1. Background Reading 3 items
    Students who want to do some background reading before the beginning of the module may want to look at one or more of the following, which provides a broader historical context for the module:
  2. Week 1: Introduction 3 items
    1. In addition to introducing the module, we view watch a film called 'The Art of War', which relates to the subject matter of Week 2.

    2. Recommended Reading 2 items
      1. Thinking international relations differently 2012

        Book  Available in the library and as an e-book.

  3. Week 2: The Tao of War and Peace 23 items

      In preparing your journal entry, address one of the questions below:

      1)     How do you make sense of Sun-tzu's objective of subjugating other states without actually engaging in armed conflict? How, if at all, does this relate to claims such as 'strong armies will not be victorious' (Wang Chen) or 'war is rightly waged only in the ultimate pursuit of peace (see Meyer)?

      2)     What is 'actionless action' (Wang Chen) and what does this suggest about the nature of agency? Can you see elements of this in Sun Tzu?

      3)     Sun-tzu characterized warfare as the Tao of deceit? What does this mean and what is its significance for how war is undertaken?

      4)     The martial science of the Warring States period centred on a concept of 'ch'i'. What is 'ch'i' and how does it relate to a concept of the body, techniques of the mind and how one engages in battle?

    2. Required Reading 8 items
      1. The complete art of war - Sun-tzu, Ralph Sawyer (trans.) 1996 (electronic book)

        Book  Available in the Library and as an e-book. Other translations of The Art of War are available in the Library at U101.S8...

      2. Also found in the following:

      3. Plus ONE of the following:

      4. The tao of peace: lessons from ancient China on the dynamics of conflict - Ralph D. Sawyer (trans.), Mei-chün Sawyer (trans.), Wang Chen 1999


      5. The Dao of the military: Liu An's Art of war - An Liu, Andrew Seth Meyer (trans.) 2012


      6. Reminiscences of an ancient strategist: the mind of Sun Tzu - Check Teck Foo 1997

        Book  Also available from Kindle for around £6.

    3. Other Recommended Reading 11 items
      1. The seven military classics of Ancient China - Ralph D. Sawyer (trans.), Tzu Sun 2008

        Book  Includes 'The Art of War'. You don’t have to read more than one classic, in addition to 'The Art of War'.

      2. Mastering the art of war - Liang Zhuge, Ji Liu, Thomas F. Cleary (trans.) 1989


      3. The six secret teachings on the way of strategy - Shang Lü, Ralph D. Sawyer (trans.) 1996


      4. Tao te ching - D. C. Lau (trans.), Lao-tzu 2003

        Book  You can also read and listen on YouTube:

      5. Confucianism - Faith Reason 2011

        Audio-visual document 

      6. The analects - Raymond Stanley Dawson (trans.), Confucius 2000


      7. Understanding qigong: DVD 1: What is qigong? & The human energetic system - Jwing-Ming Yang 2006

        Audio-visual document  See part II, 'The Human Qi Circulatory System'.

    4. Sun Tzu and contemporary business and warfare 2 items
      1. Sun Tzu and the art of modern warfare - Mark McNeilly, Sunzi 2015 (electronic book)


    5. Film 1 item
      1. Confucius - Mei Hu 2010 (dvd)

        Audio-visual document 

  4. Week 3: Ancient Concepts, Contemporary Globalization 26 items

      1)          To what extent do ancient Chinese military strategy and philosophy or the ancient Confucian notion of Tianxia shed light on Chinese President Xi Jinping's proposals for the new Silk Roads, on land and at sea?

      2)          What is the influence of the Confucian concept of Tianxia on Chinese foreign policy?

      3)          From a Taoist and/or Confucian perspective, should China's rise be viewed as a threat?


    2. Required Readings: 1 item
      1. China orders the world: normative soft power and foreign policy - William Callaghan, Elena Barabantseva 2011


    3. Recommended Readings: 23 items
      1. China’s Rise and the Silk Road 15 items
        1. The Silk Road: a new history - Valerie Hansen 2012


        2. The Silk Road in world history - Xinru Liu 2010

          Book  Available in the library and as an e-book.

        3. Xinjiang and China's rise in Central Asia: a history - Michael E. Clarke 2011

          Book  Available in the library and as an e-book.

        4. Managing supply chains on the Silk Road: strategy, performance, and risk - Çagri Haksöz, Sridhar Seshadri, Ananth V. Iyer 2012


      2. Tianxia and Chinese Foreign Policy 8 items
    4. Film: 1 item
  5. Week 4: Satyagraha 30 items
    1. Tutorial Questions:

      1)          What is the conception of agency contained in the Bhaghavad Gita According to Gandhi and how did this inform Gandhi's strategy of nonviolence?

      2)          Discuss the strategic significance of the following: 'Real Swaraj (freedom) is self rule or self-control. The way to it is Satyagraha: the power of truth and love.' (Gandhi).

      3)          Discuss the impact of Gandhi's thought on contemporary Indian foreign policy OR the spread of nonviolent strategies globally.

    2. Required Reading 4 items
      1. Or:

      2. PLUS: at least one source from the recommended readings.

    3. Recommended Reading 24 items
      1. The Upanishads - Eknath Easwaran 2007


      2. The Bhagavad Gita - Eknath Easwaran 2007


      3. Indian Foreign Policy 5 items
        1. Challenge and strategy: rethinking India's foreign policy - Rajiv Sikri 2009

          Book  Available in the library and as an e-book.

      4. Other Nonviolent Campaigns 7 items
        1. Freedom from fear: and other writings - Michael Aris (ed.), Aung San Suu Kyi 2010


        2. Letters from Burma - Aung San Suu Kyi 2010


        3. Civil resistance and power politics: the experience of non-violent action from Gandhi to the present - Adam Roberts, Timothy Garton Ash 2009

          Book  Available in the library and as an e-book.

    4. Film 1 item
      1. Gandhi - Richard Attenborough 1982 (dvd)

        Audio-visual document 

  6. Week 5: Self-Immolation by Fire 23 items
    1. 1)   What is Karma and how, if at all, does this relate to a concept of action and agency in Mahayana Buddhism?


      2)   Some Buddhist monks, such as Thich Nhat Hanh, would claim that self-immolation by fire, with the right intention, can be a compassionate act. What is the logic behind this counter-intuitive claim?


      3)   To what extent can the self-immolations in Vietnam (1963) and/or Tibet (over the last five years) be understood as 'strategic' and if so, why would this be considered effective and to what end?

    2. Required Reading 7 items
      1. Tibet on fire: Buddhism, protest, and the rhetoric of self-immolation - John Whalen-Bridge 2015

        Book  Available in the library and as an e-book.

      2. OR:

      3. PLUS:

      4. The Tibetan book of living and dying - Patrick Gaffney, Andrew Harvey, Sogyal 2008


      5. OR:

    3. Recommended Reading 14 items
      1. Political self-sacrifice: agency, body and emotion in international relations - K. M. Fierke 2013

        Book  See chapter 6. Available in the Library and as an e-book.

      2. Voices from Tibet: selected essays and reportage - Tsering Woeser, Lixiong Wang, Violet S. Law (trans.) 2014


      3. The Yeti in the library: encounters with compassion, death and life in the Tibetan community in exile - Gill Winter 2014

        Book  Note: there is also a Kindle edition available that you may wish to purchase

      4. The Tibetan book of the dead - Gyurme Dorje (trans.) 2006

        Book  Introductory commentary by the Dalai Lama.

    4. Film 1 item
  7. Week 6: Jihad 26 items
    1. 1)   Is Jihad by definition a violent strategy? To what extent do contemporary expressions of violent jihad represent distortions of the historical concept?


      2)   What is the meaning of and relationship between greater and lesser jihad? What makes the one greater and the other lesser?


      3)   What is the conceptual relationship, if any, between jihad and martyrdom and how is this expressed in the film 'Paradise Now'?

    2. Required Reading 5 items
      At least one of the following
      1. Understanding jihad - David Cook 2015

        Book  Available in the library and as an e-book.

      2. OR

      3. PLUS:

    3. Recommended Reading 19 items
      1. Jihad: the origin of holy war in Islam - Reuven Firestone 1999

        Book  Available in the Library and as an e-book.

      2. Arguing the just war in Islam - John Kelsay 2009

        Book  Available in the Library and as an e-book.

      3. Milestones - Sayyid Qub 2005


      4. Political self-sacrifice: agency, body and emotion in international relations - K. M. Fierke 2013

        Book  See chapter 7. Available in the Library and as an e-book.

      5. The Ḥadith - Mustafa Akram Ali Shah 2010


      6. Religion, identity and human security - Giorgio Shani 2014

        Book  Available in the library and as an e-book.

    4. Film 1 item
      1. Paradise now - Hany Abu-Assad 2005 (dvd)


  8. Week 7: Ethics, Agency and the Environment 29 items
    1. 1)   Some of the strategies discussed in previous weeks seem to conceptualize agency without an agent. Discuss how this is possible and its implications for ethical choice, drawing on ethics as understood in Taoism, Buddhism, Hinduism or Islam?*


      2)   Some traditions of Western ethics have prioritized the human instrumental values over nature, which has reinforced industrialisation and the exploitation of the earth's resources. Do Eastern traditions point to a different relationship between humans and the global environment or economy? Discuss with reference to one tradition of Asian ethical thought.


      3)   Compare and Contrast the central claims of a Buddhist ethics of the environment with arguments about a post-human ecology or the anthropocene.

    2. Required Readings: 5 items
      1. OR

      2. PLUS:

      3. Ethical security studies: a new research agenda 2016

        Book  Chapters by Audre Mitchell, 'Posthuman Security/Ethics,' and K.M. Fierke, 'Security as Ethics: The Orthogonal Rotation from Egoism to Compassion'. [Available in the Library and as an e-book]

    3. Recommended Reading 19 items
      1. Ethics 13 items
        1. Environmental philosophy in Asian traditions of thought - J. Baird Callicott, James McRae 2014


        2. Reconstructionist Confucianism: rethinking morality after the West - Ruiping Fan 2010

          Book  Available in the Library and as an e-book.

        3. Confucian political ethics - Daniel Bell 2008


        4. Islamic political ethics: civil society, pluralism, and conflict - Sohail H. Hashmi, Jack Miles 2002

          Book  Available in the Library and as an e-book.

      2. The Post-Human and Ecology 6 items
    4. Film 4 items
      1. Samsara - Mark Magidson, Ron Fricke 2012 (dvd)

        Audio-visual document 

      2. You might also be interested in the following:

  9. Week 8: Historical trauma, Contemporary Healing 18 items

      1)        Examine the concept of historical trauma critically, and the extent to which it opens greater space for agency in addressing the historical displacement and injustice experienced by Native Americans.


      2)        Explore the concept of transgenerational transmission of trauma in relation to either the historical experience of Native American or Africans and its resonance with more indigenous concepts and healing practices (Ubuntu, shamanism, etc.).

    2. Required Reading 3 items
      1. Black Elk speaks - John G. Neihardt, Black Elk 2014


      2. OR

      3. Homegoing - Yaa Gyasi 2017


    3. Recommended Reading 13 items
      1. Rethinking Historical Trauma - Laurence J. Kirmayer, Joseph P. Gone, Joshua Moses 06/2014


      2. The ethics of identity - Kwame Anthony Appiah 2005


      3. Claude-Helene Mayer and Rian Viviers (2016) 'Constellation Work and Zulu Culture: Theoretical Reflections on Therapeutic and Cultural Concepts,' Journal of Sociology and Social Anthropology, 7(2): 101-110. [Abstract]

    4. Film 1 item
      1. Bury my heart at wounded knee - Yves Simoneau 2007 (dvd)

        Audio-visual document 

  10. Week 9: Science and Ancient Wisdom 15 items
    1. 1.    What are some of the contrasts between the underlying assumptions of traditional Western science and Eastern wisdom? How does this relationship change when one moves from classical to quantum physics?


      2.    What is the relation between notions of bodily Qi (Ki), found in Eastern medicine as well the body in warfare, as discussed in weeks 2 and 3, and the characteristics of a particular understanding of the universe found in ancient texts and recently discovered by quantum physics?


      3.    The U.S. Army has been experimenting with Eastern healing methods, such as Qigong, reiki, yoga and mindfulness in treating the Post-Traumatic Stress of soldiers who fought in Afghanistan and Iraq (see Miles 2008). What is the relationship between the mindset that underlies these methods as they relate, on the one hand, to fighting, as discussed in previous weeks, and to healing?*

    2. Recommended Reading 13 items
      1. See also:

      2. Mindfulness: a practical guide to finding peace in a frantic world - J. Mark G. Williams, Danny Penman 2011

        Book  See also: Oxford Mindfulness.

      3. Understanding qigong - Jwing-Ming Yang, David Silver 2006 (dvd)

        Audio-visual document  Part 1: What is Qigong? [see also BodyWisdom's QiGong For Beginners ]

    3. Film 1 item
      1. The Tao of Physics - Philip Engelen 1986

        Audio-visual document 

  11. Week 10: Non-Western International Relations Theory 13 items

      1.           Should we be concerned about claims that IR theory is Western-centric and if so why?

      2.           What would distinguish non-Western IR theory from its Western counterparts?

      3.           Why is there no non-Western IR theory?

    2. Recommended Readings: 12 items
      1. Ancient Chinese thought, modern Chinese power - Xuetong Yan, Edmund Ryden (trans.) 2011 (electronic book)

        Book  See chapter 7.

      2. The rise of China and Chinese international relations scholarship - Hung-jen Wang 2013

        Book  Available in the library and as an e-book.

      3. The Zen of international relations: IR theory from East to West - Stephen Chan, Peter G. Mandaville, Roland Bleiker 2001

        Book  Available in the Library and as an e-book.

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