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Political Economy of Southeast Asia


Admission requirements

Admission to the MA Asian Studies or the MA International Relations. Other interested students may be admitted at the discretion of the co-ordinator, Prof.dr.David Henley. Please contact him if you are interested in taking this course, but are NOT a student of the MA Asian Studies or MA International Relations.


This research seminar focuses on two approaches to the study of political economy in contemporary Southeast Asia, that is the nexus between political power and private economic interests on the one hand and international power relations on the other. The two approaches complement each other. Each is illustrated by specific case studies concerning respectively corruption in Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand as well as Southeast Asia’s trade and investment links with Japan, China and the United States. Students read and introduce key texts on political economy and choose a specific topic for individual research culminating in an essay of 6,000 words.

Course objectives

Students gain an understanding of the concept of political economy and an overview of the relevant literature. Training is offered in both oral and written presentation.


See here.

Mode of instruction

Research seminar.

Attendance and active participation is mandatory.

Course Load

Contact hours (13 × 2 hs)= 26 hs
Preparation for class = 100 hs
Final paper = 146 hs

Assessment method

  • performance in class including presentation(s) (33%)

  • final essay (67%)



Reading list

Selected reading assignments will be introduced in the first meeting.


Students are required to register through uSis. To avoid mistakes and problems, students are strongly advised to register in uSis through the activity number which can be found in the timetable in the column under the heading “Act.nbr.”.

Contact information

Prof. Dr. D.E.F. Henley.