In 2005 the National Intelligence Council of the US government released a report entitled Mapping the Global Future. The key conclusion of that report was that by 2020 the United States would no longer be the dominant power in global affairs. Instead China and India would rise to be co-equal players in global affairs. At the same time the economic power that had resided in North America and Europe for the last century would shift to Asia. Hong Kong stands at the heart of Asia. It is a window to China and a global node for international finance. If Asia is rising and if the West is declining, then how does that affect you? What are the issues to which you need to pay attention? What will Asia look like in 2020? What impact will Asia have on regions such as Africa and Latin America as well as global organizations and the global order? More fundamentally, what are its challenges? Can Asia rise the way the United States has predicted or will environmental, health, and other insecurities cripple Asia’s ascent? Students will be exposed to these issues and start to answer some of these critical questions.
This course aims to introduce students to social, political, economic, cultural, and environmental features of Asia and its evolving position in the global political economy. Asia accounts for a third of the world’s population, one half of its economic output. It is also an extraordinarily culturally diverse region. Although Asia has always figured prominently in world affairs, its position in those affairs is changing. This change will have far-reaching impacts: across the world, throughout the region, and here in Hong Kong. This course invites students to explore contemporary perspectives on Asia and the World. Given the centrality of Asia this course will equip students for their future studies and their future careers.