GREAT POWERS IN THE AGE OF GLOBALISATION: SECURITY CHALLENGES AND POLICIES
2010/2011, Semester 1
Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy (Lee Kuan Yew School Of Public Policy)
Modular Credits: 4
Great Powers in the Age of Globalisation: Security Concepts, Challenges and Policies
(International Relations and Security Studies Specialisation)
AY 2010/2011 Semester 1
Course Coordinator: Dr. Yee-Kuang HENG
How should US and Japanese policymakers respond to China’s rise? How might policymakers interpret Russia’s resumption of its Cold War routine of long-range nuclear bomber patrols and ‘spheres of influence’ politics with the 2008 Georgian War? Is Japan adopting policies aimed at re-asserting itself? In order to think more critically about these questions, the aim of this module is to introduce students to the security concepts and policymaking challenges that Great Powers face in the age of globalisation. It highlights to students the political and security environment that policymakers operate in as well as the factors that advance or deter policy agendas, the determinants of decision-making, and the politics of implementation.We examine how security concepts, which have historically been central to Great Power politics, continue to pose challenges to policymakers. These include ‘major war’; arms racing and the Security Dilemma; the balance of power; and geo-political competition. We also address more contemporary issues such as the appeal of ‘soft’ power to the Great Powers in the age of globalisation. Through prescribed academic writings, students are directed to the linkage between emerging global events and to think critically about how policymakers have to operate in the security environment of the new millennium.
Learning Outcomes and Objectives
The module enables students to understand current strategic and theoretical debates about globalisation and its supposed transformation of the Great Power-dominated Westphalian system; the ideas and thinking behind Great Power strategies and policies; as well as analytical tools to evaluate those policies. The following outcomes are emphasized:
A clear understanding of the theoretical and strategic environment that Great Powers operate within in the 21
An ability to approach both theoretical debates and foreign policy outcomes with diverse analytical tools
A critical awareness of the theoretical and practical complexity that policymakers face in the age of globalisation
The ability to collate and evaluate arguments from different sources and perspectives
The ability to formulate and articulate views coherently in written and oral forms
Critical thinking, analytical and reading skills
Week 1: Shopping Week and Introduction
Week 2: Great Powers in the age of globalisation
Week 3: Major Great Power war
Week 4: Balance of Power politics
Week 5: Arms racing and security dilemmas
Week 6: Geo-political competition
Week 7: Empires and spheres of influence
Week 8: The ‘soft’ power competition era: China
Week 9: The ‘soft’ power competition era: Japan
Week 10: Nationalism and Great Power identities
Week 11: The ‘normalisation’ of Great Powers: Japan, Germany and Russia
Week 12: Thinking about the future of Great Power politics
Week 13: Course wrap-up
Students will often be prescribed articles in major IR journals. These include:
Review of International Studies
Millennium: Journal of International Studies
International Studies Quarterly
Students should familiarise themselves with the major journals in the field, which often provide most up-to-date thinking and developments in the field. Journal websites also provide abstracts and sometimes articles which can be downloaded
Course workloads, requirements and modes of assessment
This is a graduate seminar. It is readings intensive and active participation is expected in class discussions. Students must come to class having read the required readings. The benefits that students derive from graduate seminars are especially heavily dependent on vibrant and active in-class discussion and debates. The emphasis is on promoting interactivity and ‘deep learning’ through encouraging student participation. Students will therefore assume a larger stakeholder role in the learning process. A team of two to three students will be delegated responsibility for designing class activities, structuring and leading the class discussions for each week. Activities must be designed to emphasize interactivity and engagement with the whole class so no one individual student is left out of discussions and debates. More information on this will be provided in class.
Assessment in this course is entirely by continuous assessment.
1. A LONG research essay
accounts for 40% of your total assessment.
Write one 3,500-4,000 word essay. This long essay will comprise 40% of the total mark.
Essays should only address questions distributed by me. Essays written on a question not approved by me will not be accepted.Feel free to meet with me to discuss your essay, or anyconcerns you have generally. Since essay deadlines are advertised at the beginning of the semester, students are reminded to plan well ahead for completing their essays, given competing demands on your time and occasional clashing deadlines with other courses. Extensions will not begranted unless there are exceptional circumstances, such as illness or familyemergency.
2. Two ‘reaction’ pieces of 1000 words each are expected from students. This will constitute 30% of the total mark.
: Students will prepare short memos analyzing the readings for that week or addressing supplementary questions. The essays should present either your response to the major arguments from the week’s readings
your answer to the key questions presented for the week. The essays should be between 1000 and 1250 words in length (
and typed). Soft copies of the essays are due on the day of the seminar by 12 noon. A hard-copy of the essay should be handed to me during the seminar.
3. Normal class participation 15%:
Students are expected to participate fully and actively in class discussions and activities every week.
4. Designated presentation 15%:
Students delegated with responsibility to lead student activities in class in a particular week will be graded for their innovation, ability to critically engage with course material, and promote interactivity with their classmates.
PLAGIARISM WARNING FOR WRITTEN ASSIGNMENTS
The LKY School’s Academic Code of Conduct lists
as one of six important values. According to this Code, we have agreed to ‘make every effort to understand what counts as plagiarism and why this is wrong’. To avoid giving the impression that you are passing off other people’s work as your own, you will need to acknowledge conscientiously the sources of information, ideas, and arguments used in your paper. For this purpose, you will use the ‘footnote style’ according to the Chicago Manual of Style, the guidelines for which can be found online at
SUBMITTING CLASS ASSIGNMENTS THROUGH TURNITIN
In line with LKYSPP policy, a soft copy of the final research essay will have to be submitted through Turnitin plagiarism detection software. This software is available at http://www.cit.nus.edu.sg/plagiarism.
A hard-copy of the essay must also be submitted to me in class or in my mail-box on or before the due date.