17.486 | Fall 2016 | Graduate

Japan and East Asian Security


Scenario Paper

Imagine that you are a historian writing in the year 2050 explaining how the world / region arrived at one of the following outcomes:

  • A Northeast Asia Collective Security Regime
  • Japan as Junior Partner to U.S. (status quo 2016)
  • Japan as Junior Partner to China
  • Japan as Independent Middle Power
  • Japan as Independent Global Power

Be sure to assess the international, domestic political, national security, economic, and technological developments of the previous 4 decades (2010s–2040s) in developing your analysis. Argue plausibly how this outcome was obtained, using the class readings—both narrative and theoretical—and relevant baseline data you collect.

These papers should not exceed 10 pages in length. To help your scenario building, you might read:

Tetlock, Philip E., and Aaron Belkin. “Counterfactual Thought Experiments in World Politics: Logical, Methodological, and Psychological Perspectives.” Chapter 1 in Counterfactual Thought Experiments in World Politics. Princeton University Press, 1996. ISBN: 9780691027913. [Preview with Google Books]

Think outside the box!!!

This paper is due during Session 7.

Student Example

“East-Asia in 2050.” (PDF)

This example appears courtesy of a MIT student and is anonymous by request.

Course Info

As Taught In
Fall 2016