East Asian Politics Seminar

This is a seminar in the politics of East Asia in which we will examine the development of major formal and informal political institutions in contemporary East Asia from 1945 to present. The focus of this course will be on thematic issues in East Asian politics, including the formation of nations and states, democracy, authoritarianism, political parties, political economy, women’s political representation, human rights, social movements, and international relations. Organized in themes and parallel case studies, readings have been chosen based on their analytical arguments, rigorous research methods, and nuanced findings. The emphasis in this course pivots on understanding theoretical and conceptual issues that are anchored in East Asian politics but that are generally pertinent to comparative politics in the world. This course will also provide a systematic introduction to the research process and equip students with necessary knowledge and skills to make judicious use of current information technologies. The term project will allow students to demonstrate their ability to formulate a research question, gather and evaluate relevant information, develop and sustain an argument, and communicate their findings orally and in written form in a mode appropriate to their chosen area of inquiry.

Download the syllabus (Smith College)


Feedback from students

“I like the way the class is structured, involving both lecture and discussion. I like the group leadership sessions, it was a great way for me to learn the course material on my own, and to collaborate with other students.”

“I learnt to do a research proposal, gain more knowledge about politics system in East Asia and got an example to demonstrate in my job interview!”

“Knowledgeable, fair, challenging.”

“Her lecture is clear and organized. I enjoyed being in her class.”

“Reasonable, engaging, keeps the class interactive, relevant and important topics, relatable, and I felt like the class was more on the “practical” side, which I really liked.”

“Professor Liu is very nice, supportive, open to suggests. She is always available and willing to provide help with assignments outside of class.”

“Friendly, helps the student understand materials, give helpful comments.”

“Great opportunity to lead the class through presentation/ team leadership assignments, valuable experience of writing a research proposal.”