• A
  • A
  • A
  • ABC
  • ABC
  • ABC
  • А
  • А
  • А
  • А
  • А
Regular version of the site
Master 2019/2020

National Identity, Social and Political Development in Asia

Category 'Best Course for Broadening Horizons and Diversity of Knowledge and Skills'
Type: Compulsory course (Business and Politics in Modern Asia)
Area of studies: Asian and African Studies
When: 1 year, 1, 2 module
Mode of studies: distance learning
Master’s programme: Business and Politics in Modern Asia
Language: English
ECTS credits: 5
Contact hours: 36

Course Syllabus


The course will examine the problem of Asian cultural identity, the issues of typologization of East Asian identities, the civilizational specifics of countries and its impact on all aspects of social and political life, the main aspects of cultural and humanitarian interaction between Asian countries and their place in global cross-cultural exchanges.
Learning Objectives

Learning Objectives

  • Provide students with the knowledge of the Asian national identity phenomenon (its role and place in sociopolitical development of the country).
  • Provide students with the knowledge of methodological tools and their applications to the analysis of general problems in the context of national identity in Asia.
Expected Learning Outcomes

Expected Learning Outcomes

  • Work with information: find, evaluate, systematize and use information necessary for solving scientific and professional problems from various sources (on the basis of a systematic approach).
  • Communicate in English on professional topics, related to the sociocultural specifics of Asian countries.
  • Prepare scientific and analytical reports, reviews, presentations, information briefs and explanatory notes in their professional field, related to the sociocultural specifics of Asian countries.
  • Take into account the cultural specificity characteristic of the countries of the studied region in their practical and research activities.
  • Use the conceptual apparatus of scientific research, critically analyze the information.
  • Understand and analyze sociocultural problems and processes occurring in Asian societies.
Course Contents

Course Contents

  • Lecture 1. Introduction. National identity and its influence on sociopolitical development.
    Nationhood/ethnicity/civic identity/cultural identity. Approaches to defining identity politics. Discourses on cultural and national identities. National identity: the model of Shulman. Theoretical understandings of the relationship between experience, culture, identity, politics and power. ‘Asian values’ and human rights. Activities of INGOs in addressing the national identity problem. The relationship between identity and social movements in the context of globalization. Seminar 1. Chinese national identity and its implications for international relations.
  • Lecture 2. China's search for national identity: past, present and future.
    Chinese history of searching a cultural identity. The renaissance of western thought. The rising nationalist rhetoric and the attempts to create a collective Chinese identity. The evolution of national identity in the light of domestic and international situations. China’s peaceful rise and the evolution of its national identity. Prospective strategic approaches to strengthening China’s national identity. Seminar 2. Taiwan's identity in formation.
  • Lecture 3. Cultural identity and traditional cultural values: the case of China.
    Traditional Chinese culture and its relationship with China’s politics. The logic of “Chinese values” as a new civilization based on the interdependence of tradition and modernity. The coexistence of cultural narratives with diverse styles and multiple orientations in China as a striking feature of the current era (“cultural spaces” and “world of meanings”). Seminar 3. Confucianism contribution to resolving conflicts of cultural identities.
  • Lecture 4. China’s national identity in a globalized world.
    The self-identity of China (socialist country with Chinese characteristics, developing nation in the globalization era, potential responsible world power on the international arena). Modern infrastructural facilities – materialized national identity and modernization. ‘Go, China’ and ‘One World, One Dream’– new national identity and cultural modernization. Seminar 4. The rise of China’s national identity in the context of globalization.
  • Lecture 5. ‘Children of the dragon and grandchildren of the fairy’: constructing identity in Vietnam.
    Seminar 5: Minorities and national identity in Vietnam.
  • Lecture 6. Cultural identity, religion and traditional cultural values: the case of Vietnam
    Seminar 6: Intangible cultural heritage of humanity in Vietnam and its’ place in constructing of identity.
  • Lecture 7. Emperor of Japan: history of cult and recent changes.
    Unification of Yamato/Japan in the 7th century and the status of Emperor (Tenno). Tenno and shoguns in medieval Japan. The movement for reverence of the Emperor in 18th-19th centuries. Formation of Japanese nation and the cult of the Emperor. Emperor and its status in postwar Japan. The case of Akihito tenno. Seminar 7. Religion and secularism in contemporary Japan.
  • Lecture 8. Russia and the West in Japanese identity.
    Perception of Russia and the West in early modern Japan. The formation of Japanese nation and the West. Racial debates in interbellum Japan. Russia/USSR in postwar Japan’s political discourse. Searching for the place for Japan in the global world. Seminar 8. Reflection of war and peace in contemporary Japan.
  • Lecture 9. Traditional family patterns and its influence in contemporary Japan.
    The formation of the ie (household) system in medieval Japan. Characteristics of the ie in early modern Japan. Reform of family registration in modern Japan. Transformations of family patterns in pre- and postwar Japan. Demographic situation in contemporary Japan and influence of traditional family patterns. Seminar 9. Ideas of Japan’s uniqueness: from kokugaku to nihonjinron.
Assessment Elements

Assessment Elements

  • non-blocking Presentation № 1
  • non-blocking Presentation №2
  • non-blocking Written exam
    The final exam will take the form of a written test with multiple choice questions, true/false, fill-in-the-blanks, etc types of questions.
  • non-blocking Written assignment (news digest)
Interim Assessment

Interim Assessment

  • Interim assessment (2 module)
    0.2 * Presentation № 1 + 0.2 * Presentation №2 + 0.1 * Written assignment (news digest) + 0.5 * Written exam


Recommended Core Bibliography

  • Chan Kwok Bun, & Dorais, L.-J. (1998). Family, Identity, and the Vietnamese Diaspora: The Quebec Experience. SOJOURN: Journal of Social Issues in Southeast Asia, 13(2), 285–308. https://doi.org/10.1355/SJ13-2F
  • Hamid, M. E. B. A. (2006). Understanding the Cham Identity in Mainland Southeast Asia: Contending Views. SOJOURN: Journal of Social Issues in Southeast Asia, 21(2), 230–253. https://doi.org/10.1355/sj21-2e
  • Pan, C. (2015). Understanding Chinese Identity in International Relations: A Critique of Western Approaches. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsbas&AN=edsbas.B31BB10D

Recommended Additional Bibliography

  • Nuyen, A. T. (2003). Confucianism, Globalisation and the Idea of Universalism. Asian Philosophy, 13(2/3), 75–86. https://doi.org/10.1080/0955236032000162727
  • Tamaki, T. (2019). Repackaging national identity: Cool Japan and the resilience of Japanese identity narratives. https://doi.org/10.1080/02185377.2019.1594323
  • Yu, F.-L. T., & Kwan, D. S. M. (2008). Social construction of national identity: Taiwanese versus Chinese consciousness. Social Identities, 14(1), 33–52. https://doi.org/10.1080/13504630701848515