China's International Relations POLITIC4164

  • Academic Session: 2023-24
  • School: School of Social and Political Sciences
  • Credits: 20
  • Level: Level 4 (SCQF level 10)
  • Typically Offered: Either Semester 1 or Semester 2
  • Available to Visiting Students: Yes

Short Description

The aim of this course is to introduce students to China's contemporary international relations and the key institutions and issues shaping China's foreign policy.


This course may not be running this year. For further information please check the Politics Moodle page or contact the subject directly.


Typically the course would be a 1 hr lecture + 2 x 1 hr seminars

Requirements of Entry

Mandatory Entry Requirements

Entry to Honours Politics requires a grade point average of 12 (Grade C) over Politics 2A and Politics 2B as a first attempt.

Excluded Courses





Group presentation, with PowerPoints handed in, 10%

2000-word literature review, 45%

2000-word essay, 45%

Are reassessment opportunities available for all summative assessments? No


Course Aims

This course aims to introduce students to the major issues and approaches in the study of China's international relations. It will examine the key institutions and problems shaping China's foreign policy-making and introduce some of the important issues associated with China's rise as a great power. The course will consider and assess competing explanations for Chinese foreign policies in the light of contemporary international relations theory. Topics covered will include: post-Colonialism and China's place in international society, identity and security, the debate over whether China is a status quo or revisionist power, China's strategic futures, soft power, globalisation and "the China Model", Sino-US Relations, nationalisms and the geobody, the One Belt One Road (OBOR) initiative, China's relations with its neighbours in East Asia as well as with Latin America or Africa.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

By the end of this course students will be able to:

■ identify and understand the key institutions, issues and actors shaping China's international politics and its potential rise as a great power; 

■ critically evaluate different explanations of China's foreign policy choices and decision-making processes; 

■ apply concepts from contemporary international relations theory to critically assess China's foreign policies.

Minimum Requirement for Award of Credits

Students must submit at least 75% by weight of the components (including examinations) of the course's summative assessment.