This course is designed primarily for students interested in exploring in depth the relationship between U.S. foreign policy and developments in East Asia. Although geographically quite distant from the Asian mainland, the United States has been deeply involved militarily, diplomatically and economically with that region since the 19th Century. Since the defeat of Japan in the Pacific component of World War II, the United States has maintained a strong military presence throughout the Asia-Pacific and has fought costly wars in Korea and Viet-Nam, all as integral components of the Cold War. More recently, the rise of China; the cross-Straits problem surrounding Taiwan; the economic torpor of Japan; the continued division of the Korean peninsula and the nuclear program of North Korea; along with the potential for Muslim terrorism in Southeast Asia are but a few of the problems that animate the foreign policy interactions between East Asia and the United States. This course will explore the historical and contemporary foreign policies of the United States toward Asia with an eye toward analyzing the ways in which Asia has been shaped by American, and in turn American policies have been shaped by events in Asia.
Students who took PS 191 "Junior Seminar: American Foreign Policy in East Asia" with Professor Pempel cannot take this course due to the substantial similarity in course content.