the 1940s to the 1990s” [Text]
— Whiting, Allen S.: “Forecasting Chinese foreign policy: IR theory vs. the fortune cookie” [Text]

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