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Political Economy of Southeast Asia (10 EC)


Admission requirements

Admission to the MA Asian Studies or the MA International Relations. Students from other programmes may be admitted at the discretion of the instructor, 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 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, oligarchy, and the 'middle income trap'. In relation to international political economy, themes addressed include decolonization, dependency, regionalism, globalization, and Southeast Asia's rapidly changing economic and political relationships with China and 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 an 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.


Visit MyTimetable.

Mode of instruction


Assessment method

Thematic oral presentation: 20 per cent.
Assignment work-in-progresss oral presentation: 10 per cent.
General participation: 5 per cent.
Written assignment (6000 words, not including bibliography): 65 per cent.

Resit: arrangements to be determined per individual case.

course load

Total course load 10 EC x 28 hours = 280 hours

  • Classes: 12 x workgroup/tutorial.

  • Practical work: 2 short oral presentations by each student.

  • Exam: written assignment.

Reading list

To be specified in the syllabus.


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


Prof. David Henley

Dr. A.R. Shidiq