Summer 2023 - IS 314 D100

National, Regional, and International Politics in Southeast Asia (4)

Class Number: 3776

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    May 8 – Aug 4, 2023: Fri, 2:30–5:20 p.m.

  • Exam Times + Location:

    Aug 14, 2023
    Mon, 12:00–3:00 p.m.

  • Prerequisites:

    45 units.



Provides an overview of national and political issues in Southeast Asia. Surveying politics in individual countries and regional political institutions, focus is given to particular themes such as democratization and civil society, communism and other forms of authoritarianism, the role of the military, decentralization, religion and politics, the impact of China on the region, and security concerns.


This course surveys the main issues of Southeast Asian security, giving due attention to traditional concerns with interstate conflict as well as non-traditional themes like the environment, economy and human security. It also provides fundamental grounding in the Cold War-era conflicts that shaped the region as we know it today. Key internal conflicts affecting the human security of millions of Southeast Asians, will be analyzed in their unique historical and cultural context. It will also examine the contemporary foreign policies and international relations challenges of major countries in Southeast Asia. It will survey key regional issues: evolution of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN); security arrangements; trade conflicts and territorial disputes; role of China, India, Japan and the United States; regional integration; transnational issues and terrorism.

On major component of the course is a simulation exercise. Students will be divided into groups to represent the countries involved in South China Sea Dispute (Spratly Islands). This exercise will bring about a greater understanding of the issues involved and also help students engage in policy writing and conflict resolution.


By the end of the course, students will be able to carefully understand the role of ASEAN and its relations with extra-regional actors. Second, students via the simulation exercise with understand group dynamics, team-building, and also present critical understanding/resolution creation for the crisis that is presented to them. These are key skills needed in the real world. By the end of the course, students will have the skill set from the simulation exercise and also be able to write on key issues facing the Southeast Asian region.


  • Simulations Exercise 20%
  • Midterm Examination 15%
  • Research Essay (12 to 14 pages) 25%
  • Discussion 10%
  • Final Examination (Take-Home) 30%


Submission of Assignments:

Each assignment should be submitted in two formats:

2) An electronic copy, by the same deadline, to

Assignments that are not submitted in both formats by the deadline will result in a lower grade.

Use the following procedures for electronic submission:

  1. Go to
  2. Login if you already have an account, or register yourself as a new user if you do not. Your

e-mail address and a password of your choice are used for subsequent logins.

  1. Login as a student and then click on "enroll in a class.
  2. The Class ID for our course is xxxxxx and the enrollment password is “yyyyy”
  3. Select the appropriate assignment from the pull-down menu.
  4. Choose and upload your file.

If you wish, you can remove your name from the assignment to further protect your identity. For technical assistance, e-mail:

If you plan to submit your essay to using a pseudonym or anonymous identity in your interactions with, you must inform your TA two weeks prior to the deadline.



Weatherbee, Donald. International Relations in Southeast Asia: the struggle for autonomy Lanham, Md.: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 2015
ISBN: 978-1-4422-2300-4

Percival, Bronson. The Dragon Looks South. Praeger Security International, 2007
ISBN: 9780275994266

Bill Hayton, The South China Sea: The Struggle for Power in Asia
ISBN: 978-0300186833


Additional readings will be put on reserve


Your personalized Course Material list, including digital and physical textbooks, are available through the SFU Bookstore website by simply entering your Computing ID at:

Registrar Notes:


SFU’s Academic Integrity website is filled with information on what is meant by academic dishonesty, where you can find resources to help with your studies and the consequences of cheating. Check out the site for more information and videos that help explain the issues in plain English.

Each student is responsible for his or her conduct as it affects the university community. Academic dishonesty, in whatever form, is ultimately destructive of the values of the university. Furthermore, it is unfair and discouraging to the majority of students who pursue their studies honestly. Scholarly integrity is required of all members of the university.


Students with a faith background who may need accommodations during the semester are encouraged to assess their needs as soon as possible and review the Multifaith religious accommodations website. The page outlines ways they begin working toward an accommodation and ensure solutions can be reached in a timely fashion.