Academic year
2023/2024 Syllabus of previous years
Official course title
Course code
LM1170 (AF:459623 AR:253044)
On campus classes
ECTS credits
Degree level
Master's Degree Programme (DM270)
Educational sector code
1st Semester
Course year
Go to Moodle page
The course is among the Core Educational Activities of the Master’s degree programme in Comparative International Relations, curriculum in Eastern Asia studies. The course aims to provide students with an in-depth knowledge of the Sinocentric interstate system in East Asia and its collapse after the advance of Western powers in mid-nineteenth century.
The course will provide students with:
- knowledge of the Sinocentric diplomacy in East Asia, of how interstate relations are interpreted in different historical periods and parts of the world, and of its collapse after the advance of Western powers in mid-nineteenth century;
- knowledge of the variuos interpretations given to the Sinocentric ideology, the Confucian tributary diplomacy, as well as to the consequences that the collapse of the traditional interstate system had on the balance of power among East Asian countries;
- capacity and autonomy of judgment by classroom discussions;
- good degree of ability in selecting, interpreting and critically analyzing sources to write a research paper and prepare classroom presentation.
Although not compulsory, students are strongly encouraged to deliver their presentation in class in order to improve their communication skills.
A basic knowledge of global history.
- A common ground for a shared diplomacy: writing system, rice culture, Confucian thought;
- The sinocentered civilization in East Asia;
- Confucian diplomacy: harmony in difference;
- Strategies, trade and rites in tributary relations;
- Japan’s emulation of the Chinese world order in Edo period (1603-1867);
- the advent of Western powers in East Asia: opium wars and unequal treaties;
- China and Japan's Dispute over the Ryukyus;
- Japan's rise as a colonial power;
- The first Sino-Japanese war;
- Taiwan and Korea under Japans’ rule.
John King FAIRBANK (ed.), The Chinese World Order. Traditional China's Foreign Relations, Harvard University Press 1968;
David C. KANG, East Asia Before the West: Five Centuries of Trade and Tribute, Columbia University Press, 2012
Ronald P.TOBY, State and Diplomacy in Early Modern Japan. Asia in the Development of the Tokugawa Bakufu, Princeton University Press 1984;
Enrica COLLOTTI PISCHEL, Storia dell'Asia Orientale. 1850-1949, La Nuova Italia Scientifica 1994, capitoli 1-4 e 6;
Key-Hiuk KIM, The Last Phase of the East Asian World Order. Korea, Japan, and the Chinese Empire, 1860-1882, University of California Press 1980;
Rosa CAROLI, Il mito dell'omogeneità giapponese: storia di Okinawa, Franco Angeli 1999, capitoli 2-3;
John Peter STERN, The Japanese Interpretation of the ‘Law of Nations’, 1854-1874, Princeton University Press 1979;
Yongjin ZHANG; Barry BUZAN, “The Tributary System as International Society in Theory and Practice”, Chinese Journal of International Politics, vol 5, no. 1, Spring 2012, pp. 3-36;
Giovanni ARRIGHI; Takeshi HAMASHITA (eds), The Resurgence of East Asia: 500, 150 and 50 Year Perspectives, London : Routledge, 2003, Introduction, Chapters 1-2: pp. 1-77;
Feng ZHANG, “Rethinking the ‘Tribute System’: Broadening the Conceptual Horizon of Historical East Asian Politics”, Chinese Journal of International Politics, vol. 2, 2009, pp. 545-74;
S. C. M. PAINE, The Sino-Japanese War of 1894-1895. Perceptions, power, and primacy, Cambridge; Cambridge University Press 2003;
Rosa CAROLI, “La Cina reinventata dal Giappone Meiji”, in L'invenzione della Cina. Atti del VII Convegno Aisc, Congedo Editore 2004, pp. 77-95;
Aiko IKEO (ed.), Economic Development in Twentieth Century East Asia. The International Context, Routledge, 1997;
David C. KANG, China rising. Peace, power, and order in East Asia, Columbia University Press 2007.
Oral exams. International students and students who do not attend the class regularly may contact the professor during office hours or by email.
Front lectures that will introduce the students to the topics and the texts in the programme; seminars with students' presentations and joint discussions.
The Disabled Students Service with the fundamental support of tutors offers several services throughout university studies, both for prospective and enroled students at Ca’ Foscari University of Venice. Services aim at facilitating the autonomy of students with disabilities and/or learning disabilities such as dyslexia, dyspraxia, dyscalculia through successful integration in university life. More details in https://www.unive.it/pag/28640/

ESU CUORI provides free individual activities and group workshops aimed at all Ca' Foscari students: psychological counselling, training to improve study effectiveness, reorientation paths and seminars to learn how to manage anxiety. More details in https://www.unive.it/pag/41328/

Dream with ambition, lead with conviction, and see yourself in a way that others might not see you, simply because they’ve never seen it before.
And we will applaud you every step of the way.
(Kamala Harris)

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: 25/04/2023