AIS5042 - Political and Social Change in Southeast Asia and the Region

Offering Academic Unit
Department of Asian and International Studies
Credit Units
Course Duration
One semester
Course Offering Term*:
Semester B 2016/17

* The offering term is subject to change without prior notice
Course Aims

Southeast Asia is routinely characterized as among the world’s most ‘diverse’ regions. Within and across Southeast Asia’s eleven countries, political regime types, economic strategies, developmental levels, social structures, cultural features, and global and regional positioning vary immensely. This course uses a variety of theoretical approaches to make analytical sense of this complex region. It asks questions about technocratic management and ‘Asian values’ in Singapore, hybrid political regimes and money politics in Malaysia and Cambodia, populist leadership and appeals in Thailand, the Philippines, and Indonesia, legacies of neo-patrimonialism in Indonesia and social revolution in Cambodia, the contours of post-totalitarianism in Vietnam and Laos, and the transition from military rule in Myanmar. It investigates variations in elite-level relations, the aggregation of ethnic, religious, and class sentiments and pressures, trajectories of state- and foreign-led investment that can lead to middle income traps, modes of inequality that have disorganized labour, and surging religious and separatist violence that has eclipsed leftist insurrection. In addition, this course will examine cross-national dynamics, especially as they involve the distinctively constructed regionalism and the market-driven regionalization that underpin, yet limit the vitality of ASEAN. It will also monitor the political, econo-cultural, and geostrategic consequences for the region of China’s new paramountcy and cross-national crime.

Assessment (Indicative only, please check the detailed course information)

Continuous Assessment: 100%
Detailed Course Information


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Department of Asian and International Studies