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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 about 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 avalable through My Timetable.

Mode of instruction


Assessment method

Written assignments: 2 x 20% = 40%
Final examination: 60%

Reading list

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


Enrolment through MyStudyMap is mandatory.
General information about course and exam enrolment is available on the website