Great Powers of the Asian-Pacific Region (Spring/Fall)

Hello. My name is Andrei Golobokov.

This course is designed to provide you with a conceptual and historical perspective on great powers interaction in the Asian-Pacific region. Special attention will be paid to the development of great powers policy, its evolution over the last decades, U.S.-Russia relations after the Cold War and the foreign policies of the China as the rising power in Asia after the collapse of the Soviet Union. We will focus on conceptual/theoretical political science issues; discuss the roots of the foreign policy of the great powers, building international institutions with its participation in the new century, issues of economic development, political identity and the development of political culture, views towards the leadership in the modern world. We will also discuss how factors of the emerging powers in the APR influence national and regional security.



SCHOOL/ DEPARTMENT: Department of Economics and Management
LEVEL OF STUDY: Undergraduate / Graduate
COURSE TITLE: Great Powers of the Asian-Pacific Region
LECTURER: Andrei Golobokov, Assoc. Prof., Associate prof., PhD in Political Science

Coursework Breakdown


ECTS Credits        

Lectures and Laboratory / workshops





Total (1 ECTS = 36 hrs.)






Learning Outcomes
After completion, students should be able to:

  • To understand the major foreign political and economic interests of great powers, the role of national interest and how great powers’ foreign policy operates within the broader international context in light of contemporary international relations theory
  • To understand current political, social and economic processes in Russia, China and the U.S., the implementation of “soft power” and other concepts by states’ governments in regional political and economic order
  • To better understand the dynamics of major power interactions in the region; that is, how other powers (India, Japan, DPRK, South Korea, etc.) and organizations (the United Nations, SCO, ASEAN, APEC and BRICS) compete or cooperate with great powers in global affairs.
  • To understand various types of scholarship on politics, use diverse sources of information, objectively analyze political phenomena, and effectively present ideas in a political science research paper.

General Skills

Participation is very important in this class.  It is worth 15 percent of your grade (15 points).  You must attend class daily if you expect to receive a superior grade. Your participation will include general discussion in class, bringing in articles, asking and answering questions about the readings. I will pass a roll sheet around daily and you are expected to sign it. An important part of attendance is being on-time to class, not to miss crucial information due to important announcements at the beginning of class. Arriving late or leaving early is distracting to the classroom environment. If you cannot be in class or need to leave early, please let me know ahead of time.

Each student will lead one class session, of your choosing. Prepare for about 15 minutes of formal presentation, and roughly equal time for discussion. This will be worth 5% (5 points). I’ll be there to help out.

I recommend that you form study groups.  Get to know the members of your group--study with them, go to lunch with them, consult them when you have questions.  Learning is both pro-active and social--some we do alone, but learning is also facilitated in a social setting.

WR courses are supposed to improve your command of the written English language. Toward that end, you will each write a 10-15 page (typed, double-spaced) research paper around a significant political issue on Russia, the U.S. and (or) China in APR politics, broadly defined. Please note that this is to be a formal research paper, guided by theory and backed by empirical information, not an essay, think piece, or opinion piece.

**In writing your research paper you should pay close attention to the posted guidelines. This is critical for your grade! A passing grade in the research paper is required in order to pass the course.

Please submit a one-page paper proposal by February 13, worth 5% (5 points). A first draft of your paper (no shorter than 10 pages) should be submitted on April 12 to two class members and myself, who will critique the paper for grasp of concepts, organization, clarity, objectivity, logic, and mechanics (a guide to the review process will be distributed). Each student will be expected to do two critiques, for a total of 5 percent credit (5 points), due June 1. I will review the first drafts and the critiques, and will grade the quality of the critiques.

You will have approximately one month to complete the final revisions, and much of your grade will depend on how well you do the revisions. This paper is worth 35 percent of your grade (35 points). Coordinate with other members of the class in writing your papers - share ideas, research materials, and so forth. The final draft of the paper will be due June 21.

Early in the semester we will have the first exam, which will count for 20 percent of your grade. It will be essay form, take-home. You’ll have one week to complete it.

There will be a final project that you will propose, and I will approve. Think creatively about what you want to learn about the topic. This could be a book review essay, experiment, presentation, or any other activity that will help you and your peers learn more about Russia, U.S. and China in APR. The project will be worth 15% (15 points) and needs to be completed by June 24.


All assignments should be submitted on time. In fairness to other students in class, late work will be penalized. No make up exams, except in very rare circumstances, such as documented medical emergencies. Make-up examinations may be different from that taken in class. You are expected to be an active leader in the discussion and will be graded on your contribution to the seminar. I'm pretty reasonable and will work with you as long as you tell me what the problems are and come in to talk it over. I will be there every day on time, and will not spring any nasty surprises on you. And please show basic courtesy to myself and to your fellow students.


This course is designed for International Relations, International Economics and Political Science majors and non-majors. It is aimed at providing students with a conceptual and historical perspective on interaction in the Asian-Pacific region (APR) between China, Russia and the U.S. Special attention will be paid to the development of Asia-Pacific great powers’ foreign policy, its evolution over the last decades, U.S.-Russia relations after the Cold War, and as the rising power in Asia after the collapse of the Soviet Union, the foreign policies of China. We will focus on conceptual/theoretical political science issues; discuss the roots of foreign policy of the great powers, building international institutions in the new century, issues of economic development, political identity and the development of political culture, and the future of leadership in the modern world. We will also discuss how factors of the emerging powers in the APR influence national and regional security and economics.



 Percetage       Points      
Leading class session5%5
Paper proposal5%5
Paper critiques5%5
Midterm exam20%20
First Draft Research Papercommentscomments
Final Draft Research Paper35%35
Final project15%15

Grading System

100-90 points:    
5  Excellent, very creative, almost no room for improvement
89-76 points:    4  Good, solid work, creative but not brilliant
75-61 points:     
3  Average work, shows little effort or creativity
60-0 points:    
2  Failing work, not acceptable for a college level course

We won’t use the +/- system in this class. I will follow these criteria in grading written work.

Extra Credit

Extra credit never replaces regular credit. Do not expect to fail to do regular assignments and make them up by doing extra credit. Do not come to me at the end of the term and ask about extra credit opportunities. If you do the regular work in this class, you will do fine. Extra credit works this way: you will have opportunities all term to do extra credit assignments. For instance, I may suggest that you attend a lecture of invited speaker, etc., and type a one-page summary of the material. All extra credit work must be at least one complete page, typed, double spaced, with a font size of 10 or 12. If by the end of the term, you are two points from “5” and I see that you have taken the initiative and completed at least one extra credit assignment, in addition to your regular work, I will more than likely boost you up to “5”.

In-class policy

Controlled experiments by researchers at Princeton University have indicated that student learning is impaired by the use of computers, tablets and phones in the classroom. Students learn better when they take notes by hand. See Susan M. Dynarski, “For better learning in college lectures, lay down the laptop and pick up a pen,” Brookings Institution, at

For this reason, we will not use laptops, tablets or phones in class for note taking, or for any other reason. The only exceptions will be for a valid, documented medical condition.

**For Participation:  Always bring the book or articles that we are discussing to class. You will be lost if you don’t bring the materials.

**Follow the news! Although this is not a class in current events, issues are constantly in the news. We will frequently refer to new developments in the topic, so it will help immensely to read the news on a regular basis.


- Recommended Book and Journal Article Resources:

  1. Rensselaer Lee and Artyom Lukin. (2015) Russia’s Far East: New Dynamics in Asia Pacific and Beyond. (Boulder: Lynne Rienner Publishers, 2016).
  2. Shiping Hua, China in the Twenty-First Century: Challenges and Opportunities,” co-edited book with Sujian Guo. Palgrave McMillan
  3. Bruce Jentleson, American Foreign Policy, 5th edition (W. W. Norton & Company, 2016).
  4. Selected articles on my website (Wix), selected websites.

Recommended Websites:  New China News Agency is the official press agency of the People's Republic of China. Xinhua is the biggest and most influential media organization in China, as well as the largest news agency in the world in terms of correspondents worldwide. Center on Global Interests in Washington, D.C. collects a range of international news and stories, and you can sign up to receive their Daily Brief in your email every day. Foreign Affairs is published by the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), a non-profit and nonpartisan membership organization dedicated to improving the understanding of U.S. foreign policy and international affairs through the free exchange of idea Website for Russia in Global Affairs, some of the best writing on Russian foreign policy and politics by Russian, European and American authors. Counterpart to the Council on Foreign Relations magazine Foreign Affairs. This is the website for the Carnegie Endowment Moscow Center. Some of the very best Russian political analysts (Dmitri Trenin, Lilia Shevtsova, Masha Lipman, Nikolai Petrov) publish articles here.

In addition to these main texts, we will read scholarly articles and smaller parts of several books. I encourage you to bring questions about various readings to office hours.


You should use reputable books, professional journal articles, newspapers, and web sites for your research papers.  Use all information critically; that is, know the source and how reliable it is.  For professional articles, always start with an index. The following indexes are great for journal articles:



please email your
applications here:

Mon-Thu: 8:30 - 17:30
Fri: 8:30-16:15

Andrei Golobokov (Mr.)

Associate prof., PhD in Political Science

Mon-Thu: 8:30 - 17:30
Fri: 8:30-16:15