Academic year
2018/2019 Syllabus of previous years
Official course title
Course code
ECC031 (AF:298619 AR:162060)
ECTS credits
Degree level
Istituto d`eccellenza
Educational sector code
Course year
The course aims at:
1. providing a general overview of the contemporary history and politics of Asian countries (XIX-XXI centuries)
2. providing students with theoretical tools for analyzing and understanding imperialism, colonialism, state building, democracy and authoritarianism in Asia
3 offering students in-depth analysis of different Asian regions, presented by guest lecturers, specifically on Middles East, India, Russia, China and Japan
1. Knowledge and understanding:
knowledge of the dynamics related to imperialism and colonization processes, nationalisms and processes of state/nation building occurred in Asia since the 19th century; understanding of the conceptual tools related to the functioning of democratic systems, authoritarian systems and institutional transitions (coups d'état, revolts, revolutions).

2. Applying knowledge and understanding:
ability to apply the tools of contemporary political history to the study of Asian countries in a critical and autonomous way.

3. Making judgements:
ability to critically and consciously evaluate political and institutional contexts and their evolution in Asia.

4. Communication skills:
Ability to illustrate the different aspects dealt with in the course in a clear and analytical way.

5. Learning skills:
Ability to critically integrate the documents provided by the teacher and the notes taken in class.
No prerequisites are required to attend the course
1. Barbara De Poli Asia from the 19th century to the first half of the 20th. Imperialism and colonialism
2. Barbara De Poli Asia in the 20th century: Nationalism and State building
3. Barbara De Poli Asia in the 20th century: forms of government.
4. Barbara De Poli Democracy
5. Barbara De Poli Authoritarianism

6. Carlo Frappi Russian Asian politics and the 'Great Game' (XIX century and contemporary "editions").

7. Christian Goebel The making of China's authoritarian one party system
8. Christian Goebel: how is the polity as big as China governed centrally and the emergence of China's digitalized surveillance state
9. Christian Goebel: Protests and other forms of social unrest

10. Giulio Pugliese: Responding to the Western Challenge: Nation-building and the invention of tradition in modern Japan.
11. Giulio Pugliese: Post-war Japan and Implanted Democracy.

12. Jeremy Gunn : The Middle East from the European domination to the American intervention
13. Jeremy Gunn : nationalist and independence movements, Israel, oil crises, authoritarian systems and political Islam

14. Aditya Mukherji The Contrasting Paradigms of the Colonial and the Post-colonial Developments in India; Historical Roots of India's Development Strategy from Independence (1947) to the Present (2017)
15. Aditya Mukherji The Making of the 'Idea of India' and the Challenges Faced by it Today
Suggested readings (not compulsory):

Middle East:
Cleveland, William L., and Martin P. Bunton. A History of the Modern Middle East. 5th ed. Boulder, CO: Westview Press, 2013.
Gelvin, James L. The Modern Middle East: a History. 3rd ed. New York: Oxford University Press, 2011.
Goldschmidt, Arthur, and Lawrence Davidson. A Concise History of the Middle East. 10th ed. Boulder, CO: Westview Press, 2013.
Lapidus, Ira M. A History of Islamic Societies. 3rd ed. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2014.
Mansfield, Peter, and Nicolas Pelham. A History of the Middle East. 4th ed. New York: Penguin Books, 2013.
Rogan, Eugene L. The Arabs: A History. London: Penguin Books, 2011.

Richard Samuels, Machiavelli’s Children, Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2003, Chapters 1-2 (moodle)
John Swenson-Wright. Unequal Allies? United States Security and Alliance Policy Towards Japan, 1945-1960. Stanford University Press, 2005. Chapters 1-2, pp. 21-76. (moodle)
Marius B. Jansen, The Making of Modern Japan, Cambridge M.A.: Harvard University Press, 2000: Chapters 5-6 and 12
John Dower, Empire and Aftermath: Yoshida Shigeru and the Japanese Experience, 1878-1954, Cambridge M.A.: Harvard University Press, 1988: Chapters 8-11.

Peter Hopkirk, The Great Game: On Secret Service in High Asia, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2001.
Stephen Blank, Energy, economics and security inCentral Asia: Russia and it's rivals, Central Asia Survey, 14:3, pp. 373-406.(moodle)
Sarah O'Hara, Great game or Grubby game? The struggle for the control of the Caspian, Geopolitics, 4 Jun 2010. (moodle)

Bipan Chandra,, India Since Independence, Penguin, 2008, Penguin, India, 30th reprint 2018.
Aditya Mukherjee, "Challenges to the Social Sciences in the 21st Century. Some perspectives from the South", in Economic & Political Weekly, 14, 2013, n. 37, pp. 31-37. (moodle)
Aditya Mukherjee, "Empire: How colonial India made Modern Britain", in Economic & Political Weekly, 11, 2010, n. 50,, pp. 73-82. (moodle)
Aditya Mukherjee, "Nehru's Legacy. Inclusive Democracy and People's empowerment", in Economic & Political Weekly, 18, 2015, n. 16, pp. 38-45. (moodle)
Aditya Mukherjee, The return of the Colonial in Indian Economic History: the last phase of colonialism in India, New Delhi 2007. (moodle)

Sebastian Heilmann, China's Political System, Rowman & Littlefield Publishers 2017
William A. Joseph, Politics in China: An Introduction, Oxford University Press 2014
John King Fairbank,‎ Merle Goldman, China: A New History, 2nd Revised & enlarged Edition, Belknap Press, 2006

Further readings will be provided during classes
A mid-term assessment shall consist in a written test (500 words homework) with an open question aiming at evaluating the understanding of the basic theoretical tools provided during the first part of the course.
The final assessment will consist for each student in a paper of 5.000-7.000 words that shall be elaborated with an analytical approach, possibly using some primary sources ( original documents as charters, official statements, or any visual material, etc) and not just secondary sources as articles and essays. The bibliography shall be integrated with the text.
The paper shall focus on a case study related to one of the topic tackled during the first part of the course: Colonialism/imperialism, nation/state building, democracy/authoritarianism, choosing a country different from those considered during the course, or exploring a subject matter related to China, Japan, Central Asia, India or the Arab countries, that the guest lecturers didn’t treat.

Interactive lectures, audio-videos, readings.
All classes will be recorded and uploaded to moodle

This subject deals with topics related to the macro-area "International cooperation" and contributes to the achievement of one or more goals of U. N. Agenda for Sustainable Development

Definitive programme.
Last update of the programme: 04/02/2019