COMPARATIVE POLITICAL DEVELOPMENT OF THE FAR EAST
Political Science 790:313:01
Spring Semester, 2009
Benjamin A. Peters
Office Hours: Thurs., 12-2pm
Kreeger Learning Center
Murray Hall 111
The purpose of this course is to provide students with an introductory knowledge of political development
in the Far East, specifically China, Japan, and the Koreas.
The historical parameters of our study are the
late 1800s through the present.
Through the readings and other course materials students will learn about
the historical circumstances of modern political development in the Far East, develop a working familiarity
of the political system of each particular case, and analyze the relations between the state and society in
We will also undertake comparative analyses of nationalism and collective identity, political
economies, and political cultures.
The course will conclude with a unit in which we assess the current
international climate in the Far East including the prospects for Korean reunification, Japanese nationalism
and militarization, migration in the region, and the rise of China.
Louis D. Hayes.
Introduction to Japanese Politics
. New York: M.E. Sharpe, 2004.
Korea’s Place in the Sun: A Modern History
. New York: W.W. Norton, 2005.
Governance and Politics of China
. New York: Palgrave, 2004.
All texts are available for purchase at the Rutgers University Bookstore at the Ferren
Mall, One Penn Plaza, New Brunswick.
Other required readings for this class are available
where indicated or on
To access electronic reserves, choose the “Find Reserves” option on the left-hand side of
the RU Libraries homepage and then enter my last name and course title.
It is your responsibility
to access and read the assigned materials before each class.
Course Requirements and Grading
Because this class serves as an introduction to a broad field of research literature, we will analyze a wide
variety of texts as well as three films during the course of the semester. Keeping up with the readings and
attending class faithfully is essential to satisfactory completion of the course. The purpose of our twice-
weekly meeting time is to analyze and discuss our course materials in a systematic and analytically precise
Class attendance and participation
is one component of your evaluation and counts for
for the semester. To receive full credit for attendance and participation, students will attend
actively contribute to the class. Actively contributing to the class can include asking
informed questions, answering questions that I pose to the class, engaging in amiable discussion and
debate, and drawing the connections between theoretical aspects of the material and concrete examples.