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School of Politics and International Relations

POL381 The Political Economy of Southeast Asia

(POL381A – Autumn)

Level: 6

Credits: 15 credits

Semester: A

Contact: Dr Lee Jones

Overlap: None

Prerequisite: None

Associate Availability: Full year and Autumn 


This optional, third-year module provides advanced undergraduate students with a critical introduction to the political economy, politics and international relations of post-colonial Southeast Asia. It builds on students' second-year studies of the developing world, providing an in-depth treatment of a particular region. The module explores how Southeast Asia's particular form of economic development and state-society relations condition political outcomes in the domestic and international spheres. Its first part explores post-colonial development and state-making strategies in the context of the Cold War, and the domestic power relations to which these gave rise. Students will gain a broad sense of the region's development trajectories and produce a country report, fostering in-depth knowledge of one particular national context. The module's second part is thematic, exploring how the power relations established through rapid capitalist development shape political outcomes. In the domestic sphere we will consider issues like democratisation, human rights, gender, labour and emancipatory politics; and in the international sphere, development interventions and regional economic and security governance.

Assessment: 1 x 1,500 word Essay (40%) & 1 x 2,500 word Essay (60%)