Global Studies (GLST) 307

The Pacific Century (Revision 1)

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Permanently closed, effective May 15, 2018.

Delivery Mode: Individualized study with video component*.
*Overseas students, please contact the University Library before registering in a course that has an audio/visual component.

Credits: 3

Area of Study: Social Science

Prerequisite: None

Precluded Course: GLST 307 is a cross-listed course—a course listed under 2 different disciplines—HIST 307. GLST 307 may not be taken for credit by students who have obtained credit for HIST 307.

Faculty: Faculty of Humanities & Social Sciences

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GLST 307 has a Challenge for Credit option.


This course is designed to acquaint students with the cultures and recent history of Asian countries on the Pacific Rim, and with the ongoing interchange between these countries and North America. Although several units of the course are devoted to China and Japan, attention is also given to such Southeast Asian countries as Thailand, Malaysia, Vietnam, Indonesia, and the Philippines. Among the themes explored in the course are tradition and modernization, collisions between East and West, democracy and authoritarianism, imperialism and nationalism, and interdependence and independence.

Course Objectives

The course will provide students with an understanding of the major political developments that have occurred in the Pacific Rim region since the mid-nineteenth century, and of the economic links that have grown up among the countries of East and Southeast Asia, and between these countries and the industrialized Western world. As well, the course will increase student awareness of the culture and achievements of each of the peoples of East and Southeast Asia, of the social and political structures that have influenced how each Pacific Rim country has developed, and of the factors that hamper or promote modernization in each of these communities.


  • Unit 1: Dynasties, Empires, and Ages of Commerce: Pacific Asia to the Nineteenth Century
  • Unit 2: The Seaborne Barbarians: Incursions by the West
  • Unit 3: Meiji: Japan in the Age of Imperialism
  • Unit 4: The Rise of Nationalism and Communism
  • Unit 5: Maelstrom: The Pacific War and Its Aftermath
  • Unit 6: Post-World War II Asia: Reinventing Japan, Redividing Korea
  • Unit 7: Miracle by Design: The Postwar Resurgence of Japan
  • Unit 8: The New Asian Capitalists
  • Unit 9: Power, Authority, and the Advent of Democracy
  • Unit 10: Sentimental Imperialists: America in Asia
  • Unit 11: China's Long March Toward Modernization
  • Unit 12A: Beyond the Revolution: Indonesia and Vietnam
  • Unit 12B: Siberian Salient: Russia in Pacific Asia
  • Unit 13: Pacific Century: The Regional Perspective


To receive credit for GLST 307, you must achieve a minimum grade of at least 50 percent on the final examination and a composite course grade of at least “D” (50 percent). The weighting of the course assignments is as follows:

Essay 1 Essay 2 Final Exam Total
25% 35% 40% 100%

To learn more about assignments and examinations, please refer to Athabasca University's online Calendar.

Course Materials


Borthwick, Mark. 3rd. ed., 2007. Pacific Century: The Emergence of Modern Pacific Asia. Boulder: Westview Press.

Online Materials

Borthwick, Mark, and Gil Latz. 1992. The Pacific Century Study Guide. Boulder: Westview Press.

Other Materials

The course materials include a student manual.

Special Course Features

GLST 307 is a telecourse, and the television programs are an integral component of the course. Whereas the textbook provides factual information and interpretative analysis, the videotapes bring a valuable sense of reality and immediacy to the study of East and Southeast Asia. Through vivid portrayals of conflicts and achievements captured in photographs and on film, students are able to watch history unfold and listen to the central issues of the course being debated by prominent scholars, journalists, and political figures. The television programs are available to students in two formats: they are broadcast regularly on ACCESS, The Education Station in Alberta and on the Knowledge Network in British Columbia, and they may also be borrowed as videotapes from Athabasca University Library.

Challenge for Credit Course Overview

The Challenge for Credit process allows students to demonstrate that they have acquired a command of the general subject matter, knowledge, intellectual and/or other skills that would normally be found in a university level course.

Full information for the Challenge for Credit can be found in the Undergraduate Calendar.

Challenge Evaluation

To receive credit for the GLST 307 challenge registration, you must achieve a grade of at least “D” (50 percent) on the examination.

Undergraduate Challenge for Credit Course Registration Form

Athabasca University reserves the right to amend course outlines occasionally and without notice. Courses offered by other delivery methods may vary from their individualized-study counterparts.

Opened in Revision 1.

Updated April 03 2019 by SAS