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Political Economy of Southeast Asia (ResMA)


Admission requirements

Admission to the MA Asian Studies (research) or another relevant research MA programme. Students from other departments are kindly referred to the course description of the regular MA course.


This research seminar focuses on the political economy of contemporary Southeast Asia, with attention to processes and arenas of interaction between business and politics at both national and international level. At the national level, topics covered include developmental states, ethnic business minorities, democratization, corruption, privatization, oligarchy, and the ‘middle income trap’. In relation to international political economy, themes addressed include decolonization, dependency, regionalism, globalization, and the rapidly changing economic and political relationship between Southeast and Northeast Asia (China, Korea, Japan). Students read and discuss key texts, and choose a specific topic for individual research culminating in an essay of 4,000 words (5 ec variant) or 6,000 words (10 ec variant).

course objectives

Participants gain a thorough understanding of key aspects of the interaction between political organization and economic activity in the Southeast Asian context, and are trained in critically examining key texts. Both oral and written presentations are required.

Time table

Monday 3-5 pm.

Mode of instruction

Attendance and participation are compulsory.

Course load

280 hours
Lectures: 2 hours per week x 13 weeks = 26 hours. Extra sessions for ResMA students: 6 hours
Reading, and preparation of presentations and assignments: 248 hours

Assessment method

Presentations and participation in class: 35 per cent.
Written assignment: 65 per cent (6000 words).

(The paper deadline mentioned in uSis is a fictional date for administration purposes only. The actual date will be communicated by the convenor of the course.)



Reading list

To be announced.



Registration Studeren à la carte en Contractonderwijs

Exchange and Study Abroad students, please see the Study in Leiden website for information on how to apply.


David Henley