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Geopolitics, Economy and Environment

Code: 44259 ECTS Credits: 10
Degree Type Year Semester
4317118 Global East Asian Studies OB 0 1


David Saurí Pujol

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.


Minkang Zhou Gu
Joaquin Beltran Antolin
Jacint Soler Matutes
Just Castillo Iglesias



Objectives and Contextualisation

"Geopolitics, Economy and Environment" is a compulsory subject worth 10 ECTS that focuses on the study of the geopolitical, economic and environmental dynamics of East Asia in its interrelation with the rest of the world, with special emphasis on the role of China as a global power, the renewed international role of Japan, and the emergence of South Korea as a middle power. The course integrates the theoretical and conceptual contributions of political science and international relations, geopolitics and economics, and geography and environmental sciences, with the ultimate goal of understanding changes in international politics, economic transformations, and the challenging environmental issues that stem from the global incorporation of East Asia.

Learning Outcomes

  1. CA03 (Competence) Be able to interpret the geopolitical, economic and environmental role of East Asia in the contemporary world.
  2. CA04 (Competence) Be able to understand in detail the economic, geopolitical and environmental dynamics that characterise East Asia in the global environment.
  3. CA05 (Competence) Be able to communicate clearly and systematically the global relevance of East Asia in geopolitical, economic and environmental terms to a variety of interlocutors.
  4. KA03 (Knowledge) Recognise the political, economic and environmental changes affecting East Asia in the contemporary scenario.
  5. KA04 (Knowledge) Recognise the economic, geopolitical and environmental complexity and implications of East Asia's global incorporation.
  6. SA05 (Skill) Analyse the economic, geopolitical and environmental aspects of the globalising processes taking place from East Asia on a world scale.
  7. SA06 (Skill) Analyse the economic, geopolitical and environmental changes resulting from East Asia's active participation in the globalisation process.
  8. SA07 (Skill) Competently employ theoretical and methodological concepts and perspectives in the study of geopolitical changes, economic flows and environmental challenges related to East Asia, with a special focus on climate change and China's role as a global power.
  9. SA08 (Skill) Research human movements around East Asia, with a particular focus on the attraction and emission of tourist flows on a global scale.


The subject’s contents are oriented towards the acquisition of knowledge on the study of the geopolitical, economic and environmental dynamics of East Asia (China, Taiwan, Japan, South Korea/North Korea) in their interrelation with the rest of the world. The specific contents of the subject are:

1. Geopolitical dynamics: a) Legacies of the cold war: the division of Korea, the China/Taiwan conflict, security architectures and the role of the US; b) China: the Belt and Road Initiative; Japan: the Free and Open Indo-Pacific strategy; South Korea as a middle power, North Korea and "nuclear diplomacy"; c) Geopolitical challenges: the conflict in the South China Sea, the question of regionalism.

2. Economic flows: a) China as an economic superpower, internationalisation of Japanese companies, commercial expansion of South Korea, the Asian Tigers; b) Production and export, global trade flows, markets and consumption; c) Investments and foreign economic influence, presence in Africa, Latin America and Europe.

3. Environmental challenges: a) Industrialization and environmental costs: energy policies, water and energy management models, "green" technologies, global tourism and multidimensional impact; b) The problem of climate change: mitigation and adaptation policies in East Asia; c) Disaster management and environmental health.


- 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 62 2.48 CA03, CA04, CA05, KA03, KA04, SA05, SA06, SA07, SA08
Type: Supervised      
Oral defense of essays and debates 25 1 CA03, CA04, CA05, KA03, KA04, SA05, SA06, SA07, SA08
Type: Autonomous      
Essays writing, individual study, readings papers/specialized reports, cooperative learning 163 6.52 CA03, CA04, CA05, KA03, KA04, SA05, SA06, SA07, SA08


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 CA03, CA04, CA05, KA03, KA04, SA05, SA06, SA07, SA08
Submission of essays, reports and commentaries 20% - 70% 0 0 CA03, CA04, CA05, KA03, KA04, SA05, SA06, SA07, SA08
Theoretical - practical written assessment 10% - 40% 0 0 CA03, CA04, CA05, KA03, KA04, SA05, SA06, SA07, SA08


Callicott, J. Baird and James McRae, 2017, Japanese Environmental Philosophy, Oxford University Press. 

Connors, Michael K., Rémy Davison, J‎örn Dosch, 2018, The New Global Politics of the Asia-Pacific, Routledge. 

Delage Carretero, Fernando, 2023, “Europa en la era de Eurasia y del Indo-Pacífico,” Araucaria: Revista Iberoamericana de Filosofía, Política, Humanidades y Relaciones Internacionales, 25(53):11-40. [https://revistascientificas.us.es/index.php/araucaria/article/view/23411]

Fernández Martín, C. Gladys y Ricardo Leyva Pérez, 2021, “Asia Oriental a la luz del siglo XXI: Importancia geopolítica de la región,” Observatorio de la Política China, 24.03.2021. [https://politica-china.org/areas/politica-exterior/xi-sei-asia-oriental-a-la-luz-del-siglo-xxi-importancia-geopolitica-de-la-region#_ftn1]

Gaviratti, Pablo, coord., 2022, La Naturaleza del Japonismo, Instituto de Investigaciones Gino Germani – Universidad de Buenos Aires. 

Golden, Sean, 2012, China en perspectiva. Análisis e interpretaciones, Edicions Bellaterra. 

Kim, Eun Mee, ed., 1998, The Four Asian Tigers: Economic Development and the Global Political Economy, Emerald Press.

Li, Yifei and Judith Shapiro, 2020, China Goes Green: Coercive Environmentalism for a Troubled Planet, Polity Press. 

Lovell, Julia, 2019, Maoism: A Global History, Bodley Head. [Maoísmo. Una historia global, Debate, 2021]

Miller, Alice Lyman and Richard Wilch, 2011, Becoming Asia: Change and Continuity in Asian International Relations Since World War II, Stanford University Press. 

Mitter, Rana, 2013, “China and the Cold War," Richard H. Immerman and Petra Goedde, eds., The Oxford Handbook of the Cold War, Oxford University Press. 

Panitchpakdi, Supachai and Mark L. Clifford, 2002, China and the WTO: Changing China, Changing World Trade, Wiley & Sons. 

Pardo Delgado, José Miguel, 2023, Dinámica geopolítica en Asia Central. Cooperación y competencia entre China y Rusia, Documento de Opinión IEEE 13/2023. [https://www.ieee.es/Galerias/fichero/docs_opinion/2023/DIEEEO13_2023_JOSPAR_Asia.pdf]

Rossiter, Ash and Brendon J. Cannon, 2020, Conflict and Cooperation in the Indo-Pacific: New Geopolitical Realities, Taylor & Francis. 

Soler-Matutes, Jacinto, 2003, El Despertar de la nueva China: Implicaciones del ingreso de China en la Organización Mundial del Comercio, La Catarata. 

Soler-Matutes, Jacinto, 2008, El Milagro económico chino: Mito y realidad, Marcial Pons.

Stiglitz, Joseph and Shahid Yusuf, eds., 2001, Rethinking the East Asia Miracle, Oxford University Press & World Bank. 

Studwell, Joe, 2013, How Asia Works: Success and Failure in the World’s Most Dynamic Region, Profile Books. 

Yahuda, Michael, 2019, The International Politics of the Asia-Pacific, Taylor & Francis.


We will not use specific sotfware.