Cursos / 1º Ciclo / Faculty of Law :: International Relations

Versao Portuguesa


3º curricular year
Semestralidade: 2nd semester


Leading Teacher: Prof. Doutor André Saramago
Assistant Professor: Prof. Doutor Paulo Amorim

Class type and School hours

Orientação Tutorial : 1 Horas
Teórico-prática : 2 Horas

Main Aims/Objectives

1) Understand the political, geopolitical, economic, social, security and cultural dimensions of international relations in Asia; 2) Understand the historical development of the region and how it informs its contemporary international reality; 3) Understand the relation between the region and its various actors and global international society; 4) Critical reflection about the main challenges of the region as well as its potential future development.

Specific Aims/Objectives

Given the great diversity of the region under analysis, the curricular unit seeks to transmit a comprehensive and relational vision of its various sub-regions that analyses its main actors and the emergent regional order that these establish amongst themselves, as well as how this order is structure by the intra- and transregional dynamics that affect East Asia, Southeast Asia, South Asia and Australasia.

Skills to be acquired

1) Understanding Asia in its various dimensions, its history and its contemporary international relations; 2) Understanding the main structuring processual dynamics of Asia; 3) Understanding of how Asia and its main actors relate to, and are framed in, global international society; 4) Development of scientific skills of research and critical analysis.

Teaching Procedures

Classes will be based on the exposition of contents accompanied by debate and discussion about the themes under analysis, as well as audio-visual contents. The presentation, analysis and discussion of scientific texts will also form the basis of the tutorial guidance classes, which will have the additional purpose of clarifying doubts.


1. Introduction to Asia
1.1. Why study Asia?
1.2. Definition of a region
1.3. Regional order: Asymmetric multipolarity and the USA as regional pivot
1.4. Theoretical perspectives

2. East Asia:
2.1. China
2.1.1. Historical context
2.1.2. Political and economic model
2.1.3. Domestic politics
2.1.4. Foreign policy
2.1.5. The rise of China and its implications

2.2. Japan
2.2.1. Historical contexto
2.2.2. Political and economic model
2.2.3. Domestic politics
2.2.4. Foreign policy
2.2.5. Pacifism, remilitarization and its implications

2.3. North Korea and South Korea
2.3.1. Historical context
2.3.2. Political and economic models
2.3.3. Domestic politics
2.3.4. Foreign policies
2.3.5. Nuclearization of the Korean peninsula and its implications

3. Southeast Asia
3.1. Historical context
3.2. Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN)
3.3. ASEAN-Way
3.4. Debate over Asian values

4. Security in East Asia and Southeast Asia
4.1. Territorial disputes
4.1.1. Senkaku/Diaoyu islands
4.1.2. South China Sea
4.2. Energy security and communication lanes

5. South Asia
5.1. Historical context
5.2. Political, economic and social characterization of the main actors
5.2. Points of regional tension
5.3. The rise of India and its implications

6. Central Asia
6.1. Historical context
6.2. Political, economic and social characterization of the main actors
6.3. The new great game in Central Asia
6.4. Shangai Cooperation Organization (SCO)

7. Australasia
7.1. Australia as an Asian power
7.2. Australia’s strategic dilemmas

8. Transregional dynamics
7.1. USA and Asia
7.2. Europe and Asia

Evaluation Type

The curricular unit evaluation includes:
- Two written tests
- Frequency / Written exam
- Oral presentation/discussion of articles and chapters
- One written work
- Attendance and participation

Teaching Resources

- Recommended bibliography
- Audio-visual contents


- International Relations
- Asia
- Politics
- Geopolitics
- Society
- Economy
- Identity
- International Society
- Great Power
- Regional International Organisations

Main Bibliography

Author SHAMBAUGH, David; YAHUDA, Michael
Title International Relations of Asia
Edition 2ª ed.
Place Plymouth
Editor Rowman & Littlefield
Year 2014
Author PEKKANEN, Saadia; RAVENHILL, John e FOOT, Rosemary
Title Oxford Handbook of the International Relations of
Edition 1ª ed.
Place Oxford
Editor Oxford University Press
Year 2014
Author CONNORS, Michael; DAVISON, Remy e DOSH, Jörn
Title The New Global Politics of the Asia-Pacific
Edition 1ª ed.
Place Oxon
Editor RoutledgeCurzon
Year 2005

Complementary Bibliography

Author YAHUDA, Michael
Title The International Politics of the Asia-Pacific
Edition 1ª ed.
Place Oxon
Editor RoutledgeCurzon
Year 2004
Author TOMÉ, Luís (ed.)
Title East Asia Today
Edition 1ª ed.
Place Lisboa
Editor Prefácio
Year 2008