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ASEAN and South East Asian Regionalism


Course Description

The countries in Southeast Asia have sought to strengthen their independence and sovereignty by means of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean). The function of Asean is often compared to the roles the European Union (EU) and the Council of Europe (CoE) play for European countries, but is that justified? What does the alphabet soup of EAS, APEC, RCEP, ASEM, APT, and so on mean and what role plays the concept of Asean Centrality that Southeast Asians love to go on about?

This seminar will recap basic theories of regionalisation, regionalism, and security communities and discuss some of the modern history of Southeast Asia. It then moves on to discuss the various processes of regional integration and their institutions in the region.

Course Objectives

  • To have the students understand theories of regional cooperation.

  • To familiarise students with ASEAN and the international situation in Southeast Asia.

  • To have the students practice applying these ideas to a research project and develop their own insights.

Assessment Method

  • 40% Attendance, participation, discussion
    o Attendance and participation are mandatory for all seminar classes
    o Four groups of students lead a debate discussing a particular question
    o Other students prepare their participation in the discussion classes

  • 20% Individual theory reading reflection
    o Before weeks 3,4, 5, and 6 students submit short reflection papers
    o A reflection question will be provided a week before

  • 40% Individual research proposal


The readings for this seminar consist of scholarly articles, book chapters and policy papers. They are available either on the internet or in the University’s library. The library catalogue can be accessed by logging into the university network via your library account. The schedule also lists supplementary readings, which are not required.

Optional background readings

  • Milton Osborne. 2020. Southeast Asia: An Introductory History. 13th ed. Sydney: Allen & Unwin.

  • Mark Beeson. 2014. Regionalism & Globalization in East Asia: Politics, Security & Economic Development. 2nd ed. Palgrave Macmillan.



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