Course Information
Course title
Critical Approaches to World Politics: An Introduction 
Designated for
Curriculum Number
Curriculum Identity Number
Monday 8,9(15:30~17:20) 
The upper limit of the number of students: 20.
The upper limit of the number of non-majors: 3. 
Ceiba Web Server 
Course introduction video
Table of Core Capabilities and Curriculum Planning
Association has not been established
Course Syllabus
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Course Description

[ The First Class Access on September 27 ]

*Passwords for the course registration will be provided at the end of the first online class on September 27.

Note: This course is designed for students who have basic disciplinary knowledge in international relations and are interested in critically reflecting upon the given studies, perspectives and approaches to world politics.

Course Description
This course aims to familiarize students with fundamental perspectives and practices concerning critical approaches to world politics within and beyond the West. Topics to be covered include international relations (IR) as a divided discipline, various major contentions in IR and their responses and the broadly defined Chinese international relations theories. This course includes one hour of lecture/presentation plus one hour of discussion. In-class workshops and mock conferences are designed to prepare students to develop and write a thoughtful term essay through the process of discussions and peer reviews.

Course Objective
By the end of the course, students will
1. Understand common critical approaches to world politics.
2. Apply their knowledge of critical approaches and skills to world politics.
3. Demonstrate familiarity with critical approaches to world politics.
4. Submit a term essay (undergraduate 1500-3000 words; graduate 2500-5000 words).

Course Content
1. Acquire professional knowledge and its contexts
(1) Pre-view reading assignments before class
(2) In-class assigned readings presentations
(3) In-class discussions and summaries
(4) Formulating new ideas

2. Apply critical approaches to world politics
(1) Brainstorming ideas
(2) Researching and crafting essay proposals
(3) Peer reviews on essay proposals
(4) Mock conferences
(5) A term essay

Core Competencies (CCs)
1. Professional knowledge and its contexts
2. Independent judgment and critical thinking
3. Interpersonal, cross-cultural and cooperative communication and teamwork skills
4. Evaluation on issues, topics and approaches to the studies of world politics

Course Requirement
Course Requirements:
1. Students are required to attend all classes. No more than three absences are permitted. Being often late and/or leaving early may negatively impact the final course grade.
2. All materials and lectures are presented in English. Assignments and discussions should be submitted and conducted in English.
3. Active participation in class discussions is required.
4. Assignments are carefully scheduled as stages toward the fulfillment of the course’s objectives. The assignments should be your own work and submitted electronically as a MS Word file. Late assignments are accepted, but the grades would be substantially lower and may not receive any feedback. Plagiarism will not be accepted.
5. Make sure you familiarize yourself with CEIBA system and stay on track throughout the semester.
Student Workload (expected study time outside of class per week)
Office Hours
Note: Please email me for an online appointment. 
See the syllabus 
Designated reading
See the syllabus 
Explanations for the conditions
Assigned Readings Presentations 
Students demonstrate their comprehension and familiarity with the assigned readings and their ability to critically engage with the materials. 
Essay Outline Writing Task 
Students choose a topic, identify a gap, brainstorm how to critically interrogate it and anticipate the results. (200-500 words) 
Essay Proposal Writing Task 
Students develop an essay outline on the chosen topic (400-1000 words) via brainstorming, researching and organizing arguments and supporting details. 
Peer Advice Worksheets 
Students provide thoughtful advice to peers’ essay proposals. (10%) Students evaluate peers’ presentation performance. (5%)  
Response to Peer Advice Worksheet 
Students respond to the peer-reviewed feedback and provide specific solutions to the identified issues. 
Mock Conference Tasks 
Students practice to play different roles (e.g., a presenter, a host, audience), present their research essay and manage Q&A.  
Term Essay Writing Task 
Students conduct original research, apply critical thinking approaches and formulate creative views on world politics in the term essay. (undergraduate 1500-3000 words; graduate 2500-5000 words) 
Participation & Attendance 
Students will be graded based on their attendance and participation in class discussions. 
Week 2
9/27  Course Introduction
Course overview, requirements, grading policy, grouping, Q&A
Week 3
10/04  IR: a Divided Discipline
Required Reading
Acharya, A. & Buzan, B. 2019. “Introduction” and “The World up to 1919: The Making of Modern International Relations,” in The Making of Global International Relations: Origins and Evolution of IR at its Centenary, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp. 1- 32.
Recommended Reading
Reus-Smit, C. & Snidal, D. 2010. “Between Utopia and Reality: The Practical Discourses of International Relations,” in Reus-Smit, C. & Snidal, D.(ed.) The Oxford Handbook of International Relations, Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp. 3- 37.
Week 4
10/11  Holiday (No Class)  
Week 5
10/18  Major Contentions in IR
Required Reading
Brown, C. 2016. “Theory and Practice in International Relations,” in Booth, K. & Erskine, T. (ed.) International Relations Theory Today, 2nd edition, Cambridge: Polity Press, pp. 39-52.
Recommended Reading
Bilgin, P. 2016. “Do IR Scholars Engage with the Same World?” in Booth, K. & Erskine, T. (ed.) International Relations Theory Today, 2nd edition, Cambridge: Polity Press, pp. 39-52.
Week 6
10/25  The Expansion of International Society
Required Reading
Shih, C. Y. & Chang, C. Y. 2017. “The Rise of China Between Cultural and Civilizational Relationalities: Lessons from Four Qing Cases,” International Journal of Asian Studies, Vol. 14, No. 1, pp. 1-25.
Recommended Reading
Neuman, I. 2011. “Entry into International Society Reconceptualized: The Case of Russia.” Review of International Studies, Vol. 37, No. 2, pp. 117-145.
Week 7
11/01  Contentions of Eurocentrism
Required Readings
Hobson, J. M. 2012. “Introduction: Constructing Eurocentrism and International Theory as Eurocentric construct,” The Eurocentric Conception of World Politics: Western International Theory, 1760-2010, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp. 1-30.
Sajed, A. 2016. “Race and International Relations—What's in a Word? A Debate Around John Hobson’s The Eurocentric Conception of World Politics,” Postcolonial Studies, Vol. 19, No. 2, pp. 168-172.
Recommended Reading
Wallerstein, I. 1997. “Eurocentrism and Its Avatars: the Dilemmas of Social Sciences,” Sociological Bulletin, Vol. 46, No.1, pp. 21-39.
Week 8
11/08  Alternative to Eurocentrism? Asian school of IR? Global IR?
Required Readings
Amitav, A. & Buzan, B. 2017. “Why is there no non-Western international relations theory? Ten years on,” International Relations of the Asia-Pacific, Vol. 17, No. 3, pp. 341-370.
Anderl, F. & Witt, A. 2020. “Problematising the Global in Global IR,” Millennium: Journal of International Studies, pp. 1-26. December 2020.
Recommended Reading
Chen, C. C. 2011. “The absence of non-Western IR theory in Asia reconsidered,” International Relations of the Asia-Pacific, Vol. 11, No. 1, pp. 1-23.
Week 9
11/15  Midterm Week (No class) [Write your essay proposal] 
Week 10
11/22  Literature Review Presentations 
Week 11
11/29  Essay proposal peer-review workshop 
Week 12
12/06  Homegrown Chinese IR theories
Required Readings
Qin, Y. 2016. “A Relational Theory of World Politics,” International Studies Review, Vol. 18, No. 1, pp. 33-47.
Yan. X. 2019. Leadership and the Rise of Great Power, Chapter 1& 9, pp. 1-24 &190-206, New Jersey: Princeton University Press.
Recommended Readings
Creutzfeldt, B. 2011. ‘Theory Talk #45: Qin Yaqing on Rules vs Relations, Drinking Coffee and Tea, and a Chinese Approach to Global Governance’, Theory Talks, (30-11-2011)
Creutzfeldt, B. 2012. ‘Theory Talk #51: Yan Xuetong on Chinese Realism, the Tsinghua School of International Relations, and the Impossibility of Harmony’, Theory Talks, (28-11-2012)  
Week 13
12/13  Postcolonialism
Required Readings
Ling, H. M. L. 2016. “What’s in a Name? A critical interrogation of the “Chinese School of IR,” in Zhang, Y. & Chang, T. (ed.) Constructing a Chinese School of International Relations: Ongoing Debates and Sociological Realities. London: Routledge, pp. 1-18.
Tucker, K. 2018. “Unraveling Coloniality in International Relations: Knowledge, Relationality, and Strategies for Engagement,” International Political Sociology, Vol. 12, pp. 215-232.
Recommended Readings
Capan, Z. G. 2017. “Decolonising International Relations?” Third World Quarterly, Vol. 38, No. 1, pp. 1-15.
Week 14
12/20  Critical Sinophone IR Theories
Required Readings
Ling, H. M. L. 2014. The Dao of World Politics: Towards a Post-Westphalian, wordlist International Relations, Chapter 1& 2, London: Routledge.
Shih, C. & Huang C. 2016. “Balance of relationship and the Chinese School of IR: being simultaneously Confucian, post-Western and post-hegemonic,” in Zhang, Y. & Chang, T. (ed.) Constructing a Chinese School of International Relations: Ongoing Debates and Sociological Realities, London: Routledge, pp. 177-191.
Recommended Readings
Ling, H. M. L. 2014. The Dao of World Politics: Towards a Post-Westphalian, wordlist International Relations, London: Routledge.
Shih, C. et. al. 2019. China and International Theory: The Balance of Relationships, London, Routledge.
Week 15
12/27  Individual Consultation 
Week 16
1/03  Conference on essay progress 
Week 17
1/10  Final exam week (No class) [Revise and submit your term essay]