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Politics South and South-East Asia


Admission requirements

This course is only available for students in the BA International Studies.

Limited places are also open for exchange students. Please note: this course takes place in The Hague.


The countries of South and Southeast Asia have experienced a long period of economic growth and democratization. But they also face many problems and challenges, ranging from gross socioeconomic inequality to religious extremism. This course provides a broad overview of the politics of the southern rim of Asia. It begins by sketching the institutional framework that shapes political behaviour in the region, and which is shaped in turn by political forces. Other key topics explored are the politics of class, capital, and the underprivileged; the influence of civil society (in both secular and religious forms); the interplay of ethnicity, nationalism, and separatism; and the development of international relations, including regional organizations such as ASEAN as well as relations with China and the West. Finally, the political challenges of the twenty-first century will be assessed.

Course objectives

  • to equip students with a basic knowledge of the political challenges recently experienced, and currently faced, by countries in South and Southeast Asia

  • to enable students to think and write critically about power, politics, and democracy in a variety of settings


The timetable is available on the BA International Studies website.

Mode of instruction

Lecture and tutorials
Attending lectures and tutorials is compulsory. If you are not able to attend a lecture or tutorial, please inform the tutor of the course. Being absent without notification can result in a lower grade or exclusion from the final exam or essay.

Course Load

Total course load for the course 5 EC x 28 hours is 140 hours, broken down by – 12 lectures: 24 hours
– 4 tutorials: 8 hours
– Preparation for lectures and tutorial assignments: 72 hours
– Preparation exams: 36 hours

Assessment method Tutorials 30% Midterm Exam 30% Final Exam 40%

If the final grade is insufficient (lower than a 6), there is the possibility of retaking the full 70% of the exam material, replacing both the earlier mid- and endterm grades. No resit for the tutorials is possible.

To complete the final mark, please take notice of the following:
the final mark for the course is established by determining the weighted average


Blackboard will be used. For tutorial groups: please enroll in blackboard after your enrolment in uSis

Students are requested to register on Blackboard for this course.

Reading list

  • Paul R. Brass (ed.), Routledge handbook of South Asian politics (Abingdon: Routledge, 2010)

  • Richard Robison (ed.), Routledge handbook of Southeast Asian politics (Abingdon: Routledge, 2011)


Enrolment through uSis is mandatory.

General information about uSis is available in English and Dutch

Registration Studeren à la carte and Contractonderwijs

Not applicable.