Fall 2020 - POL 349 D200

Selected Topics in International Relations (4)

Politics Across the Pacific

Class Number: 7421

Delivery Method: Remote


  • Course Times + Location:

    Th 3:30 PM – 5:20 PM

  • Exam Times + Location:

    Dec 10, 2020
    5:59 PM – 5:59 PM
    TAKE HOME-EXAM, Burnaby

  • Prerequisites:

    Six lower division units in Political Science or permission of the department.



Course Description:

This course surveys major political issues and events in trans-Pacific relations, including East Asia-Canada relations, since the mid-19th century.   Such knowledge forms our intellectual foundation when we are increasingly confronted with the need to understand, analyze, and navigate contemporary trans-Pacific dynamics.  Witness, for example, the ongoing great power competition between the United States and China, which is shaping the future of our world order.  What is the historical context of this great power struggle?  After taking this course, successful students will have obtained some foundational knowledge that is needed when answering questions such as this. 

Course Organization:

One 3-hour session each week (14:30-17:20, Thursday): 1-hour asynchronously (14:30-15:30), followed by a 2-hour synchronous session via Zoom (15:30-17:20)


  • Participation and short-assignments 35%
  • In-class mid-term examination 30%
  • Take-home exam due on December 10 (Thur) 5:30 pm 35%



Borthwick, Mark. Pacific Century: The Emergence of Modern Pacific Asia. 4th ed.  Boulder, Col.: Westview Press, 2014.

ISBN: 978-0813346670

In addition, journal articles will be assigned.

Department Undergraduate Notes:

The Department of Political Science strictly enforces a policy on plagiarism.

Registrar Notes:


SFU’s Academic Integrity web site http://www.sfu.ca/students/academicintegrity.html is filled with information on what is meant by academic dishonesty, where you can find resources to help with your studies and the consequences of cheating.  Check out the site for more information and videos that help explain the issues in plain English.

Each student is responsible for his or her conduct as it affects the University community.  Academic dishonesty, in whatever form, is ultimately destructive of the values of the University. Furthermore, it is unfair and discouraging to the majority of students who pursue their studies honestly. Scholarly integrity is required of all members of the University. http://www.sfu.ca/policies/gazette/student/s10-01.html


Teaching at SFU in fall 2020 will be conducted primarily through remote methods. There will be in-person course components in a few exceptional cases where this is fundamental to the educational goals of the course. Such course components will be clearly identified at registration, as will course components that will be “live” (synchronous) vs. at your own pace (asynchronous). Enrollment acknowledges that remote study may entail different modes of learning, interaction with your instructor, and ways of getting feedback on your work than may be the case for in-person classes. To ensure you can access all course materials, we recommend you have access to a computer with a microphone and camera, and the internet. In some cases your instructor may use Zoom or other means requiring a camera and microphone to invigilate exams. If proctoring software will be used, this will be confirmed in the first week of class.

Students with hidden or visible disabilities who believe they may need class or exam accommodations, including in the current context of remote learning, are encouraged to register with the SFU Centre for Accessible Learning (caladmin@sfu.ca or 778-782-3112).