SOAS University of London

Department of Politics and International Studies

Southeast Asian government and politics

Module Code:
Module Not Running 2020/2021
FHEQ Level:
Taught in:
Full Year

The course analyses the political orders of the major societies of South East Asia, including Myanmar, Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines. Particular attention is given to the relationship between the state and various social and economic forces within these polities.

Objectives and learning outcomes of the module

By the end of the course, students should be able to demonstrate that they can:

  • Appreciate the similarities, differences, and idiosyncrasies of government and politics of Southeast Asian maritime and mainland countries;
  • Critically examine the political and economic development and changes of the region in the post-colonial period;
  • Understand the application of comparative politics in analysing the similarities and differences of countries in Southeast Asia in terms of their political systems, types of governance, processes of nation-state formation and building, establishment and consolidation of democratic rule and political legitimacy, and socio-cultural development; and
  • Assess the strengths and weaknesses of the key states in the region in the areas of good governance, civil-military relations, nation-state building, democratic rule, political culture, and conflict management among others.


  • 1 hour lecture per week

  • 1 hour tutorial per week

Method of assessment

Assessment is 70% unseen examination, 25% written essay (two essays each worth 12.5%) and 5% in-class presentation.


Important notice regarding changes to programmes and modules