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150090 SE Political Systems in East Asia (2019W)

7.00 ECTS (2.00 SWS), SPL 15 - Ostasienwissenschaften
Continuous assessment of course work


Note: The time of your registration within the registration period has no effect on the allocation of places (no first come, first served).


max. 25 participants
Language: English


Classes (iCal) - next class is marked with N

Thursday 03.10. 18:30 - 20:00 Seminarraum Ostasienwissenschaften 1 UniCampus Hof 5 2I-O1-05
Saturday 19.10. 10:30 - 15:00 Seminarraum Ostasienwissenschaften 1 UniCampus Hof 5 2I-O1-05
Friday 29.11. 14:15 - 17:30 Seminarraum Ostasienwissenschaften 1 UniCampus Hof 5 2I-O1-05
Saturday 30.11. 10:30 - 18:30 Seminarraum Ostasienwissenschaften 1 UniCampus Hof 5 2I-O1-05
Saturday 14.12. 10:30 - 17:30 Seminarraum Ostasienwissenschaften 1 UniCampus Hof 5 2I-O1-05


Aims, contents and method of the course

Reflecting our integrated teaching and learning concept, this course includes the building of theoretical knowledge as well as its application to specific cases in East Asia. Importantly, this seminar will be used to practice essential academic skills that you will need for term papers and MA theses.

In accordance with the Curriculum of East Asian Economy and Society (EcoS), after completion of this course,
• Students will master the fundamentals of different theories of political systems and be able to apply them to concrete cases.
• They are aware of the specific situation of contemporary East Asian political systems including respective ruling bodies, power structures, institutions, etc.
• They are able to conduct comparative analysis of similar cases and understand current and future societal effects of the respective systems.

This is a text based course. Accordingly, students will read and comment texts introducing key concepts of comparative politics and governance research. During the first weeks, a common set of research criteria will be built from these texts and additional independently researched academic literature. Students will then form groups and analyse specific East Asian country cases based on these criteria and a guiding research question. They will present their findings in class, where a group of discussants will give feedback and initiate in-class discussion. A conclusive session will summarise and compare key findings. Serving as a direct preparation for their individual MA thesis, students will also submit a comparative seminar paper on an independently chosen research question, concerned with a particular aspect of political systems in East Asia.

Assessment and permitted materials

• Reading and commenting texts, written and in class (“Assignments”; 15%)
• Group presentation (25%)
• Feedback and discussion of group findings, written and in class (10%)
• Seminar paper, 10,000 words (+/- 500 words) excl. front- and back-matter (cover page, table of content, list of references, appendices, etc.), due 01 March 2019, 11:55 pm (50%)

Minimum requirements and assessment criteria

Positive grades (grade 4 or better) for all formal requirements as listed under “Assessment (Art der Leistungskontrolle)” are a minimum requirement for passing this course.

The seminar paper is an indispensable component of this seminar, in particular as it serves as a direct preparation for the MA thesis. Students who fail to submit a positive and complete term paper (grade 4 or better) via Moodle until 01 March 2019, 11:55 pm will fail the whole course. The numeric EcoS template for assessment of term papers applies (minimum 43 of 72 points for a positive grade). Late submission and/or formal incompleteness will result in failing the course.

Interactive discussion and student participation is likewise integral to this seminar. Regular participation is thus mandatory. In case of absence, following rule applies: The final grade remains unchanged for up to three absences (except on presentation/discussant days). If students are absent four times, the final grade will be reduced by one full grade. If students are absent five times, the final grade will be reduced by two full grades. Students who are absent six or more times will fail the whole course. Please note: To ensure a smooth proceeding of the seminar, be on time! Students who are late by more than 10 minutes will not be signed in on the attendance list.

For the group presentations, please upload your ppt and handout 24h in advance. Unannounced (less than 48h in advance) absence on the day of your presentation results in an immediate fail of the presentation and thus the whole course.

Grading is based on a “continuous assessment of coursework” (“Prüfungsimmanente Lehrveranstaltung”). Repetition of individual assessment criteria, therefore, is not possible.

General Rules of Good Academic Practice apply. Non-compliance will result in legal measures according to the regulations of the University of Vienna.

All minimum requirements and assessment criteria will be discussed during the first class. Questions related to the minimum requirements and assessment criteria should be raised during the first meeting. By continuing this course, students automatically accept all minimum requirements and assessment criteria and confirm their understanding thereof. Therefore, attendance at the first class is mandatory. Absence at the first meeting will lead to automatic de-registration from this course.

Examination topics

By means of reading and discussing specialised texts, students gather or deepen their knowledge of main theories of political systems. On this basis, a comparative analysis of the current situation in East Asia is conducted both in class and in term papers.

Reading list

A complete literature list will be available on Moodle. Students are required to independently research additional literature for in-class discussions and term papers.
Following books are recommended and available from University of Vienna Library:
Boix, Carles and Stokes, Susan C. (Ed.): The Oxford Handbook of Comparative Politics. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2009.
Caramani, Daniele (Ed.): Comparative Politics. 4th ed. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2017.
Hayes, Louis D: Political Systems of East Asia: China, Korea, and Japan. Armonk: Sharpe, 2012.
Lye, Liang Fook; Hofmeister, Wilhelm (Hg.) (2011): Political Parties, Party Systems, and Democratization in East Asia. Singapore, Hackensack, N.J: World Scientific
For readers of German: Derichs, Claudia and Thomas Heberer (Eds.): Die politischen Systeme Ostasiens: Eine Einführung [The Political Systems of East Asia: An Introduction]. 3rd ed. Wiesbaden: Springer, 2013.

Association in the course directory


Last modified: Mo 07.09.2020 15:20