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Politics and Society in Eastern Asia

Code: 43485 ECTS Credits: 10
Degree Type Year Semester
4313800 International Relations, Security and Development OT 0 2


Blai Guarné Cabello

Teaching groups languages

You can check it through this link. To consult the language you will need to enter the CODE of the subject. Please note that this information is provisional until 30 November 2023.


Irene Masdeu Torruella
Manuel Pavon Belizon
Mario Malo Sanz
Kei Matsushima
Just Castillo Iglesias
Uh Jeen Lee
Alfonso Sanchez Romera



Objectives and Contextualisation

"East Asian Politics and Society" is a subject worth 10 ECTS that focuses on the study of social structures and institutions and the political systems and forms of East Asian countries, with special emphasis on the challenges that, in terms of dissent, difference and diversity, arise at the sociopolitical level in their respective societies in the context of globalisation. The subject integrates theoretical and conceptual contributions from political science and international relations, sociology, anthropology and the study of social movements, with the ultimate goal of understanding the social and political processes that take place in the East Asian countries.


  • Analyse the international situation and recognise its complexity, using the theoretical tools seen in the master's programme, and base one's vision of the future on sound knowledge of preceding periods.
  • Communicate and justify conclusions clearly and unambiguously to both specialised and non-specialised audiences.
  • Make a diagnosis of security and development problems in the proposed countries, regions and areas of the international system, and offer useful advice for decision-making based on the diagnosis.

Learning Outcomes

  1. Adopt a critical perspective on the phenomena taking place in contemporary East Asia that can be integrated into the diagnosis and guidelines proposed decision
  2. Communicate and justify conclusions clearly and unambiguously to both specialised and non-specialised audiences.
  3. Propose actions to solve problems and to point up the policy of cultural, economic and political relations with lhasa contemporary East and intercultural processes
  4. Understand the complexity of the processes of socio-political phenomena related to contemporary East Asia, in the case of countries which play the role of receiver and transmitter


The subject’s contents are oriented towards the acquisition of knowledge on the social structures and institutions and the political systems and forms of the East Asian countries, from different theoretical and methodological perspectives. The specific contents of the subject are:

1. Political aspects: a) Characteristics: background; political, legislative and judicial systems; forms of governance and administration; b) Domestic policy: actors and policies; priorities, processes, and agendas; internal politics and external forces; c) Foreign policy: international policy; relations with the EU and with Latin America; public diplomacy and soft power.

2. Social aspects: a) Characteristics: social and economic organisation; socialisation institutions and social reproduction systems; world of work and labour market; values and social change; b) Dynamics: generational change; demographic ageing; urban growth and development; c) Inequalities: socioeconomic, cultural, gender, orientation.

3. Sociopolitical structures: a) Characteristics: citizenship and civil society; social movements and organisations; network activism; b) Processes: democracy and participation; social and political dissidence; surveillance and state cybercontrol; c) Politics of recognition: identity, diversity and difference, multiculturalism.


- Lectures

- Readings papers/specialized reports

- Cooperative learning

- Debates

- Talks

- Essays writing

- Oral presentations

- Individual study

Annotation: Within the schedule set by the centre or degree programme, 15 minutes of one class will be reserved for students to evaluate their lecturers and their courses or modules through questionnaires.


Title Hours ECTS Learning Outcomes
Type: Directed      
Lectures, talks 50 2 1, 4, 3, 2
Type: Supervised      
Oral defense of essays and debates 25 1 1, 4, 3, 2
Type: Autonomous      
Essays writing, individual study, readings papers/specialized reports, cooperative learning 175 7 1, 4, 3, 2


The above information on assessment, assessment activities and their weighting are meant as a guide. The subject's lecturer will provide full information when teaching begins. 

The evaluation in this subject is continuous assessment. This subject is not suitable for single assessment.

Continuous assessment

Students must provide evidence of their progress by completing various tasks and tests. These activities are detailed in the table at the end of this section of the Study Guide.

Review and missed/failed assessment activities

When publishing final marks prior to recording them on students' transcripts, the lecturer will outline the procedure to carry out their review and, once this is done, the resit procedure, if applicable.

UAB Assessment procedure: https://www.uab.cat/web/studies/graduate/university-master-s-degrees/evaluation/what-is-it-about-1345666815028.html 

Misconduct in assessment activities

Students who engage in misconduct (plagiarism, copying, impersonation, etc.) in an assessment activity will receive a mark of “0” for the activity in question. In the case of misconduct in more than one assessment activity, the student involved will be given a final mark of “0” for the subject. Assessment activities in which irregularities have occurred (e.g. plagiarism, copying, impersonation) are excluded from resits.

Assessment Activities

Title Weighting Hours ECTS Learning Outcomes
Oral defense of essays and active participation in face-to-face sessions and activities 10% - 40% 0 0 1, 4, 3, 2
Submission of essays, reports and commentaries 20% - 70% 0 0 1, 4, 3, 2
Theoretical - practical written assessment 10% - 40% 0 0 1, 4, 3, 2


Bao, Hongwei, 2018, Queer Comrades: Gay Identity and Tongzhi Activism in Postsocialist China, Nordic Institute of Asian Studies.

Barabantseva, Elena, Małgorzata Jakimów, 2016, “‘Othering’ in the Construction of Chinese Citizenship”, Lion Koenig & Bidisha Chaudhuri, eds., The Politics of the ‘Other’: Western Concepts in Non-Western Contexts, Routledge.

Chiavacci, David, Julia Obinger, 2018, Social Movements and Political Activism in Contemporary Japan, Routledge.

Cho, Hee-Yeon, Lawrence Surendra, Hyo-Je Cho, eds., 2012, Contemporary South Korean Society: A Critical Perspective, Routledge.

Choi, Hang Sub, 2021, “A Sociological Study on the Disgust of the Young Generation toward the Elderly in Korean Society: Social Causes”, Korea Journal, 61(2): 59-86.

Froissart, Chloé, 2009, “The Rise of Migrant Workers’ Collective Actions: Toward a New Social Contract in China”, Khun Eng Kuah-Pearce & Gilles Guiheux, eds., Social Movements in China and Hong Kong. The Extension of Protest Space, Amsterdam University Press.

Guarné, Blai, ed., 2017, Antropología de Japón: Identidad, discurso y representación, CERAO UAB-Edicions Bellaterra.

Guarné, Blai, Shinji Yamashita, eds., 2015, “Multicultural Politics in Contemporary Japan”Kenkyu Hokoku (Bulletin of the National Museum of Ethnology), Kokuritsu Minzokugaku Hakubutsukan (National Museum of Ethnology in Japan, Minpaku), 40(1).

Guo, Sujian, 2012, “Ideological Modifications in Post-Mao China” & “TheMaking of the New Communist State and the Post-Mao Transition”, Chinese Politics and Government. Power, Ideology and Organization. Routledge. 

Huang, Xiaoming, Jason Young, 2009, Politics in Pacific Asia: An Introduction, Palgrave MacMillan.

Johnson, Leif, 2017, “Bordering Shanghai: China’s Hukou System and Processes of Urban Bordering”, Geoforum, 80: 93-102. 

Joseph, William A., 2014, Politics in China: An Introduction, Oxford University Press.

Moon, Chung-in, M. Jae Moon, 2020, Routledge Handbook of Korean Politics and Public Administration, Routledge.

Pekkanen, Robert J., Yutaka Tsujinaka, Hidehiro Yamamoto, 2014, Neighborhood Associations and Local Governance in Japan, Routledge.

Seol, Dong Hoon, 2005, “Global Dimensions in Mapping the Foreign Labor Policies of Korea: A Comparative and Functional Analysis”, Journal of Asian Sociology, 34(1): 75-124.

Shinoda, Tomohito, 2013, Contemporary Japanese Politics: Institutional Changes and Power Shifts, Columbia University Press.

Slater, David H., Love Kindstrand, Keiko Nishimura, 2016, “Crisis and Opportunity: Social Media in Kōbe, Tōhoku, and Tokyo”, Mark R. Mullins & Koichi Nakano, eds., Disasters and Social Crisis in Contemporary Japan, Palgrave MacMillan.

Sugimoto, Yoshio, 2016, Una introducción a la sociedad japonesa, CERAO UAB-Edicions Bellaterra.

Sun, Yan, 2020, From Empire to Nation State: Ethnic Politics in China, Cambridge University Press.

Wang, Zheng, 2012, Never Forget National Humiliation: Historical Memory in Chinese Politics and Foreign Relations, Columbia University Press.

Zhang, Yinxian, Jiajun Liu, Ji-Rong Wen, 2018, “Nationalism on Weibo: Towards a Multifaceted Understanding of Chinese Nationalism”, The China Quarterly, 235: 758-783.


We will not use specific sotfware.