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State, Politics and Economy in Modern South and Southeast Asia


Admission requirements



This course examines the social, political and economic development of the southern rim of Asia, one of the world's most dynamic regions, from 1950 to the present. We will pay particular attention to political systems, and to trajectories of democracy and authoritarianism. A related theme will be the politics of underprivileged, minority and ethnic groups, whether pursued through democratic institutions, or by means of armed rebellion. Attention will be also be given to the dynamics of postcolonial economic development, including the preconditions for pro-poor growth and the transition to neoliberal economic regimes. We will address interactions between religion and politics, such as Hindutva (Hindu nationalism) in India and the Islamization of the public sphere in Indonesia and Malaysia. The evolution of civil society and non-government organizations in the various countries will be outlined, and its political implications assessed.

Course objectives

  • To equip students with a basic knowledge of the political and economic challenges faced by countries in South and Southeast Asia since the end of the colonial period.

  • To enable students to think and write critically about practices of development, democracy, and social justice in a variety of settings.


The timetables are available through My Timetable.

Mode of instruction

  • Lecture

Assessment method


Two written assignments (2 x 1,500 words, not including bibliography) and a final examination (essay questions).


  • Written assignments: 2 x 20% = 40%

  • Final examination: 60%


In order to pass the course, students must obtain an overall mark of 5.50 (=6) or higher. A resit of the final examination (60%) is possible.
The course is an integrated whole. The final examination and the assignments must be completed in the same academic year. No partial marks can be carried over into following years.

Inspection and feedback

How and when an exam review will take place will be disclosed together with the publication of the exam results at the latest. If a student requests a review within 30 days after publication of the exam results, an exam review will have to be organized.

Reading list

There is no single course textbook. Literature will be specified in the course syllabus.


Enrolment through uSis is mandatory.
General information about uSis is available on the website.

Registration Studeren à la carte en Contractonderwijs

Registration Studeren à la carte.
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