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Economic Development and Social Change in Southeast Asia


Admission requirements

This course is accessible to students of the MA Asian Studies (60 EC): PSE and Southeast Asian tracks and the MA Asian Studies (research). It is also offered for MA students in the Department of History.


This research seminar explores the recent economic development in one of the world’s most exciting regions. By looking at assessments in the secondary literature as well as supporting statistics, we seek to gain an understanding of why certain nations in Southeast Asia have achieved a spectacular economic growth performance while lagging behind in terms of social development. The course adopts a historical perspective reaching back to independence after the Second World War. Particular attention is given to the role of institutions in economic and social development, especially the state. The seminar concludes with explanations and social impact of the financial crisis that hit the region in the late 1990s. Students introduce assigned readings and choose a specific topic for individual research culminating in an essay of about 6,000 words.

Course objectives

Students obtain an understanding of recent economic development in the entire region of Southeat Asia with a possible concentration on an individual country. Students receive training in consulting statistics, often from websites, and critically discuss assessments in the secondary literature. Students get training in both oral and written presentation.


Mondays, 11-13 hs., Lipsius 204.

Mode of instruction


Assessment method

  • Performance in class (1/3)

  • Final essay (2/3)



Reading list

Selected readings from recent literature will be announced at the first meeting.


Registration via uSis is obligatory.


Further information may be obtained from the lecturers: Dr. J.T. Lindblad en Prof.dr. David Henley.