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Master Syllabus

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Administrative Unit: History and Political Science Department
Course Prefix and Number: POSC 353
Course Title: Asian Politics
Number of:
Credit Hours 3
Lecture Hours 3
Lab Hours 0
Catalog Description:

Analysis of the government and politics of selected Asian countries and their  economic and social systems. Course meets Multicultural graduation requirement. 

Course Rotation for Day Program: Offered even Fall.
Text(s): Most current editions of the following:

China’s Political System: Modernization and Tradition
By Dreyer, June Teufel (Longman)
Comparing Asian Politics: India, China, and Japan
By Charlton, Sue Ellen (Westview Press)
Governing China: From Revolution through Reform
By Lieberthal, Ken (Norton)
Contemporary Japan
By McCargo, Duncan (Palgrave)
Introduction to Japanese Politics
By Hayes, Louise D. (M.E. Sharpe)
Global Studies: China
By Ogden, Suzanne, ed. (Dushkin/McGraw-Hill)
Global Studies: Japan and Pacific Rim
By Collingwood, Dean, ed. (Dushkin/McGraw-Hill)
Global Studies: India and Southeast Asia
By Norton, James, ed. (Dushkin/McGraw-Hill)
The Asian Pacific
By Simone, Vera (Longman)
Understanding China
By John Bryan Starr (Hill and Wang)
Course Objectives
  • To explore the historical and cultural foundations of contemporary Asian politics.
  • To examine the contemporary government and politics of selected Asian countries, particularly Japan and the People's Republic of China.
  • To compare and contrast the process of economic development among the countries of Asia.
  • To explore the role of Asian countries in international relations.
    Measurable Learning
  • Explain the impact of colonialism on Asia.
  • Describe and explain the impact of significant periods in modern Japanese history, such as the Tokugawa Shogunate, the Meiji Restoration, World War II and the American occupation.
  • Describe and explain the impact of significant periods of modern Chinese history, including interaction with western nations, the fall of the Chinese empire, the Chinese civil war, the war with Japan, the Communist rule of Mao Zedong and Deng Xiaoping.
  • Describe and explain the functioning of governmental institutions in Japan, China, and other Asian countries selected by the instructor.
  • Describe and explain the role of significant political actors in Japan and China, such as the role of political parties, organized interests, etc.
  • Explain the concept of political culture and describe the political culture of Japan and China.
  • Describe and explain the process of economic development in Japan and China and other Asian countries.
  • Define and explain the foreign policy goals and constraints of China and Japan.
  • Explain and assess the impact of the Asian financial crisis of 1998.
  • Evaluate the prospects for democratization in Asia.
  • Describe security threats facing Asia.
    Topical Outline: A significant, intensive writing component is required for this course. This requirement may be satisfied by a single typewritten paper of twelve pages in length or more, properly cited, or by multiple assignments of equivalent length.

    It is expected that instructors will cover the politics of Japan and China. Individual instructors may add additional Asian countries to study. Instructors should address the historical and cultural context of each country's politics, their key political institutions, the process of politics and their foreign relations.
    Culminating Experience Statement:

    Material from this course may be tested on the Major Field Test (MFT) administered during the Culminating Experience course for the degree. 
    During this course the ETS Proficiency Profile may be administered.  This 40-minute standardized test measures learning in general education courses.  The results of the tests are used by faculty to improve the general education curriculum at the College.


    Recommended maximum class size for this course: 30

    Library Resources:

    Online databases are available at You may access them from off-campus using your CougarTrack login and password when prompted.

    Prepared by: David Roebuck Date: May 1, 2010
    NOTE: The intention of this master course syllabus is to provide an outline of the contents of this course, as specified by the faculty of Columbia College, regardless of who teaches the course, when it is taught, or where it is taught. Faculty members teaching this course for Columbia College are expected to facilitate learning pursuant to the course objectives and cover the subjects listed in the topical outline. However, instructors are also encouraged to cover additional topics of interest so long as those topics are relevant to the course's subject. The master syllabus is, therefore, prescriptive in nature but also allows for a diversity of individual approaches to course material.

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