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2015/16 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

EAST2600 Contemporary Southeast Asia

20 creditsClass Size: 30

Module manager: Dr Vannarith Chheang

Taught: Semester 1 View Timetable

Year running 2015/16

Module replaces

EAST2710 Social Change in South East Asia

This module is approved as a discovery module

Module summary

The module introduces students to politics, economic development and foreign policies of modern Southeast Asia (Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, The Philippines, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos and Myanmar, Brunei and Timor Leste) from a multi-disciplinary perspective.


Students will acquire factual knowledge of modern Southeast Asia (Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, The Philippines, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Brunei and Timor Leste).

They will develop skills in collation and analysis of data, writing and presentation; and examine Southeast Asian modern history, politics, economic development and foreign policies from a multi-disciplinary perspective.

Learning outcomes
On completion of this module, students should:
- have acquired an understanding of the political and economic development of modern Southeast Asia and an appreciation of the region's diversity, processes of rapid change and structural problems;
- be able to compare and contrast the political systems, foreign relations, models of economic development and sources of political and social conflict in the eleven states of the region;
- be capable of demonstrating an understanding of the achievements as well as the difficulties of nation-building and democratisation in the region;
- be able to critically appraise historical, social, economic and political developments in Southeast Asia from a multi-disciplinary perspective.


The module begins with an overview of the main political developments in Southeast Asia since the end of World War II.

This is followed by comparative country and regional studies focussing on the specific political institutions, types of governance and the processes of nation-building in Indonesia, the Philippines, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Brunei, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Burma and East Timor.

The impact of globalisation on Southeast Asia, the role of civil societies and the changing nature of security will also be discussed.

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Independent online learning hours70.00
Private study hours110.00
Total Contact hours20.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)200.00

Private study

- Students will read three compulsory books:
> Mark Beeson, ed. (2009) Contemporary Southeast Asia. 2nd Edition, London: Palgrave MacMillan;
> Case, William (2002). Politics in Southeast Asia: democracy or less. Richmond: Curzon;
> Institute of Southeast Asian Studies (2010) Southeast Asian Affairs 2010. Singapore: ISEAS]

- and other material which can be accessed via the library's electronic databases (mainly ingenta and ABI Global/Proquest).

Students will prepare seminars (short presentations on case studies) in small groups.

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

- Monitoring participation in seminars
- Homework: students will be asked to give mini-presentations that are based on their homework.

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
Essay3,000 words50.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)50.00

Normally resits will be assessed by the same methodology as the first attempt, unless otherwise stated

Exam typeExam duration% of formal assessment
Standard exam (closed essays, MCQs etc)2 hr 00 mins50.00
Total percentage (Assessment Exams)50.00

Students who fail the module over-all will resit the component of assessment (essay or unseen exam) which they failed: students who do not pass their essay will submit another essay; those who fail the written paper at the end of the semester will take a resit paper. If they fail both components they will retake both.

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 19/03/2014


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